Dissecting iTunes’ Top 10 Sales Lists: Action & Adventure

We live in interesting times. Information is so easy to get and long gone are the golden days of hunting down movies in physical media and grabbing certain editions before they went out of print. It wasn’t too long ago when collectors bought new releases on VHS for $79.99 brand new rather than waiting for them to endure the rental cycle and be sold for under $20.00. One of the primary ways audiences digest media now is digital and iTunes ranks very high in that world, especially for those who want to own a copy of the movie and don’t do the awful and job-killing illegal downloading of films. Since buying habits are so intriguing and since the world is so list-driven, I’ve taken it upon myself to look at iTunes all-time bestsellers in five categories and look deeper. And to suggest titles that aren’t listed here that would be better choices in an ideal world.

Monday: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Tuesday: Horror
Wednesday: Comedy
Yesterday: Drama
Today: Action & Adventure

#1 – Skyfall


Talk about staying power. Skyfall is a fantastic film and with a little hindsight ought to have been the last Daniel Craig 007 movie because it’s the culmination of all they’d restored to the franchise. The less said about Spectre the better. The fact it has maintained its perch on iTunes in the category showcases its place in the series. When it all shakes out, Skyfall will be the defining film of the Daniel Craig era.

Alternate Deeper Cuts: The Living Daylights, Goldfinger, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

#2 – The Avengers


This flick is a must own for any library and proof positive that quality stuff rises to the top even after a whole bunch of subsequent entries in the catalog. Joss Whedon’s genre-changing film just won’t go away and that’s a great thing. The Avengers is one of the building blocks in what has become the main thrust of blockbuster filmmaking.

Alternate Deeper Cuts: Iron Man, Superman II, Unbreakable

#3 – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire


There’s going to be a theme on this list. The Hunger Games series is like a cockroach that has been bitten by a radioactive spider. These movies are a juggernaut on iTunes, as will be showcased in just a second.

Alternative Deeper Cuts: Logan’s Run, The Handmaid’s Tale, Escape 2000

#4 – The Hunger Games


The Hunger Games series is like a cockroach that has been bitten by a radioactive spider. These movies are a juggernaut on iTunes, as will be showcased in just a few more seconds.

Alternate Deeper Cuts: Logan’s Run, The Handmaid’s Tale, Escape 2000

#5 – Kingsman: The Secret Service


This film is a sneak attack. Most people felt it was a dud and then not only was it a terrific romp but also a legitimate R-rated genre film that didn’t coast on the taboo but rather celebrated it. It’s a surprise to see it this well-supported by buyers. That my friends is the value of Colin Firth as a tough guy.

Alternate Deeper Cuts: Kick-Ass, Super, Norwegian Ninja

#6 – The Dark Knight Rises


The worst of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films is still on the charts? This is a surprise. While none of these movies are bad it seems that The Dark Knight would be the one to endure all this time. The cool thing is that it appears that we’ll be having a lot of Batman over the next several years so it’ll be interesting to see which incarnation stands the test of time.

Alternate Deeper Cuts: Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Watchmen

#7 – Inception


If there was any one film that personified the rise of digital movies, this would have to be the one. Inception was an intricate puzzle that balanced onscreen spectacle with the kind of material that lent itself to repeat viewings. It’s a movie that takes on a slightly different shape upon each viewing and a rare event movie that creates cinephiles out of casual moviegoers. To see it still selling and remaining relevant is apt and very well-earned.

Alternate Deeper Cuts: Primer, Fight Club, The Spanish Prisoner

#8 – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay


The Hunger Games series is like a cockroach that has been bitten by a radioactive spider. I promise this is the last of them on this list.

Alternate Deeper Cuts: Logan’s Run, The Handmaid’s Tale, Escape 2000

#9 – Captain Phillips


This is a pleasant surprise. Is it a testimony to Tom Hanks and his universal appeal? Is it acceptance of Paul Greengrass as one of the premier thriller filmmakers in the world? Is it the fact that Somali pirate movies are irresistible? Regardless, this is an entry on this list built on pedigree and visceral reward. Good on you, iTunes buyers.

Alternate Deeper Cuts: Black Sunday, Hostage, Miami Vice

#10 – Jurassic World


It’s surprising to see Jurassic World so low on the list. Though it has become a whipping boy for many, it’s a film that owned the box office until December of 2015 and the kind of movie that appeals to the broadest of demographics. It’s also surprisingly solid upon repeat viewings. In short, leave this movie alone.

Alternate Deeper Cuts: Jaws, Jurassic Park, Gremlins


Thus endeth the dissection of iTunes top five categories.

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