Advanced Television

Data: Record year for UK home entertainment

January 5, 2022

Figures released by the British Association for Screen Entertainment (BASE) spotlight the renaissance of UK Home Entertainment, as its value rose to £3.7 billion (€3.1bn) in 2021.

Based on data from the Official Charts Company, Futuresource Consulting, Omdia, and Kantar, this demonstrates 13.3 per cent growth Year on Year (YoY), finishing 2021 on a high and showcasing the agility, resilience and technological advances of the Home Entertainment industry across an often challenging and uncertain 12 months.

The true impact of shuttered-cinemas in the UK broke across the Home Entertainment landscape in the first six months of 2021, and the consequent lack of big-screen content was felt throughout the year. The traditional content pipeline was fractured for the first time, and UK gross Box Office (BO) revenue stood at 40 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, with just over half the number of films in cinemas across the year compared to 2019 due to the enforced closure of cinemas.

With the reopening of cinemas in May, the big screen experience re-emerged and began its build back steadily across the second half of 2021, as audiences grew in confidence and a blockbuster slate began to land. This culminated in a game-changing £96 million UK & Ireland Box Office (BO) for Daniel Craig in his final big screen 007 outing across Q4, No Time To Die.

The Home Entertainment success of No Time To Die since its Electronic Sell Through (EST) release on December 15th 2021, and its physical release on December 20th 2021, demonstrates the new landscape of co-existing multi-format screen entertainment. ‘Screen to screen’ entertainment is the new normal, where multiple small screen formats are fed by the big screen experience in a partnership of support, and where the oxygen for both remains the same: audiences, and their love of entertainment.

In the UK, where film and TV fans consistently overlap in their purchasing choices, the joint AudienceNet study Emerging from Lockdown (September ‘21), funded by BASE and the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), reported that two thirds of UK audiences name film and TV as their favourite form of entertainment. Against this backdrop, the figures reflect the new reality of consumers’ lives, finding the films and shows they love across multiple channels. The future of visual entertainment is a screen-family affair, where all formats have their own unique roles to play.

No Time To Die became the biggest selling Home Entertainment title of 2021 in the last two weeks of the year, with sales of 1,148,000 units across both disc and digital formats. It is the largest physical disc week one title since 2017 with 621,000 units sold, and the biggest selling title of the year on EST with sales of over 430,000 . On Blu-ray it has sold 237,000 units, of which 15 per cent were 4K UHD, making it the largest week one ever delivered on the 4K UHD format, surpassing the previous number one, Avengers: Endgame. The cross-format performance of No Time To Die illustrates the audience-first Home Entertainment options now available to consumers, with an initial release in cinemas, and subsequently across Premium Video On Demand (PVoD), EST, DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K UHD, with traditional VoD still to come.

With a period of powerful audience engagement at the end of the year across the full screen-to-screen experience, including the final week of the year which saw the biggest value week ever for EST at just under £8 million, and Christmas week which saw the biggest combined value week for the sector since pre-pandemic, with a value of £22.2 million, Home Entertainment audiences are now poised to reap the benefits of cinemas reopening, and the 2022 power slate. This is led by the release of Spiderman: No Way Home, which flew through the £50 million UK Box Office barrier in December, to a current, and still growing, cumulative UK Box Office of £72 million, and is the first blockbuster to break the global $1 billion threshold since Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in 2019.

Data from Gower Street now predicts the number of Blockbusters in 2022 has risen to 22, at a time where 62 per cent of the UK are actively engaging in the screen-to-screen entertainment experience, be that Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD), cinema, or transactional home entertainment on DVD, Blu-ray and digital.

David Sidebottom, Principal Analyst, Entertainment, at Futuresource Consulting said: “2021 has no doubt been one of the most challenging on record for the UK home video sector, but continued consumer thirst for transactional content in 2021 was evident despite a more limited slate, with iVoD library sales growing YoY once more. The sector remains incredibly robust heading into 2022, with transactional digital video sales set to bounce back, potentially to record levels, boosted by a plethora of new movie releases.”

The power growth of SVoD slowed but steadied in 2021, with YoY growth of 28 per cent , down from the 44 per cent surge of 2020. 16 million of the 27 million total GB Households had at least one SVOD account by the autumn, with the average amount of subscriptions per household holding at 2020 levels with 2.3 services per household .

PVoD and PEST saw 48 films released directly to consumers across 2021, adding over 10 per cent to digital transactional consumer spend in 2021 , and this innovative nature of Home Entertainment continued: Netflix remained the largest UK Subscription service , followed by Amazon Prime, Disney+, NOW and Apple TV, while Peacock content became available to Sky Subscribers in the UK. The growing number of Free ad-supported TV (FAST) services such as Pluto, Roku, and IMDb TV looks set to add even more content choice to UK consumers in 2022, alongside the expected UK launch of SVoD platform Paramount+.

