Gladiator, X-Men Set DVD Records

ByABC News

Nov. 28, 2000 -- Whoa! Look out, Neo! Here’s a bullet The Matrix didn’t dodge. The perennial DVD fave, which had long held the record for best overall sales in the newfangled home-viewing format, was vanquished by newcomer Gladiator this week.

Every red-blooded American with a DVD player — and maybe even a few without — was out snapping up copies of just-released Aussie-hunk headliners Gladiator and X-Men. Fans of the two action flicks, which star Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman, respectively, propelled both 2000 releases to record sales of $60 million each in their first week.

The dazzling video and DVD debut for 20th Century Fox’s X-Men actually surpassed its first weekend in theaters this July, when it took in a healthy $54 million.

DreamWorks’ double-disc DVD of the Ridley Scott-directed epic Gladiator broke the format’s all-time sales record during Thanksgiving week: More than 3.6 million discs were shipped to domestic retailers and nearly 2 million of those have already sold, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Roman drama has unofficially vanquished DVD must-haves The Sixth Sense for first-week sales and The Matrix for overall sales, according to industry reports.

Those record sales are despite the fact that the VHS version of Gladiator is still “rental-priced,” which means it won’t be a bargain until the “sell-through-priced” version debuts early next year.

Gladiator is also winning crowds on 21 IMAX screens around the country. Since its Nov. 22 IMAX release, the blockbuster has earned $114,725 at the box office, on top of the $186.6 million it earned in its regular U.S. theatrical run.

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