Game of Thrones Season Four is UK’s fastest-selling box set in a decade

DVD coverWell well well, season five has not started yet, and we are talking records already. It’s the recently released Season Four box set that is topping the charts at the moment.

Digital Spy reports that the previous season of Thrones has become the fastest selling TV box set in the UK within the last decade. The first week of sales has seen 157,000 copies sold, beating the previous record holder – wait for it – Game of Thrones Third Season box set by over 7,000 copies. Impressive. The UK first-week box set record beyond Thrones is more than ten years old: the first season of Little Britain moved 224,000 copies in the first week in 2004.

We will be on the look out for US numbers as well, of course. Given that Game of Thrones S4 on Blu-ray and DVD are currently 2nd and 3rd place best-sellers, respectively, among all movies and TV shows on Amazon (trailing only Big Hero 6), it would be safe to say those are pretty darn high, too.

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    1. Awesome news!

      The more profite HBO makes the bigger the CGI budget can be for the finale 2 seasons.

      Lord knows with the Dragons and big battle scenes the finale 2 seasons are going to demand huge CGI budgets.

      The profitability of GoT will really allow HBO executives to increase the budget without batting a lash of concern on the return.

      This is one of the best TV shows ever all around but on the “epic” scale it really has no peer. The last 2 seasons will cement that fact.

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    2. Dammit there’s a 2 hour Game of Thrones programme on Sky Atlantic right now, i was late in finding out –

      Game of Thrones: Greatest Moments – 9:00pm-11:00pm (2 hours ) Sun 22 Feb

      http://www.tvguide.co.uk/detail/2084208/105801678/game-of-thrones-greatest-moments#.VOpZB3nor4M

      Ahead of the return of the show on April 13, this programme counts down the 20 most thrilling moments from the fantasy drama based on George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels. Cast members and celebrity fans also discuss the series and there is a look at who the main contenders for the Iron Throne really are

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    3. What is all this talk about discs being dead and digital downloads completely taking over?

      Every time I want to stream something it doesn’t look as good. And about 25% of the time there is an issue. Either is stalls or the picture doesn’t come in HD because of internet issues.

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    4. snuuh,

      I hope that somehow makes it’s way across the pond (youtube?), as I’d love to see that.

      From the link you posted, it looks like it will be airing a few other times, so hopefully you can catch the whole thing during a subsequent airing.

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    5. Arthur:
      The more profite HBO makes the bigger the CGI budget can be for the finale 2 seasons.

      Be careful about that. Bigger FX budget could be great but it doesn’t guarantee quality….especially given the time constraints that this show is under. Personally, I think they could have envisioned some of the effects in S4 ep10 better. Plus, without substantial supporting text, who knows how it will turn out?

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    6. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      Would be a Christmas gift for a relative 😉

      Just baffles me at why HBO don’t take advantage of the holiday rush, think of how many people would ask for the box set for Christmas.

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    7. Greatest show on tv, well deserved. Preorder it on amazon, arrived on tuesday, and the total came to $37, awesome end result.

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    8. Al Swearengen,

      I remember back when The Sopranos was airing, HBO never released the previous season on DVD before the new season started. It was always after, which seemed so stupid. How many subscribers could they have gotten, who, just having finished the previous season, wanted to watch the new season as it aired?

      At least they seem to have figured out that part, at this point.

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    9. The Bastard:
      What is all this talk about discs being dead and digital downloads completely taking over?

      Every time I want to stream something it doesn’t look as good.And about 25% of the time there is an issue.Either is stalls or the picture doesn’t come in HD because of internet issues.

      Exactly, a general TV show I’ll watch on my Portable HDD, but a show I really love to watch over and again I will get 1080p and watch it over and over and over again

      Looking to buy my Blu Ray in Australia land later this week

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    10. The Bastard:
      What is all this talk about discs being dead and digital downloads completely taking over?

      Every time I want to stream something it doesn’t look as good.And about 25% of the time there is an issue.Either is stalls or the picture doesn’t come in HD because of internet issues.

