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RESEARCH: Buena Vista Snags Top Sellthrough in February

4 Apr, 2002 By: Judith McCourt

Buena Vista Home Entertainment made a move on Warner, capturing the top spot in sellthrough market share in February based on units sold, according to VideoScan data.

Disney's commanding lead in cassette sales, coupled with a strong second-place finish on the DVD side, gave the supplier an aggregate market share of 20.9 percent.

Disney claimed February's top sellers in both the DVD and VHS formats. As DVD penetration increases and it becomes the format of choice for kids, Disney stands to gain market share, thanks to its large number of family titles. Historically, family and children's titles have been big sellers since repeatability favors purchasing over renting.

Family titles were hot in February, and Buena Vista led the way. Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire was the overall bestseller for the month, beating out another Disney title, Cinderella II: Dreams Come True, which finished in the No. 2 spot.

Buena Vista dominated VHS sales, with 27.3 percent of all units sold for the month. The Mouse released half of the titles on the top 10 VHS sellers list and landed the top three movers for the period. The Princess Diaries, released in the fourth quarter, attracted enough attention from buyers to take the No. 6 spot for the month.

Warner Home Video finished a distant second in the VHS February sweeps, with 13.7 percent of unit sales. Warner landed just one title, Exit Wounds (No. 9 [tie]), on the top 10 list of VHS sellers for the month.

Universal Studios Home Video, which includes DreamWorks titles, finished third for the month, with 12 percent of VHS unit sales and two titles in the top 10. Balto II: Wolf Quest fared well at the sales counter, landing in the No. 4 spot. Shrek, released Nov. 2, 2001, racked up enough sales in February to take the No. 5 spot.

DVD sales made up 57.9 percent of units sold in February, down slightly from the 65.3 percent of the pie they claimed in January. The slight downturn can be attributed to the strong February family slate, which still has a dedicated VHS following. Sales from titles falling into the children's genre are still heavily weighted to cassette sales with more than 80 percent coming from kids' fare. Family titles also favor the cassette format, with 60 percent of unit sales coming from VHS.

Warner beat Buena Vista on the DVD side of the sales equation, claiming 19.1 percent of the pie in February. Despite its first-place finish, Warner failed to snag a place on the top 10 DVD sellers list in February. Hearts of Atlantis was Warner's best-performing DVD at the sales counter for the month, finishing at No. 13.

Buena Vista was a close second in the February DVD race, with 16.4 percent of unit sales. Four of the suppliers' releases landed in the top 10 sellers for February. The Dimension label's Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (No. 6) joined Atlantis, Cinderella II and Peter Pan on the DVD list.

Comedies were the genre of choice for the month, with Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back the top laugher for the month. Comedies accounted for 20 percent of combined VHS and DVD unit sales in February.

Action/adventures and dramas slugged it out for second place. Universal's The Fast and the Furious helped tip the balance to action titles, which accounted for 16.9 percent of total combined sales.

Dramas rounded out the top three bestsellers, with 15.8 percent of the combined take in February.

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