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'Fahrenheit' Burns Home-Video Sales Records
Wed Oct 6, 2004 07:35 PM ET
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By Brett Sporich

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Michael Moore's politically charged documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" sold about 2 million combined DVD and VHS units Tuesday (Oct. 5), its first day in release, according to industry sources.

That Day 1 sales figure and projected Week 1 sales of 3 million combined units set the benchmark as the most successful documentary ever released on home video.

While initial home video sales figures for "Fahrenheit" were expected to break records -- considering its $119 million domestic boxoffice take -- industry observers are watching closely to see how the title will sell and rent over time.

Of the units sold Tuesday, about 1.4 million were sold to rental stores, sources said.

Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, which is distributing "Fahrenheit" in the United States, has taken a conservative approach to releasing the title, shipping about 3.4 million combined units to retail and rental stores for its launch week, sources said.

Last week's best-selling DVD and rental title was MGM Home Entertainment's "Walking Tall," which generated about $6.11 million in gross rental spending during its first five days on store shelves, according to Nielsen VideoScan and Video Store magazine research, respectively.

Lions Gate's "Barbie as the Prince and the Pauper" was the nation's best-selling VHS and the sixth-best-selling DVD for the week ending Oct. 3, according to VideoScan. The latest direct-to-video release of "Barbie" is believed to have sold more than 800,000 combined DVD and VHS units during its first five days on store shelves.

Universal Studios Home Video's release of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," starring Jim Carrey, was the third-best-selling DVD and the fourth-best-renting video during the same frame. "Eternal Sunshine" generated about $4.5 million in gross rental spending, or 13.3% of its domestic boxoffice take, according to Video Store magazine.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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