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'Pie' in the Face of Theatrical Slate

5 Jan, 2006 By: Thomas K. Arnold

In a remarkable vote of confidence for the burgeoning direct-to-video sequel business, Universal Studios Home Entertainment nabbed the top spot on the preliminary national DVD sales chart for the week ended Jan. 1 with American Pie Presents: Band Camp.

The title, which according to the studio sold more than 1 million units its first week in stores, beat several new theatricals for the coveted No. 1 position on Nielsen VideoScan's First Alert chart. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's Into the Blue, which grossed $18.5 million, bowed at No. 3, while Buena Vista Home Entertainment's Dark Water debuted at No. 7 despite a $25.5 million box office take.

The strong sales showing for Band Camp gives Universal a solid one-two finish on the first sales chart of the new year. The 40-Year-Old Virgin remains at No. 2 for the second consecutive week after bowing at No. 1 three weeks ago.

Band Camp is the fourth title in the popular “American Pie” franchise and the first to be released directly to video. Universal previously did well with a DTV sequel to Carlito's Way, while Sony Pictures has gone the DTV route with spinoffs of 8MM, Single White Female and Wild Things, to name just a few.

On Home Media Retailing's video rental chart for the week ended Jan. 1, Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment's Four Brothers and Warner Home Video's Must Love Dogs retained their No. 1 and No. 2 spots. After two weeks, the films already have generated 21 percent and 32 percent, respectively, of their box office earnings of $74.5 million and $43.9 million.

The highest-charting debutante on the rental charts was Into the Blue, which bowed at No. 3, with an estimated rental take of $5.8 million. American Pie Presents: Band Camp debuted at No. 12, with rental earnings of $3.5 million.

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