‘Tomatoes’ pastes rivals in big vid week

The video sell-through biz is feeling an early spring thaw as week-to-week sales saw the biggest hike in ’93.

Sales totals tracked by stores reporting to the Daily Variety/VideoScan chart indicate that the typical post-holiday decline has bottomed out — and at a much higher level than seen in previous years. Credit the quick rebound to an industrywide New Year’s resolution to bring consumers back into the stores and help stymie the traditional winter sales dip.

Hardware makers also reported a solid uptick in VCR sales during the holiday season.

Projected unit total for the week reflected in the chart was just under 3 million vids — almost half a million more cassettes than were sold a week earlier and almost 600,000 more than two weeks ago.

The hottest of the hot sellers was “Fried Green Tomatoes.” The MCA drama smoked all others with more than 95,000 served and grew from No. 4 to No. 1.

Meanwhile, “Barney the Dinosaur’s” juggernaut continued. Vid insiders say several major suppliers sensed Barney would leave a big retail footprint and tried without success to spear the vid rights. As a result, heretofore unknown supplier Lyons is rubbing elbows with the sell-through big shots.

Disney’s sell-through tiger “Beauty and the Beast” dipped from No. 2 to No. 3 on the chart with more than 70,000 vids sold. Still, the supplier’s classic “101 Dalmatians” proved leggy, selling some 45,000 tapes and moving up from 14 to 4 in two weeks.

Two other Disney pix have also jumped in the past two weeks. “The Great Mouse Detective” hopped from 38 to 15, selling more than 20,000, while “Fantasia” went from 25 to 16, selling about the same.

Vid buyers already appear eager to get their hands on Disney’s blockbuster “Aladdin.” While the Disney toon continues to post strong B.O., the non-Disney knockoff vid “Aladdin & the Magic Lamp” was tracked as the top-selling kidvid priced under $ 10 during its first week of availability.

Also worth talking about is “My Girl.” The pic sold more than 25,000 units and moved from No. 35 to No. 11 in just one week — the biggest jump this week.

In addition to the chart that tracks the top 25 best-selling vids, VideoScan also supplies Daily Variety with a rundown of the bestselling vids in specific genres as well as various price categories.

This info indicates that sales of “My Girl” were four times that of any other theatrical vid priced over $ 30. “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” was the second-highest selling vid in the over-$ 30 group with just over 6,000 units sold.

Among vids priced in the $ 13 to $ 14.99 category, the strong showing of “Tomatoes” completely squashed all other theatrical vids in that price group. Neither “The Terminator” nor “The Hunt for Red October”– the No. 2 and No. 3 vids at that price — managed to sell more than 3,500.

Among theatrical vids priced between $ 20 and $ 24.99, “Beauty and the Beast” eclipsed “Dalmatians”– the No. 2 vid in that sub-category — by nearly 30,000 units.

While the price point breakdown confirms that the $ 20 to $ 24.99 zone is far and away the most popular price for sell-through, a sizable number of pics still reside in $ 25-$ 29.99 neighborhood.

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