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Yard Goes Long

October 8th, 2005

The Longest Yard again won the race on the home market with $9.11 million in DVD rentals and $800,000 in VHS rentals for a total of $9.91 million for the week. That's down a miniscule 4% from its opening weekend and strong enough for a $20.46 million two-week total.

Robots was the only new release in the top five and it finished second with $6.84 million, but that's not as strong as one would expect. Crash remained in third place with $3.88 million in rentals, down 17% for the week, just ahead of Monster-In-Law, which remained in fourth place with $3.72 million. Lastly, Fever Pitch fell from second to fifth dropping 27% to $3.56 million.

There were three other new releases that charted, but only one of those, Lords of Dogtown, was a theatrical release; it placed ninth with $2.11 million. Coming in 14th place with $1.41 million was Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin - The Untold Story and in 18th place with $1.05 million was Carlito's Way: Rise to Power.

Overall the picture was mixed, which is still better than we've seen in a long time. Total rentals were up 3.9% for the week at $130.2 million and down just 1.0% on a year-to-year comparison. This small difference allowed 2005 to close the gap with 2004, at least on the percent basis, down 5.2% at $5.7 billion.

On the sales side it was Robots that came in first place - no real surprise, since kids movies tend to sell better than they rent. In second place was Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin - The Untold Story, which is further proof that TV on DVD will dominate the market one day. The Longest Yard slipped to third place, just ahead of Desperate Housewives - The Complete First Season, the second TV on DVD in the top five. And lastly The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was fifth. The film is performing very well on the sales side of the home market, which indicates to me that the film deserves a sequel or four.

Other new releases include Lords of Dogtown coming in at sixth, Carlito's Way: Rise to Power at 16th and, in 17th Evil Dead 2 - Book of the Dead Limited Edition. There were also two TV on DVD releases making the top twenty, but we'll get to those shortly.

Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin - The Untold Story was the top TV on DVD seller this weekend, pushing last week's number one, Desperate Housewives - The Complete First Season, into second place and Lost - The Complete First Season into third. The second new release of the week, Gilmore Girls - The Complete Fourth Season, opened in fourth place. Rounding out the top five was Battlestar Galactica - Season One.

The only other new release in the top ten was Hogan's Heroes - The Complete Second Season, which opened in eighth place.

However, the most interesting result on any chart this week goes to Firefly - The Complete Series. Thanks to the release of Serenity, this nearly 2-year old set jumped up to sixth place on the TV on DVD charts and 18th overall. If Universal got a dime of that money, it would be reason enough to give the go-ahead to a sequel or two. As it is, Fox, the studio that released the DVD set and the same company that canceled the show in the first place, is benefiting more from Universal's hard work than Universal is.

One last note: the overall sales number in August 2005 were up just 3.9% from last year compared to the double-digit growth we've seen in the past. Theatrical releases, which account for more than 60% of the market, were down 28% and that's a really, really bad sign, as DVD sales were one of the few bright spots for Hollywood this year. However, while movie sales were way off, TV on DVD sales were up by 29%.

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Filed under: The Longest Yard, Robots, Monster-in-Law, Crash, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Fever Pitch, Serenity, The Lords of Dogtown, Carlito's Way: Rise to Power