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HIVE EXCLUSIVE RESEARCH: Fox's 'Cast Away' Becomes Top Rental Debut of All Time

20 Jun, 2001 By: Melinda Saccone

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment's Cast Away set a new rental debut record, dominatedDVD sales and provided a welcome boost to consumer spending for the week ending June 17.

The Tom Hanks drama debuted with an unprecedented $17.92 million in rental revenue its first five days of release, ousting Warner Home Video's The Green Mile ($17.45 million), another Hankstitle, from its first place reign exactly one year later.

The title also ruled the DVD market in its debut week, beating its closest competitor, CrouchingTiger, Hidden Dragon, by a margin of more than two to one, according to VideoScan's FirstAlertdata.

Prior to its same-date VHS and DVD release, the film earned $233.4 million at the box office, making it the highest-grossing box office released on video so far this year.

Retailers capitalized on its box office power by stocking deep on the crash survivor drama.

According to an informal survey conducted by Video Store Magazine market research, Blockbustervideo outlets stocked on average more than 45 copies of Cast Away in the DVD format for rent andmore than 100 copies in VHS. Hollywood Video outlets on average carried more than 30 DVD copies and more than 75 VHS copies for rent.

Cast Away is only the fourth title released this year to crack the top 10 all-time debut chart. Othertop 2001 debutantes released so far are Universal Studios Home Video's Meet the Parents (No. 3, $17.3 million), DreamWorks Home Entertainment's What Lies Beneath (No. 4, $15 million) and Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (No. 10, $13.8 million).

Only two other new releases broke into the top 50 renters' chart. Both titles were released by Buena Vista Home Entertainment: O Brother Where Art Thou? (No. 4, $7.34 million) and Hard Core Logo (No. 35, $280,000).

Consumer spending on VHS and DVD rentals came to $171.4 million for the week, a 14.4%increase from the previous week, but 2% less than the same week in 2000. VHS rentalsaccounted for $151.7 million of the weekly total - down 8.7% from the same week last year.

Weekly spending on DVD rentals registered $19.7 million - up 125.3% from the $8.7 million spent in the comparable week last year.

So far this year consumers have spent $4.2 billion at the rental counter - 8.5% more than the $3.8 billion doled out at the comparable point last year.

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