The success of PVoD and PEST reinforces the role of transactional at the heart of the Home Entertainment experience for consumers. There were 17.7 million digital transactions on EST in 2021, where Peter Rabbit 2 was the second biggest selling title following No Time To Die. There were over 27 million VoD transactions in the first 9 months of 2021, with Wonder Woman 1984 striding ahead of the pack as the number one VoD title.

Rob Marsh, BASE Chairman and Senior Vice President, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, said: “The figures released today show what we at Sony Pictures firmly believe: that despite a challenging period for the industry due to the pandemic, the consumer appetite for Film and TV remains as strong and vital as ever. Peter Rabbit 2, the film that reopened cinemas in 2021 was a huge success for us across all formats, becoming 2021’s highest grossing family title in Cinema and Home Entertainment. Venom: Let there be Carnage is having a fantastic release at Home Entertainment, and Spiderman: No Way Home has blown cinema audiences and records away with its phenomenal UK and global performance since its release in December, and we are making huge plans for its release on Home Entertainment in the first half of 2022. The spirit of collaboration and innovation that has sustained the screen industries, and the home entertainment industry in particular, through the last two years of uncertainty has resulted in an energy that is fuelling us all, to do more and be more as an industry, and it is audiences that are reaping the rewards. We are so excited for our consumers to experience the amazing slate of films and shows to come in 2022, and to continue working with BASE and our colleagues across the industry to ensure that audiences have access to the best content in the best possible ways for them.”

Despite the reduced range of new release content to immediately arrest shoppers’ attention, and with challenging high street conditions that forced many stores to remain closed for large parts of the year, there were over 21 million DVD and Blu-ray sales across the year. Premium formats have been embraced by Home Entertainment audiences again in 2021, with the top selling 4K titles delivering the best viewing experience outside of cinema: number one title No Time To Die broke records for the format, selling 38,600 discs on 4K in its first week alone.

Number two Blu-ray title Zack Snyder’s Justice League sold almost 26,000 units in the premium format. Black Widow, The Thing, Wonder Woman 1984, The Suicide Squad, Godzilla Vs Kong and Tenet all sold over 10,000 units at the higher price-point in the premium format. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy delivered the highest value for 4K sales, with over £1.3 million against 19,200 copies.

Kevin Dersley, Co-Vice Chair, BASE and Managing Director, Elevation Sales said: “The physical market faced a challenging year, but the strength of catalogue, TV, and the continued consumer discovery of the premium Home Entertainment experience of 4K and Blu-ray, served those consumers who bought over 21 million discs in 2021. With the reopening of cinemas consumers will now be able to find and enjoy their favourite new releases in stores again as well. For avid film fans and everyday high-street shoppers alike there is an ongoing and important role for DVDs and Blu-rays to play in what promises to be an exciting year of releases in 2022.”

The popularity of TV titles continued across 2021 where, once again, TV titles grew their share of the physical market, reinforcing the power of traditional broadcast and subscription premiere titles across transactional formats: Game of Thrones Complete 8th Season, Supernatural: The Complete 15th Season, Star Trek Picard: Season One, and The Crown: Season Four and Season Three boxsets collectively sold 189k units , while the combined sales of Doctor Who, Doctor Who Classic and the newest season of Doctor Who sold over 282K units.

Lesley Johnson, Co-Vice Chair, BASE and Director of Home Entertainment, UK & EMEA at BBC Studios said: “Buying and owning TV titles clearly continues to appeal to UK audiences, with the demonstrable success of both new to own titles and classic shows in 2021. The accessibility of TV boxsets is great news for the 50 per cent of viewers who admit they binge-watch most or all of their entertainment shows. In these times of national crisis, we’ve seen audiences turning to the shows they love as a sort of visual comfort food.”

Sales of classic and catalogue titles were also buoyant in 2021, fuelled by a wave of national nostalgia, as Harry Potter The Complete Collection and 2020’s top selling title Joker again remained at the top of the catalogue list, followed by Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), 1917, and 2019’s biggest selling title The Greatest Showman. Classic titles Dune (1984), and Indiana Jones the Complete Adventures (also proved a hit, as some of the best-selling 4K UHD titles of the year.

Warner Bros Home Entertainment Group ended the year as the leading distributor across both value and volume, with Wonder Woman 1984 proving a year-long hit with audiences across all formats.

