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Great Expectations

10 Jun, 2005 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Reading all the press reports about the allegedly “disappointing” sales of DreamWorks Home Entertainment's Shrek 2, I thought back to 1987, when Michael Jackson released a follow-up album to the mega-selling Thriller. While Bad, released five years later, also shot straight to No. 1 on the national album sales charts and again sold millions of copies, it fell short of Thriller's incredible sales tally. As such, it was branded a disappointment … a letdown — even though Bad still ranks as one of the top-selling pop albums of all time.

Let's get one thing straight: Shrek 2 was a tremendous hit … a tremendous success. But because some bean counter overestimated its potential appeal, it's fast becoming the Edsel of the DVD era — a flashy property, but one that just didn't light a fuse with the public.

Privately, any studio executive will tell you he would be more than happy to have a Shrek 2 in his lineup. Heck, some suppliers would be happy if all their DVD releases for the year, collectively, would sell as many copies as that single title.

Shrek 2 also was a great DVD package, with wonderful bonus materials and a bevy of games for the kids that really raised the bar in both interest and complexity.

So next time someone wants to dis Shrek 2 to me, here's what I'm going to do: Pop Bad into my computer, put on my headphones and crank up “Dirty Diana” as loud as I can.

They say perception is reality, at least in Hollywood. In this case, “they” are dead wrong.

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