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Watch Out for Disney's Holiday Tidal Wave

11 Aug, 2003 By: Stephanie Prange

Many are talking about Disney's winning summer with Pixar's Finding Nemo and the Johnny Depp actioner Pirates of the Caribbean, which have helped make the Hollywood studio the first to hit the $1 billion mark at the box office. The Mouse House also may be looking at one of its best fourth quarters ever with the DVD and VHS release of Nemo and the highly anticipated The Lion King Special Edition, among other titles.

The Lion King, the longtime record holder as the top-selling video of all time with 25 million units sold, just might see its record fall to Nemo this fourth quarter – in a curious case of Disney competing with itself. Buena Vista Home Entertainment SVP of brand marketing Gordon Ho noted that the titles have been separated by a “whole month” – The Lion King streets Oct. 7, Nemo Nov. 4 -- and are designed to promote rather than cannibalize each other's sales.

Still, with DVD player households reaching 50 million, the little fish has a fighting chance at taking the record.

Boosted by this menagerie, Disney can look forward to quite a quarter, especially if Pirates of the Caribbean falls into the December time frame as many expect it might. And don't forget about the critical favorite Holes, which comes out Sept. 23 just before the fourth quarter holiday rush.

Every studio has its great years, and this year seems to be golden for Disney. Whether the Mouse roars or swims to success, it's certainly got the goods this holiday season.

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