News Roundup, Jan. 9: Final 2002 DVD Sales Figures Are In

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Major studios are loving their home video departments right about now. Variety reports DVD and VHS sales and rentals reached an all-time high of $20.3 billion in 2002–$12.1 billion sold, $8.2 billion rented. Warner Home Video (which also includes New Line Home Video) came in first, taking about 23.5 percent of home entertainment sales and rentals ($4.4 billion), with Disney Home Video (which includes Miramax and Dimension), coming in at No. 2 with 18.2 percent ($3.7 billion). Disney claimed top title in 2002, however, with Monsters, Inc. bringing in $384.8 million in DVD and VHS sales, with New Line Cinema’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring coming in second at $380.1 million and Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man third with $348 million. Combined with box office grosses, movie lovers spent more than $30 billion in entertainment in 2002, making the movie biz one of the only growth industries in an otherwise slow economy.


Watch out, folks–Eminem is venturing into the rag trade. reports the rapper, aka Marshall Mathers II, has signed a licensing deal with Nesi Apparel to create a sportswear label called “Shady,” named after one of his other alter egos, Slim Shady. The collection should be in retail stores by late summer. How is this going to alleviate his recent lament, “I’m just getting too big for my own good”?

A man who stole 124 wedding rings in hopes of winning the heart of supermodel Claudia Schiffer was sent to a psychiatric clinic by a Berlin court Tuesday. It ruled the 32-year-old man was a danger to society after he held up a jewelry store Sept. 27 using a toy pistol and Halloween mask. Reuters reports the man told the court, “I was only thinking about Claudia Schiffer. I needed so many rings so that she could pick one out. Besides, I wasn’t sure about her ring size.” Well, that sounds like a valid point.

According to The Associated Press, Steven Seagal has filed a lawsuit against German landlord Edeltrud Vorderwuhlbecke, claiming the man has been trying to extort money from him to pay for alleged damages to a Berlin villa Seagal had rented from him in late 2001. According to AP the tough-guy actor says in the suit that he was not the one who damaged the property and has suffered “severe anxiety, emotional distress, humiliation and mortification,” due to Vorderwuhlbecke’s threats. Riiiight.

Variety reports Vivendi Universal exec Barry Diller has formally apologized to former 20th Century Fox owner Marvin Davis for derogatory remarks against the billionaire oilman at a recent media conference. Diller apparently referred to him as “fat Marvin Davis” and said “it would be a sad thing” if Davis were to take control of Vivendi Universal, for which he and a consortium of investors have bid $20 billion.

A Tennessee grand jury will decide the fate of country music singer Carlene Carter, daughter to country singers June Carter Cash and Carl Smith, who has been charged with stealing a dead man’s identity to get prescription drugs. Carter was arrested Dec. 12 for taking the identity of her boyfriend, Francis Reidy III, who died in November, to get a prescription for the anti-depressant Zoloft.


Bruce Willis has signed on to play an amnesiac in the crime drama Me Again. Variety reports he’ll play a man who wakes up in a hotel room with no memory and a dead body. Oops. He must figure out if he killed the guy or if he is the undercover cop assigned to take down the killer. Willis is currently wrapping the sequel The Whole Ten Yards.

The drug trade will be tackled yet again in a new movie called Rx. This time, however, the story revolves around the very legal but still complicated multibillion-dollar international pharmaceutical industry, examining the conflicts of saving lives while still making a lot of money. Laura Bickford, producer of the Oscar-winning movie Traffic, is developing the film, which has no cast or distributor yet.


Hip-hop singer Eve is making her first foray into television. The Grammy winning artist will hook up with UPN to develop and star as a New York fashion designer in a comedy being produced by Edmonds Entertainment. She recently co-starred in the feature films Barbershop and xXx.