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'Bambi II' Leaps to Top Sales Spot

16 Feb, 2006 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Buena Vista Home Entertainment's Bambi II scored a stunning upset victory on the DVD sales chart the week ended Feb. 12.

The made-for-video sequel to the 1942 animated classic easily snagged the top spot on Nielsen VideoScan's First Alert chart by handily outselling no fewer than five newly released theatricals, including DreamWorks Home Entertainment's much-ballyhooed Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, which finished third after earning $56.1 million in theaters.

It was a resounding vote of confidence for Disney's practice of producing direct-to-video sequels to its animated theatricals, which began in 1994 with The Return of Jafar, a direct-to-video sequel to Aladdin that sold a whopping 9 million units and gave Disney a lucrative new profit stream.

Disney pegs first-week North American sales of Bambi II at 2.5 million copies.

Bambi II, which will be in stores only 70 days, also trounced second-ranked Doom ($28 million box office), from Universal Studios Home Entertainment; fourth-place finisher Just Like Heaven ($48.3 million), from DreamWorks; Lionsgate's Waiting… ($16.1 million), which bowed at No. 5; and Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment's Elizabethtown ($26.8 million), which entered the DVD sales chart at No. 6.

Warner Home Video's Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, which topped First Alert the previous week, fell to No. 7.

On Home Media Retailing's video rental chart for the week ended Feb. 12, romantic comedies Just Like Heaven and Elizabethtown scored a one-two finish, aided no doubt by the Valentine's Day holiday. Heaven generated $8.7 million in rental revenue, while Elizabethtown earned $7.4 million, or more than a quarter of its theatrical gross.

Waiting… debuted at No. 4, Doom entered the rental chart at No. 9, and Wallace & Gromit bowed at No. 14.

The stellar sales performance of Bambi II, not surprisingly, impacted its performance as a rental. The film entered the rental chart way down at No. 43.

Buena Vista's Flightplan, the previous week's top rental, slipped to No. 3, generating an additional $7.2 million to bring its two-week rental take to $26.8 million, or nearly 30% of its box office.

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