<strong>PHYSICAL:</strong> Recession fuels revenue; BD grows 62.4% over 2008

JULY 14 | PHYSICAL: Budget-minded consumers looked to video rental for entertainment during the first half of the year, with consumer rental revenue for DVD and Blu-ray Disc rising 8.3% to $3.4 billion across all channels, according to Rentrak Corp. (Click for the top renting titles.)

The year-over-year growth was driven by Blu-ray and by rental kiosks including Redbox, which have drawn cash-strapped consumers with their $1 per night rental fees.

Rentrak’s data, collected weekly at point-of-sale and projected nationally, shows a slight 2.4% decline in DVD revenue in traditional and online stores being well offset by a 62.4% growth in Blu-ray rentals in those channels.

“At mid-year, rental is showing good results,” Rentrak VP Brad Hackley said. “Declines in the bricks-and-mortar rental business are being offset by growth in online and kiosks.”

Rentrak shows revenue from the kiosk channel growing by more than 150% in the first half, which comprises Jan. 4 to June 28, over the comparable period a year earlier.

The U.S. kiosk industry, led by Coinstar’s Redbox, is expected to continue to expand over the next few years. Redbox, which almost doubled its kiosk count to 12,900 in 2008, plans to have as many as 22,000 machines by the end of this year. At the same time, ATM-making giant NCR is working with U.S. movie-rental chain leader Blockbuster to develop 3,000 Blockbuster Express machines by the end of the year and 10,000 units by the end of 2010.

Rentrak supplies the data for Video Business’ weekly Top DVD Sellers, Top Blu-ray Sellers and Top DVD Renters charts.

According to Rentrak, the top rental titles of the first half, in order by revenue, were:

1. Eagle Eye (Paramount)

2. Pineapple Express (Sony)

3. Righteous Kill (Anchor Bay)

4. Lakeview Terrace (Sony)

5. Seven Pounds (Sony)

6. Role Models (Universal)

7. Marley & Me (Fox)

8. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Paramount)

9. Taken (Fox)

10. Changeling (Universal)

11. Burn After Reading (Universal)

12. Twilight (Summit)

13. Body of Lies (Warner)

14. Paul Blart: Mall Cop (Sony)

15. My Best Friend’s Girl (Lionsgate)

16. Slumdog Millionaire (Fox)

17. The Day the Earth Stood Still (Fox)

18. Max Payne (Fox)

19. Quantum of Solace (MGM/Fox)

20. Australia (Fox)

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