New Line Home Entertainment announced today (Jan 23) its highest level of annual shipments since it formed 10 years ago, with more than $1bn in gross sales in North America, 74% of which was attributable to DVD. The achievement was driven chiefly by The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring, the studioís best selling title of all time that sold an astounding 22million units in combined shipments. This includes sales of the special extended edition of more than three million units. Furthermore the title sold 11.3million DVD units in 2002 and generated the highest DVD revenue of any title that year. Austin Powers In Goldmember was another key driver, along with good performances from Blade 2, John Q, I Am Sam and All About The Benjamins. Significantly, the studio pointed to a marked increase in sales of catalogue titles.

The figures follow critical acclaim for the studio's titles. Fellowship Of The Ring took home six trophies from the recent DVD Premiere Awards and was also named Best DVD of 2002 at the Golden Satellite Awards. Furthermore John Q collected a Special Achievement Award from the 5th Annual DVD Entertainment Conference.

Stephen Einhorn, president and COO of New Line Home Entertainment, said in a statement. "The success can be attributed to New Line Home Entertainment's strong and diverse programming line-up, our dedication to creative and unique DVD content, creative marketing campaigns and innovative sales and distribution strategies that have solidified New Line's position as a major force in the industry."