'Frozen' has topped 'Avatar' when it comes to selling the most copies on Blu-ray in the U.S., but it's the other way around when it comes to revenue earned.
Home Media Magazine has released a chart of the 50 best selling Blu-ray titles of all-time in the United States, first by units sold, and then separately by the revenue earned.
It was actually the pricier 'Star Wars: The Complete Saga' box-set, which features the first six movies in the franchise, that earned the most, with an estimated Blu-ray revenue of $207.16 million, ahead of the $174.48 million for 'Avatar' and the $154.31 million for 'Frozen'. The box-set was 36th on the units sold chart.
And despite being available for less than three months, 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' is already third when it comes to number of discs sold, 5th when it came to revenue.
The reason why 'Frozen' (7,134,000 units sold) beat 'Avatar' (7,099,000 units sold) in the units sold stakes, but not when it came to revenue, is both simple and complicated. Blu-ray prices have been dropping steadily since 2010, when 'Avatar' was released on Blu-ray, and this means studios have been earning less and less on a per unit basis since. From the two tables, we can deduce that the average price for 'Frozen' is $21.63, while for the older 'Avatar', it's higher at $24.58. 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' had an average price of $21.85.
These averages will also drop in time, as titles become discounted (for example, 'The Dark Knight', one of the most frequently discounted titles available, now has an average price of only $20.11, despite being released in 2008 when Blu-ray prices were $30+ on average). The availability of "special" editions, such as 3D or 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray editions, will also affect the average unit price.
Other movie franchises that populate the top 10 include 'The Lord of the Rings', Universal's 'Despicable Me', Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, 'Jurassic World' and 'The Hunger Games'.
There were some potential surprises in the revenue chart, although perhaps not surprising to the millions who purchased these discs. Demo quality 'Planet Earth' is 12th, while Disney classics appear more frequently in the top 50 than you might realise ('The Lion King', 'Beauty and the Beast', 'The Little Mermaid', 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs'), despite many of them falling foul of Disney's vault from time to time (when titles enter the vault, they are no longer available for sale at retail outlets - titles like 'Snow White' have entered and existed the vault on numerous occasions, on various Blu-ray editions).
[Source: Home Media Magazine]