'Kung Fu Panda' gamble pays off

First-day sales good enough for second after 'Get Smart'

Warner Home Video's "Get Smart" was the top DVD and Blu-ray Disc seller the week ending Nov. 9, but the real winner was Paramount/DreamWorks' "Kung Fu Panda."

The animated family film was released on a Sunday, an industry first, to capitalize on the stack of Sunday retail newspaper inserts. The gamble paid off handsomely: Based solely on first-day sales, the film debuted at No. 2 on the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales chart, selling in a single day nearly 90% of what "Get Smart" sold all week.

"Kung Fu Panda" also was a hit in rental stores, generating 72% as much rental activity last Sunday as "Get Smart," which bowed at No. 1 on Home Media Magazine's video rental chart, saw since its release the previous Tuesday.

"Kung Fu" finished the week as the No. 2 renter, just ahead of Warners' "Journey to the Center of the Earth," which had bowed at No. 1 the previous week.

On the sales chart, "Get Smart" and "Kung Fu Panda" were followed at No. 3 by Walt Disney Studios' "Tinker Bell," which had debuted at No. 1 the week before. Sales demand for "Tinker Bell" remained strong, with the title selling 62% as many copies as "Get Smart" its sophomore week in stores.

On the Blu-ray Disc front, "Get Smart" debuted at No. 1, pushing the previous week's top Blu-ray seller, "Journey to the Center of the Earth," to No. 2. "Kung Fu Panda" debuted at No. 5.