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‘Beast’ roars with vid record

Buena Vista Home Video announced yesterday that consumers have purchased more than 14.2 million cassettes of “Beauty and the Beast,” making it the best-selling video of all time.

The figure is a milestone because it matched the total number of “Fantasia” cassettes that shipped into the marketplace last year.

Most of those were purchased by consumers as well, though some went into rental libraries and others were stockpiled by the trade.

There is no disputing BVHV’s claim that “Beauty and the Beast” is the vidcassette sales champ. The 14.2 million units are worth approximately $ 200 million to the studio in gross revenues.

Trade sources believe closer to 17 million units have shipped into the marketplace, and that the title could approach 20 million units by the time BVHV stops selling it early next year.

“Beauty” became available for sale on Oct. 28 at $ 24.99 suggested retail price.

The company also announced international box office figures for “Beauty,” noting a take equivalent to $ 1,976,303 in Germany on 258 screens in its first four days of release. Opening was the best ever for a Disney animated feature in Germany.

In Spain, “Beauty” grossed the equivalent of $ 1,079,792 over three days with 79 prints, also setting a record for a Disney release in that country.

The film also broke records in Sweden and Belgium, and had strong openings in Austria and Switzerland.

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