Buena Vista finishes '06 with three top sellers

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The final numbers aren't in, but it appears Buena Vista Home Entertainment finished 2006 with the three top-selling DVDs of the year.

"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," the year's No. 1 theatrical movie, is primed for the No. 1 slot. Consumers snapped up 10.5 million copies in the week after the film's Dec. 5 release and sales remained strong throughout the holiday season; in fact, "Pirates" returned to the No. 1 spot on the weekly Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales the week before Christmas, beating several new theatricals.

Studio sources expect most of the 20 million DVDs Buena Vista reportedly shipped to stores to sell out, eclipsing the 18 million units sold of the original "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" and making the sequel the top-selling live-action DVD of all time.

The animated hit "Cars," released in November, will likely end up in the No. 2 spot, with first-week sales of 9 million DVDs and steady sales through the end of the year. The film is expected to beat "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe," which was released just before Easter and quickly sold 11.9 million units. The Dec. 12 release of a four-disc extended edition is expected to boost overall sales.

Warner has the year's fourth-biggest-selling DVD with "Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire," which was released in March and through the end of the third quarter had sold 11.1 million units. The film reappeared on the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales charts in the fourth quarter amid hype over the next Harry Potter book and movie.

New Line's January 2006 release of the raunchy comedy "The Wedding Crashers" is the year's No. 5 DVD seller, with 8.4 million units. DreamWorks Animation's "Over the Hedge," brought to DVD by Paramount in October, was poised to finish the year right behind it, and ahead of Universal's "King Kong" remake and 20th Century Fox's Johnny Cash biopic "Walk the Line," a pair of first-quarter DVD releases that have each sold just more than 7 million units each.

20th Century Fox also will likely lay claim to the No. 9 slot with "Ice Age: The Meltdown," with sales of nearly 7 million units, while Disney will have the 10th and final spot on the top 10 with "Chicken Little," which sold 4.5 million copies in the two weeks following its March 21 release.
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