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Consumers Loaded Up on Warner&#39;s <I>Matrix</I> Sequel

23 Oct, 2003 By: Melinda Saccone

Warner Home Video's much-awaited The Matrix Reloaded — the second installment in the sci-fi trilogy — was consumers' top pick at both the rental and sales counters. Reloaded topped both the VHS and DVD sellers charts for the week ended Oct. 19, according to VideoScan First Alert data.

Meanwhile, at the rental counter, Reloaded generated $14.6 million in rental revenue in its first five days of release, besting the rental debut of The Matrix. The Matrix, which was released on video in September 1999, earned $10.1 million in its first five days on rental shelves. The Animatrix, the direct-to-video anime spinoff of the theatrical series, released June 13 of this year, generated $1.98 million in rental revenue in its first five days of release.

The $281.3 million box office Reloaded was bolstered by the additional advertising push for the theatrical release of The Matrix Revolutions — the third installment in the series opening in theaters Nov. 5 — that urged consumers to “Get Reloaded.”While Reloaded did well at rental, it was the only new release on the top 10 rentals chart for the week — not enough to keep rental spending from slipping.Consumers spent $145.4 million on disc and cassette rentals for the week ended Oct. 19, down 9.6 percent from the previous week, but up 1.7 percent from spending during the comparable week last year.

Year-to-date rental is on track for a banner year. Video Store Magazine market research estimates consumer spending on video rentals will reach $9.4 billion by year's end.

So far this year, consumers have spent $7.9 billion at the rental counter, up 12.2 percent from the $7.1 billion consumers spent renting videos in the first 42 weeks of 2002.

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