DVD sales figures for the first week of Planet Hulk have arrived and the folks at Marvel have to be a bit disappointed. The movie sold 153,026 units totaling $2,323,822. By comparison, last years Hulk Vs. mustered 178,894 units for $3,014,221. That's a 17% drop in units and over 20% reduction in revenue. More troubling is the fact that Planet Hulk was following up on a popular release whereas Hulk Vs. came after the poorly received Next Avengers. Check out the graph of first week sales figures for all of the recent animated superhero DVDs below.
What do these numbers mean? Is the public all "Hulked out" and hopping for another hero to get the spotlight? After all Hulk has been featured in 5 of the 7 Marvel releases. Is the DVD market just getting saturated with these animated superhero movies? Even though Marvel has settled in on 1 a year, DC is churning them out at 3 (with rumors of an increase to 4) per year. Was this movie just not advertised well? I know the Planet Hulk comics were a big hit but does Hulk in space turn off more casual fans? I know I was skeptical - though pleasantly surprised. Is the economy just having a general negative effect on DVD sales? What does this predict for next year's teen Thor: Tales of Asgard? I suppose I could speculate all day long, but a good comparison will be the sales figures for the new Justice League movie in the next few weeks.
I suppose the good news is that Planet Hulk still outperformed the 2 Marvel releases previous to Hulk Vs. (Next Avengers and Doctor Strange) and even outperformed Wonder Woman. Maybe good word of mouth and continued sales will give Hulk boost enough to give World War Hulk a "greenlight."