The most successful movie ever is well on its way to being the most successful home video ever, as "Titanic" fans across the country stayed up late and waited in line to be among the first owners of the video.
"Titanic" videos went on sale at 12:01 a.m. in each time zone, and indications suggested "Titanic" would top Walt Disney Co.'s "The Lion King," which reportedly sold around 30 million copies, as the best-selling home video ever."It's really going well," said Bob Gerhinger, Blockbuster Video's marketing manager for the Northeast. "It's exceeding all my expectations for people showing up."
Gerhinger spoke from the company's store in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, N.Y., where an 8-foot ice sculpture of the doomed cruise ship outside the store's entrance drew spectators and "Titanic" fans alike.
"The ice sculpture drew a lot of attention," he said.
He added that even after 40 minutes, the lines for both sales and rentals were 10 to 15 people deep.
At a Best Buy Co. store in Bloomingdale, Ill., about 30 miles west of Chicago, "Titanic" fans began lining up at 9:15 p.m. 15 minutes after the store's regular closing hour and nearly three hours before the video went on sale, manager Clyde Howard said.
"Because of the promotion, we've done a lot of business," he said, referring to the free "Titanic" calendar Best Buy was giving away with video purchases.
After just 40 minutes, about 130 people had bought the video at that store, he added.
Many stores stayed open late or re-opened to give fans first crack at owning home video copies of the movie, which has grossed more than $1.8 billion worldwide and is still playing in many theaters.
Paramount Home Video, which is distributing "Titanic" home videos, has said it shipped more than 20 million copies.
While many die-hard fans braved the long lines and late hour, others ordered copies in the comfort of their own home through the Internet. At Reel.com, an on-line video retailer, preorders of the "Titanic" video were running between 200,000 and 400,000 through last weekend.
The film was produced by Viacom's Paramount Pictures and News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox.