Amazon sold how many copies of Eclipse!?

amazon_twilight_eclipse.jc.top.jpg By Stacy Cowley, tech editor


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Sorry, Twilight fans: Edward and Bella's latest cinematic adventure didn't actually sell 40 million copies this holiday season.

That's what Amazon implied in a press release it issued Monday, touting its holiday sales. But the eye-popping figure doesn't hold up.

"For the holiday time period alone, Amazon customers bought enough copies of Eclipse for Edward Cullen to watch the movie 1,000 times a day for all 109 years of his life," the company wrote.

CNNMoney ran the math on that claim: 1,000 x 365 days in a year x 109 years = a whopping 39.8 million DVDs. And that's not even counting the extra days in leap years.

When we called to fact-check, Amazon (AMZN, Fortune 500) backed off on its numbers.

'"The Amazon stat you inquired about this morning should've read 'year' not 'day,'" a company spokeswoman replied via e-mail.

Doing the math that way -- 1,000 viewings a year for 109 years -- nets a much more reasonable 109,000 Eclipse DVDs sold.

Amazon's other quirky claims pan out. Here's the math on them ...

"Amazon customers purchased enough snow/tire chains to outfit the entire population of three of America's top ski cities: Aspen, Breckenridge and Sun Valley."

Working off 2000 census figures, we get these population numbers:

Aspen: 5,914
Breckenridge: 2,408
Sun Valley: 1,427

So Amazon sold at least 9,749 snow & tire chains.

"Amazon customers purchased so many pairs of jeans that if you folded each pair and stacked them on top of each other, the height would be the equivalent of Mt. Everest."

This requires some guesstimating. What's the average height of a pair of folded jeans? Folded once or folded twice?

By happy coincidence, I have a pair of jeans under my desk. I folded it in half twice, the way one typically stores jeans, and measured at the midpoint. It's a touch shy of two inches.

Mount Everest's official height is 29,029 feet. That's 348,348 inches. Divide by 2 and we have just over 174,000 pairs of jeans.

"Amazon customers purchased enough Kyjen Hide-a-Squirrels to hide one toy squirrel everyday for the next 100 years."

Well, this one is easy. 1 squirrel x 365 days x 100 years = 36,500 toy squirrels -- plus another 25 for the leap-year days. So that's 36,525 lucky dogs this holiday season.

"Amazon customers purchased more Philips Norelco shavers this holiday season than the average beard hairs on a man's face."

This is like counting angels on the head of a pin. Hair-loss info site Keratin.com claims there's 7,000 - 15,000 hairs in an average beard; Godrej Shaving Cream's website claims the average is 30,000. No one is citing any sources.

So we'll say Amazon sold more shavers than snow chains -- but probably fewer shavers than Hide-a-Squirrels.

And no matter how you do the math, Eclipse DVDs trumped all else. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,380.41 263.17 1.63%
Nasdaq 4,258.44 41.05 0.97%
S&P 500 1,886.76 24.00 1.29%
Treasuries 2.20 0.05 2.14%
Data as of 3:53am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.21 0.13 0.81%
Facebook Inc 75.95 3.32 4.57%
Apple Inc 97.67 1.41 1.46%
General Electric Co 24.82 0.57 2.35%
Microsoft Corp 43.63 0.89 2.08%
Data as of Oct 17

Sections

Economists concerned over rapidly rising corporate debt levels in China are sounding the alarm, warning that major changes are needed to avoid an increase in "zombie" banks and firms. More

A new Gallup poll shows that one-third of Americans prefer their boss to be a man. More

As North Dakota's oil boom rages on, the droves of job seekers who have flocked there over the past few years are finally starting to move their spouses to the area and settle down. The result? Lots of babies. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.