'Borat' atop weekly DVD sales, rental charts

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Score another one for the pride of Kazakhstan. "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" vaulted to the top of both the national DVD sales and rental charts the week ending March 11, much as the irreverent comedy became a sudden and surprise boxoffice hit when it opened theatrically last November.

The new 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment release was followed closely by Buena Vista's new two-disc Platinum Edition of "Peter Pan," which opened at No. 2 on the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert chart. "Peter Pan" is the latest in a series of big sales successes for Disney animated classics, selling an estimated 2.2 million DVDs its first week in stores.

The previous week's top-selling DVD, Warner's "The Departed," slipped to No. 3.

On Home Media Magazine's DVD rental chart for the week, "Borat" scored an easy victory, generating an estimated $9.2 million in rental revenue to second-ranked "Stranger Than Fiction's'" $5.9 million. After two weeks in stores, the Sony Pictures comedy, starring Will Ferrell, has generated $12.7 million in rental stores, or nearly one-third of its theatrical gross.

"The Departed," this year's Academy Award-winning best picture, is being closely watched by industry observers because it was released on both next-generation disc formats on the same day. According to Home Media Research, the Blu-ray Disc edition continues to outsell the HD DVD version by a healthy margin of 1.6 to 1.
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