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HIVE EXCLUSIVE RESEARCH: ‘Unbreakable’ Hold on the Top Rental Spot Continues

16 Jul, 2001 By: Melinda Saccone

A strong slate of releases and a midweek holiday helped push total U.S. consumer rental spending to its biggest gain over the comparable week last year in four months.

U.S. consumer rental spending surged in the week ending July 8, totalling $222.7 million and posting a 19.4% increase from the same week last year.

Buena Vista Home Entertainment’s Unbreakable continued dominating the rental counter for the second consecutive week. The Bruce Willis-SamuelL. Jackson starrer held onto the No. 1 spot on the rental chart, earning an additional $15.5 million in combined VHS and DVD revenue. In just twoweeks of release, Unbreakable has earned $32.8 million in rentalrevenue.

Despite its unbreakable hold at the rental counter, VideoScan FirstAlert data shows Unbreakable’s hold in the DVD sales market broke last week as it conceded top honors to Columbia TriStar HomeEntertainment’s Snatch.

Meanwhile, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment’s Cast Away, whichholds the record for the highest grossing rental debut of all time, continues its strong performance at the rental counter. The Tom Hanksstarrer placed second on the rental chart for the week, earning an additional $12.8 million. In just three weeks of release, Cast Away has earned $59.6 million in combined VHS and DVD revenue.

The top renters for the week pack a powerful box office punch. The week’s top 50 rental releases earned a combined $2.19 billion intheaters prior to their release on video — more than 25% more than their 2000 counterparts. Their box office strength translated into $116.2 million in VHS and DVD rental revenue for the week — up from $90.2million during the comparable period last year.

So far this year, consumers have spent $4.8 billion at the rental counter — up 7.7% from the $4.4 billion spent at this point in 2000. Consumers have spent $4.2 billion renting VHS cassettes and $553.2 million renting DVDs.

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