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<I>Royal Tenenbaums</I> Rules Rental

25 Jul, 2002 By: Melinda Saccone


Buena Vista Home Entertainment's The Royal Tenenbaums topped the rental charts for the week ended July 21, according to Video Store Magazine market research.

Meanwhile on the sales side, Nielsen First Alert data placed New Line Home Entertainment's John Q as the No. 1 choice of DVD buyers and Paramount Home Entertainment's Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius as the top VHS.

The Royal Tenenbaums earned an additional $14.2 million in combined DVD and VHS rental revenue for the week.

Consumer spending at the rental counter slumped for the fourth consecutive week compared to the same week in 2001. Spending for the week registered $156.5 million, down 7.5 percent from the previous week and down 36.6 percent from the comparable week in 2001.

Weekly DVD rental spending was $61.8 million, a 117.6 percent gain from the same period last year. But it was not enough to offset the decline in cassette rentals, which tallied $94.7 million, down 56.7 percent from the same week in 2001.

The DVD Entertainment Group estimates that nearly 30 million U.S. households had DVD players as of June 30 and expects household penetration to climb to 40 million by year's end.

In response, more and more retailers are turning to the DVD format as a staple of their inventory. A recent survey conducted by Video Store Magazine market research showed that 95 percent of all independent rentailers now stock DVD for rent, compared to just 78 percent of rentailers in July 2001.

Of the top five rentals for the week ended July 21, 40 percent of independents' inventory buy was in the DVD format. Revenue generated from DVD rentals accounts for nearly 40 percent of total weekly rental spending.

So far this year, consumers have spent $4.97 billion at the rental counter, down 5.2 percent from the $5.2 billion spent at this time last year.


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