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<I>Monsters, Inc.</I> Top All-Time DVD Seller

18 Oct, 2002 By: Thomas K. Arnold


In what might be a portent for what's shaping up to be the biggest fourth quarter in home video history, Monsters, Inc. has become the top-selling DVD of all time after just four weeks in stores, with sales to consumers of 9.2 million copies, according to Video Store Magazine market research estimates.

Video Store Magazine's Top 25 DVD Sellers of All Time chart was a multi-sourced market research effort analyzing POS data from Nielsen VideoScan, supplier reports on shipment and sellthrough numbers, and other data.

“We continue to be thrilled with the enormous popularity of Monsters, Inc.,” said Bob Chapek, president of Buena Vista Home Entertainment. “And what's nice is that this title is only a month old, and we still have the whole fourth quarter to run on this.”

The previous DVD record-holder, Shrek, has sold 9 million units since its release in November 2001.

The swift ascension into the top spot of Monsters, Inc., which came out Sept. 17, reflects the tremendous growth in the DVD market from the fourth quarter of 2001, when fewer than one in four U.S. households had a DVD player. Now, the DVD penetration rate is approaching 35 percent, according to the DVD Entertainment Group.

“With the depth of blockbuster hits coming out this holiday season, DVD is sure to be on the top of everyone's wish list,” said Amy Jo Donner, executive director of the DVD Entertainment Group.

Donner added that by the end of this year, “we project one out of every two U.S. households will have a DVD player.” Such rosy predictions are spurred by the release of new figures that show double-digit growth for DVD in the third quarter of this year. More than 150 million DVD software units shipped to retailers between July 1 and Sept. 30, according to figures compiled by Ernest & Young for the DVD Entertainment Group. That's more than twice the number of units that were shipped in the third quarter of 2001.

Since the DVD format's inception in March 1997, the DVD Entertainment Group reports, more than 1.1 billion DVDs have landed in stores. So far this year, suppliers have shipped 425.6 million units, more than in all of calendar 2001 (364.4 million units).

Analyst Tom Adams of Adams

Media Research projects fourth-quarter DVD software shipments in the United States alone will be nearly 200 million units. The DVD Entertainment Group said in the fourth quarter of last year, DVD software shipments came in at 137.6 million units.

“The propensity to buy among new DVD households is astonishing,” Adams said. “By the end of this year, there will be about 28 million homes that have bought a DVD player in 2001 or 2002, and that's driving phenomenal growth, because our research has shown that in their first two years DVD households just have a voracious appetite.”

Hardware shipments also are accelerating. In the third quarter, 5.4 million DVD players shipped to retail, a 31 percent increase from the third quarter of 2001. Total player shipments for the first nine months of the year are 13.5 million, and the DVD Entertainment Group predicts by year-end that number will increase to 20 million — for a household penetration rate of just more than 50 percent.


Top 25 DVD Sellers of All Time

Release Units Rank Title Distributor Date (mil.)

1 Monsters, Inc. BV/Disney 9/17/02 9.2

2 Shrek DreamWorks 11/2/01 9

3 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's ... Warner 5/28/02 8.9

4 Lord of the Rings: Fellowship ... New Line 8/6/02 8

5 Pearl Harbor BV/Touchstone 12/4/01 7.7

6 The Matrix Warner 9/21/99 7.5

7 Gladiator DreamWorks 11/21/00 7.2

8 The Fast and the Furious Universal 1/2/02 6.5

9 SW: Episode I — Phantom ... Fox 10/16/01 5

10 Rush Hour 2 New Line 12/11/01 4.7

11 How The Grinch Stole Christmas Universal 11/20/014.6

12 The Patriot Columbia TriStar 10/24/00 4.2

13 Black Hawk Down Columbia/Rev 6/11/02 4.1

14 Training Day Warner 3/19/02 3.9

15(tie) American Pie II Universal 1/15/02 3.8

15(tie) The Mummy Returns Universal 10/2/01 3.8

15(tie) Ocean's Eleven Warner 5/7/02 3.8

18 Planet of the Apes Fox 11/20/01 3.7

19 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Columbia TriStar 6/5/013.5

20 Jurassic Park 3 Universal 12/11/01 3.4

21 Snow White and the Seven ... BV/Disney 10/9/013.2

22 Cast Away Fox 6/12/01 2.8

23 Meet the Parents Universal 3/6/01 2.7

24 Remember the Titans BV/Disney 3/20/01 2.6

25 Hannibal MGM 8/21/01 2.5


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