Advanced Television

Star Wars drives disc ownership

April 26, 2016

By Colin Mann

Following the success of the 2015 Box Office figures, the UK video industry is now reaping the rewards of the strong slate filtering into retail as Star Wars – The Force Awakens sells through a magnificent 1,247,662 physical units (DVD & Blu-ray combined) in its first week of release, equating to £14,942,581 in value.

It makes it the biggest selling title of 2016, overtaking Spectre which sold 940,000 units in week one and adding 33 per cent physical retail against a backdrop of equivalent admissions.

With Blu-ray sales of 531,949 copies, Star Wars – The Force Awakens is the fastest selling Blu-ray disc of all time overtaking Skyfall (Feb 2013) which sold 522k in its first week. It is also the 10th biggest selling title on Blu-ray Disc ever after just one week. In another first, it’s also the fastest selling movie in the Star Wars franchise, beating Episode 1, The Phantom Menace (April 2000) which sold 1.17 million copies on disc in week one.

This success comes off the back of a franchise-heavy Q1 which saw such blockbusting franchises as The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones and Bond hit the shelves. The halo effect of having such huge hits in Q1 and the early arrival of Easter meant that cumulatively the top ten titles in Q1 2016 drove +35 per cent more volume and +22 per cent more value than in Q1 2015 on DVD and Blu-ray combined.

With the Official Charts Company reporting that overall chart volume is up +51 per cent week-on-week and value up +81.9 per cent, it shows the phenomenal positive impact a big franchise release such as Star Wars – The Force Awakens has on the category.

Consumers are seeking out the premium experience, buying into Blu-ray to re-create the big screen experience at home as year-on-year Blu-ray New Release volume figures have increased 17.1 per cent, which BASE describes as a remarkable level of growth for the categories’ premium product.

According to Liz Bales, Chief Executive, BASE, the results from individual titles in Q1 and particularly from Star Wars – The Force Awakens, shows the absolute consumer desire to own content and illustrates how working hand-in-hand with retailers, the industry can capture imagination and create event-style engagement with consumers. “The huge leap in Blu-ray consumption shows that consumers absolutely value the content and are willing to pay a premium price for the best quality viewing experience at home.”

“We’re delighted with our performance of Star Wars this week across both home ent and merchandise,” declared Rudy Osorio, ERA Joint Chairman and Head of Film & TV at HMV. A success driven by our in-store theatre and P.O.S. collaboration with Disney and the passion and dedication of our store colleagues, many of which dressed for the occasion for photo ops with customers “It’s great for the industry to have such a major footfall driving event and it serves as evidence that great movies can still create great consumer excitement and the desire to own physically.”

“We’re overwhelmed by the week one performance of Star Wars – The Force Awakens across all its formats,” commented Dean Pappadakis, Commercial Director, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment said. It’s one of the most enduring franchises and set to become one of the best-selling titles ever as fans old and new enjoy adding it to their DVD and Blu-ray collections, ready to watch it again and again.”


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