'Borat' big with buyers and renters


Score another one for the pride of Kazakhstan. "Borat" vaulted to the top of the national DVD sales and rental charts for the week ending March 11, much as the irreverent comedy became a sudden and surprise boxoffice hit when it opened theatrically in November.

The 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 Walt Disney Co. 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.

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

"Departed," the Oscar winner for 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.