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HIVE EXCLUSIVE RESEARCH: Warner Home Video Dominates in August

21 Sep, 2001 By: Judith McCourt

Warner Home Video turned in a repeat performance in August, solidly claiming the No. 1 spot in VHS, DVD and combined units sold for the month, according to VideoScan data.Honors for the top-selling DVD in August went to MGM HomeEntertainment’s Hannibal while Buena Vista Home Entertainment’s Recess: School’s Out was the month’s top-selling VHS cassette.

Warner releases, which include New Line, HBO and PBS titles, accounted for 20.2% of combined VHS and DVD units sold in August. The supplier released more than a quarter of the top 50 sellers for themonth. Warner’s overall performance is comparable to July when they accounted for 21.3% of the units sold for the month. Warner alsodominated the sellthrough market in the first half of the year, grabbing 22.3% of all DVD and VHS sales.

The supplier’s strength in the DVD market, in which it corned 27.3% of first-half sales, continues to support its overall No. 1 market position. However, second-half sales data shows the gap is beginning to close. Warner grabbed 22.6% of the DVD units sold in August, compared to 24% of DVD sales in July. Despite the decline, Warner held a solid lead over its next closest competitor for the month, MGM Home Entertainment, which grabbed 15.4% of DVD sales in August. Warner’s top-selling DVD title for the month was NewLine Home Entertainment’s 15 Minutes, which ranked No. 7 in DVD sales inAugust.

Pokemon 3: The Movie, Scooby Doo: Spookiest Tales and See Spot Run, all released under the Warner umbrella, were driving forces behind Warner’swinning performance on the VHS side. The supplier grabbed 18.2% of cassette sales in August.

Buena Vista Home Entertainment’s dominance in the kidvid market, whichcontinues to be heavily weighted with VHS sales, supports its overall No. 2 market share spot in combined August sales. The supplier took 15.7% of the VHS pie in August compared to 15.8% in July.

Disney releases accounted for the three of the top five spots on the VHS sales chart in July. Recess: School’s Out led the pack, outselling its next closet competitor, Pokemon 3: The Movie, by a margin of 1.7 to 1.

Other top five placers for the studio were The Book of Pooh: Stories from the Heart (No. 3) and The Emperor’s New Groove (No. 5).

MGM Home Entertainment’s Hannibal was the hands-down winner in DVD salesin August. The Anthony Hopkins thriller outsold its next closest competitor by a margin of more than three to one. The mega success ofthe thriller propelled MGM’s DVD market share to 15.4% and its overall market share to 10.7% in August. By comparison, at the mid-point of 2001, MGM overall market share was 4.6%.

Comedies continued their reign at the sales counter as the genre of choice for consumers. In August titles on the lighter side accounted for 21.8% of total units sold. In the comedy genre, Universal Studios Home Video’s Bring It On (No. 4) was the top-selling VHS cassette in August while DreamWorks Home Entertainment’s The Mexican (No. 3) was the top DVD seller.

Action/adventures and drama titles were also popular choices with consumers, pulling in 15.9% and 15.3% of overall unit sales respectively. Paramount Home Entertainment’s Enemy at the Gates was the top-selling action/adventure release for the month whileChocolat was the top-selling drama. Both were DVD releases.

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