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Summer's Start is a Good One

20 Jun, 2002 By: Melinda Saccone

June releases are propelling rental spending and showing signs of promise for summer.

For the week ended June 16, consumer spending on VHS and DVD was up 32.1 percent from the previous week. Consumers doled out $159 million at the rental counter, of which DVD accounted for $60.4 million.

Three new releases were the winners at the rental counter, taking the win, place and show spots on the top 25 rentals chart.

Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment's Black Hawk Down was consumers' No. 1 pick, topping rentals and DVD sales charts for the week.

Priced for rental on VHS, Black Hawk Down grossed an impressive $19 million in combined VHS and DVD rental revenue in its first five days in video stores, knocking Warner Home Video's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone out of first place and into fourth. Potter earned an additional $10.4 million in its third week of release, bringing its total to $45.2 million.

Meanwhile, Black Hawk's stellar performance at the rental counter gave the actioner honors as the second-highest-grossing debut of all time. Its $19 million debut narrowly trailed Potter, which holds the No. 1 rental debut spot, with earnings of $19.13 million in its first five days of release. Potter hung on as the top VHS seller for the fourth consecutive week, according to VideoScan First Alert data.

Also new for the week was Lions Gate Home Entertainment's Monster's Ball, which earned Halle Berry a best actress Oscar. Monster's Ball placed second on the top 50 rentals chart, with $13.2 million. VideoScan First Alert data shows sales were also brisk for the DVD, which was the No. 2 selling DVD for the week.

Rounding out the newbie trifecta was Buena Vista Home Entertainment's Kate & Leopold, which placed No. 3 in rentals and No. 4 in DVD sales. The comedy earned $12 million in its first five days of release at the rental counter.

Rental spending remains on a par with 2001, as consumers have spent $4.15 billion at the rental counter, down 0.1 percent from the comparable period last year.

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