The Shrek video and DVD release pulled in around $110 million retail dollars (sell-through only, not including rental) in its first three days of release, according to Universal Home Video. Monsters, Inc. opened with the sixth biggest first weekend of all time at the box office, with over $62 million worth of tickets. These numbers were the culmination of a contest not only between Dreamworks and Disney (see 'Monsters Inc. in Theaters vs. Shrek in Stores'), but between theatrical and home video distribution. Home video obviously trounced the box office, almost by a factor of two. DVDs were a big part of that -- the dollars sold included the revenue from over 2.5 million DVDs, which set a new record.
The winner between studios isn't as clear. Monsters, Inc.'s opening weekend was nearly 50% higher than Shrek's (box office to box office), so the fact that the Shrek video beat Monsters, Inc. at the box office doesn't necessarily mean that Dreamworks beat Disney; that probably won't be determined until after the Monsters, Inc. video comes out. Given the pace at which videos/DVDs are following theatrical releases, that probably won't be long.
We've been reporting all year on the amazing speed with which DVDs are growing as a percentage of video and how quickly video/DVD releases are overtaking box office as a source of revenue (see 'Phantom Menace DVD Breaks Record,' for example). The important take-away from these trends, reinforced by last weekend's sales, is that DVDs continue to be a rapidly growing area of opportunity for pop culture stores. It may be difficult to compete on a huge release like Shrek, but there are plenty of specialized and backlist titles that are unavailable from discounters and that consumers shopping at pop culture stores crave.