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<i>Monsters</i> Scares Up Sales of 11 Million Units

24 Sep, 2002 By: Joan Villa

Monsters, Inc. broke out of its first-week starting gate with North American sales of 11 million units, setting a new post-DVD record for Buena Vista Home Entertainment and Pixar Animation Studios.

The title surpassed expectations for many retailers and had to be “aggressively” replenished to the tune of a total 20 million units shipped, according to BVHE president Bob Chapek. To keep the momentum, he promised a stepped-up marketing campaign geared to the Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

“We're going to be supporting it with more weeks of advertising, deeper advertising and more retail promotions across the board,” he said. “This thing has got momentum and it would be great if retailers could continue to sell it to keep the fourth quarter going strong.”

Monsters represents a “high-water mark” for DVD as well, indicating that families are fully embracing the technology's advances and value-added features, Chapek contends.

“While we had a pretty aggressive forecast in terms of the VHS-DVD split, nobody expected over 60 percent of our volume in DVD,” he added.

The title has succeeded in pushing some outlets back into video that may have abandoned the category in recent years, he said. For example, some grocery chains that had been “dormant” in video have “stepped up really big,” he added. “It's kicking off the fourth quarter, [so] a lot of accounts have decided to get back into it.”

Monsters, Inc. first-week sales were only surpassed by The Lion King in 1995, before the advent of DVD, he noted.

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