‘Monty’ vid sets U.K. record

Single-day sales of 670,000 units

LONDON — “The Full Monty” has set a new U.K. record for first-day video sales, moving 670,000 units on its release date Monday.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment estimates that the film, which is still in wide release in theaters here, will sell 1.5 million units in its first week, and could even challenge for the U.K.’s all-time No. 1 video spot currently held by “The Lion King,” with just under 4 million units.

“The Full Monty,” the top-grossing film of all time at the U.K. box office, has been released simultaneously for sell-through and rental, backed up by a $3.3-million marketing campaign from Fox. It has sold 150,000 units to rental stores, a deliberately restricted figure designed to boost retail sales.

With Fox selling the vid to retailers and rental outlets at around $18 a pop, the first-day trading alone means the studio has already grossed over $14 million from the video release.

The previous record for first-day video sales by a non-animated feature was held by Fox’s “Independence Day,” which sold 351,000 units.

Historically the video retail market is dominated by animated Disney pics, but Buena Vista typically staggers its launch efforts over two days, making comparison difficult.

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