5 mil 'Pirates' DVDs reportedly sold

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The DVD industry received a healthy shot in the arm Wednesday with reports that "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" sold nearly 5 million DVDs its first day in stores.

That puts the film, released Tuesday, on record-setting track to be the No. 1 live-action DVD release. The original "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," released in December 2003, sold 11 million videos its first week in stores, 90% of them DVD.

The first "Pirates" ultimately sold 18 million units; industry sources say Disney shipped 20 million DVDs of the sequel.

"This franchise is a genuine treasure for us and we are ecstatic that the momentum generated at theatrical has continued with the DVD release," said Bob Chapek, president of Buena Vista Worldwide Home Entertainment. "It is our commitment to fans of Disney movies to do everything possible to keep their favorite DVDs in stock throughout the holiday season."

With domestic boxoffice earnings of $422 million, the "Pirates" sequel is the biggest movie of the year and the sixth-biggest in history. Its late-in-the-season release -- "event" DVD releases typically hit stores before Thanksgiving -- prompted retailers to aggressively court impulse buyers with midnight sales, free gifts with purchase and, in the case of Best Buy, exclusive content.

"Dead Man's Chest" was released as a single-disc set and a two-disc special edition.

The "Pirates" DVD at Best Buy comes with a bonus disc that includes a photo gallery of scenes from the film, a documentary on the franchise's international success and additional behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the movie, none of which is available anywhere else.

Consumers who bought the DVD also got the chance to pick up a Captain Jack bobble-head for $9.99. It "must be purchased on same receipt," according to the chain's Sunday circular.

Wal-Mart's Sunday circular features key art from "Pirates" on five advertised TVs and laptops. Customers who bought the DVD were promised a free T-shirt, as well as the chance to buy an exclusive DVD-CD two-pack with 10 songs. The flier also touted the fact that "Pirates" went on sale promptly at midnight at all 24-hour Wal-Marts, noting, "They're closed. We're open. Be the first on your block to own Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest."

Target's circular announced the give-away of an "exclusive, collectible light-up pin." Circuit City has an exclusive DVD game based on the movie. It's advertised price of $13.99 was the lowest around, with a limit of three per customer.
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