      Streaming and digital downloads aren’t the same thing though. Streaming suffers from potential issues with bad Internet connections, and many people have crappy connections that just can’t stream high quality video reliably (or at all).

      Digital downloads could be the exact same content and same quality as what’s on the Bluray disc, and the only problem caused by a slow Internet connection is that it would take longer to download it. Since you download the whole thing ahead of time, the connection speed doesn’t limit the quality.

      Season 3 Blurays (with the extras) are about 150 GB total (copied at full quality, directly off the discs with no additional compression), so you would need a lot of hard drive space if you bought all of your content in this way.

      I think many digital download stores (such as Amazon) use more compression than Bluray (thus lower quality) even when they sell 1080p content, just to keep the file sizes down, but there’s no reason why they necessarily have to do this.

      For Game of Thrones, I like having the actual box to put on my shelf, but for most things I’d rather just download it and not have to deal with the physical clutter. A bigger hard drive is cheaper than a bigger house.

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    11. Al Swearengen:
      Should still be released before Christmas!!

      Theory seems to be that there is too much competition for attention in the run up to Christmas so they release it at a “dead” time when it can get more attention…seems to have worked.

      Streaming quality from Now TV live or catch up isn’t great but better than having to wait 10 months for the boxset, if only there was a way to get legal downloads, as the, er, less than strictly legal downloads from dubious places are much better quality to watch – or so a friend says.

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    12. Arthur:
      snuuh,

      What is the title of this show?

      Will it be available on YouTube?

      Looks awesome I’d love to see it!

      Gotta be really quick as I’m at work – ssshhhh don’t tell them. The programme was actually a lot better than I thought it would be as the people talking about the clips weren’t the usual ‘celebrities’ who’ll turn up on anything but GRRM, Bryan Cogman, David Nutter and the actors who play Barristan, Bran, Cat, Doreah, Grey Worm, Hodor, Loras, Lysa, Osha, Pod, Pycelle, Ros, Shae, a white walker, Yara and almost certainly someone I’ve forgotten. Have a look for it on You Tube (I can’t I’m in an open plan office). Will update more at lunchtime if no-one else can find it :O)

      EDIT: No new S5 stuff tho’ just a few clips from the IMAX trailer.

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    13. Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season – 1,533,648 – $64,679,958
      Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season – 1,106,260 – $36,683,319
      Game of Thrones: The Complete Third Season – 1,319,249 – $40,738,487

      It is possible the fourth season will achieve season 1 sales level.

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    14. Looking to buy my Blu Ray in Australia land later this week

      Is Australia land different to the land that is Australia in the same way that a grapefruit is different to the fruit that is a grape?

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    15. Carne,

      Doesn’t Norway have relatively strict import procedures that could delay the delivery?

      By the way, the blu ray comes out on March 26th in Germany… 🙁 Why do they have to delay this… made me really angry when I saw it. Would have ordered the UK version but need the german audio for my parents to watch. Guess I will buy a complete UK set box once the show is over and gift the ones I already have to my parents. 😛

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    16. minty,

      I just found a note from the post office among my other mail, haha. Picking it up tomorrow. But yeah, it usually takes forever to get anything sent here, even from somewhere as close as say England where I order most of my books. Ulikely to arrive in less than 10 days. They shipped season 4 on the 14th.

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    17. Carne,

      Mine also arrived today, shipped from amazon.co.uk on the 14th. The beautifully talented postman literally stuck the package in my pretty narrow mailbox slot/slit (what’s the word again?)

      So a) I had to transform into Hulk in order to pry it loose and b) the whole godamn neighborhood could have stolen My Precious had they been so inclined.

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    18. GeekFurious,

      So basically, if all the data was available, coupled with the thousands of copies sold year in and year out by people joining the GoT party a little bit late, what you’re basically saying is the sales of GoT DVDs alone basically cover the show’s production cost.

      And there is still subscription fees and merchandise that is not added to these DVD sales.

