The Force Was With Buena Vista at the Rental Counter26 May, 2002 By: Melinda Saccone
Strong product fueled spending at the rental counter for the week ended May 19. Combined VHS and DVD rental receipts tallied $147 million, up 10.3 percent from the previous week, but was down a slight 1 percent from the comparable period in 2001.
Despite heavy competition at the box office from 20th Century Fox's Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones and Sony's continued success with Spider-Man, home video had a few stars of its own, with four new releases breaking rank on the top 10 rentals chart for the week.
Buena Vista Home Entertainment had a stellar week at the rental and sales counters. The Mighty Mouse owned three of the five releases that debuted on the First Alert DVD chart and both of the VHS First Alert sellers' charts, according to VideoScan data. BVHE also had three of the four new releases to debut in the top 10 rentals' chart for the week.
BVHE's best performer was the Oscar-nominated suspense film The Others. The Nicole Kidman starrer was the No. 1 DVD seller for the week and debuted in the No. 2 spot on the top rentals' chart.
Buena Vista's Snow Dogs debuted as the top VHS seller for the week, and debuted at No. 8 at the rental counter, with $5.26 million in combined VHS and DVD rental revenue.
Corky Romano rounded out the studio's newbies, debuting at No. 9 at the rental counter, with $4.61 million, and was the No. 7 DVD seller.
Fox's From Hell was the only other new release to make the top 10 rentals' chart for the week. The Johnny Depp starrer earned $13.16 million in its first five days on rental shelves for a third-place finish.
Meanwhile, Warner Home Video's Ocean's Eleven continued to dominate at the rental counter, with a cumulative take of $34.4 million in just two weeks of release.
So far this year, consumers have spent $3.57 billion at the rental counter. Of that, DVD rentals have amassed $972.5 million -- a 222.8 percent gain over the comparable period in 2001.