Gringott’s Bank will have to open up a new wing to hold Harry Potter’s latest windfall, if the first-week success of his home video is any indication. ”Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” has set new benchmarks in sales and rentals for its first week in release. Video Store magazine reports that ”Potter” enjoyed first-week rentals of $19.1 million, beating the $18.65 million record set in January by ”The Fast and the Furious.” And it sold 10 million copies in DVD and VHS, beating the 9 million in first-week sales of ”Shrek” last year and coming in second only to ”The Lion King,” which sold 20 million copies its first week in 1995. All told, ”Potter” raked in about $200 million last week.
And that’s just in North America. ”Potter” has set sales records in Japan and the U.K. Worldwide, and the video has earned about $400 million in three weeks of release. (It was released earlier abroad than in the U.S. so that overseas fans could watch plenty of Quidditch before their attention turned to soccer with the start of the World Cup this week.) The video still has a ways to go before it tops the $460 million that ”Shrek” earned in North America or the $500 million earned by ”Lion King.” Still, what else are U.S. kids going to watch? Soccer?