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'Fantastic Four' Unseats 'Smith'

16 Dec, 2005 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Three newly released theatricals — 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment's Fantastic Four, Warner Home Video's The Dukes of Hazzard and Universal Studios Home Entertainment's Cinderella Man — snagged the top three slots on the preliminary national DVD sales chart for the week ended Dec. 11.

But none of the three was strong enough in rental circles to unseat 20th Century Fox's Mr. & Mrs. Smith from the top berth on Home Media Retailing's rental chart for the same week.

Fantastic Four easily took the top spot on Nielsen VideoScan's First Alert chart after a $154.7 million theatrical run — and stellar first-day sales that industry insiders peg at 2.4 million units.

The Dukes of Hazzard finished a distant second, while Cinderella Man, riding high on Oscar buzz, came in third.

Earlier fourth-quarter DVD releases continue to rack up steady sales. DreamWorks Home Entertainment's Madagascar is at No. 6 after four weeks, while Warner's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, also released in mid-November, remains at No. 12.

The best staying power was shown by 20th Century Fox's Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith, which still is in the top 10 (No. 9) seven weeks after it was released. Industry sources say the sixth and final “Star Wars” film has sold nearly 9 million units on DVD.

On Home Media Retailing's rental chart, Mr. & Mrs. Smith generated an additional $9.9 million to bring its two-week take to more than $23 million.

Despite lower box office earnings, Cinderella Man narrowly beat out The Dukes of Hazzard for the No. 3 position on the rental chart, just behind Fantastic Four.

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