While the biggest selling titles of 2021 were big budget blockbuster titles, the importance of audience choice and diversity of content continued to be met, notably by independent distributors, where Cliff Richard’s The Great 80 Tour was the biggest selling music title of the year. Oscar and Bafta award-winning The Father and Bafta-nominated and British Independent Film Award winner Saint Maud delivered strong commercial Home Entertainment performances to match their critical success.

The increased importance of collaboration across the whole screen industry, to continue to foster an environment where films of all sizes can reach their audiences, relies on continued Digital and Physical retail support, and the vital flow of communications necessary in a multi-format Home Entertainment landscape. Jessica Goodchild, Commercial Lead, Home Entertainment UK & Ireland at The Walt Disney Company says: “As an industry, it is vital that the spirit of collaboration that not just sustained us but that has created a whole new landscape of Home Entertainment, continues. We will future-proof our category against unpredictable challenges by speaking both to the retailers (through direct and regular feedback and conversation) and to audiences and consumers, about all the amazing choices that are now available to them, through individual and cross-category campaign activity and initiatives.”

At the close of 2021, the Home Entertainment industry is multi-layered and thriving. The challenges of lockdown were embraced as accelerated opportunities. Audiences are proving that consumer appetite is stronger than ever. Where the advent of PVoD and early digital consumption was once viewed as a disruption to the industry, and through a global pandemic that threatened the framework of entertainment, a new landscape of consumer choice has emerged, with increased breadth of engagement and overlapping behaviours of content consumption.

Early forecasts suggest that 2022 may be the biggest year on record for Home Entertainment. Liz Bales, Chief Executive, BASE said: “Throughout this pandemic, entertainment at home was the refuge that many chose to take from an uncertain world, and it became clearer than perhaps ever before: audiences are the life-blood that fuels our industry. Serving audiences the content they love is driving a new, innovative world of Home Entertainment. Last year, faced with challenge, our industry was forced to adapt, but now, because of those changes, 2022 may be the biggest and best year for Home Entertainment ever.’

Official Video Charts 2021 Top five charts for each video format and genre, not including box sets:

Official Video Chart 2021 (All Digital; Blu-ray and DVD, EST and VOD)

1              NO TIME TO DIE

2              WONDER WOMAN 1984

3              PETER RABBIT 2

4              GODZILLA VS. KONG

5              TENET

Official Video Chart 2021 (All Digital Retail; Blu-ray and DVD, EST)

1              NO TIME TO DIE

2              PETER RABBIT 2

3              WONDER WOMAN 1984

4              GODZILLA VS KONG


Official Video Chart 2021 (All Blu-ray & DVD)

1              NO TIME TO DIE

2              BLACK WIDOW

3              WONDER WOMAN 1984

4              PETER RABBIT 2

5              FAST & FURIOUS 9

Official DVD Chart 2021

1              NO TIME TO DIE

2              PETER RABBIT 2

3              BLACK WIDOW

4              FAST & FURIOUS 9

5              WONDER WOMAN 1984

Official Blu-ray Chart 2021

1              NO TIME TO DIE


3              BLACK WIDOW

4              WONDER WOMAN 1984

5              THE SUICIDE SQUAD

Official Film Download Chart: EST 2021

1              NO TIME TO DIE

2             PETER RABBIT 2

3             THE GRINCH (ANIMATED)

4             THE GRINCH

5              ELF

Official Film Download Chart: DIGITAL RENTAL 2021 (JANUARY TO SEPTEMBER)

1              WONDER WOMAN 1984

2              TENET


4              GODZILLA VS. KONG

5              A QUIET PLACE

Official Film on Video Chart 2021

1              NO TIME TO DIE

2              BLACK WIDOW

3              WONDER WOMAN 1984

4              FAST & FURIOUS 9


Official Children’s Video Chart 2021

1              PETER RABBIT 2


3              SOUL

4              LUCA

5              PAW PATROL – THE MOVIE

Official TV on Video Chart 2021


2              THE CROWN: SEASON FOUR

3              THE CROWN: SEASON THREE



Official Music on Video Chart 2021

1              THE GREAT 80 TOUR



4              AMERICAN UTOPIA


Official Sports and Fitness Video Chart 2021


2              THE UNITED WAY

3              WWE – WRESTLEMANIA 37

4              WWE – ROYAL RUMBLE 2021

5              WWE – SURVIVOR SERIES 2020

Official Special Interest Video Chart 2021

1              THE BLITZ: 80TH ANNIVERSARY

2              SEAN LOCK – KEEP IT LIGHT – LIVE




Official Catalogue Video Chart 2021 on DISC


2              JOKER


4              1917


High Value Boxsets – disc and digital EST




4              THE JAMES BOND COLLECTION (2017)

5              THE HOBBIT – TRILOGY


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