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Business Up for the Week for Both VHS and DVD Rentals

24 Oct, 2002 By: Melinda Saccone

Consumer spending on combined VHS and DVD rentals for the week ended Oct. 20 posted positive gains for the first time this month, giving hope for a rental rebound in the fourth quarter. Consumers spent $143 million on VHS and DVD rentals for the week ended Oct. 20, up 16.5 percent over the previous week, but remained 13.7 percent below the comparable 2001 weekly tally.

At the sales counter, Warner Home Video's Scooby-Doo remained top dog, holding onto the No. 1 spot in cassette and disc sales for the week ended Oct. 20, according to Nielsen VideoScan First Alert Data.

New releases topped the rental chart for the week, with MGM Home Entertainment's Windtalkers leading the pack. Windtalkers, which was priced for rental on VHS, took top honors at the rental counter and the No. 2 spot in DVD sales for the week. The Nicolas Cage starrer debuted with $11.3 million in combined VHS and DVD rental revenue in its first five days of release, making it the highest-grossing debut so far this month. Prior to its video release, Windtalkers grossed $40.5 million in theaters, leaving plenty of room for video viewing.

Warner Home Video's Insomnia debuted in the No. 2 spot on the top 50 rentals' chart, earning $9.8 million in combined disc and cassette rentals in its first five days of release.

Meanwhile, DVD continues to gain ground at the rental counter, coming in with $61.5 million for the week ended Oct. 20, up 19 percent from the previous week and up 85.6 percent from the comparable week in 2001.

VHS rentals registered in at $81.5 million, up 14 percent from the previous week, but continuing with its steady year-to-year drop, declining 38.5 percent over the comparable week in 2001.

So far this year, consumers have spent $7.1 billion in combined DVD and VHS rentals, down 10.4 percent from the $7.9 billion spent at the same time last year.

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