Pic available only 30 days after homevid debut

NEW YORK — In Demand delivered a fair number of blockbuster movies to its 27 million pay-per-view households in 2002, but when it toted up the top PPV performers for the year, the winner was a huge surprise: “Shallow Hal.”

Steve Brenner, prexy and CEO of In Demand, the largest distributor of PPV movies and events in the U.S., chalks up the stunning performance of “Shallow Hal,” which finished 209th in overall box office revenues for the year, to the fact that 20th Century Fox made it available in the PPV window only 30 days after its debut on DVD and video.

The usual theatrical doesn’t get to In Demand until about 45 days after people have seen it as a sale or rental title at the videostore. Brenner said the beauty of the “Shallow Hal” performance is that the big payday it harvested for PPV didn’t come at the expense of its DVD sales and video rentals, as it racked up sizable dollars in those arenas as well.

In Demand plans to use the success of “Shallow Hal” as a selling point to the major studios as it seeks earlier ancillary windows.

Finishing behind “Shallow Hal” in PPV for 2002, in order, were Universal’s “American Pie 2,” Warner Bros.’ “Training Day,” U’s “Jurassic Park III” and, also from U, “The Fast & the Furious.”

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