      I wonder if, even dispute the huge production cost, GoT is HBO’s most profitable series ever.

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    19. I bought my Blu Ray set on the 17th, day it came out here in the states, we’ve already watched all the episodes, I was going back through them to rewatch with commentaries, and bonus features… but only disk 1 worked, none of the bonus features on the other 3 disks will play, no commentaries, no bloopers, no deleted scenes… nothing 🙁 Is anyone else coming across this problem? I’m a little more than aggravated with it!

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    20. snuuh:
      Dammit there’s a 2 hour Game of Thrones programme on Sky Atlantic right now, i was late in finding out –

      Game of Thrones: Greatest Moments – 9:00pm-11:00pm (2 hours ) Sun 22 Feb

      http://www.tvguide.co.uk/detail/2084208/105801678/game-of-thrones-greatest-moments#.VOpZB3nor4M

      It’s being repeated two or three times

      I was a bit surprised by some of the choices, or how low down they were in the order. I have to say Esme Bianco looks gorgeous!

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    21. Arthur:
      GeekFurious,

      So basically, if all the data was available, coupled with the thousands of copies sold year in and year out by people joining the GoT party a little bit late, what you’re basically saying is the sales of GoT DVDs alone basically cover the show’s production cost.

      Well, it’s not that simple. There is overhead. But each season likely pulls in MORE than the cost of production. Figure with promotion, it kind of evens things out. Where HBO is making a fuckin’ KILLING is in subscriptions from people who join up just because of GOT. I crunched the numbers last year and it was in the HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS… per month.

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    22. mau,
      Don’t think it’s appeared on You Tube yet. Can be viewed from Sky’s website here: http://www.sky.com/tv/channel/skyatlantic but that may not work if you’re outside the UK/not a Sky subscriber. Let me know if you’re really keen and I might have a solution for you. Could always post the edited highlights – well my version of them – I suppose :O)

        Quote  Reply

    23. Lulu’s Mum,

      Unfortunately, I’m from Europe (not UK) and am not a Sky subscriber.

      And yes, i’m really interested in this. 😀

      I’ll be very grateful ih you post the edited highlights or the whole hing or whatever 😀

        Quote  Reply

    24. GeekFurious,

      How did you arrive at that figure? If GoT has around ~20 million total viewers (actual number is slightly less), HBO receives $9 per subscriber (actual number is slightly less) and every viewer represented a unique subscription (actual number is likely significantly less), and every such subscription only exists because of Game of Thrones, that would only be $180 million per month.

      Considering that you have multiple people viewing per subscription (more than one person per TV + HBO Go), that’s going to cut the number of unique subscriptions at least by half, and probably more like down to a third or fourth of total viewership. Then you have to recognize that many of those subscriptions would exist anyway, either because the subscriber isn’t solely subscribing because of GoT or because their subscription came packaged with their cable as a promotion, which is incredibly common.

      A more realistic, but still very much back of the napkin, figure for how much GoT makes for HBO through subscriptions each month (at least while it is on the air), is probably in the neighborhood of $50 million. I could see it being less. I can’t see it being more than $100 million, at all. It’s still making its budget back, and that’s not counting merchandising, essentially free advertising caused by all the hype that GoT receives and DVDs sales. It’s most definitely a cash cow, but I haven’t seen anything that would justify your stated estimate.

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    25. mau:
      Lulu’s Mum,

      Unfortunately, I’m from Europe (not UK) and am not a Sky subscriber.

      And yes, i’m really interested in this.

      I’ll be very grateful ih you post the edited highlights or the whole hing or whatever

      Sorry to sound cryptic but I need to check something first. I’ll get back to you as soon as poss (won’t be until tomorrow I’m afraid, got internet access problems at the moment). Watch this space…patiently…. :O)

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    26. Turncloak,

      Did you get the same vibe I did when first viewing that calendar cover? It almost looks like a WW is coming for a wounded, struggling Jon…perhaps to take him away? Given some of the reddit shit, I am affected by this interpretation. Probably just my goofy speculation.

