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Charts Dominated By the Force

10 Nov, 2005 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith, the year's biggest theatrical movie, may turn out to be the year's biggest DVD as well.

The DVD and a related video game generated an estimated $210 million in worldwide consumer spending their first week in stores, according to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. Fox provided no breakdown between the DVD and the video game, nor did it issue unit sales.

Domestically, the final installment in the six-film “Star Wars” epic easily captured the top spots on both Nielsen VideoScan's preliminary national sales chart and Home Media Retailing's top renters chart for the week ended Nov. 6, scoring the biggest punch so far this fourth quarter.

With domestic first-week sales estimated at 5.3 million units, the release generated gross consumer spending of $106 million, with an additional $11.6 million raised in rental stores, according to Home Media Retailing market research estimates.

The final DVD tally, $117.6 million, is even more than the film's opening weekend theatrical take of $108.4 million, the second-biggest theatrical opening weekend of all time.

The Force had such a powerful effect on consumers that the two previous “Star Wars” films, Episode I — The Phantom Menace and Episode II — Attack of the Clones, re-entered the First Alert top 20 at No. 5 and No. 6, respectively.

The Star Wars Trilogy, an elaborate boxed set consisting of the three original films in the franchise, bowed at No. 13.

Meanwhile, as anticipation mounts for DreamWorks Home Entertainment's Nov. 22 release of the summer's top-grossing remake of War of the Worlds, a special edition DVD of the 1953 film adaptation, brought out by Paramount Home Entertainment Nov. 1, debuted on the sales chart at No. 17.

Aside from “Star Wars”, there was little of note on the First Alert sales chart. A special edition DVD of 1999's Office Space, also from Fox, debuted at No. 3, while Universal Studios Home Entertainment's The Perfect Man, a teen comedy starring Hilary Duff and Heather Locklear that grossed $16.2 million during a summer theatrical run, was ranked No. 8 its first week in stores.

On the rental chart, the top newcomer, aside from Sith, was Fox's Millions, which entered the chart at No. 11 with estimated rental revenue of $2.85 million.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's Lords of Dogtown, which kept the No. 16 spot for the second consecutive week after 40 days in stores, now has nearly doubled its $11 million theatrical gross at the rental counter alone, where it has generated an estimated $20 million.

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