Thursday 3 January 2019 11:54 am

Record digital sales of The Greatest Showman boost UK home entertainment market

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Hit movie The Greatest Showman helped the UK home entertainment market grow by 10 per cent in 2018, new figures have revealed.

The popular musical, which stars Hugh Jackman as the head of a circus troupe, was the best-selling film of the year, with more than 2.7m copies sold.

A majority of the film's sales – 72 per cent – came from physical formats, according to the British Association for Screen Entertainment (Base).

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again came in second with 1.3m sales, despite its late November release date, proving the nation’s strong appetite for musicals.

The smash hits contributed to a 10 per cent growth in the market, bringing its total value to £2.34bn.

The figures show the growing popularity of digital video content, with 63 per cent of consumers now choosing to rent or stream films and TV episodes.

The Greatest Showman became the the largest digital video release to date, selling more than 770,000 digital copies since its release in April.

Base chief executive Liz Bales said: “The third consecutive year of growth in the video category underlines the fact that audiences remain engaged with a broad variety of home entertainment content and format options.

“This serves as a testament to the innovation and energy that continue to drive the home entertainment category even as the high street retail environment presents clear challenges in some areas.”

Last year the number of subscribers to streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon and Now TV overtook traditional pay TV subscribers for the first time, according to regulator Ofcom.

Despite this, the Base figures show 59 per cent of total spend still came from DVDs and Blu-ray discs.

“As habits continue to change, it is fortifying to note the huge increase in audience engagement with digital delivery in the last 12 months, and in the continued strength of premium formats such as Blu-ray and 4K UHD,” said Robert Price, managing director of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment UK.