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'Thor' Defies 'Gravity' On Disc Sales Charts

5 Mar, 2014 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Thor: The Dark World

Oscar buzz — and a bigger box office gross — couldn’t lift Gravity over a highly anticipated superhero fantasy during their first week in the home video market.

Walt Disney Studios’ Thor: The Dark World, the eighth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the second to focus on the God of Thunder, rode its $206 million theatrical take to a solid No. 1 debut on both the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks overall DVD and Blu-ray Disc combined sales, and Nielsen’s dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart for the week ended March 2.

Gravity, from Warner Home Video, mustered a No. 2 debut, selling about 57% as many copies as Thor: The Dark World. The outer space thriller from director Alfonso Cuarón stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney and earned $270.7 million in U.S. theaters. Gravity won seven Academy Awards, including a Best Director nod for Cuarón.

Thor: The Dark World generated 59% of its first-week sales from Blu-ray Disc, compared with 52% for Gravity.

The release of the two theatrical blockbusters pushed the prior week’s top disc seller, HBO’s Game of Thrones: The Complete Third Season, to No. 3 on both charts.

Rounding out the top five on both sales charts was Disney’s The Jungle Book at No. 4, down from No. 2 the previous week, and Lionsgate’s Ender’s Game at No. 5, down from No. 3.

One other Oscar-nominated film was released on disc the week prior to the Academy Awards telecast: Paramount’s Nebraska, which debuted at No. 6 on First Alert and No.7 on the Blu-ray Disc chart.

On Home Media Magazine’s weekly video rental chart, Nebraska bowed at No. 2, with Thor: The Dark World debuting at No. 8 — undoubtedly a product of its high purchase demand.

Gravity failed to chart because Warner is one of three studios that withholds new releases from key rental outlets Netflix and Redbox for 28 days to minimize cannibalization of sales.

Captain Phillips rose to No. 1 from No. 7 the prior week, with demand likely driven by its six Oscar nominations.

Ender’s Game, the previous week’s top rental, slipped to No. 3 — followed at No. 4 by Lionsgate’s Escape Plan and at No. 5 by Universal Studios’ Riddick.

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