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<I>Atlantis</i> Does Swimmingly in Sales

7 Feb, 2002 By: Judith McCourt

Buena Vista Home Entertainment's Atlantis: The Lost Empire was the overwhelming choice for consumers who bought videos and DVDs for the week ending Feb. 3, according to VideoScan First Alert data. On the rental side, Universal Studios Home Video's American Pie 2 continued its reign as the top rental choice for the week.

Atlantis was a runaway hit at the sales counter, finishing on top of the heap on both VHS and DVD sales charts. Atlantis outsold the next closest finisher, Paramount Home Entertainment's Rat Race, by a margin of almost 5 to 1. A look at the numbers shows that DVD units accounted for 55.6 percent of the units sold.

American Pie 2 has been a solid favorite with renters since its release in January. Video Store Magazine market research estimates that there are upwards of 1.6 million copies of the teen favorite in the rental pipeline, with more than 600,000 of those in the DVD format. For the week ending Feb. 3, Pie grabbed $13.05 million in combined DVD and VHS revenue, pushing its cumulative take to $45.1 million.

Four new releases found a place on the top 50 rentals chart with two packing enough punch to finish in the top five. Paramount's Rat Race grabbed the No.3 spot, grossing $9.36 million in its first week of release. Video Store Magazine market research estimates that 1.1 million copies of the comedy were available at rental, with almost 350,000 units in the DVD format.

Atlantis,/i> also scored high at the rental counter, earning $8.65 million in rental revenue to finish in the No. 4 spot for the week.

For the week ending Feb. 3, the top 25 rental titles were newer, delivered a higher box office take and were in better supply at the rental counter than in the same week last year. On average the top 25 releases were 33 days old compared to 39 days in the same week last year and grossed 4.2 percent more on the big screen than last year's counterparts. What's more, with DVD at sellthrough, retailers appear to be increasing the number of copies they are carrying of the hottest new releases. The number of copies of the top 25 rental titles is up significantly compared to last year, with the average video store stocking 28.5 copies of the latest hits compared to 22.3 last year.

This all translated into consumers spending more on DVD and VHS rentals for the week than they did in the comparable week last year. All told, combined consumer rental spending came in at $178.6 million for the week, up 9.1 percent from the same week last year. Consumer spending now stands at $989.7 million compared to $853.2 million at the five-week mark of 2001.

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