Preternatural films top sellers and renters lists last week

More preternatural films were taken home last week than any other type of movie, according to Rentrak Corp. Gnomes and super-powers topped both the best-selling and most rented lists, while demonic possession continued to stake a claim on both lists as well. That’s where the similarities end.

Gnomeo & Juliet leapt to the top of Rentrak’s best-selling DVD list for the week ending 29 May, 2011. Director Kelly Asbury takes movie-lovers inside the secret world of gnomes in this retelling of Shakespeare’s tragic love-story that also managed to be the third most rented video in its first week on the charts. Joining Gnomeo (voiced by James McAvoy) and Juliet (voiced by Emily Blunt) in this family film are preternatural standard-bearers Maggie Smith as Lady Blueberry, Jason Statham as Tybalt, Michael Caine as Lord Redbrick  and Patrick Stewart as Ben Shakespeare. This little adventure is going a lawn way for Touchstone.

The top renting DVD for the week ending 28 May, 2011 was Dreamwork’s I Am Number Four. Extraordinary teen John Smith (Alex Pettyfer) and his guardian Henri (Timothy Olyphant) also took second place among the top-selling DVDs for the week as they sought to hide from their deadly enemies.  Director D.J. Caruso takes viewers on an even more thrilling ride with the I Am Number Four DVD than the theatrical release. Only one week from release, film-lovers will be among the first to discover deleted scenes and more.

If that isn’t dark enough for you, check out the Number 6 film on both lists: The Rite. Like seminarian Michael Kovak (Colin O’Donoghue), viewers catch glimpses of phenomena they can’t explain as they seek out veteran exorcist  Father Lucas Trevant (Anthony Hopkins) to learn the tricks of the exorcism trade and witness their failure. Rutger Hauer also stars in director Mikael Håfström’s horrific thriller that leaves you questioning just what you believe in the Warner Bros. film

Other preternatural films among the week’s top sellers include:

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 – At Number 5, it seems fans are preparing for the upcoming release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (also directed by David Yates) in July by taking Part 1 home now. The Boy That Lived (Daniel Radcliffe), He who Shall Not Be Named (Ralph Fiennes) and a host of other witches (including Maggie Smith), wizards and legendary creatures are still charming audiences 7 weeks after being released to video by Warner Bros.
  • Tangled This animated retelling of the Rapunzel fairy tale is still holding on at Number 9 among the best-sellers nine weeks after being released onto video by Disney. Directors Nathan Greno and Byron Howard, whose voices join those of Mandy Moore (Rapunzel), Zachary Levy (Flynn Rider), Ron Perlman (Stabbington Brother) and Paul F. Tompkins (Short Thug), take everyone on a delightful romp of self-discovery in a DVD bursting with never-before-seen bonus features from Disney.

Neither wizards nor Grimm’s fairy tales were among the most rented videos for the week, however, Gulliver’s Travels was. Lemuel Gulliver (Jack Black) still towers over other DVDs as well as cast members including Billy Connolly (King Theodore) and Catherine Tate (Queen Isabelle) and hangs onto the Number 10 spot for the week. Director Rob Letterman tells the tale of a New York reporter whose assignment to Bermuda goes hysterically awry in this two-disk set from Twentieth Century Fox.

The fact that three preternatural films – I Am Number Four, Gnomeo & Juliet and The Rite – appeared on both lists demonstrates that preternatural films attract audiences who also invest in them. Maybe it’s the economy or the start of the summer season. We prefer to think more people are coming to realize there is more to this world than they thought there was.

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