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The pre-summer slow season for home video is winding down, with school about to let out for the summer and a healthy crop of high-profile spring theatricals bound for Blu-ray Disc and DVD release.
But the cupboards were still quite bare last week, giving fierce indie Anchor Bay Entertainment another opportunity to capture the top spot on the national sales chart the week ending June 2 with its disc release of Dark Skies, from Canada’s Alliance Films.
The thriller earned $17.4 million in U.S. theaters from its Feb. 22 opening through the end of May. The film — which debuted at No. 1 on Nielsen VideoScan’s First Alert sales chart, which tracks overall discs sales, Blu-ray Disc and DVD combined — follows the hapless Barret family, pursued by an evil force in Paranormal Activity style. The film stars Keri Russell (TV’s The Americans) and Josh Hamilton.
On Nielsen’s dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart, Dark Skies played second fiddle to Lionsgate’s The Last Stand, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s comeback film. The Last Stand remained at No. 1 for the second consecutive week, selling about 20 percent more units on the high-definition format than the Canadian thriller. According to Nielsen research, The Last Stand generated 41 percent of its total unit sales from Blu-ray Disc, as opposed to just 30 percent for Dark Skies.
Dark Skies also debuted at No. 4 on Home Media Magazine’s video rental chart for the week.
Two sophomores remained high on the sales charts: Sony Pictures’ Parker slipped just one notch on First Alert, to No. 3 from its No. 2 debut the prior week, while Warner’s Beautiful Creatures held steady at No. 4
Consumer excitement over the sixth — yes, sixth! — Fast and Furious movie sent fans scrambling to pick up all five earlier installments in the series. Fast & Furious, from 2009 (the fourth film in the series), finished the week at No. 5 on the First Alert sales chart, while The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006, No. 3) was No. 7. The original The Fast and the Furious, from 2001, was No. 8, while the second installment, 2003’s 2 Fast 2 Furious, was No. 10. And the fifth film in the series, the appropriately named Fast Five, was No. 18.
Home Media Magazine’s weekly video rental chart was topped by Broken City, from Twentieth Century Fox, which moved into the No. 1 spot from No. 88 after becoming available at Netflix and Redbox a month after its street date.
Broken City bumped Parker out of the No. 1 spot and into the No. 2 position, while Warner’s Gangster Squad — another month-old title that just recently became available at all rental outlets — remained at No. 3 for the second consecutive week.
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