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Beauty, Sense Top Hotel Buys

Box-office blockbusters The Sixth Sense
and American Beauty
were 2000's top performers in the hotel pay-per-view and video-on-demand market, according to hotel PPV distributors LodgeNet Entertainment Corp. and On Command Corp.

Buena Vista's supernatural thriller and the DreamWorks SKG dark comedy drew more buys from hotel guests for both companies last year than any other PPV movie releases, although neither outfit would release specific buy or revenue figures.

Other movies making the top 10 for both companies included Erin Brockovich
(Universal Pictures), Gladiator
(DreamWorks), The Green Mile
(Warner Bros.), Mission: Impossible 2
(Paramount Pictures) and Double Jeopardy
(Paramount).

LodgeNet's top 10 also included The Perfect Storm
and The Whole Nine Yards
(Warner) and Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo

(Buena Vista) .
On Command's list featured American Pie
(Universal), The World Is Not Enough

(Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) and Eyes Wide Shut
(Warner) .

American Beauty
and The Sixth Sense
were the second and third highest- grossing PPV movies ever for On Command, behind only 20th Century Fox's There's Something About Mary.

"We believe the popularity of these films is a direct result of our ability to offer them to hotels before they appear on video," On Command chairman and CEO Jerome H. Kern said in a statement.

LodgeNet's 2000 PPV movie performance was enhanced by a technological upgrade that allowed its affiliates to offer movies in digital format, rather than via on-site video cassette recorders.

The added flexibility of digital distribution allowed LodgeNet to debut both Gladiator
and MI: 2
two weeks sooner than the traditional 60- to 90-day hotel window that follows theatrical releases, said LodgeNet vice president of guest pay services Steven Truckenmiller.

"During 2000, LodgeNet continued to make good on the 'What You Want' part of its slogan by delivering the biggest hits from all the major movie studios," Truckenmiller said in a statement. "At the same time, we enhanced the 'When You Want It' promise by negotiating the earliest possible release windows with our studio partners-all while increasing access for guests and maximizing revenues with our digital system technology."