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Fox Takes Top Sales Spots With 'Robots,' 'Family Guy'

6 Oct, 2005 By: Thomas K. Arnold

The fourth-quarter holiday selling season got off to a robust “soft start” the week ended Oct. 2, as two 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment titles released on the eve of the quarter's official start handily snatched the two top spots on the preliminary national DVD sales chart.

Robots bowed at No. 1 on Nielsen VideoScan's First Alert sales chart for the week, while the direct-to-video TV spinoff Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story finished close behind at No. 2.

The sleeper of the week, though, was Universal Studios Home Entertainment's Carlito's Way: Rise to Power — a direct-to-video sequel to the 1993 Al Pacino starrer — that stunned industry observers by bowing at No. 4 on the sales chart.

The sequel had only one returning cast member, Luis Guzman, and a budget of about $9 million, compared to $30 million for the 12-year-old theatrical original.

And yet its First Alert debut was three notches above Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's Lords of Dogtown, which came to DVD the same day but had both a hot upstart director (Catherine Hardwicke of Thirteen fame) and a summer theatrical run to its credit.

The previous week's top DVD seller, Paramount Home Entertainment's The Longest Yard, slipped to No. 3 on the sales chart.

The Adam Sandler comedy did, however, remain at No. 1 on the rental chart for the week ended Oct. 2, adding another $9.7 million in rental revenue to boost its two-week take to an estimated $20.1 million.

Robots, despite its high sellthrough appeal, was the week's No. 2 renter, earning an estimated $7.7 million. Twentieth Century Fox's Fever Pitch was ranked third, with revenue after 19 days pegged at $21.9 million, or 52.1 percent of its theatrical gross.

A look at the top 10 DVD sellers reveals the home entertainment industry's waning dependence on theatrical features. Three of the titles are direct-to-video releases — Family Guy, Carlito's Way and Lions Gate Home Entertainment's Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus (at No. 8 its second week in stores).

Two other nontheatrical titles on the chart are TV DVD packages. Warner Home Video's Gilmore Girls: The Complete Fourth Season debuted at No. 6, while Buena Vista Home Entertainment's Desperate Housewives — The Complete First Season was at No. 10 after two weeks out.

Because video rental stores tend to break TV DVD sets apart and rent discs individually, these collections tend to have long legs in the rental arena. After nearly a month in stores, Buena Vista's Lost: The Complete First Season actually inched up a notch on the rental chart, to No. 9 from No. 10 the previous week. The “Desperate Housewives” package also rose to No. 14 from its No. 15 debut the week before.

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