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'Miss Congeniality' a Winner, 'Emperor' is First Runner Up

14 May, 2001 By: Judith McCourt

Miss Congeniality charmed video out of its second-quarter rental spending slump.

Combined VHS and DVD rental spending finished just ahead of the comparable week last year for the first time in four weeks thanks to the beauty queen comedy.

Meanwhile, Buena Vista Home Entertainment’s The Emperor’s New Groove is on the fast track to the best combined VHS and DVD sales of the week, selling 30% more units than Warner Home Video’s Miss Congeniality. VideoScan First Alert sales numbers also show the Disney animated flick was the No. 1 selling VHS and the No.2 selling DVD. On the flipside, Miss Congeniality garnered the No.1 DVD spot and finished No. 2 on VHS for the week.

Warner Home Video’s Miss Congeniality debuted with $9.31 million in combined VHS and DVD rental revenue for the week ending May 6 to take the top spot on the rental chart. The comedy pulled in $106.8 million on the big screen and is the first of three May releases with a box office north of $100 million to make it to the rental counter.

Rental spending will receive another boost the week of May 8, with the release of Paramount Home Entertainment’s What Women Want, which grossed $182.4 million in theaters to position it as the month’s biggest box office release. USA Home Entertainment’s Traffic, coming May 29, is the third biggest title due this month. The total box office tally of video releases for May registers at $701.4 million, compared to $614 million for last year’s slate.

Consumers spent $169 million renting videos and DVDs for the week, a scant 0.5% above the comparable week last year. VHS spending came in at $149.6 million — 7.6% less than the $161.9 million spent in the same week of 2000. DVD spending picked up the slack with total revenues registering $19.4 million—up from $6.2 million spent by consumers last year. Year-to-date combined VHS and DVD spending stands at $3.2 billion, compared to $2.9 billion spent over the first 18 weeks of 2000.

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