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'Saw II' Massacres the Competition

23 Feb, 2006 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Saw II

Lionsgate's surprise hit horror sequel Saw II buzzed through the competition to take the top spot on both the preliminary national DVD sales chart and the video rental chart for the week ended Feb. 19.

On VideoScan's First Alert DVD sales chart, Saw II easily beat two other new theatrical releases, the Sony Pictures fantasy Zathura (No. 4) and the Miramax Films drama Proof (No. 11), distributed on video by Buena Vista Home Entertainment.

And while a film's strong sales typically means lower rental demand, Saw II proved a big hit in rental stores, as well. The film topped Home Media Retailing's video rental chart for the week ended Feb. 19, with estimated rental earnings of $9.1 million, nearly $2 million more than second-ranked Just Like Heaven, a DreamWorks comedy that was the previous week's top renter.

Saw II, which cost just $4 million to make, earned $87 million in theaters, nearly $32 million more than the original Saw. The sequel's theatrical run was boosted by the buzz surrounding the original, which the studio says really found its audience on DVD. Like the sequel, the original Saw was released on DVD just in time for Valentine's Day and wound up a sales winner.

The No. 2 spot on First Alert goes to Buena Vista's first-season DVD set of “Grey's Anatomy,” the latest in a series of hot TV shows with which the studio has scored remarkably well on DVD (others include “Lost,” “Desperate Housewives” and “Scrubs”).

The previous week's top seller, Bambi II, also from Buena Vista, remains in high demand at No. 3.

Zathura debuted on the rental chart at No. 3, with rental revenue pegged at $6.2 million, while Proof bowed at No. 10, with $4 million.

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