'Flushed,' 'Babel' lead Paramount's charge


Paramount was paramount in home video last week, as the studio's home entertainment division topped the national DVD sales and rental charts with the animated "Flushed Away," from DreamWorks, and best picture nominee "Babel."

"Flushed" bumped "The Departed" from the top spot to No. 3 on the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert chart for the week ending Feb. 25. Buena Vista's "The Prestige" rode its $53.1 million boxoffice tally to a No. 2 debut, while "Babel" bowed at No. 4. Universal's "Man of the Year," with Robin Williams, was the week's No. 5 DVD seller its first week in stores.

On Home Media Magazine's DVD rental chart for the same week, "Babel" benefited from Oscar buzz to debut at No. 1, with estimated rental earnings of $8.7 million, more than a quarter of its theatrical gross.

"Departed," the previous week's top renter, finished a close second with $8.6 million, while "Prestige" bowed at No. 3 with $8 million. "Man" debuted at No. 4 with estimated rental earnings of $6.9 million.

"Babel," with its strong rental showing, wasn't the only DVD release to be lifted by Oscar fever. 20th Century Fox's "Little Miss Sunshine," also up for best picture, rose from No. 14 to No. 10 on First Alert, while its rental revenue for the week was down just 4% from the week before.