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'Training Day' On Top Again

11 Apr, 2002 By: Melinda Saccone

Weekly consumer rental spending surged a whopping 45.2 percent over the comparable week last year as spring break schedules and Oscar-winning releases gave consumers plenty of time and choices at the rental counter.

Consumers spent $240 million on rentals for the week ended April 7, down just 1.2 percent from the previous week's tally.

Warner Home Video's Training Day, fresh off star Denzel Washington's best-actor Oscar win, grossed an additional $14.6 million in combined DVD and VHS rental revenue for the week to continue its reign in the top spot for the third consecutive week. The actioner's opening week revenue of $15.1 million earned it the No. 3 spot in opening week rental debuts so far this year and the No. 9 spot on the all-time debut list. In its second week of release, Training Day's Oscar gold helped spawn a 10 percent increase in rentals over its debut. The thriller has earned $46.3 million at the rental counter so far in addition to the $76.3 million it earned in theaters.

Thirteen Ghosts, another Warner title, took the top spot in combined DVD and cassette sales for the week ended April 7, according to VideoScan First Alert data, landing the top DVD spot but losing out on the VHS side to Training Day.

Thirteen Ghosts debuted among the top 10 rentals for the week at No. 6, with $8.4 million in combined DVD and VHS rental revenue in its first five days of release. The only other newbie among the top 10 rentals was MGM Home Entertainment's Bandits, which debuted in the No. 3 spot,with $12.3 million in combined DVD and VHS rental revenue.

Rental spending remains ahead of 2001, posting a 9.2 percent increase through the week ended April 7. Consumers have spent $2.8 billion at the rental counter so far this year compared with $2.6 billion at this time in 2001. DVD spending makes up $653.6 million, just under 25 percent of the total rental pie, compared with 11.6 percent of the aggregate spending at this point last year.

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