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‘Shrek’ vid sales beat B.O.

D'Works' big green monster sets worldwide records

HOLLYWOOD — Worldwide consumer spending on DVDs and videocassettes of “Shrek” and “Shrek 2” has reached $1.6 billion, according to DreamWorks.

That amount surpasses the $1.38 billion in worldwide box office grosses on the two films and represents far more profit for the newly public DreamWorks Animation.

With “Shrek 2” debuting in stores just eight weeks ago, consumers in North America have already spent more on homevideo versions of the pic — $458 million — than they spent in theaters on the movie, which ranks as the third highest grosser of all time with $441 million, according to DreamWorks.

DreamWorks Animation claims the company reached recent public projections for end-of-year global sales of 37 million combined VHS and DVD units, including 24.2 million (21.6 million DVDs) in North America.

That’s a considerably higher figure than calculated by competitors and some independent tracking entities, which put the figure at closer to 20 million.

In either case, “Shrek 2” is the top-selling DVD and homevideo title of the year in the U.S.

“Shrek 2” also kicked up DVD sales for the original “Shrek,” released before many homes had converted to DVD. Last year the original title enjoyed sales of another 5.6 million copies, raising combined unit sales of “Shrek” to about 31 million in North America and 47 million worldwide, according to DreamWorks. The sequel may not be able to attain such figures on DVD, even though it grossed $174 million more in theaters.

But the “Shrek 2” DVD has yet to be introduced in several major territories overseas, and sales of family animated films on DVD hold steady for weeks, months and even years after initial release. Disney/Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” DVD sold an additional 4 million copies in 2004, bringing its total to nearly 28 million units in the U.S.