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<I>Finding Nemo</I> Swallows First-Day Video Sales Record With 8 Million Units

5 Nov, 2003 By: Kurt Indvik

Finding Nemo, the little fish that was a whale of a box office hit this year, swallowed the record for opening-day sales of home video with 8 million units sold in North America, it was announced today by Buena Vista Home Entertainment. Finding Nemo swamped the previous first-day record of 5 million units set last year by Monsters, Inc., another Walt Disney Home Video presentation of a Pixar Animation Studios film.

Based on its first-day success, Finding Nemo is on track to become the best-selling home video of 2003 and the top-selling DVD of all time, company executives said.

According to Bob Chapek, president of BVHE, some 25 million units were shipped into the retail channel, based on record pre-orders, and that's going to make copies of Nemo hard to find this weekend. DVDs constituted 80 percent of first-day sales, VHS 20 percent, he said.

“We knew it was going to do well, but what we saw happening throughout the day yesterday was something we never expected,” Chapek said. “In a word, it was frantic. The numbers we saw coming out of the East Coast in the morning were so phenomenal we didn't think it could be sustained, but it was. We had reports of full pallets selling out before noon, and some stores did their week's projection in one day. We're obviously thrilled.”

Chapek said BVHE is working furiously with its duplication facilities to try and keep the pipeline filled as retailers call in with reorders. “We're going to do the best we can to keep people in supply, but we also expect there will be some areas that experience shortages of stock.”

Chapek said the marketing engine for Finding Nemo will continue through the fourth quarter and expects the company has yet to see the holiday-sales impact for the title.

“This was just a Finding Nemo reaction. The holiday shoppers are still to come. That's going to make this a gargantuan title,” Chapek said.Disney and Pixar have been in negotiations for some time to renew the two companies' partnership, which has reportedly been strained. Previous reports that the level of success of Finding Nemo would be a key factor in whether the partnership remains intact would now bode more positively toward the two companies continuing their relationship. “We couldn't be more excited about the overwhelming success of Finding Nemo,” said Steve Jobs, Pixar's CEO.

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