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Thursday, 10 October, 2002, 13:04 GMT 14:04 UK
DVD reaches rental milestone
Black Hawk Down
The DVD of Black Hawk Down has proved popular
DVDs have notched up another victory in the battle with VHS cassettes as new figures show film fans are continuing to flock to the format.

War movie Black Hawk Down has become the first film to have been rented more on DVD than VHS in the UK.

And it has been predicted that twice as many DVDs will have been sold in 2002 compared with 2001.

Gladiator
Gladiator is still the best-selling DVD in UK history
Total sales of DVDs passed the 100 million mark in September, the British Video Association (BVA) has revealed.

Some 50.41% of Black Hawk Down rentals were on DVD - making it the first film to tip the balance of dominance in video libraries, the BVA has said.

"Achieving dominance in the rental market was always going to be an important milestone for DVD," Lavinia Carey, director general of the BVA said.

"It shows that the demographic profile of the DVD user is broadening away from the more affluent sections of the population."

Overall, one in three of all rentals are on DVD.

Ms Carey told BBC News Online that the DVDs were rapidly catching up VHS videos in the popularity stakes.

Spider-Man
The Spider-Man DVD is released in the UK in November
Sales of films are now split evenly between the two formats, she said.

About 82 million DVDs will have been bought in 2002 by the end of the year - twice as many as 2001.

Sales have been driven by films like The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, which have been the biggest sellers of 2002 so far.

But Gladiator is still the most popular DVD of all time, selling 1.3 million copies in the UK.

New releases including Spider-Man and Star Wars Episode II: The Attack of the Clones are expected to be the next films to attract fans in droves.

About 20% of homes in the UK now have a DVD player - expected to rise to 25% by the end of 2002.

Film fans are attracted by added extras, such as alternative endings, new scenes and interviews, plus higher quality pictures and sound.

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