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DVD Rental Spending Surpasses All of 2001

1 Aug, 2002 By: Melinda Saccone

DVD rentals surged to $1.58 billion in the first seven months of the year, surpassing total DVD rental spending for the entire 12-month period in 2001.

By the end of July, DVD rentals were up 5.9 percent from the $1.5 billion consumers spent renting the format in all of 2001.

DVD household penetration (set-top units) now stands at 33 percent of U.S. households, according to a study of more than 900 U.S. households conducted by Video Store Magazine. The DVD Entertainment Group expects DVD household penetration to climb to 40 million households by year's end.

DVD rentals continued to grow as a percentage of the overall rental take. At the end of 2001, DVD rentals accounted for 15 percent of total spending for the year. By the end of the first quarter of 2002, nearly one-fourth of all rentals were in the DVD format. At the end of July, DVD rentals accounted for nearly 40 percent of all rentals for the month. By comparison, DVD rentals accounted for just 11.5 percent of the monthly rental revenue for July 2001.

While DVD rentals as a percentage of the overall pie are up, total rental spending lags. So far this year, consumers have spent $5.13 billion at the rental counter, down 6 percent from spending through the same time last year.

For the week ended July 28, consumers spent a combined $158.9 million at the rental counter, down 25.1 percent from the comparable week last year.

DreamWorks Home Entertainment's newcomer The Time Machine (No. 2, $10.77 million) failed to unseat Buena Vista Home Entertainment's The Royal Tenenbaums ($12.55 million) from the top rental spot.

But at the sales counter, DreamWorks' The Time Machine debuted as the No. 1 DVD seller for the week, according to Nielsen VideoScan First Alert data.

Buena Vista's Tarzan & Jane was the top-selling cassette for the week, according to First Alert data.

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