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TK's MORNING BUZZ: Amazon.com's Video Shop Spike Shows Just How Effective Oscar Buzz Can Be

28 Mar, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold

For many of my retailer friends, it's always interesting to watch business pick up after the Academy Awards telecast. But now we have some early empirical evidence from the video shop at Amazon.com that shows just how effective Oscar buzz can be.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon shot up to No. 1 on Amazon.com's DVD chart the day after the Sunday night broadcast, with sales soaring more than 4,800% from the preceding 24-hour period. Of course, Columbia TriStar's timing helped; the Asian blockbuster's release announcement was timed to coincide with the Oscars.

The soundtrack to Dancer in the Dark went to No. 1 on Amazon.com's music list, following Bjork's performance of her nominated song from the soundtrack. Sales increased 2,063%, according to Amazon.com.

Black Narcissus became the No. 1 VHS title, with sales rising more than 1,351%. Footage from the film was featured in the montage honoring cinematographer Jack Cardiff, who won an honorary Oscar. The DVD rose to No. 2, with sales increasing 992%.

Even presenter Steve Martin's latest book, Shopgirl: A Novella, got a lift, moving to No. 67 from No. 297.

But Oscar fever may also have short legs. Yesterday, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon moved to No. 2 on the DVD chart, replaced by Hannibal -- which hasn't even been announced for release.

Of course, that doesn't stop our friends at Amazon.com from accepting orders. The caveat: "Price information not available. You can still order this item, and we will request approval of the price via e-mail prior to shipment."

Now, that's smart business. Why aren't more retailers doing this?

Comments? Contact TK directly at:TKArnold@aol.com

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