'Joker' tops UK home entertainment league table for 2020

Tom Beasley
·Contributor
·2-min read

Watch: Trailer for Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix

Oscar-winning comic book movie Joker was the most popular home entertainment title in the UK in 2020.

Director Todd Phillips’s violent take on the iconic Batman villain won a Best Actor Oscar for leading man Joaquin Phoenix and secured 10 other nominations, including for Best Picture.

Read more: David Fincher calls Joker a “betrayal of the mentally ill”

The movie made $1.07bn (£788m) at the worldwide box office and was a similar hit on home media, with the British Association for Screen Entertainment revealing it sold 1.4 million copies across disc and digital.

Three other films sold more than a million copies, with Frozen 2, Jumanji: The Next Level and box office champion 1917 closely following Joker.

Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck in 'Joker'. (Credit: DC/Warner Bros)
Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck in 'Joker'. (Credit: DC/Warner Bros)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the pandemic-hit year of 2020 led to a rise in the size of the home entertainment sector, which grew 26% to a value of £3.3bn.

Customers spent £194m on digital film downloads over the course of the year, with more than £21m spent on 4K UHD discs.

Read more: Digital film purchases overtook physical media during lockdown

BASE also revealed the top sellers by genre, with It: Chapter Two the most popular horror, Last Christmas leading the comedy stakes and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker always leading the chase for sci-fi.

Frozen 2 was unsurprisingly the biggest family film, with Apollo 11 the most popular documentary and the Downton Abbey movie winning in the drama category.

Bizarrely, the most frequently bought musical was The Greatest Showman — still proving popular three years after it first hit cinemas.

'The Greatest Showman'. (Credit: 20th Century Studios)
'The Greatest Showman'. (Credit: 20th Century Studios)

There have been huge changes in the world of film distribution as a result of the pandemic, with cinema releases heading towards streaming platforms and home rental with multiplexes closed.

Many of the year’s biggest blockbusters were delayed into 2021, but big movies such as Wonder Woman 1984, Trolls World Tour and The Witches took advantage of new release strategies.

Read more: Tom Hanks not worried about distribution changes

Warner Bros is carrying this into 2021, opting to release its entire slate for the year simultaneously in cinemas and on video-on-demand platforms.

Meanwhile, other studios will be hoping that cinemas are able to throw open their doors sooner rather than later.

Watch: Jared Leto returning to Joker role for Snyder Cut