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Customers in the 'Spirit'

20 Nov, 2002 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, the little movie that could, is doing it again on video.

The animated children's adventure, a surprise summer theatrical hit that grossed nearly $75 million, posted initial shipments of 6 million units -- the same as Scooby-Doo, which grossed more than twice as much in theaters -- and realized a 29 percent sellthrough rate after just one day in stores, DreamWorks Home Entertainment executives report.

“This title is clearly exceeding everyone's expectations, including retailers,” said Kelley Avery, DreamWorks' head of worldwide home video.

Avery said that after one day, retailers were already re-ordering the video, with major retailers requesting up to 25 percent of their initial order in additional shipments.

“We're just trying to keep up right now,” she said.

Avery added that 60 percent of Spirit sales are VHS. “VHS is really blowing it away,” she said. Avery attributes this to the film's ‘G' rating and popularity among families with young children, who have not yet transitioned to DVD.

“The VHS consumer is still out there, particularly among families,” she said. “And when you market to them, they come.”

Avery expects business to continue to be brisk in the coming weeks, particularly after Thanksgiving, when the holiday selling season begins in earnest.

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