Video industry halftime score: $8.79 billion in 2002

Consumer spending up 13.3% through June.

JULY 15 | The video industry hasn’t even begun to reap the rewards of the movies sparking the biggest summer in box-office history, but consumer spending on the purchase and rental of DVDs and videocassettes is already up 13.3% to a whopping $8.79 billion in the first half of the year.

Warner Home Video has the top revenue-generating title and three of the top five so far, putting the studio in a dominating market-share position almost any way you slice it.

More than $223 million was spent on video versions of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone after only a month in stores, with Training Day generating $145 million and Ocean’s Eleven collecting $131 million, giving Warner a 21% ($1.85 billion) slice of the expanding pie.

According to Video Business research combining data from studio sources and VSDA VidTrac, Walt Disney Co., which had three of the Top 10 titles, led by Atlantis: The Lost Empire (which fared far better on video than in theaters), is next closest at 16.9% ($1.49 billion). That’s 1.3 percentage points below the studio’s full-year position in 2001.

With its Jan. 2 release of The Fast and the Furious making an impressive run to second place with $196 million, Universal Studios Home Video had the third-biggest market share again with a claim of just 15% ($1.32 billion), off 1.8 percentage points from its record-setting year in 2001.

Although the gap between Warner and other studios in DVD sales is still so large that there really is no race, Warner’s share slipped a bit from 24.4% to 24%. Universal is a distant second at 15.2%, and Disney dropped to third at 14.9%.

However, Warner will gladly concede a little market share in the fastest-growing segment of the market. Despite the slight decline, Warner generated nearly twice as much revenue from DVD sales as the same period last year, $732 million this year compared to $414 million in 2001, thanks to an enormous 79.9% increase in the category overall.

DVD sales surged past VHS sales for the first time in the first six months this year, with the $3.1 billion in DVD sales representing more than two-thirds of all consumer spending on the purchase of movies on home video.

Warner’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was the top-selling title on both DVD and VHS. That gave the studio the top market-share positions in overall sales with $1.1 billion, or 24% of that segment of the market, which grew 32.6% to $4.6 billion. That’s despite a 12.7% decline in spending on videocassettes to $1.55 billion.

VHS sales is the one remaining category that Disney is still leading even though it dropped 2% on a $100 million decline in spending on their videocassettes. The studio did it with volume, landing seven titles among the 10 best-selling videocassettes of the first six months. That led Disney to a 27.5% share of the market segment with $425 million.

DVD rental revenue also increased significantly to $1.3 billion–a 116% burst–although consumers still spend more than twice as much renting movies on videocassette ($2.9 billion in the first half of the year). However, VHS rental revenue was off a dramatic 21.7% from the $3.7 billion in the same period last year, according to VSDA VidTrac, lowering overall rental revenue 2.4%.

With the top DVD renter in Training Day, Warner was the market-share leader in DVD rentals, VHS rentals and overall rentals with the studio’s titles generating $749 million, representing 17.8% of all rental fees.


Don’t Say a Word from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment was the top rental title overall with more than $76 million, followed by Training Day with more than $71 million, then The Fast and the Furious with more than $65 million.

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