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'Dark Knight' Regains Top Sales Spot; Universal Dominates Rentals

31 Dec, 2008 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Burn After Reading

The Christmas week lull found Warner Home Video regaining the top of the national home video sales charts with The Dark Knight, in its third week of release.

But Universal Studios Home Video’s strategy of releasing two mid-level theatricals just before Christmas paid off. Both Burn After Reading ($60.3 million) and Death Race ($36.1 million) were in high demand in rental stores, debuting at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, on Home Media Magazine’s video rental chart for the week ended Dec. 28.

Both films also proved to be respectable sellers, with Burn After Reading debuting at No. 2 on the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales chart and Death Race finishing not far behind at No. 3.

On Nielsen VideoScan’s Blu-ray Disc chart, Death Race debuted at No. 2, with Burn bowing at No. 7.

Burn After Reading,the latest from the Coen brothers, came to video with two Golden Globe nominations and a star-studded cast that includes Brad Pitt and George Clooney. Death Race is a fast-paced remake of the 1975 cult classic, about a futuristic world in which cars are used as weapons.

It was clearly a good week for Universal, with continued strong sales and rentals of recent releases Mamma Mia!, Wanted and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor giving the studio four of the week’s six top sellers and renters and five of the top seven Blu-ray Disc sellers.

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