'This Is It' dominates sales, Blu-ray charts
Michael Jackson concert film sold an estimated 1.2 millionMichael Jackson fever continues to rage, nearly eight months after the king of pop's death.
"This Is It," the concert film about the comeback tour that never happened, shot to No. 1 on the national home video sales charts its first week in stores, selling through to consumers an estimated 1.2 million copies, according to Home Media Magazine market research.
That's believed to be a record for first-week sales of a music film.
The Sony Pictures Home Entertainment release also was the No. 1 Blu-ray Disc seller for the week ending Jan. 31, according to Nielsen VideoScan research. Of the film's total disc sales, 21% were on Blu-ray Disc.
"This Is It" was released simultaneously in Japan and, according to Sony, beat expectations there as well. Sony Pictures mounted a huge publicity campaign in support of the release, including a YouTube video of Filipino prisoners dancing to two Jackson tunes from the film that generated more than 3 million hits. The clip included a card at the end promoting the DVD/Blu-ray Disc release of the film.
Several other new releases also debuted high on the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales chart for the week, including Walt Disney Studios' "Surrogates" at No. 2, Lionsgate's "Saw VI" at No. 3 and 20th Century Fox's "Whip It" at No. 5, right behind holdover "The Hangover," from Warner.
Meanwhile, on Home Media Magazine's video rental chart for the week, "Surrogates" debuted at No. 1 and "Whip It" bowed at No. 2. Lionsgate's "Gamer," the top renter the previous week, slipped to No. 3, while Summit Entertainment's "The Hurt Locker" finished fourth -- a standing that will likely rise with the film's recent best picture Oscar nomination.
"This Is It" debuted at No. 5 on the rental chart, and "Saw VI" bowed at No. 6.