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THE SHRINK WRAP-UP

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As retailers ring in the new year, the hand-wringing totals for 1997 are in. No matter which of the industry’s tracking services you believe, video took a hit last year, down 6.7 percent from 1996, to $6.85 billion in rentals, according to VidTrac. There were undisputed winners, though. Disney put five titles in the sales top 10 courtesy of its cartoon juggernaut and scored big at the rental counter, distributing (through its Touchstone and Dimension divisions) the top three tapes of the year on the Video Business survey reprinted below. The only other contenders for the rental crown were VidTrac’s champs, Jerry Maguire and Liar Liar, which were credited with rental grosses of $60 million and $57 million, respectively, with Ransom down in fifth place at $47 million. If you believe Video Business, Ransom and 1996 best-renter Braveheart give Mel Gibson a two-year streak.

1997’S TOP RENTALS WEEKS IN RELEASE

1 RANSOM Mel Gibson, Touchstone 31 2 SCREAM Neve Campbell, Dimension 25 3 PHENOMENON John Travolta, Touchstone 48 4 JERRY MAGUIRE Tom Cruise, Columbia TriStar 29 5 LIAR LIAR Jim Carrey, Universal 11 6 THE FIRST WIVES CLUB Bette Midler, Paramount 39 7 MICHAEL John Travolta, Warner 27 8 JUNGLE2JUNGLE Tim Allen, Walt Disney 20 9 ABSOLUTE POWER Clint Eastwood, Warner 23 10 A TIME TO KILL Matthew McConaughey, Warner 50 1997’S TOP SELLERS 1 BAMBI Animated, Walt Disney, $26.99 47 2 SPACE JAM Michael Jordan, Warner, $22.96 42 3 MEN IN BLACK Will Smith, Columbia TriStar, $24.99 5 4 101 DALMATIANS Glenn Close, Walt Disney, $26.99 37 5 THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME Animated, Walt Disney, $26.99 43 6 SLEEPING BEAUTY Animated, Walt Disney, $26.99 15 7 JERRY MAGUIRE Tom Cruise, Columbia TriStar, $24.99 31 8 THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK Jeff Goldblum, Universal, $22.98 8 9 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: THE ENCHANTED CHRISTMAS 7 Animated, Walt Disney, $26.99 10 STAR WARS TRILOGY: SPECIAL EDITION FoxVideo, $49.98 18

SOURCES: VIDEO BUSINESS THROUGH DEC. 14, 1997 (RENTALS); VIDEOSCAN THROUGH DEC. 28, 1997 (SALES)

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