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‘Napoleon’ marches on

Fox keeps youth fuse lit on its 'Dynamite'

Its charms may elude those over 30, but among younger viewers, “Napoleon Dynamite” has been, well, explosive.

Fox Searchlight’s high-school nerd story grossed $44 million domestically and is still playing on more than 150 screens, mostly near college campuses.

Since the film hit a nerve with auds 10-25, Fox Home Entertainment lit the fuse for its DVD release, ordering a feature-laden special edition and pressing 2.5 million units, twice the usual order for a film with that gross.

Consumers snapped up 60% of the pic’s initial shipments on its first day of release, Dec. 21. A week later, it was No. 4 on Amazon’s video bestseller list, behind only “LOTR: Return of the King” and season six of “Sex and the City.”

“This thing kicked out of the gate selling like a $100 million movie,” Fox’s senior VP Steve Feldstein tells Variety.

Anticipating a shortage, Fox ordered another million units — only to have them get stuck on trucks in the Midwest’s Christmas-week snowstorm.

That prompted a call from Feldstein to a wire-service reporter, warning consumers, “If you can find it, buy it.” Still, last-minute buyers all over the country complained they just couldn’t get a bite of their “Napoleon.”

Now those extra million units are in stores, and Feldstein doesn’t expect sales to fizzle.

“The week after Christmas is easily as big a week, if not bigger, in some parts than Christmas,” he says.

So now, at a retail price of $30, the pic seems poised to rake in $90 million plus in homevid within weeks of release. Not bad for a pic with a $400,000 budget.