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<I>Spider-Man</I> Swings Top Sales and Rental Honors

7 Nov, 2002 By: Melinda Saccone

Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment's Spider-Man dominated the home entertainment scene for the week ended Nov. 3. While the actioner wasn't released until Friday, giving it only two days on rental and sales shelves, the $403.7 million box office blockbuster took top honors on both the sales and rental fronts.

According to Nielsen VideoScan First Alert data, Spider-Man was both the top-selling disc and the top-selling cassette for the week ended Nov. 3. On disc, Spider-Man outsold the No. 2 seller for the week, Paramount Home Entertainment's The Sum of All Fears, by a margin of 4.6 to 1. On VHS, the margin was slightly smaller, with Spider-Man beating Cloud Ten Home Entertainment's Left Behind II -- Tribulation Force by a margin of 3.8 to 1.

Spider-Man's sales success did not seem to hinder its performance at the rental counter. In just two days on rental shelves, Spider-Man amassed an astounding $15.6 million in VHS and DVD rental revenue. By comparison, Warner Home Video's Scooby-Doo, also released on a Friday (Oct. 11), debuted with $3.89 million.

In second place for the week was Paramount's The Sum of All Fears, based on the Tom Clancy novel. The actioner earned $11.4 million in combined VHS and DVD rental revenue in its first five days of release.

While five other new releases were among the top 50 rentals for the week, Warner's Eight Legged Freaks was the only other new release to break into the top 10. Freaks debuted at No. 10, with $3.1 million in rental revenue.

Thanks to new releases, rental spending for the week ended Nov. 3 jumped 16.4 percent from the previous week, to $161.1 million, as the fourth-quarter heavy-hitters began to debut. However, rental spending continues to lag last year's: The week's total trailed last year's comparable week by 10.3 percent.

So far this year, consumers have spent $7.37 billion on disc and cassette rentals, down 10.6 percent from the $8.2 billion spent during the comparable period in 2001.

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