Who would win a smackdown between an overweight superdad and a bunch of talking sharks? We’ll never know. Back in April 2003, DreamWorks announced it would roll out its CG ‘toon feature Sharkslayer (eventually retitled Shark Tale) Nov. 5, 2004. Not long after, Disney countered with its own announcement: Pixar’s The Incredibles would bow the same day. DreamWorks blinked, moving Shark Tale up to Oct. 1, but went head-to-head with The Incredibles nonetheless: The company released the DVD of Shrek 2 on Nov. 5 — a Friday — even though virtually all DVDs come out on Tuesdays.
The result? A staggering three-day outlay — $70 million for Incredibles tickets and $185 million in retail sales for Shrek 2 (about 11 million DVDs, plus 1.1 million VHS copies). The moral for Hollywood: Don’t underestimate the vastness of the family-movie market. ”It’s not flattening out at all, it’s expanding,” says Amy Jo Smith, executive director of the DVD-boosting Digital Entertainment Group trade association. The moral for viewers: Everybody can live happily ever after.