BV vid victorious

WB wraps up DVD; Mouse manhandles VHS

When it comes to big bucks, there’s no place like home.

Homevideo sales and rentals last year returned $9.5 billion to studios and suppliers — nearly three times what studios generate from their share of theatrical box office.

Of that total, DVD contributed $1.3 billion, with Warner Home Video dominating the rapidly growing market, according to Adams Media Research.

But Bugs Bunny took a backseat to Mickey Mouse overall: Factoring in DVD with VHS rentals and sales, Disney’s Buena Vista Home Video led all its rivals with nearly $2.5 billion.

BVHV dominated the VHS rental and sell-through market with 26.8% ($2.19 billion) of the overall $8.16 billion VHS market, despite a dramatic 20% drop from the studio’s $2.7 billion in 1998.

Led by the industry’s two best-selling titles of the year, “A Bug’s Life” (14.5 million units, $215 million) and “Mulan” (11 million units, $163 million), Buena Vista collected $1.7 billion from the sell-through VHS market alone. The studio’s 29.9% market share was nearly 11 points higher than closest competitor Warner Home Video.

The positions were nearly exactly reversed in the DVD market. Warner’s $397 million in revenue from DVD represented nearly 31% of that market compared to the 20.7% ($270 million) for Buena Vista. About 15% of Warner’s DVD revenue came from the two top-selling titles of 1999, “The Matrix,” which generated more than $25 million (1.6 million units shipped), followed closely by the $23.6 million (1.5 million units shipped) of New Line Home Video’s “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me,” distributed by Warner.

After DreamWorks’ “Saving Private Ryan” and Universal’s “The Mummy,” Artisan Home Entertainment’s “The Blair Witch Project” was the fifth top-selling DVD title with 1 million copies ($15.7 million) and the sixth biggest revenue-generating VHS title with 6.2 million copies ($85.1 million).

Artisan backed up claims made by some of its execs that it’s comparable to a small studio by surpassing MGM in overall VHS revenue and market share with $230 million (2.8%) compared to $191 million (2.3%) for MGM. However, MGM, which ended its distribution deal with Warner in January, generated $50 million (3.8%) in DVD revenue, compared to the $40 million (3.1%) for Artisan.

DreamWorks presents

Universal Studios, thanks in large part to the $254 million and 4.4% VHS market share of its distributed supplier DreamWorks, had an overall 13.7% share of the VHS market and a 13.2% share of the DVD market. Universal’s own product accounts for 10.7% of its overall DVD share.

DreamWorks had the third and fourth biggest money-making VHS titles in “Antz” (7.6 million copies, $112.8 million) and “The Prince of Egypt” (7.5 million copies, $111.3 million), while Universal’s “The Mummy” was eighth (6.5 million copies, $82.2 million).

Fox was fourth in overall VHS with 11.9% and sixth in DVD with 6.5%.

Columbia TriStar Home Video, which had the ninth biggest VHS title in “Big Daddy” (6.5 million copies, $78.5 million), ranked fifth in both VHS rental and sell-through for an overall market share of 9%, but was fourth in DVD with 8.4%.

Paramount, which was fourth in VHS rental market share, ranked sixth in total VHS with 7.9%, and fifth in DVD with 6.9%. Paramount’s “The Rugrats Movie” ranked 10th in VHS revenue with $77.1 million from 7.5 million copies.

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