<I>The Ring</I> Spins Into the Top Spot at Rental, Sales Counters13 Mar, 2003 By: Melinda Saccone
DreamWorks Home Entertainment's The Ring topped both the rental and sales charts for the week ended March 9.
Meanwhile, DVD continued to gain dominance over the cassette, accounting for the majority of the units sold through to consumers as well as the majority of revenue at the rental counter.
Combined unit sales for the top 50 DVD and VHS sellers for the week ended March 1 (the week for which all data is in) posted a 4 percent increase compared to the same week last year, according to VideoScan data, although the composition of the mix was radically different from a year ago.
Of the top 50 sellers for the week ended March 1, 80 percent of the units were in the DVD format, while in the same week in 2002 discs accounted for 58 percent of the units sold to consumers. VHS unit sales compared to the same week last year are a whopping 50 percent below their unit volume.
The Ring was consumers' purchase of choice in both formats for the week ended March 9, according to VideoScan First Alert data. The title also dominated at the rental counter, earning $12.7 million in combined VHS and DVD rental revenue in its first five days of release.
Consumer spending on rentals for the week ended March 9 posted losses from the previous week and from the comparable week last year.
Renters spent $168.4 million on disc and cassette rentals for the week, down 9.1 percent from the previous week and off 14 percent from the $195.8 million spent in the tenth week of 2002. More than half of the week's tally (52 percent) came from disc rentals.
Consumer spending on disc rentals continues to forge ahead, passing the $1 billion mark. So far this year, consumers have spent $1.01 billion renting DVDs, up 84.1 percent from the $433.2 million spent during comparable period last year.
Spending on cassette rentals is deeply in the red. Year-to-date VHS rental spending stands at $991.7 million, down 30.6 percent from the comparable 10-week period in 2002.