'Cars' laps new releases on vid charts

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Buena Vista Home Entertainment's "Cars" easily zoomed to the top spot on the national DVD sales chart for the week ending Nov. 12, buoyed by sales of about 5 million DVDs in its first two days.

The Pixar theatrical hit is the year's second-biggest boxoffice success with a domestic gross of $244 million.

The impact of "Cars" was so great that no other studio pitted a big summer theatrical against it. The most any studio could muster was "Little Man" from Sony Pictures, which grossed $58.3 million. The comedy came in second on the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales chart its first week in stores, but total unit sales were less than 10% those of "Cars."

Even with such high sales demand, "Cars" sped to a surprisingly strong No. 2 finish on Home Media Retailing's video rental chart for the week, generating an estimated $9.2 million. "Little Man" finished a close third, with rental earnings pegged at $8.9 million.

The week's top renter was Paramount's "Mission: Impossible III," a holdover from the previous week, which earned $9.3 million, a drop of just 17% from its debut week in stores.

Elsewhere on the sales front, the theatrical opening of "The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause" pulled the original "Santa Clause," from Buena Vista, back into the First Alert top 20 with a strong No. 7 finish for the week.
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