Controversial Passion DVD Sells 4.1 Million Copies In One Day 
Home Theater News DVD Hardware-Software News
Written by Diane Sherwin   
Thursday, 02 September 2004

Mel Gibson's movie The Passion of the Christ was released on DVD Tuesday racking up 2.1 million sales by midday and ending the day with a total of 4.1 million copies sold. The total is not the all-time record for first day DVD sales which is 8 million copies held by Finding Nemo.

The film documents the final 12 hours of Jesus Christ, and was one of the most controversial movies ever released. Fox Home Entertainment offered bulk discounts on the DVD to churches encouraging them to purchase the DVD in packages of 50 and offering customized slipcases. This promotion resulted in high presales of the DVD, which also helped boost the average number of copies bought per customer to 1.8.

Compare Passion's DVD sales to the buzz over Ashlee Simpson's "Autobiography" album on CD that soared to #1 on the Billboard 200 in July with sales during it's first week a tenth as large as Passion's first day - about 398,000. Paying $18.99 for a fifty to sixty minute CD versus $24.95 for a DVD with many more hours of content seems to be no contest, as consumers are finding less reasons to purchase music prerecorded on CD. The 1/2 CD – 1/2 DVD “DualDisc” format brings the possibility of bringing video content to “album” sales which does offer hope for the record industry but that hope is outshined by the real-world sales of popular Hollywood films on DVD.

Sources: USA Today, Yahoo

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