To the victor went greater DVD spoils on Monday as “Crash” disc sales immediately spiked after the film walked away with the best picture Oscar Sunday night.
In one day, Lionsgate sold 17,500 copies — more than half last week’s tally (33,000) — of the DVD, which debuted six months ago.
“Crash,” which also took original screenplay, has sold about 4 million units to date. A double-disc director’s cut is slated for release April 4.
“It’s a great week to be here at Lionsgate,” said prexy Steve Beeks, alluding also to the B.O. win by “Madea’s Family Reunion” over the weekend. Beeks projected a 200% increase, if not more, for “Crash” sales by the weekend. (At Amazon.com, robust orders lifted “Crash” 80 places to No. 23 on its top sellers chart — a 347% gain — overnight.)
Beeks said sales had been averaging 35,000-40,000 a week the past few frames. The week after the Oscar nominations were announced, “Crash” DVD sales spiked 150% to 45,000 units.
DVD has played a pivotal role in Lionsgate’s “Crash” campaign from the beginning. Studio took the unusual step of sending DVD screeners to Screen Actors Guild members in addition to Academy members — mailing out more than 130,000 copies to these voting orgs — and was rewarded with a SAG award, then an Oscar nomination before scoring the ultimate prize.
Last month, the studio said it had earmarked an additional $2 million for its ultimately successful Oscar campaign, projecting up to $10 million in additional revenue with an Academy Award win. An Oscar win typically means more disc sales as a library product as well as greater TV rights fees.
“Most of that will be DVD sales,” Beeks said.
The studio also has a “Crash” TV pilot, which it expects to benefit from the best picture win.
Fellow Oscar winners also expect serious sales bumps, though initial figures are sketchy. Warners said “March of the Penguin” DVD sales jumped 70% to more than 90% at major retailers following its docu win Sunday.
DreamWorks homevid, which drew the animated feature Oscar for “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit,” said it was a “little bit early” to detect an Oscar bump, given usual light DVD sales on Mondays. But the studio expects a sales lift of 50%-100% given past post-Oscar perfs by “Shrek” and “Gladiator.” The division has already sent out stickers and is weighing an additional TV and radio campaign.
“There’s a lot of activity that gets triggered off this,” homevid topper Kelly Sooter said. “Some of it is immediate, like press, while retail might take a bit longer.”
Fox homevid also called it early to quantify any sales bump for “Walk the Line,” for which Reese Witherspoon took the actress Oscar, given that the kudocast occurred during the title’s first week of release. Studio said it sold north of 5 million units its first week, with more than 3 million of those coming Feb. 28.
Most DVDs debut on Tuesday, and avid DVD shoppers make a point of doing their disc shopping that day. Rental copies also are typically included in those first-day sales figures.
“The Constant Gardener,” winner for supporting actress, and “Hustle & Flow,” winner for song, also are expected to benefit from Oscar’s golden touch.
Winners such as “Brokeback Mountain,” “Capote” and “Syriana” have yet to appear on disc. But when they do, Oscar will no doubt reward them as well.