NL's 'Snakes' wrests control of sales, rental


Two horror films with mediocre boxoffice results battled it out on the national DVD sales and rental charts for the week ending Jan. 7, and in the end New Line Home Entertainment's "Snakes on a Plane" beat Sony Pictures' "The Covenant" on both fronts.

"Snakes," which grossed only $34 million in theaters despite its much-ballyhooed Internet hype, debuted at No. 1 on Nielsen VideoScan's First Alert sales chart, nudging last week's chart topper — Paramount Home Entertainment's "Jackass Number Two" — to second place. "Covenant," which earned $23.3 million, bowed at No. 3.

The only other new release to make the First Alert top 20 was HBO's complete first-season set of "Martin," which debuted at No. 14.

On Home Media Magazine's rental chart, "Snakes" bowed at No. 5 with estimated first-week rental revenue of $4.9 million, one spot ahead of "Covenant," which debuted at No. 6 with rental earnings of just $50,000 less. 20th Century Fox's "Little Miss Sunshine" bounced back to the No. 1 spot after three weeks in stores, bumping fellow Fox release "The Devil Wears Prada" to No. 2.

It was a slow start for home video compared with last year, when the first week of the new year brought to DVD the monster hit "Wedding Crashers," also from New Line. The film, with a theatrical pedigree of $209.2 million, wound up moving 8.4 million DVDs to become the year's No. 5 seller.