New Disney titles fuel hot sell-through week

The sell-through scene swirled last week as six new Disney titles cracked the top 25 and overall sales saw the biggest week-to-week jump all year.

Nearly 300,000 more vids were sold last week than the previous week, almost completely reshuffling the top 25 chart. Only “Beauty and the Beast” convincingly held its ground as king vid.

As usual, Disney and Barney dominate the top 25, but this week their reach was even greater.

Powered by a bevy of new under-$ 15 titles, plus the attention stirred by the impending moratorium on “Beauty” and several other titles, Disney owns 13 of the 25 spots.

Meanwhile, the Lyons Group, which has struck gold with its series of “Barney the Dinosaur” vids, took nine spots.

‘Nemo’ not snoozing

That leaves only three spots on the top 25 this week divided among suppliers peddling sell-through vids, such as Hemdale’s “Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland,” animated pic that claimed 55,000 to 60,000 units but still fell from No. 3 to No. 4.

Joining the top 25 club were three new vids based on “The Little Mermaid.” Given the nearly identical sales stats for the $ 12.99 vids “Whale of a Tale, “”Stormy, the Wild Seahorse” and “Double Bubble,” it’s a good bet they’re being purchased as a set. The vids landed in the Nos. 12, 13 and 15 spots, respectively, and each more than tripled sales from the previous week when they finished at 38, 46, and 45 respectively.

Similarly, the other three Disney vids taking their first bow in the top 25 are from the “Sing Along With Disney” series. “Be Our Guests,””Under the Sea” and “Disneyland” piped in at 16, 21 and 22.

Because of the strong showing of the Disney titles, any vid that saw even a modest sales dip dropped way down on the chart.

MCA’s “Beethoven,” for example, saw sales dip by less than 1,000 units but rolled over from No. 17 to No. 26.

Also out of the game is Fox’s “Michael Jordan: Air Time”; its sales deflated by less than 2,000 vids but still traveled from 16 to 27.

Also ousted from the top 25: “Abs of Steel” (from 18 to 29); “FernGully: The Last Rainforest” (24 to 35); “My Girl” (25 to 37) and “Richard Simmons: Sweatin’ to the Oldies” (21 to 41).

VideoScan’s sales breakdown of top-selling vids by price indicates that Disney’s focus on the $ 12.99 price point has given the company an overwhelming dominance among videos priced from $ 10 to $ 13. Not only are the top 25 vids in the category all Disney tapes, only seven of the top 50 are non-Disney vids. Even so, among kidvids priced under $ 10 and from $ 13.01 to $ 15 there is not one Disney title to be found.

The six new kidvid titles were key to the total sales increase from 2.9 million to 3.2 million. But it was not merely a question of new blood invigorating the chart. Unlike B.O. where a new film chases an older one off the screen, the vid biz enjoys a sizable spillover effect. New titles draw consumers into the stores and often they leave with an armload of vids.

Take Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” After nearly five months in the stores, the $ 24.99 title saw sales increase by 26% last week. Likewise “101 Dalmatians, ” which lapped up a volume gain of almost 30% and climbed from No. 4 to No. 2 after 48 hours in stores. “The Rescuers” posted a volume gain of more than 40% and scaled from No. 11 to 6.

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