‘Parents’ meets record rental numbers

DVD mark set while overall 1st-week rentals hit $21.41 mil

Universal’s “Meet the Parents” is greeting a record number of DVD and VHS rental customers.

The comedy starring Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro generated far more DVD rental spending in its opening week than any title ever with $4.36 million, according to VSDA Vidtrac data provided by Daily Variety sister publication Video Business.

It also generated the most videocassette rental revenue of any title this year: $17.05 million.

Overall first-week rental spending of $21.41 million on “Meet the Parents” is the second most spent on any title after the $25.86 million for “The Sixth Sense” a year ago. It is also nearly twice as much as the $12 million that consumers spent buying tickets to see the most popular theatrical release last weekend, DreamWorks’ “The Mexican.”

“Meet the Parents” is the first Universal title for which the studio has shipped in excess of 2 million copies to retailers on initial order, although it has done so for DreamWorks titles distributed by U. One of those titles was “Gladiator,” which generated $3.03 million in DVD rentals its first week last November, but that was before a flood of new DVD players were purchased by consumers over the holidays.

DreamWorks’ “What Lies Beneath” had set the previous benchmark for rental spending on a DVD in its first week of release with $3.76 million early last month. “The Sixth Sense” generated $3.31 million in DVD rental revenue.

(Cheryl Biggs of Video Business contributed to this report.)

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