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German bear Knut a hit on DVD

RBB's low-budget doc to see a sequel

Germans are still bullish about their favorite bear.

A 45-minute DVD thrown together by German pubcaster RBB about polar bear cub Knut has become one of the most popular films of the year on the German DVD charts, rising as high as No. 7, ahead of such heavyweights as “Casino Royale” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.”

The ultra-low-budget doc — hurriedly spliced together from a series of short RBB news bulletins aired each Friday tracking Knut’s first four months after his rescue by the Berlin Zoo — retails for E9.50 ($13).

More than 60,000 copies have been distributed since its release in April, according to RBB, which plans to release an English-language edition to reach Knut’s growing international fan base.

And RBB, part of the ARD network, is already working on a sequel.

The only hitch: the cub’s rapid growth.

“He’s almost six-months-old now and the buzz won’t last forever,” says Inge Noeckel, who is in charge of licensing at RBB. “He’s growing fast and is going to be pretty dangerous soon.”

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