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'Kingdom' Rules on Video

20 Oct, 2005 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Kingdom of Heaven did on DVD what it couldn't do at the box office: It became a smash hit. The Ridley Scott-helmed epic about the Crusades, which grossed less than $48 million in theaters against an estimated budget of $130 million, topped both the DVD sales and rental charts its first week out.

The 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment release won an easy victory on Nielsen VideoScan's First Alert sales chart for the week ended Oct. 16, beating several other new mid-range theatricals — including Universal Studios Home Entertainment's comedy Kicking & Screaming, which fared better at the box office ($52.6 million) but debuted at No. 6 on the preliminary national sales chart.

Kingdom of Heaven also opened with a bang on Home Media Retailing's rental chart for the week ended Oct. 16, charging to No. 1 with estimated rental earnings of $10.1 million, or 21.2 percent of its total theatrical take.

The Kingdom of Heaven DVD received a wave of pre-release publicity for a particularly innovative special feature. Fox worked with Scott's production company to create an interactive production grid that allows viewers to create their choice of 16 custom documentaries on the making of the film, ranging in length from eight minutes to 90 minutes and based on their own interests.

Other new theatrical feature-film releases that hit the DVD sales chart their first week in stores include Warner Home Video's The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (No. 5 sales, No. 3 rental) and Universal's Jet Li actioner Unleashed (No. 3 sales, No. 16 rental).

Buena Vista Home Entertainment's Cinderella remained an exceptionally strong seller its second week out, hanging on to the No. 2 spot on the DVD sales chart.

Two newly released TV DVD compilations also made the top 20 First Alert chart: South Park: The Complete Sixth Season, from Paramount Home Entertainment, debuted at No. 10, and Fox's Arrested Development: Season Two bowed at No. 12.

On the VHS sales chart, Paramount's Dora the Explorer: Dance to the Rescue debuted at No. 1, bumping last week's top seller, Cinderella, to No. 2.

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