20th's 'Taken' tops sales, rental charts

Sony's 'Underworld' debuts at No. 2

Consumers were quite taken with "Taken," as the 20th Century Fox actioner easily topped both the national home video sales and rental charts in its first week in stores.

"Taken" captured the top spot on the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales chart and Home Media Magazine's rental chart for the week ending May 17, dusting Sony Pictures' "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans," which came to DVD and Blu-ray Disc after earning $45.8 million in U.S. theaters.

"Taken," in turn, grossed $144.6 million. The film sported "Titanic"-like legs earlier this year during its lengthy theatrical run, which began in February with an opening gross of $24.7 million. Twenty percent of its first-week sales came from Blu-ray Disc, compared with 16% for "Underworld."

On the sales chart, the "Underworld" horror sequel debuted at No. 2, selling less than two-thirds as many copies as "Taken." Paramount's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," last week's top seller, slipped to No. 3.

On Home Media Magazine's rental chart, "Underworld" debuted at No. 3 with fewer than half the rental turns of "Taken." "Benjamin Button" was the week's No. 2 renter.

The theatrical opening of "Angels and Demons," the sequel to "The Da Vinci Code," sent the disc of the original back into the First Alert top 20. Sales were fueled by Sony Pictures' strategically timed Blu-ray Disc debut of an extended version of the film, which according to Nielsen research accounted for 16% of the title's total unit sales last week. The Blu-ray Disc edition also included an exclusive preview of "Angels and Demons," with a special introduction by director Ron Howard.

"Taken" also topped the Nielsen VideoScan Blu-ray Disc sales chart for the week.
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