Sony deals royal flush with 'Casino'


Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's "Casino Royale" blasted its way to the top of the national DVD sales and rental charts for the week ending March 18, proving the new look of James Bond is as much a hit in video stores as it was on the big screen.

The actioner, which grossed $167 million in theaters, bumped last week's top seller and renter, 20th Century Fox's "Borat," to the No. 3 spot on Nielsen VideoScan's First Alert sales chart and No. 2 on Home Media Magazine's video rental chart.

Also debuting on both charts was another newly released Sony Pictures title, "The Holiday," which bowed at No. 2 on First Alert and No. 3 on the rental chart.

In the sales arena, "Casino," which stars Daniel Craig as Agent 007, outsold "Holiday" by more than 3-to-1; in rental stores, "Holiday" generated an estimated $8 million, compared with $9.2 million for "Casino."

Sales of "Borat" remained surprisingly strong its sophomore week in stores. The irreverent comedy is now the No. 3 DVD seller of the year, behind Warner's "The Departed" (No. 1) and Sony Pictures' "Open Season" (No. 2).

"Casino" also made a big splash on Blu-ray, outselling its nearest competitor, "Departed," by 9-to-1 for the week. After one week in stores, "Casino" is already the No. 2 Blu-ray seller since the format's inception in June.