April 3, 2006

‘King Kong’ DVD scares up $100 mln 1st-week sales

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The computer-animated critters of
"Ice Age" were not the only animals providing good news for a
Hollywood studio on Monday. The DVD for "King Kong" scared up
$100 million in revenues and broke a record for Universal
Studios' home video group.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment said more than 6.5
million DVDs were sold in the first six days "Kong" was on
retail shelves, making it the best-selling DVD ever for
Universal in its initial release.

News of "Kong" DVD sales comes a day after Twentieth
Century Fox's computer animated family film "Ice Age: The
Meltdown," hauled in an estimated $70.5 million at domestic box
offices for the best opening weekend of a movie this year. It
earned another $43.4 million in international markets.

"Meltdown," which follows the adventures of a group of
prehistoric animals, is the sequel to the 2002 Fox hit "Ice

The "Kong" DVD debut contrasts to the theater box office
opening in December, when "Kong" earned $66 million at U.S. and
Canadian box offices in its first five days. That was short of
the roughly $75 million Universal thought it might bring.

Still, the movie, which was directed by "Lord of the Rings"
Oscar winner Peter Jackson, generated a total $217 million at
domestic box offices throughout its entire run and another $329
internationally for a total $546 million. It is the
fourth-biggest movie release ever in Universal's history.

Universal Pictures and Universal Home Entertainment are
divisions of the NBC Universal, which is 80 percent owned by
General Electric Co. and 20 percent by France's Vivendi
Universal. Twentieth Century Fox is a unit of News Corp..