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HIVE EXCLUSIVE RESEARCH: ‘Spider' Spins Rental Web; ‘Knight' Jousts ‘Spy' on Sales Chart

5 Oct, 2001 By: Judith McCourt

A spider spun itself into the top rental spot while a knight jousted a spy for the top video sales slots for the week ending Sept. 30.

Paramount Home Entertainment's Along Came a Spider grossed $8.02 million in combined VHS and DVD revenue in its first five days on the rental shelf. The thriller, starring Morgan Freeman and Monica Potter, pulled in a modest $74 million at the box office which often translates to lots of potential at the rental counter as consumers pick up a flick that they missed on the big screen.

Meanwhile, at the sales counter, combined DVD and VHS sales made Buena Vista Home Entertainment's Spy Kids the hands-down top seller for the second consecutive week. The perky spies outsold the No. 2 finisher, A Knight's Tale, by a margin of 1.5 to one. Spy Kids continued to dominate cassette sales, outselling its next closest competitor by a margin of 4.5 to one. And selling more cassettes than the next five finishers combined.

At the DVD sales counter, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment's A Knight's Tale toppled the kids. A Knight's Tale outpaced its next closet competitor, Along Came a Spider, by a margin of 1.5 to one. Spy Kids dropped to the No. 4 spot for the week on the DVD chart.

Consumers continue to spend more at the rental counter than they did last year, with receipts tallying $203.52 million for the last week of the month. DVD rental accounted for $38.7 million or 19% of the week's take.Revenues are up a whopping 31.3% from the comparable week last year — when the Olympics were competing with rentals for consumer viewing time. Rentals, however, are up just a modest 1.03% over the average rental revenue for week 39 for the three-year period of 1997,1998 and 1999.

At the close of the third quarter consumers had spent $7.34 billion, up 9.9% from the $6.68 billion spent in the first nine months of 2000. VHS rental receipts came in at $6.39 billion, up 1.2% from the $6.31 billion spent last year. DVD rentals supported the overall increase with renters, spending $942.3 million on DVD rentals so far this year, up a whopping 163.9% from the $357.1 million spent by the end of September 2000.

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