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<I>Mind</I> Retains Rental Crown, But Newcomers Top Sales

11 Jul, 2002 By: Melinda Saccone

A Beautiful Mind earned an additional $15.1 million at the rental counter to retain its spot as the top rental for the week ended July 7, but according to Nielsen VideoScan First Alert data, the Universal Studios Home Video title dropped a notch at the sales counter.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment's Shallow Hal was the best-selling DVD for the week, while Paramount Home Video's Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius captured the fancy of cassette buyers.

Consumer spending at the rental counter waned in the wake of Fourth of July celebrations as sunny skies and fireworks drew consumers across the nation to outdoor activities. Columbia TriStar's Men in Black II added more competition to the entertainment mix, debuting in theaters with a record-breaking $52.2 million over the holiday weekend.

Rental spending for the week ended July 7 dipped 13 percent from the previous week, to $148.2 million, and fell 33.5 percent from the comparable holiday week in 2001. Of the weekly total, DVD rentals accounted for almost 40 percent, compared to just 12 percent during the comparable week last year.

A light slate of new releases in the rental pipeline bore only one debuting title among the top 10 rentals for the week. Fox's Shallow Hal debuted in the No. 2 spot, earning $10.8 million in its first five days of release.

The driving factor behind the dip in overall spending is weaker product in the rental pipeline compared to the same week last year.

In 2001, the schedule was much heavier for the holiday week, with three new releases among the top 10 rentals. In addition to the heavier release schedule, the top 10 rentals for the comparable week last year carried more box office punch, grossing 33.9 percent more theatrically than this year's top 10.

Year-to-date rental spending now stands at $4.65 billion -- down 2.5 percent from 2001.

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