The Hobbit: Filling More Gollum Inches

Monday, April 15 2013
The Hobbit: Filling More Gollum Inches

With sales expected to top the 1 million mark in its first week, the arrival of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Warner’s big release for the first part of 2013, was another big seller for the first half of the year.

It didn’t quite make the Skyfall numbers, but it still made for a hugely impressive performance, becoming, along the way, the year’s second biggest Blu-ray seller too.

What’s more, it was also notable for a couple of developments on the retail front too, and we’re talking traditional media here.

For as well as marking the latest stage in the seeming return to WHSmith of DVD product in a more meaningful way, it a;lso perfectly illustrated just how much a retail presence can do for the launch of a title.

Many in the industry had noted that if HMV had disappeared from the High Street, as could easily have happened when it fell into administration at the start of the year, then there would have been no real consumer-facing retailer to help confer event status on to a blockbuster, to really launch it with a blockbuster feel.

Now the retailer has been saved, with new owner Hilco at the helm, it can once again show what it can contribute to not just distributor coffers in terms of units sold, but in helping a title really make a splash in the market.

Its exit from administration came just ahead of the release of Peter Jackson’s latest Tolkein adaptation and there was activity around the UK in HMV stores, with the Oxford Street flagship in the heart of London’s West End providing the focal point.

The shop was transformed, as our pictures show, both as you entered the venue, on the first floor DVD and Blu-ray section and, most notably, at the back of the ground floor, where a full-size model of Bilbo Baggins’ Bag End cottage, where the journey begins, was recreated.

As HMV’s Gennaro Castaldo said: “”We’ve been having a really good week with The Hobbit, with lots of promotion in store not least an amazing Hobbit set built in our Oxford Circus flagship. Big Thanks to Warner and its agencies for their support. Hopefully they’ll be rewarded with some excellent week one numbers.”

Here’s some pictures from the shop…

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