'Despicable Me 2' Expected to Top Christmas Home Entertainment Sales in U.K.

Universal Pictures
"Despicable Me 2"

Local industry groups asked the U.K.'s top retail giants to predict what would be this holiday season's Blu-ray and DVD bestsellers.

LONDON – Leading British retailers predict that Despicable Me 2, Man of Steel and Monsters University will be the three top-selling movies on Blu-ray and DVD during the upcoming U.K. holiday season.

The British Video Association (BVA) teamed up with the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) to survey the leading retailers in the U.K. including Amazon, HMV, The Hut and supermarket giants Tesco and Sainsbury’s to come up with which movies they think will fly off the shelves during the festive season.

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Rounding out the top six titles expected to be discovered under Christmas trees or in Santa's stockings around the U.K. will be The Wolverine, The Croods and the only non-studio title in the mix, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, according to the retail giants.

December accounts for more than a fifth of all annual disc sales, and Sainsbury’s, recently anointed the second-biggest supermarket in the U.K., predicts that this Christmas, customers are "just as likely to pop a Blu-ray Disc or DVD into their shopping trolleys as they are a packet  of stuffing."

BVA director general Lavinia Carey is hoping what she describes as a "Christmas institution" of families "curling up on the sofa to watch a Blu-ray Disc or DVD" will continue.

As retailers enter the busiest time of the year for video sales, Blu-ray Discs and DVDs remain a firm favorite among Christmas shoppers, with three-quarters of entertainment sales still on disc,

ERA director general Kim Bayley said: "People value the quality and tangibility of the physical product, and there are a fantastic variety of titles on offer to shoppers this Christmas."

The survey marks 15 years of the DVD. When the DVD launched in the U.K. in 1998, the Christmas charts were topped by James Cameron’s Titanic.

An estimated 2.4 billion DVDs and Blu-ray Discs have been bought in the U.K. over the past 15 years.

But the sector is under pressure with the growth in video-on-demand services from companies such as Netflix, Amazon's LoveFilm and Tesco's own Blinkbox.

U.K. retailers also were asked to predict the most popular TV and box-set titles, with Breaking Bad topping that chart ahead of comedy show Mrs Brown’s Boys Live Tour: Mrs Brown Rides Again and Downton Abbey.