Yesterday, the news rolled in that Game of Thrones had secured the #2 overall sales spot for DVD and Bluray sales according to Nielsen VideoScan, registering about 78% of the sales of another newcomer, the film Immortals and well ahead of last week’s top sellers, Puss in Boots and Hugo. 57% of sales were in the Bluray edition, as well, which is an enormous figure for a television series.
Now Yahoo.au was among the first to post this Reuters report, which states:
HBO’s award-winning fantasy drama “Game of Thrones” has earned a new crown: the largest first-week DVD sales among any series in the cable network’s history.
Season one DVD sales reached about 350,000 units in the first seven days following its March 6 release, the network said on Thursday. That pace ranks ahead of other popular HBO series including “The Sopranos,” “Sex and the City” and “True Blood.”
On top of that, the show is said to have, “set an HBO series record for sales of digital downloads from outlets such as iTunesapple, the network said, but it did not provide figures.”
It’s well known that sites such as The Numbers use various sources of data to try and estimate total sales, and that this leaves a margin of error. But The Numbers has previously touted True Blood as having enormous first week sales—we’re talking 600,000+ units, and that’s simply domestic (North American) sales, which (so far as I can see) is what The Numbers tracks.
That’s far more than what HBO claims for Game of Thrones. Can The Numbers be so very far wrong? That’s what HBO is suggesting. One has to suppose they’re right, but that means a lot of sales figures watchers—not just GoT fans but fans of TB, and film and television in general—may have to seriously readjust their understanding of what big sales for a TV series actually means.
This calls for some more research, suffice it to say.
Edited to add: And coming back from said research, the answer is… yes, The Numbers can very grossly inflate numbers. They have previously cut sales estimates by almost 50% when official company press releases or statements come out giving firm figures. So, lets call this unalloyed good news: 350,000 units sold, which VideoScan tells us was 57% Bluray and 43% DVD. Nice numbers. The real question will be to see how much of a fall off there is. Ideally, there’ll be very little, and the show will readily cross the 500,000 mark and be on its way to selling over a million units domestically.
Thanks to marcelocordova for pointing this out on Twitter!