In the business of feature film-related World Wide Web sites, 50,000 to 75,000 hits – or mouse clicks – is considered a whopping success.

Until late last week, however, with the launch of MGM’s “Showgirls” page, the Internet hadn’t seen a film promotional site get 1 million hits within 24 hours.

“This is truly amazing,” said Mark Kelly, marketing director of DirectNet, an L.A. company that operates the “Showgirls” server. The company is no stranger to high traffic sites, as the operator of the “Mortal Kombat” page, but “Showgirls” is something else altogether.

Due to the number of Internet users trying to access the site, DirectNet’s computers were unable to handle the volume. DirectNet estimates the number of hits at 1 million per day, but says the number could be even higher.

Kelly said the “Showgirls” link to Playboy’s home page probably has a lot to do with the unprecedented traffic: “It’s obvious why this is happening. When you click on the Playboy home page, the ‘Showgirls’ link is the first thing you see.”

Kelly added that DirectNet staffers have been scrambling to reactivate crashed servers “every 20 minutes.”

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