‘Gladiator,’ ‘X-Men’ Bow Big on DVD

They were hits on the big screen and now they’re even bigger hits on DVD.

“Gladiator” and “X-Men” each took in $60 million in DVD sales and VHS rentals over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The estimates for “X-Men‘s” home video and DVD sales even surpassed the film’s opening weekend domestic gross of $57.5 million over the summer. The summer hit features an ensemble cast including Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, James Marsden, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and Anna Paquin.

“Gladiator’s” numbers, however, were most impressive considering the film, starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix and Connie Nielsen, isn’t available to purchase in the VHS format — a format that most home movie watchers use.

Currently in the United States, there are about 9 million DVD players compared to 85 million VCR households nationwide. “Gladiator” is expected to be available for purchase in the VHS format later this year or in the first quarter of 2001.

To date, more than 3.6 million copies of “Gladiator’s” double-disc DVD have been shipped to stores domestically and 2 million of them sold to customers, with another half-million expected to reach stores in the coming days, said Kelly Sooter, DreamWorks head of domestic video.

“Gladiator” has unofficially beaten Hollywood/Buena Vista Home Entertainment’s “The Sixth Sense” and Warner Home Video’s “The Matrix” for first-week and overall sales, respectively, but “Sixth Sense” and “Matrix” set their marks at a time when there were less than half the number of players in homes.