      I guess the TWoW illustration, if this is not it, would be of Theon dangling in front of Stannis or Selmy leading the charge (“Sound the attack!”) in Meereen.

      Total TWoW hype.

        Quote  Reply

    27. Lulu’s Mum: Sorry to sound cryptic but I need to check something first. I’ll get back to you as soon as poss (won’t be until tomorrow I’m afraid, got internet access problems at the moment). Watch this space…patiently…. :O)

      Oh great! Thank you!

        Quote  Reply

    28. Delta1212:
      GeekFurious,

      How did you arrive at that figure? If GoT has around ~20 million total viewers (actual number is slightly less), HBO receives $9 per subscriber (actual number is slightly less) and every viewer represented a unique subscription (actual number is likely significantly less), and every such subscription only exists because of Game of Thrones, that would only be $180 million per month.

      Considering that you have multiple people viewing per subscription (more than one person per TV + HBO Go), that’s going to cut the number of unique subscriptions at least by half, and probably more like down to a third or fourth of total viewership. Then you have to recognize that many of those subscriptions would exist anyway, either because the subscriber isn’t solely subscribing because of GoT or because their subscription came packaged with their cable as a promotion, which is incredibly common.

      A more realistic, but still very much back of the napkin, figure for how much GoT makes for HBO through subscriptions each month (at least while it is on the air), is probably in the neighborhood of $50 million. I could see it being less. I can’t see it being more than $100 million, at all.

      Just a problem with the message on my part. I meant to suggest it was in the 100+ million range, per month. That’s counting the providers that carry HBO’s programming outside of the USA.

        Quote  Reply

    29. Arya Havin’ a Larf?: It’s being repeated two or three times

      I was a bit surprised by some of the choices, or how low down they were in the order. I have to say Esme Bianco looks gorgeous!

      It was a better programme than I thought it would be – some really decent interviewees in there including GRRM, Michelle Fairley, Sibel Kikelli, Isaac Hempstead-Wright and Ian Mcelhinney.

      What struck me was the number of clips from seasons 1 and 4. Obviously season 3 had the number 1 (I don’t think that’s a spoiler!), but those two were best represented I believe. Season 2 hardly featured.

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    30. GeekFurious,

      Ok sooooo…

      HBO is a corporation. For better or for worse the sole purpose for any corporation is to make money.

      That being said, GoT is a proven commodity now, easily.

      My question is, why haven’t we heard, even a hint, that HBO has some kind of plans for a spinoff series yet? Shouldn’t we start hearing rumors like this soon if GoT will end in 3 years?

      I mean a miniseries spinoff or an actual series prequel, anything?

      Wouldn’t that make sense for them to do? To keep the cash cow on the field graising.

      Keep all the legions of fans they built from GoT seated on their couches on Sunday nights in spring.

        Quote  Reply

    31. mau: Oh great! Thank you!

      If you don’t mind putting your email address on here, or some other way I could contact you directly (in private rather than something open to all on the internet), we could try that?

        Quote  Reply

    32. Delta1212: Delta1212
      February 24, 2015 at 2:32 pm

      GeekFurious,

      How did you arrive at that figure? If GoT has around ~20 million total viewers (actual number is slightly less), HBO receives $9 per subscriber (actual number is slightly less) and every viewer represented a unique subscription (actual number is likely significantly less), and every such subscription only exists because of Game of Thrones, that would only be $180 million per month

      The ~20 million viewers is only for the US. We have never find out combined North America, Europe and Asia numbers. We never really know total world wide DVD sales.
      Not sure we know total year viewings for various streaming sources. How much does HBO make off merchandizing?
      One thing, HBO has done so well in recent years , some of that due to GoT, that Time-Warner fought off a hostile take over by Rupert Murdoch.

        Quote  Reply

    33. Anvil:
      All men must buy.

      Best line of the year so far!!! Anvil, with your kind permission and acknowledging you, I hope I may quote that to everyone I know who loves GoT!

      Anvil:
      All men must buy.

        Quote  Reply

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