US BD/DVD sales data for the week of 10/5-10/11/2015 is now available. Two new anime movies, The Last: Naruto the Movie and When Marnie Was There, were released that week, and now we know how they did. Naruto sold 17,140 copies (10,889 BD/6251 DVD) and Marnie sold 15,251 copies (9398 BD/5853 DVD).
These numbers, while obviously impressive, are a bit less than one might expect from their performances on amazon. Both BD versions spent all their time in the top 50, and Naruto’s DVD version hovered around the #100 slot. The top 100 positions can be generally tricky to nail down, because they’re more fundamentally tied to the strength of a given week’s top sellers. In this case, I suspect a few factors may be in play. One, the two titles are somewhat less mainstream than DBZ/Miyazaki titles and thus see more of their purchases go through amazon and less through physical stores. Two, the week itself was a bit weaker than average for sales of releases outside the top 20. For example, while the average #30 DVD sells about 15,000 copies, this week’s sold 12,575 copies. Three, it’s likely releases outside the top 30 slots on amazon only sell about 2000 copies per day, tops.*
Also interesting is the relatively small differences in DVDs sold between the two films. Naruto was in the #100 position and Marnie was around #210, and both sold around 6000. That’s about what you’d expect if they were Blu-Rays, but this bucks a pretty clear trend with DVDs in my long-term tracking sample, where they usually do about 3 times better than a BD with a similar rank. It’s possible whatever gives DVDs their ‘advantage’ there is less relevant in circumstances where either the top of the charts or immediate post-release sales are involved. I’ll need to build a bigger dataset for both instances to find out why that is.
*That top-100 part of my formula could stand some recalibration, apparently. I’ll probably split it into 2 more groups, with the dividing line being somewhere around the #20-30 slot and the sales point at the dividing line between 2000-3000 copies sold.
Source pics are included below: