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HIVE EXCLUSIVE RESEARCH: 'Spy Kids' Mission Accomplished as It Tops Weekly Charts

27 Sep, 2001 By: Judith McCourt

Family fare had high appeal at the rental and sales counters for the week ending Sept. 23, as U.S. households looked for viewing alternatives in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 tragedy.

Buena Vista Home Entertainment's sellthrough-priced family hit Spy Kids was the hands-down winner at sales and rental counters. VideoScan FirstAlert data shows the ‘PG'-rated film was the No. 1 DVD seller, outpacing its next closest DVD competitor, Warner Home Video's Driven, by a marginof 1.6 to 1. Cassette sales were even more lopsided, with Spy Kids outselling the No.2 finisher, Warner's Willy Wonka & the ChocolateFactory, by a margin of 13.5 to 1.

Spy Kids earned $7.62 million in its first five days of release at therental counter.

Video rental spending for the week ending Sept. 23 skyrocketed to $201.66 million, up 38.1% from the same week last year. While theimmediate conclusion is that people are eschewing other activities to cocoon and rent videos, other factors may be responsible for the jump.

Last year, competition with the Olympics dampened rental spending. In fact, excluding last year from the comparison, average video rental revenue for week 38, for the three-year period of 1997 to 1999, was $198.83 million. Using this benchmark, video rental revenues are just 1.4% above that three-year average.

In another boost to spending, the rental slate for the week ending Sept. 23 is noticeably stronger than the same week's last year. The combined box office total for releases during week 38 of this year was $193.7 million, up 144% from the anemic $79.3 million box office punch last year's crop packed.

Heading into the final week of the third quarter, consumer spending at the rental counter stands at $7.13 billion, up 9.4% from the $6.5 billion spent at the same point last year. Renters have spent $903.6 million renting DVDs, up 163.2% compared to last year, and $6.23 billion renting cassettes, just 0.9% more than they spent in 2000.

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