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<I>Spider-Man</I> Thwarts Rentals; <I>Ali</I> Packs a Punch

9 May, 2002 By: Melinda Saccone


Consumers spent $142 million at the rental counter for the week ended May 5, down 5 percent over the previous week. While historically the week has not been heavy on new releases, last week was impacted by an even greater force: the unprecedented opening of Sony Pictures' Spider-Man on the big screen.

Spider-Man grossed $114.8 million in its debut weekend, breaking all previous box office opening records. At the sales counter, Buena Vista Home Entertainment's animated release Spider-Man: The Ultimate Villain Showdown piggybacked on the success of Sony's theatrical release, becoming the No. 1 selling VHS and No. 4 selling DVD title for the week, according to VideoScan First Alert data.

Spider-Man diverted attention away from the rental counter and to the big screen, as evidenced by a 16.8 percent decline in consumer spending over the five-year average of $170.7 million for the comparable week.

Meanwhile, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment's Ali led the newbies at the rental counter, debuting at No. 2. Ali, which got Will Smith an Oscar nod for his portrayal of the world-famous boxer, earned $11.9 million in rental revenue. On the sales side, Ali debuted as the top DVD seller for the week, unseating 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment's Behind Enemy Lines by a margin of 1.5 to 1.

Behind Enemy Lines remained consumers' top pick at the rental counter for the week, earning an additional $13.8 million and giving it a cumulative take of $29.1 million.

The only other new release to break rank for the week was Columbia TriStar's Not Another Teen Movie. The comedic spoof on a variety of teen-targeted flicks appeared to suffer from the success of Spider-Man. In its first five days of release, it earned $7.21 million, rounding out the top five rentals for the week, and was the No. 3 DVD seller for the week.

So far this year, consumers have spent $3.29 billion at the rental counter.

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