MGM seeks major Bond bounty

16 mil copies to be shipped domestically, o'seas

MGM shipped its largest ever initial retail order of DVDs and videos for Tuesday’s North American release of “Die Another Day.”

The studio has shipped 8 million copies of the biggest 007 movie ever, with another 8 million expected to be shipped overseas by the time orders from all countries come in.

The studio is already taking re-orders for “Die” in the U.K. and other parts of Europe, where the DVD was released in late April.

The title also marks what is believed to be the highest percentage of DVDs for a major release, with 93% of all copies being delivered in the U.S. and Canada on the digital format, compared with just 7% on VHS.

Great expectations

MGM president and chief operating officer David Bishop said the title should wind up generating twice the business of the previous top James Bond movie, the 1995 release “Goldeneye,” which has generated $100 million worldwide in consumer spending on the purchase and rental of the VHS and DVD.

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If the studio sells all 16 million copies, consumer spending worldwide, including rental, could reach close to $300 million worldwide, according to industry estimates. Box office receipts for the movie, released in theaters last fall, have reached $160 million in the U.S. and $430 million worldwide.

Retailers are discounting the DVD, which carries a suggested retail pricetag of $29.98 to as low as $14.99, with some offering exclusive value-added material provided by MGM, such as Best Buy’s bonus DVD docu “Bond Girls Are Forever.” Bishop said the studio did exclusive offers with a number of retailers.

(Jennifer Netherby is a reporter for Daily Variety sister publication Video Business.)