ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

Now, however you personally felt about Warner Bros' Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - and popular opinion ranged from vocal devotion all the way through to outright hatred - it's hard to dispute two key facts: The movie made a whole lot of money ($872 million worldwide), but a whole lot less than it was widely expected to by fans and analysts alike. Which is, of course, why the film is now widely seen as having been a box office disappointment, despite raking in the best part of a billion dollars.

From the sounds of it, though...

Batman v Superman's DVD And Blu-ray Sales Might Suggest Something Of A Resurgence For The Film

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice/Warner Bros.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice/Warner Bros.

After all, Variety is now reporting that Batman v Superman has shot straight to the top of the NPD VideoScan First Alert sales chart (which tracks DVD and Blu-ray sales), with a comfortable lead over the second placed The Divergent Series: Allegiant, which sold only 12% as many copies as Batman v Superman's total. Now, of course, it's absolutely possible that the film's DVD and Blu-ray sales will follow a similar pattern to Batman v Superman's theatrical release - with a strong opening weekend followed by an unusually sharp drop off in takings - but early signs seem to suggest that such a fate may not be in store for the movie's home video offering.

Y'see, 70% of Batman v Superman's home video sales this past week came from Blu-ray - one of the highest percentages yet seen, and only slightly lower than Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens' record-breaking 83%. The reason that statistic is likely causing excitement over at Warner Bros. right about now, though? The Blu-ray edition of Batman v Superman is the only physical version of the film that also contains the much feted 'Ultimate Edition' of the movie - the longer, darker, R-rated cut of the film that Warner Bros promised fans several months back.

The big question that raises, then?

Just How Much Did Batman v Superman's "Ultimate Edition" Help Drive DVD & Blu-ray Sales?

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice/Warner Bros
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice/Warner Bros

Well, on the one hand, it's entirely possible that fans of the movie really wanted to own a copy as soon as the film came out - something that a San Diego Comic-Con-aligned release will surely have helped with - and bought a whole lot of copies accordingly. The high proportion of Blu-ray sales could then perhaps be explained away by the fact that an ever-increasing proportion of the home video market is abandoning DVD's, thus making higher Blu-ray percentages downright likely.

On the other hand, however, it seems entirely plausible that a large proportion of those buying a copy of Batman v Superman on Blu-ray did so in order to check out the shiny new Ultimate Edition, and all of the new (R-rated) footage it promises to contain:

If that's the case, though, then a secondary question arises - one that might just have a whole lot of impact on the future direction of the DC Extended Universe as a whole. Specifically:

Are People Buying The Batman v Superman Ultimate Edition For The New Footage, Or The R-Rating?

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice/Warner Bros
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice/Warner Bros

That, after all, may well dramatically alter the lesson that Warner Bros chooses to take from the film's release, and the recent uptick in home video sales. If the majority of fans are purchasing the Blu-ray because of its R-rating, then it's entirely possible that there's a financially viable marketplace for, say, a theatrically released R-Rated Batman movie - which would in turn dramatically increase our chances of seeing one. If, however, the majority of fans are buying the Blu-ray for the chance to see new footage, then it's entirely possible that they're doing so in the belief that the additional footage will solve some of the theatrical cut's problems and fill in some of its plot holes, rather than because they just really liked the movie as is.

In other words? There are a whole lot of lessons that Warner Bros. could take from the current success of Batman v Superman on DVD - and several of them directly contradict one another. While we're forced to speculate about people's purchasing logic, however, you can be sure that Warner Bros. is doing its damnedest to find out exactly why fans are so keen on that there Blu-ray - and that the company will learn some kind of lesson from it in the lead-up to Justice League's release next year. Just what that lesson is, though, remains to be seen...

What do you reckon, though?


Why do you think Batman v Superman's Blu-ray sales were so high?

via Variety


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