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 17,148.42 174.11 1.03%
Nasdaq 4,547.49 -1.74 -0.04%
S&P 500 1,987.75 5.45 0.27%
Treasuries 2.30 -0.02 -0.77%
Data as of 2:57pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Facebook Inc 73.96 -1.90 -2.50%
Bank of America Corp... 17.06 0.07 0.41%
Intel Corp 32.62 -1.30 -3.84%
Avon Products Inc 9.94 -1.03 -9.35%
Apple Inc 106.96 -0.39 -0.36%
Data as of 2:42pm ET

Sections

An annual federal government census found about 578,000 homeless individuals nationwide, down about 2% from last year. More

Plasma TV production is about to end, as LG says it is going to stop producing the once-popular TV sets. More

San Francisco-based Tumml is an accelerator fostering 'urban impact start-ups' that aim to tackle civic problems -- and turn a profit. More

Amy Kukec thought leaving her abusive husband would be the beginning of a new life, but so far she's hit one debilitating financial roadblock after another. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices 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.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.