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Latest Grisham Film Judged a Winner on Video

26 Feb, 2004 By: Melinda Saccone

Absent from video shelves for more than five years, John Grisham returns with his latest novel-turned-movie.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment's film adaptation of Grisham's best-selling novel Runaway Jury took top honors at the rental counter in its first five days of release and snagged the No. 2 spot for DVD sales, according to Video Scan First Alert data for the week ended Feb. 22.

Seven of Grisham's 17 novels have been adapted to film. Collectively, these seven films have earned more than $563 million in theaters and grossed more than $200 million in rental revenue, according to Video Store Magazine Market Research.

Grisham's first film-adapted novel, The Firm, remains his most successful to date on video and in theaters.

Picked up by Paramount Pictures for an estimated $600,000, The Firm went on to earn $157 million in theaters and grossed an additional $42 million in video rental revenue in its first four months of release, according to Video Store Magazine Market Research.

Gene Hackman is also no stranger to Grisham films. The actor has starred in three of the seven films: The Firm, The Chamber and Runaway Jury. Hackman's place among Grisham thrillers is no coincidence, as Grisham has casting approval rights for all films based on his novels.

Runaway Jury is poised for success on video, as the film earned a moderate $49.4 million in theaters, leaving plenty of opportunity for video viewing.

In its first week on rental shelves, Runaway Jury earned a combined $10.6 million in DVD and VHS rental revenue, 22 percent of its box office take.

So far this year, consumers have spent $1.4 billion at the rental counter, down 13.8 percent from the comparable eight-week period in 2003.

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