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'Aeon Flux' Kills the Competition

4 May, 2006 By: Thomas K. Arnold

It was a double-whammy victory for Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment's Aeon Flux, as the sci-fi actioner starring Charlize Theron stormed to the top of both the DVD sales and rental charts for the week ended April 30.

A box office underperformer (the film earned $25.9 million in U.S. theaters against a budget estimated at $55 million), Aeon Flux nevertheless scored an easy victory on Nielsen VideoScan's First Alert sales chart.

A surprise contender, however, finished a strong No. 2: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, a Japanese anime film based on the best-selling video game of the same name. The computer-animated movie was produced in 2004 and released directly to video by Sony April 25 in a lavish two-disc special edition.

Final Fantasy beat several new theatrical features on the DVD sales front its first week in stores, including fellow debutantes Tristan & Isolde (No. 4), from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment; Woody Allen's Match Point (No. 7), from DreamWorks Home Entertainment; and Buena Vista Home Entertainment's Casanova (No. 8).

Fully half of the week's First Alert top 20 are new releases. Other notable newcomers include Fox's direct-to-video sequel Dr. Dolittle 3, which made a strong out-of-the-gate showing at No. 6, and Fox's first TV DVD set of Seth MacFarlane's “American Dad!,” which bowed at No. 16.

Other newcomers are Buena Vista's Shopgirl (No. 11), Steve Martin's latest film that earned a disappointing $10.3 million in theaters; Buena Vista's Little Einsteins: Team Up for Adventure (No. 14); and the WEA-distributed Killa Season, a film made by rapper Cam'ron.

On Home Media Retailing's rental chart, Aeon Flux earned an estimated $7.56 million, or nearly one-third its theatrical gross, to bump Sony's Fun With Dick and Jane out of the top spot it held for the past two weeks.

Tristan & Isolde debuted at No. 4, with rental earnings pegged at $5.1 million; Match Point bowed at No. 5, with $5 million; Casanova entered the chart at No. 6, with $4.5 million; and Shopgirl debuted at No. 7, with $4.4 million.

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