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HIVE EXCLUSIVE RESEARCH: The 'Dr.' Is In, the 'Mummy' Is Out as Top Draw at Rental Counter

2 Nov, 2001 By: Melinda Saccone

Two sequels, both released at a sellthrough price, duked it out at the rental counter for the No. 1 spot for the week ending Oct. 28.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment's Dr. Dolittle 2 bumped Universal Studios Home Entertainment's The Mummy Returns out of first place for the first time since its Oct. 2 release.

For the second time in October, a release sellthrough-priced on both VHS and DVD topped the rental charts. Only five such sellthrough releases have debuted in the No. 1 spot this year, all having grossed more than $100 million in box office receipts. Dr. Dolittle 2 is no exception, before its release to video the title grossed $110.7 million in theaters.

The Eddie Murphy starrer earned $7.32 million in combined VHS and DVD rental revenue in its first five days of release, displacing The Mummy Returns, which earned an additional $7.07 million in rental revenue. So far, The Mummy Returns has grossed $38.1 million in rental revenue.

Video Store Magazine market research estimates Dr. Dolittle 2 pumped nearly a million VHS and DVD units into the rental pipeline.

Dolittle also scored big at the sales counter, according to VideoScan First Alert data, becoming the top seller for the week in combined VHS and DVD sales by outselling another Fox release, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, by a margin of 1.5 to 1.

Dr. Dolittle 2 placed first among all VHS sellers for the week and third in DVD sales according to First Alert data. Phantom Menace was consumers' DVD of choice for the week, outselling third place finisher Dolittle by a margin of 1.3 to 1.

Meanwhile, consumers spent $168.4 million at the rental counter for the week ending Oct. 28 — up 1.7% from the previous week, but down 11.7% from the comparable week last year.

Consumer spending on DVD rentals continues to bolster total spending with consumers shelling out $1.08 billion renting the format so far this year — up 157.3% from the comparable period in 2000. Meanwhile, VHS spending remains relatively flat at $6.98 billion — less than 1% below the $6.99 billion spent in the comparable period last year.

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