While box office slumped, video rentals soared

Analysts offered several explanations for the poor box-office showings this weekend: the appeal of the two-hour celebrity-studded telethon on Friday night, the lack of any new films, with the exception of the critically panned Glitter, and the fact that many Americans preferred simply to stay home in order to follow the news. Business at video stores boomed. Rentals of DVDs, already up 184 percent on average over last year, jumped almost 240 percent for the week, according to the Video Software Dealers Association. Rentals from cassettes, which had been down almost 9 percent for the year, rose 13 percent.