"Monsters, Inc." sold 7 million DVDs in its first seven days in release, making the Disney-Pixar box-office hit the fastest-selling DVD ever.
Total sales of DVD and VHS amounted to 11 million copies -- still well short of the all-time first-week sales record for a home video title. "The Lion King" sold 20 million VHS copies in its first week in release -- in the days before DVD.
The numbers reported by Video Business, a sister publication of Daily Variety, illustrate that the home video business can be extremely lucrative. With estimates of $179 million in first-week sales of the "Monsters, Inc." home video, Disney and Pixar took in more money than all but five of this year's theatrical releases, and more than any of this year's animated pictures.
Based on Disney projections, Video Business estimated that "Monsters, Inc." might eventually bring in more than $360 million in home video sales.
SO THAT'S WHY
Oscar-winning producer Brian Grazer ("A Beautiful Mind") has offered an explanation for his decision, along with producing partner Ron Howard, to drop plans to produce and direct the upcoming movie "The Alamo."
Grazer told "Access Hollywood" the main problems were the cost of the project and the complication of telling the story without saddling the picture with an R rating for violence.
In an interview scheduled to air Friday, Grazer and Howard said their company, Imagine Entertainment, will still produce the picture -- but with another director. Grazer and Howard had intended to make the movie with Russell Crowe, who starred in their Oscar-winning movie "A Beautiful Mind."
Howard elaborated on Grazer's reservation about the rating issue.
"My sense of how I, as a filmmaker, would deal with this story was to deal with it in a very tough, very truthful, hard-edged way, which would probably be yielding an R rating," said Howard.
The Oscar-winning director of "A Beautiful Mind" and "Apollo 13" said he wasn't ready to commit up to two years of his time to the picture, particularly if Disney -- where the project is based -- will not accept an R-rated final product.
"I think, ultimately, a real threshold issue was that I began to see that the studio, if they were going to invest this kind of money in a film that from a market stand point, they really, really needed it to be PG," said Howard. "I really couldn't ... promise them that. I didn't feel like playing any games with them."
The comments by Grazer and Howard are public confirmation of speculative stories that have appeared in the Hollywood press in recent weeks.
WILSON JOINS STILLER IN 'STARSKY & HUTCH'
Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul starred in the series (ABC, 1975-79) as Det. Dave Starsky and Det. Ken Hutchinson -- a pair of detectives investigating a double homicide who discover that they were supposed to have been the targets.
Stiller will play Starsky. Wilson will play hutch.
It will be Wilson's sixth collaboration with Stiller. They co-starred in "The Royal Tenenbaums" (2001), "Zoolander" (2001), "Meet the Parents" (2000) and "Permanent Midnight" (1998) -- and Wilson had a role in the Stiller-directed comedy "The Cable Guy" (1996).
It will also be Wilson's second screen version of a TV classic. He's due in theaters later this year with Eddie Murphy in a movie version of "I Spy."
SAG ANNOUNCES NEW AWARDS DATE
The Screen Actors Guild is expressing relief that the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles is available after all on Feb. 22, 2004, meaning the union can use that date for its 10th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.
The switch from the previously announced date for the awards ceremony -- Feb. 8, 2004 -- will avoid forcing movie and TV professionals to make a difficult choice between attending the SAG Awards or two other prominent Hollywood awards ceremonies.
The Directors Guild of America Awards are already scheduled for Feb. 7, 2004 and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts has scheduled its awards for Feb. 8.
The 9th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will be presented at the Shrine Auditorium on March 9, 2003.
Awards show planning for 2004 was thrown into disarray earlier this year when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided to move the Oscars up four weeks, from the end of March to the end of February.
OSCAR DEADLINE APPROACHES
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences reminded documentary filmmakers Wednesday that they only have until Oct. 1 to submit entry forms and supporting materials for short subject or feature-length projects to be eligible for the 75th Academy Awards.
Supporting documentation includes a synopsis of the film -- in English -- a 12-month theatrical exhibition plan, film credits, scene stills, 15 VHS cassette tapes of the film and proof that the film was given an exhibition that would qualify it for Oscar consideration.
The 75th Academy Award nominations will be announced on Feb. 11, 2003. The Oscars will be presented on March 23.