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August 11 2009

Estimated sales figures for the Dollhouse season one DVD. The Numbers website estimates that the Dollhouse DVD shifted 62,226 units in its first week of release with sales of $1,826,333.

Those are encouraging.
I think it'll be a nice steady earner for 20th Century Fox. Be interesting to see if there's a bump when season two airs.
Season two is effectively 13 or so weeks of free promo for Fox Home Entertainment when it comes to the DVD.

The biggest surprise for me there is True Blood. $42m in DVD sales for season one so far? That show is going to be on the air for a long time.
Ages ago I emailed The Numbers website about the Dr Horrible DVD sales figures. They gave a very rough estimate/guess of 50000 units that it shifted in its first week of release on Amazon.
Wonder how much of a cut the on-demand DVD makers (and Amazon) took ? Cos as a flat amount 50,000 at $15 a pop is pretty much in profit out of the gate isn't it, from what we know about the Dr H budget ?

I guess those 'Dollhouse' numbers are OK for a TV show, right ? More data required really (to get a feel for the length of the tail) but it doesn't seem disastrous by any stretch.

Am I right in believing the licence fee 20th charge Fox Broadcasting will have covered most of the production costs so the DVD sales are additional revenue ?
Not surprised in the least about True Blood. It already had a built-in fanbase with HBO subscribers who gave it a shot (plus any Six Feet Under/Alan Ball fans who were aware of his involvement, much as folks who follow writers/creators are a minority of the overall viewership). There're folks like my father who follow vampire fiction anywhere (or at least make sure to sample it as often as it pops up). Plus HBO just gained multitudes of genre-TV fans who're new to their output ('cause while lots of TV viewers are diverse in their sampling, I know many fans both online and a few in real life who don't go out of their way to check out stuff like The Sopranos or Deadwood, either because they're almost devoted solely to genre TV/film or can't afford/aren't willing to shell out for premium cable subscription or renting/buying the DVDs), whether through new subscriptions or DVD/Blu-Ray sales. And from all those early and less recent adopters of the series, word has spread like wildfire.

It's well-written, very well-acted, funny, has great build-up, action, mystery, shows loads of skin (wouldn't be surprised if "sex sells" appeals hugely and is a major contributor to the success of True Blood), has some gore (Hunter's Souffle, anyone?), and just...damn, I dunno what else to say. Season 2 isn't suffering from the dreaded TV sophomore slump, that's pretty important too.

Not comparing True Blood to Dollhouse, of course. True Blood Season 1 came out on disc in May, I think, and Dollhouse came out just over a week ago.

I guess those 'Dollhouse' numbers are OK for a TV show, right ? More data required really (to get a feel for the length of the tail) but it doesn't seem disastrous by any stretch.


The Dark Shape (who seems to be in a position to know about these things) commented last week on the chart position and said:

Based on how these numbers usually shake out, that means Dollhouse sold between 50-70k copies. About par for the course for this type of release.

Wow, pretty much bang in the middle of the range, good call The Dark Shape ;).

OK, so not really that good but definitely not bad either. Fair enough. Now we really need to see the next few weeks to decide I guess. Though that said, even a huge drop might be OK if 20th are patient enough (and it doesn't drop to zero obviously ;) and from a few things Joss has said they seem to be - it's not like he doesn't have a track record of making them money.


ETR a ')'. It was of the past.

[ edited by Saje on 2009-08-11 10:01 ]
I would imagine 20th are in for the long haul so it should be fine. I would like to know if the limited edition DVDs are included in these figures (I'd estimate that about 800-1000 shifted in the end).
I'm most surprised to see Green Lantern: First Flight come in so high. Propitious timing so shortly after the casting news for the live-action film?

Wonder how much of a cut the on-demand DVD makers (and Amazon) took ? Cos as a flat amount 50,000 at $15 a pop is pretty much in profit out of the gate isn't it, from what we know about the Dr H budget ?

Looking at the Amazon (or rather, CreateSpace) pricing, at a $15 price, Mutant Enemy would get $3.30 per copy sold.
Cool, thanks Niels. Not in profit out of the gate then (though still a very healthy chunk of change for the first week of release).

Re: "Green Lantern: First Flight", might be to do with the casting confirmation but "Justice League: New Frontier" shifted 162k units in its first week and even "Wonder Woman" (for one reason or another lower down the totem pole of DC's big hitters) placed 5th and sold 102k. And 'First Flight' was written by Alan Burnett, a pretty popular writer in that sphere.

People just seem to dig the DCAU, especially the bit that Timm made ;).

(Whedonverse connection BTW for those who don't know, Robert Kral composed the music and Juliet Landau voiced a character)

[ edited by Saje on 2009-08-11 11:53 ]
Wait a sec, are you saying that when amazon sells a DVD for $15 they make almost $12 profit from that? That is an awful lot, if my assumption there is correct.

And 50,000 units for Dr.H in it's first week? That's mind blowing.

[ edited by Ivalaine on 2009-08-11 13:49 ]
When Amazon sells a DVD they also produce, yes. (Although obviously some of that 12 goes to production etc).
I once read it cost about a pound ($1.80 ish) to produce a DVD though i'd imagine that applies to large scale rather than on-demand (and to stamping rather than burning - were the Dr H DVDs stamped, can't check mine cos i'm at work ?). Still, a nice little earner for Amazon, either way.

That said, i'd also imagine $3.30 is much more (by 1 or even 2 orders of magnitude) than the creators would normally see from a DVD sale.
Meanwhile these numbers have prompted the de facto return of the Dollhouse death watch over at TV by the Numbers, despite what would seem the obvious assumption that given the bad PR that came out of season one's broadcast period, there's no way FOX was somehow looking for the set to miraculously sell a million copies or something in its first week.
Their attitude may be "Well, eventually we'll be right". Gotta admire their stick-to-itiveness, that's the can-do spirit right there ;).
I have to admit, I'm impressed with Battlestar's numbers. Then again, I would have never thought Green Lantern would climb up there.
I do wonder what the sales would look like if the sales from amazon.ca were taken into account.

I know myself and a lot of other people ordered the BluRay from them when it was priced at $23 USD. Dollhouse was number 1 for a solid week on amazon.ca and I know the BluRay was back-ordered the last couple weeks.
Does anyone know what the sales figures were for the Firefly dvd set in its first week?
I would like to know if the limited edition DVDs are included in these figures (I'd estimate that about 800-1000 shifted in the end).


I believe it was actually more than that, but perhaps tlacook can enlighten us.
Does anyone know what the sales figures were for the Firefly dvd set in its first week?


There's never been estimated figures for the Firefly DVD in its first few years, I think it only appeared once on The Numbers website due to a big Amazon promotion.
Whoo-hoo Dollhouse made the chart! Keeping that link!

numbers don't go back far enough for 2005 or earlier. :( Wanted those Serenity original release numbers.

Only Firefly DVD figures on the numbers website

google search for Firefly www.the-numbers.com


DVD sales $amount
45,794 $1,288,185 2007/09/09
31,983 $685,076 2007/06/17
33,845 $773,358 2007/03/04
120,215 $3,745,899 2007/01/07
------- ----------
231,837 $6,492,518
And that's only 4 weeks out of the 6 years it's been in release...

Firefly really was lightning in a bottle. It kind of boggles the mind how much Fox has potentially made off of a show that was cancelled. Makes renewing Dollhouse a lot more sense.

[ edited by hacksaway on 2009-08-12 04:38 ]

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