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HIVE EXCLUSIVE RESEARCH: ‘Mummy' Returns to Top Rental Spot, But Has Competition from ‘Snow White' at Sales Counter

19 Oct, 2001 By: Melinda Saccone

A mummy returned to grab top rental honors but shared the limelight at the sales register with a raven-haired beauty and her seven little friends.

According to VideoScan First Alert data, The Mummy Returns was both the top renter and the top VHS seller in the week ending Oct. 14.Buena Vista Home Entertainment's spruced up Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, available only on DVD, catapulted to the top of the DVD sellers chart its first week in stores, bumping previous champ The Mummy Returns to No. 3. Sandwiched in between at No. 2 was another new DVD release, Paramount Home Entertainment's Godfather trilogy, an achievement all the more notable given the five-disc set's $75 selling price.

At the rental counter, The Mummy Returns cornered the No. 1 spot for the second consecutive week, generating an additional $10.42 million in combined VHS and DVD rental revenue to bring its total take, after two weeks in stores, to $22.6 million.On the VHS sales chart, The Mummy Returns also remained at No. 1 for the second consecutive week, followed by a trio of potent kidvids, Artisan Home Entertainment's Barbie in The Nutcracker (No. 2), Buena Vista's Spy Kids (No. 3) and Warner Home Video's Scooby Doo: Cyber Chase (debuting at No. 4).

Over all, consumer spending on VHS and DVD rentals dipped to its lowest level since the end of June, due in part to a weak slate of new releases. Combined rental spending for the week ending Oct. 14 came in at $188.1 million — down 8.7% from the previous week and 2.9% from the comparable week last year. This is the first time rental spending has dropped versus the same week last year since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. This points to the possibility that the rental surge owed more to last year's Olympics (which ended Oct. 1, 2000) and a stronger slate of titles this year than the much-talked-about cocooning phenomenon.

Consumers spent $35.7 million, or 19% of the weekly total, renting DVDs. By comparison, DVD rentals accounted for just less than 9% of total weekly spending during the comparable week in 2000.

Only two new releases found a spot on the top 50 rentals chart for the week: Buena Vista's Bridget Jones's Diary, debuted at No. 3, earning $5.54 million in rental revenue in its first five days of release; USA Home Entertainment's One Night at McCool's debuted at No. 10, earning $3.29 million in rental revenue in its first five days of release.

So far this year consumers have spent $7.73 billion on VHS and DVD rentals — up 9.7% from the $7.04 billion spent as of this same point in 2000.

Consumers have spent $1.02 billion renting DVDs — up 162.4% from the $389.2 million spent in the comparable period last year.

For the Record: In last week's article, total rental spending for the second quarter 2001 was misprinted. The correct amount is $2.12 billion.

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