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'Argo' Caps Oscar-Winning Week With Disc Debut in Top Sales Spot

27 Feb, 2013 By: Thomas K. Arnold


Released just before the Academy Awards, Warner Home Video’s Argo was on track to debut as the top disc seller of the week even before its Best Picture win Feb. 24.

The drama, based on a true story of the quirky rescue of six American embassy workers posing as filmmakers during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, bowed at No. 1 on the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales chart, which tracks overall disc sales.

Argo ended a brief stay at the top of the chart by Skyfall, the latest James Bond flick from MGM and distributed on disc by 20th Century Fox. Skyfall, the top-grossing Bond film of all time, shot to the top of the overall disc sales chart its first week in stores but was relegated to the No. 2 spot the week ended Feb. 24 by Argo, whose success was undoubtedly fueled by pre-Oscar buzz that it was the Best Picture favorite.

Still, demand for Skyfall remained strong in week two, with the film selling 83% as many units its second week in stores as Argo in its debut week.

And on Nielsen’s dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart, Skyfall remained in the No. 1 position for the second consecutive week, with HBO’s Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season bowing at No. 2 and Argo debuting at No. 3.

“Game of Thrones” generated 61% of its total unit sales from Blu-ray Disc, while the high-definition disc format accounted for 53% of Skyfall’s total unit sales and 43% of Argo’s total unit sales.

The hugely anticipated second season of “Game of Thrones” debuted at No. 3 on First Alert, selling 70.6% as many copies as Argo overall, but was more competitive in the HD market, selling 99.1% as many copies as Skyfall on the Blu-ray chart. Interest in “Thrones” was high enough to push the first season back up to No. 19 on First Alert, and No. 13 on the Blu-ray chart.

The Lionsgate horror film Sinister, one of last fall’s big Halloween theatrical hits (with a $48.9 million U.S. box office gross), debuted at No. 4 on First Alert and No. 6 on the Blu-ray Disc sales chart. Among other new releases on First Alert, Disney’s 3D Blu-ray re-release of Monsters, Inc. entered the charts at No. 5 (No. 4 on the Blu-ray Chart), while two new Universal titles debuted in the top 20 — Anna Karenina at No. 8 (No. 11 Blu-ray), and Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome at No. 16 (No. 10 Blu-ray).

With most of the new releases from studios that hold back their titles from rental outlets, Home Media Magazine’s weekly rental saw Fox’s Taken 2 rise to the top spot in its sixth week, after returning to prominence a week earlier in the second spot. Universal’s End of Watch came off its rental embargo to take No. 2, while Paramount’s Flight fell to No. 3 after debuting in the top spot a week earlier. Sinister was the highest-ranking new release, at No. 4.


About the Author: Thomas K. Arnold

Thomas K. Arnold

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