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Shipments of DVDs Set a Record for 1st Quarter

Times Staff Writer

DVD shipments continued to soar in the first quarter of the year, rising 93% to 231.7 million, the DVD Entertainment Group said Monday.

That’s a record for a first quarter, and a continuation of the explosion in sales taking place as more consumers purchase DVD players and movies to view on them.

The shipments are the second-highest of all time after the fourth quarter of last year, when holiday buying boosted shipments to 259.4 million units.

About 43 million households have DVD players, according to the group, an industry-funded nonprofit organization that promotes the sale of DVD players and titles.

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About 60.9 million DVD players have been sold since the format was launched in the mid-1990s.

The industry enjoyed a carry- over in sales of hits in the fourth quarter, when titles such as “Men in Black II,” “Ice Age,” “Spider-Man” and “Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones” were released.

New titles released in the first quarter included “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” “The Ring” and “Sweet Home Alabama.”

The group said in addition to movies, television episodes are selling well on digital video discs, as are musical performances, fitness programs and documentaries.

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Walt Disney Co.'s video chief, Bob Chapek, president of the DVD group, said the growth in DVD households portends continued record numbers over the next few years.


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