Bluebirds of happiness were alighting at distributor Fox and creator Blue Sky Studios this week, as Rio 2 flew to the No. 1 spot in Rentrak’s weekly DVD and Blu-Ray sales charts in its home-entertainment debut. The sequel’s capering birds were followed at the top by two other animated hits beloved by kids and therefore their parents: Warner Bros’ The Lego Movie and Disney’s Oscar-winning and all-time animated box-office champ Frozen.
The theatrical arrival of Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, another Fox film, likely caused its cinematic predecessor, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, to swing back near the top of the charts a whopping 136 weeks (more than 2 1/2 years) after it first arrived there.
The week’s only other debuts to make the sales top 10 came from Entertainment One. At No. 8 was A Night In Old Mexico, featuring Robert Duvall as a dispossessed rancher on a road trip south with his newly met grandson. In the 10th was EOne’s Season 3 of Hell On Wheels, a very different Western drama set nearly 150 years ago and the only TV series on the list this week. Season 4 of Hell debuts at 9 pm Saturday on AMC.
On the rental side, also flying high was Liam Neeson’s latest action thriller, Non-Stop, whose plot this time involves him doing bad things to bad people on a commercial jetliner. It took No. 1 in its sixth week, one of three Universal titles on the chart, including No. 2 (Afghanistan War true story Lone Survivor) and No. 6 (comedy Ride Along). Non-Stop also was seventh on the sales chart and Lone Survivor fifth.
Like Universal, Fox had a three-fer week for rentals, with actioners RoboCop (the remake) and Kevin Costner-starring 3 Days To Kill alongside the year’s breakout indie hit The Grand Budapest Hotel from Wes Anderson.
The only debuting title to make the rental top 10 was Under The Skin from Lionsgate, the creepy-smart sci-fi indie featuring Scarlett Johansson. As with the Apes movies, marketing for a new film may have helped the older one in home entertainment. In this case, the buildup to Johansson’s latest sci-fi role, last weekend’s box-office champ Lucy, might have helped build awareness for her other recent work in the genre. Perhaps next to benefit is last year’s Her, which critics have said represents another pole of the recent Johansson sci-fi projects (alongside her work as Black Widow in the Avengers films) that are blended together in Lucy.
** = Title availability may be delayed in some retailers