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“Charlotte” DVD an Easter treat

April 13th, 2007 by Paul Martin

“Charlotte’s Web” has become the biggest live-action family film to be released on DVD since “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” in April 2006.

Consumers bought 3.5 million DVDs in the first week after the title’s April 3 release, said Paramount Home Entertainment. By contrast, Disney’s “Narnia” sold about 4 million copies during its first day of release last Easter. (“Charlotte’s Web” earned $82.5 million in North American theaters vs. $292 million for “Narnia.”)

Easter is the second-biggest retail traffic period behind Christmas. The National Retail Federation projects Easter 2007 spending to come in at a record $14.4 billion, up from $12.6 billion last year. Average spending per person is projected at $135.07, up 11% from the previous year.

“Easter is gaining more relevance as a retail holiday,” said Phil Rist, vp strategy at BIGresearch, a consumer market intelligence firm.

The Easter holiday also is credited with keeping “Happy Feet” at the top of the Nielsen VideoScan sales chart for the week ending April 8. “Charlotte’s Web” debuted at No. 2, but the difference between the two titles was less than 6% — and sources said “Charlotte’s Web” was No. 1 at Wal-Mart, the biggest retailer of DVDs, which does not report data to Nielsen VideoScan.

Two other kid-themed DVDs that have been out for a while — “Peter Pan” and “Flushed Away” — climbed back up the chart during Easter week. “Peter Pan,” in its fifth week in stores, rose a notch to No. 7, while “Flushed Away,” available for seven weeks, shot up eight places to No. 10.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter