'Underworld' Edges 'La La Land' For Top Spot on Overall Disc Sales Chart3 May, 2017 By: Thomas K. Arnold, John Latchem
Two new theatrical releases stormed into the two top spots on the national home video sales charts the week ended April 30, as Sony Pictures' Underworld: Blood Wars narrowly outsold Lionsgate's La La Land to debut at No. 1 on the NPD VideoScan First Alert sales chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales. However, the critically lauded La La Land, a musical romance with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as a musician and an actress who meet and fall in love in Los Angeles, was the top-selling Blu-ray Disc for the week after earning $151.1 million at the domestic box office.
According to VideoScan, La La Land sold 98.5% as many copies as the fifth installment in the action-horror franchise, which overcame its mediocre $30.4 million box office gross, the lowest in a series that has built up tremendous cult appeal since its 2003 launch with Kate Beckinsale as a vampire heroine. However, the gap was actually a bit wider considering that an additional 5% of Blood Wars sales were from a set of all five films, the Underworld Ultimate Collection, which came in at No. 19 overall. VideoScan tracks such collections separately even though they might account for a consumer's avenue to purchasing the newest entry.
Even with the "Underworld" split, however, the lauded musical still would be No. 1 on VideoScan's dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart, as the standalone Blood Wars sold 87% as many Blu-ray copies as La La Land, and the "Underworld" colleciton sold 8% as many, for a total of 95%. That's because 64% of La La Land sales were of the high-def format, compared with 55% of Blood Wars — a surprising twist that suggests Blu-ray after more than a decade on the market truly has gone mainstream. The "Underworld" collection was available only on Blu-ray. In addition, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, which is included in the Blu-ray sales data, accounted for 5% of La La Land's total unit sales, compared with 7% for Blood Wars.
The pair of newcomers bumped Disney’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to the No. 3 spot after three weeks in the top spot.
Rounding out the top five were Split, the suspense thriller from Universal Pictures, and Moana, the musical fantasy from Walt Disney Pictures. The two films finished at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, on the overall disc sales chart, while on the Blu-ray Disc chart their order of finish was reversed.
On Home Media Magazine's rental chart for the week, the two top spots both went to films that just came off a studio-imposed 28-day holdback from Redbox kiosks: 20th Century Fox's Why Him? at No. 1 and Warner's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them at No. 2.
Universal's animated musical Sing dropped to No. 3 after taking the top spot a week earlier.
La La Land debuted at No. 4, followed by Fox's Assassin's Creed at to No. 5, slipping three spots from the previous week.
Underworld: Blood Wars popped up at No. 19, which compared with its sales performance could indicate a strong desire from fans of the franchise to complete their collections rather than simply watching the film.