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Bad Box Office Can Be Good News for Retailers

7 Jul, 2003 By: Stephanie Prange

While our theatrical brethren may bemoan the flagging box office that analysts say may not be able to beat last year's record tally, there is a silver lining for video retailers.

Last year's boffo mid-summer box office hinged for the most part on two big hits – Spider-Man and Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones – not much help to retailers who need to keep a steady stream of customers coming to the store to buy or rent. This year, we've had a more even slate, with a handful of big hits that have passed the $200 million mark: The Matrix Reloaded, Finding Nemo, Bruce Almighty and X2: X-Men United. Having more hits is a good thing for video retailers.

Also, lower viewership in theaters could mean some moviegoers are waiting to watch titles on video, allowing retailers to reap the benefits theater owners missed.

Another plus, this is the summer of sequels, which allows retailers to promote the preceding hits. The Matrix and Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings both rose in the all-time sales rankings long after street date on the boost from the release of theatrical sequels. Summer sequels include 2 Fast 2 Furious, Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Legally Blonde 2: Red White and Blonde, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Bad Boys 2 and American Wedding.

Thus, what looks like bad box office could be good news for video retailers.

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