$45 mil is studio's biggest opening day for vid title

Disney’s summer animated hit “Lilo & Stitch” hula-danced its way into the hands of 3 million DVD and VHS customers on its first day of release Tuesday, according to the studio.

Though not a record, the approximately $45 million in revenue to the studio ranks as one of the biggest opening days for a video title this year. It also represents nearly three times the money that was spent at the box office last weekend on the studio’s second animated theatrical release this year, “Treasure Planet,” and the video influx made up more than half the $74 million pretax writeoff Disney already took this week on “Planet.”

Disney’s first-day figures usually include pre-orders for the title, including those at Disney Stores, even though the videos may not have actually been picked up on Tuesday.

“We’ve not seen a fourth quarter this crowded with so many big box office, competitive titles vying for a similar audience in the history of this industry,” said Buena Vista Home Entertainment president Robert Chapek. “And with ‘Lilo & Stitch’ having topped first day sales of most of these titles, it is poised to be not only a very strong performer this holiday season but one of the bestselling titles of 2002.”

Fox had said that DVD and VHS sales of its pic “Ice Age,” which will likely be competing for an Academy Award nomination with “Lilo & Stitch,” sold more than 3 million units on its first day in stores just before Thanksgiving. That title has now sold about half of the 15 million units the studio shipped to retailers.

(Jennifer Netherby is a reporter for Daily Variety sister publication Video Business. Scott Hettrick contributed to this report.)

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