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First 'Despicable Me' Shoots to No. 1 on Home Entertainment Charts

Despicable Me
Illumination Entertainment
"'Despicable Me"

The rare achievement comes as Universal's sequel to the 2010 animated film becomes a box-office hit.

It’s common for disc sales of a certain film to get a lift when the sequel hits theaters, but it’s extremely rare for the disc to shoot straight to the top of the national sales charts.

But that’s precisely what happened in the wake of the Fourth of July weekend opening of Despicable Me 2, which grossed $142 million in its first five days on the big screen. The original Despicable Me that week shot to the No. 1 spot on both national sales charts, capping a series of retail and price promotions for a title that was initially released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD back in December 2010.

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Granted, there was a lull of high-powered new releases in the week shorted by the July 4 holiday. But credit also must go to Universal Studios for cleverly re-promoting the title and adding UltraViolet to the combo packs.

On the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales chart for the week ending July 7, Despicable Me bumped Sony Pictures’ The Call from the No. 1 spot. Walt Disney’s Oz the Great and Powerful and Warner Bros.' Jack the Giant Slayer finished at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, with unit sales of 58.4 percent and 58.3 percent of the animated feature, which like its theatrical sequel features the vocal talents of Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig, among others. The Call slipped to No. 4, selling just 51.6 percent as many units as Despicable Me.

Nielsen’s dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales charts tell a similar story, although The Call slipped from No. 3 to No. 7. The Halle Berry crime thriller, about a 911 dispatcher tyring to save the life of a kidnapped teenage girl, didn’t do well on Blu-ray Disc, generating just 22 percent of its total second-week unit sales from the high-definition format -- down from 26 percent in week one.

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In rental stores, Universal Studios’ Identify Thief was most in demand, slotting at No. 1 on Home Media Magazine’s weekly rental chart now that it’s widely available for rent. The film came out a month ago, but was held back from Netflix and Redbox for 28 days; in the prior week, with only limited rental availability, the pic barely cracked the rental chart’s top 100, finishing at No. 97.

Another newly available rental title, A Good Day to Die Hard from 20th Century Fox, shot to No. 2 from No. 80 the prior week. 

The Call finished the week at No. 3, down from No. 1 the prior week.