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THE YEAR ON DVD AND TAPE

By Jen Chaney
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, January 23, 2005; Page N03

Winners

"Shrek 2" -- Puss in Boots made his mark, starring in the top-selling DVD as well as the top home video performer overall.

"Seinfeld" -- It's real and it's spectacular: The show about nothing became the top-selling TV show on DVD ever.


HBO's acclaimed "Band of Brothers" was the third-best-selling TV title last year, earning $43.7 million. (David James -- Hbo)

"Brother Bear" -- This nearly forgotten animated feature took in $85 million at the U.S. box office, but doubled that amount on home video: It earned $169 million in sales and rentals, becoming the ninth biggest moneymaker of 2004.

"Band of Brothers" -- This acclaimed HBO series was released on DVD back in 2002, but still managed to rank as 2004's third-best-selling TV title, with earnings of $43.7 million.

TV shows on DVD -- The category doubled its business in 2004. And that's why we can look forward to more upcoming releases like "Full House: The Complete First Season." (No, we're not making that up.)

Losers

The videocassette recorder -- VHS tapes are going the way of the eight-track: Ninety-four percent of home video purchases last year were DVDs, while VHS rental revenues dropped by 41 percent.

"The Passion of the Christ" -- Mel Gibson's biblical epic was the third top moneymaker overall, earning $245 million in domestic DVD/tape rentals and sales. But the film didn't meet its potential, says Scott Hettrick, editor of DVD Exclusive: "A lot of people expected it to do 70 percent better than it did at the box office, and it came up $125 million short of its box office intake."

"Spider-Man 2" -- Same goes for Spidey, which ranked No. 6 in DVD sales with $201 million, but also was expected to outdo its $373 million box office. Don't shed tears for Peter Parker just yet: There may be more heroic revenue ahead if, as rumored, Columbia TriStar issues a director's cut.


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