Mouse writes vid history in ‘Inc.’

Disney, Pixar draws more revs from DVD than theatrical release

HOLLYWOOD — “Monsters, Inc.” has become the fastest-selling DVD of all time, with 7 million copies purchased in just seven days. Pic has set a DVD-era first-week sales record with 11 million combined VHS and DVD copies sold.

Only the pre-DVD “The Lion King” sold more in the first week: 20 million videocassettes.

That means Disney and Pixar have reaped more revenue from the video of “Monsters, Inc.” after just one week — $179 million, according to estimates by Daily Variety sister publication Video Business — than the total domestic theatrical gross of any animated film this year and all but five theatrical films of any kind in 2002.

Tops theatrical

Depending on their cut from the theatrical run of “Monsters, Inc.,” which grossed $256 million domestically, it may also mean Disney/Pixar has collected more hard cash from the video in one week than from the entire run at theaters.

If projections by Buena Vista Home Entertainment are correct, that $179 million may only be less than half what the companies eventually will rake in from just the domestic sales of the video.

‘Shrek’ legs

The topselling title in recent years, “Shrek” sold 9 million copies in the first week and then sold nearly 170% more in the next few months.

Conversely, “The Lion King” sold 65% of its eventual 31 million or so copies in the first week.

Marketing efforts are under way to continuously promote the “Monsters, Inc.” video through the holiday season and into January, which has become a strong month for DVD sales after customers buy their first machines for Christmas. Some retailers are selling the title, which comes with a suggested retail price of $27 and $30 on VHS and DVD, respectively, for as low as $9 and $14. That’s not unlike the kind of deep discounting the industry has seen on titles such as “Titanic.”

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