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A Sinking Ship, Blue Aliens and Abba: What DVD Does Just About EveryoneSeem to Own?

The arrival of DVDs to the UK home entertainment market was a pretty exciting event, wasn’t it? Anyone who remembers using VHS tapes in the old days would have appreciated the chance to use a slicker and more modern way of watching their favourite programmes and movies.

As we all started to build up our DVD collections it was interesting to see how many of us bought the same things. For example, after a while just about everyone in my work had the same Blackadder and Friend sets as the ones I got for Christmas. So which DVDs are the most popular in the UK?

Titanic, Leonardo Dicaprio, Kate Winslet

The First Big Seller – Titanic

If you can remember the introduction of the DVD in the country then you might recall that Titanic topped the first Christmas sales list. This movie came out on DVD in 1998 when not everyone had a DVD player but it has still managed to become the first DVD to sell a million copies around the globe. There is a copy in my house and I reckon there is a very good chance that you have one too.

The UK’s Biggest Seller – Mamma Mia! The Movie

The launch of Mamma Mia! The Movie saw it very quickly smash all sorts of records. For a start, it became the fastest selling DVD the country has ever seen when it sold 1.6 million copies the day it was put on sale. It then went on to become the first disc to sell over 5 million in the UK. I can’t find any up to date sales figures but it has been stated that by the start of 2009 1 in every 4 households had a copy of it. In the US, first day sales brought in $30 million while in Sweden it is the highest selling DVD ever, with over half a million copies sold.

Second Place - Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl?

At the time Mamma Mia! The Movie took the best selling record the DVD it snatched the title from was this one. While the film which was based on Abba songs has sold over 5 million, the Johnny Depp movie was sitting at 4.7 million on the most recent figures I could find. Worldwide, 11 million copies were sold in the first week after it was released. Is this still the second best seller in the UK? It seems to be, as apart from Mamma Mia! I can find no mention of any other DVD selling more. I bought a copy for my daughter but, of course, tastes change over the years and she now doesn’t watch it anymore. If this same thing occurs in your house then you can always go online and sell your unwanted DVDs for good money.

The Current Best Seller – Despicable Me 2

At the tail end of 2013 the top seller in the UK’s DVD market is Despicable Me 2. This is a fun little movie which my daughter loves. It was released not too long ago so there is still time for it to move up the all time best sellers list. Cartoon movies obviously don’t have the same universal appeal as the likes of Titanic Abba and Pirates of the Caribbean, so it is unlikely to ever challenge those movies in terms of overall sales.

Another Huge Seller – Avatar

There is no doubt that the film Avatar also sold a huge number of copies but how many? The first fact to jump out is that it sold so many copes on Blu-ray and DVD that director James Cameron supposedly made $350 million (over £200 million) off the movie overall. In the US, 2.5 million DVDs were sold on the day it was released and it also quickly became the fastest selling Blu-ray disc to date. The most recent figures show more than 10 and a half million DVDs sold worldwide but I can’t find a UK specific figure.

Breaking Bad

TV Series and Boxed Sets: Breaking Bad and Downtown Abbey

Away from the movies, TV series and box sets are also traditionally big sellers. At the current time, Breaking Bad is the top seller, with Mrs Brown’s Boys Live Tour: Mrs Brown Rides Again not far behind.  Classics such as Blackadder, Mr Bean, Friends, House and the Sopranos have also presumably each sold millions of copies over the years. The most up to date details I found online show that Downtown Abbey is the UK’s best selling box set of all time, although no exact sales figures were given.

What other DVDs do you think just about everyone seems to own?

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