Weekly Rental Revenue Surges on Strong Slate of Hits16 Oct, 2003 By: Melinda Saccone
A strong new-release slate, coupled with the long legs of late-September debuts, kept consumer demand high at the rental counter for the week ended Oct. 12.
Consumer spending at the rental counter for the week ended Oct. 12 registered $160.9 million, up 3.5 percent from the previous week and up 31.1 percent from the comparable week last year.
Part of the uptick in year-over-year comps can be attributed to the increase in rental pricing, which according to Video Store Magazine market research estimates accounted for 8.8 percent of the increase in weekly spending from the comparable week last year. However, rental transactions are also on the rise. Video Store Magazine market research estimates rental transactions for the week were up 22.3 percent from the comparable period last year.
The box office strength of the top 25 rentals for the week was off 15.2 percent from their 2002 counterparts. There were more big hits to choose from this year, however, with five releases on this year's top 25 rentals chart grossing more than $100 million in theaters, compared with just two last year.
Collectively, the top 25 rentals for the week generated $130.7 million in combined DVD and VHS rental revenue, up 83.7 percent from their 2002 counterparts.
New releases continue to get even more attention from consumers as the top 25 rentals gain in market share at the expense of catalog. Collectively, the top 25 rentals generated more than three-quarters of total weekly rental spending, up from 58 percent during the comparable week last year.
Consumers' transition to disc has allowed retailers to stock even deeper on the latest hits, thanks to the format's sellthrough pricing and attractive selloff price. Video Store Magazine market research estimates that collectively the top 25 rentals for the week shipped more than 20 million units into the rental pipeline -- 40.6 percent more than their 2002 counterparts.