THE NEWS BUNDLE: 'Dredd' Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital Sales Fantastic; What Does This Mean For Possible Sequel?

If you're like me, perhaps you failed to miss the fantastic action wonder that is Dredd when it hit theaters in September. Critically acclaimed but a box office flop, it seemed those singing praises and hopeful for a sequel were left with nothing but disappointment as the worldwide grosses of the film came in short of the film's cost. But thankfully, the positive word of mouth surfaced as the film hit Blu-Ray and DVD right after the new year, and today it's been revealed that Dredd is not only doing remarkable on the format but it may have just renewed hope for those desiring of a continuation.

Lionsgate has revealed the numbers for the first week of Blu-Ray and DVD sales of Dredd, announcing the film has made a massive dent of well over 600K units sold and claiming the top spot on sales charts both physically and digitally.

Though it's a humble reveal for a film that closed its theatrical gross under budget ($36.4 million compared to its $45 million pricetag), what this could ultimately mean for fans hoping of a sequel has yet to be determined.  Writer Alex Garland and producer Andrew MacDonald have stated they have an entire trilogy of films planned out already, while in September it was said if any sequel would go forward it would be co-financed by IM Global to help lift production costs along with being shot in South Africa.

On one hand, Lionsgate could see the critical acclaim and growing figures as a major win and eventually get the ball rolling on a follow-up (in the luckiest of scenarios). Another realistic opportunity? The company could misinterpret the success and greenlit a dreaded straight-to-DVD sequel.

For the time being, though, the 90 minute feature is enough to tie us over and keep patiently waiting for the hopeful day that perhaps the successful sales may just mean Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby will be back for a Dredd 2.

Here's more information via press release:

The verdict is in and Lionsgate (LGF), a leading global entertainment company, announced today that the home entertainment release of DREDD claimed the number one spot on the DVD sell-through and Blu-ray charts with 650,000 units sold, making it the best-selling new release title of the year. Blu-ray units accounted for nearly 50% of week 1 POS at retail. In addition, the critically acclaimed thriller, starring Karl Urban (Star Trek) as the titular character Judge Dredd , was the top film download for the week, outpacing all other titles in digital sales as well.

Adapted by Alex Garland from John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra’s legendary comic book and released in a stunning 3-D Blu-ray, DREDD adds to Lionsgate’s long history of theatrical titles that have overconverted their box office performance on Blu-ray, DVD and digital. Lionsgate continues to lead the industry in DVD-to-box office conversion rates.

Hailed by audiences and critics alike, the post-apocalyptic thriller also stars Olivia Thirlby (Juno) and Lena Headey (HBO’s “Game Of Thrones”). Blending pulse-pounding action with mesmerizing visual effects sequences, the sci-fi thriller directed by Pete Travis (Vantage Point) takes place in a vast, violent metropolis where criminals rule the chaotic streets. The only force of order lies with the urban cops called “Judges” who possess the combined powers of judge, jury and instant executioner. The Blu-ray Disc and DVD both contain multiple behind-the-scenes featurettes including a look back at the 35 years of Judge Dredd .

With a highly competitive landscape during its theatrical debut, the thriller’s powerful home entertainment success underscores the importance of the market, allowing entertainment enthusiasts to enjoy their favorite films in a multitude of formats.

“DREDD‘s chart topping performance demonstrates the breadth of the home entertainment audience for this exciting, high caliber film as well as underscoring our ability to monetize theatrical titles across all home entertainment platforms through the highest packaged, VOD and digital conversion rates in the industry,” said Ron Schwartz , Lionsgate Executive Vice President & General Manager, Home Entertainment. “We’re also pleased that a film released on 3-D Blu-ray was able to top the sales charts, a clear reflection of how quality films in this up and coming format can find their audience.”

Lionsgate recently announced a partnership with Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung to convert select Lionsgate action and thriller titles for the booming 3-D home entertainment market.