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HIVE EXCLUSIVE RESEARCH: New Hit Releases Are All-Stars at Rental in August

24 Aug, 2001 By: Melinda Saccone

Heavy-hitting new releases continue to fuel U.S. consumer rental spending, positioning August as a stellar month at the rental counter.

For the week ending Aug. 19, consumers spent $222.2 million on rentals, up 3.5% from the previous week and up 8.5% from the comparable period in 2000.

Projected consumer spending for the month will end on an up note thanks to the strong slate of box office hits released to video in August.After three weeks, combined rental spending totaled $635.2 million, nearly 3% above spending in the first three weeks of the monthlast year.

DreamWorks Home Entertainment's The Mexican gripped the No. 1 rental spot for the second consecutive week, earning an additional $10.7 million for a cumulative take of $22.6 million.

Leading the new releases for the week was Paramount Home Entertainment's Enemy at the Gates, which earned $51.4 million at the box office before its video release. Enemy debuted in the No. 4 spot, earning $6.74 million in combined VHS and DVD revenue in its first five days of release. The title was also the top selling DVD for the week, according to VideoScan First Alert data.

Six other new releases debuted on the top rentals chart for the week ending Aug. 19. New Line Home Entertainment's 15 Minutes landed in theNo. 5 spot with $6.3 million. The only other new release to break into the Top 10 was Universal Studios Home Entertainment's Josie and the Pussycats, debuting at No. 8 with $3.2 million.

Upcoming releases should stimulate rental demand. MGM Home Entertainment's Hannibal hit stores Aug. 21. The sequel to the The Silence of the Lambs earned an impressive $165.1 million at the box office. Warner Home Video's Exit Wounds, scheduled for release Aug. 31,earned $51.8 million at the box office.

These cleanup hitters should finish off the revenue run that Buena Vista Home Entertainment's Chocolat and The Mexican kicked off in early August.

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