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HIVE EXCLUSIVE RESEARCH: 'Blonde' No. 1 as Rentals Fall for the Week

16 Nov, 2001 By: Melinda Saccone

Consumer spending on combined VHS and DVD rentals for the week ending Nov. 11 registered $183.3 million, down 7.7% from the $198.6 million spent in the comparable period last year. Debuting in the top spot for the week was MGM Home Entertainment's comedy Legally Blonde. The Reese Witherspoon starrer earned $10.47 million at the rental counter in its first five days of release.

For the week ending Nov. 11, four of the top 10 rentals are priced for sellthrough in the VHS format and all of the top 50 renters are available day and date on DVD, giving many consumers the opportunity to buy rather than rent the traditionally hot fourth quarter slate.

Debuting day and date at sellthrough and finding a place in the top 10 are DreamWorks Home Entertainment's Shrek (No. 2), Warner Home Video's Swordfish (No. 3) 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment's Dr. Dolittle 2 (No. 5), and Universal Studios Home Video's The Mummy Returns (No. 7).

Retailers, on average, purchased 13.9% fewer copies of this week's top 10 than last year's counterparts, when the top 10 rentals for the comparable week were all priced for rental on VHS.

Collectively, this week's top 10 grossed $977.2 million at the box office — a whopping 32.7% increase over their 2000 counterparts.

Leading the sellthrough-priced pack at the rental counter was Shrek. Released Friday, Nov. 9, instead of the traditional Tuesday debut, the green ogre earned an additional $8.98 million in its first full week of release, holding at No. 2 for a second consecutive week. In just nine days of release Shrek has earned $16.1 million in rental revenue.

The four sellthrough-priced releases that dominated the rental chart for the week have also been stellar performers at the sales counter. According to VideoScan First Alert data, three of the four releases finished in the top 10 sellers charts for the week ending Nov. 11. Shrek took top honors on both the VHS and DVD sellers charts. Dr. Dolittle 2 placed seventh on the VHS sellers chart, Swordfish was No. 3 on DVD and No. 9 on VHS.

So far this year consumers have spent $8.43 billion at the rental counter — up 7.9% from the $7.81 billion spent in the first 45 weeks of 2000. DVD rentals account for nearly 14% of total spending, with consumers spending $1.2 billion on the format so far this year — up 117.8% from the $456.1 million spent in the comparable period last year.

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