Doc Slamming Wal-Mart Sells 100,000 Copies9 Dec, 2005 By: Thomas K. Arnold
The controversial anti-Wal-Mart film Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price has sold nearly 100,000 DVDs its first month in release, peaking at No. 5 on Nielsen VideoScan's documentary sales chart.
The Robert Greenwald film, released Nov. 15 by the Disinformation Company, is available at retailers nationwide, with the notable exception of Wal-Mart, which mounted a massive counter-attack against the film in the weeks before its DVD release.
The giant retail chain sent reporters packets of materials responding to what it claimed were factual mistakes it noticed in the film's trailer, detailing “three errors in three minutes.” Wal-Mart also directed reporters to a long list of criticisms of the director's previous projects, including nondocumentary made-for-TV movies.
The DVD, priced at $12.95, has clearly benefited from the controversy that erupted from press reports about Wal-Mart's attempts to debunk the film. The sales tally was achieved even though the Disinformation Company employed a grass-roots distribution and marketing strategy that included a limited theatrical run in independent theaters in New York and Los Angeles, followed by more than 7,000 screenings in all 50 states.
“This just proves that alternative distribution and marketing can sell more DVDs than sticking to the traditional, slow, expensive and fading distribution model,” said Gary Baddeley, president of the Disinformation Company.