The home video rental market, despite business for “Million Dollar Baby” and ABC’s “Lost,” suffered an 11 percent drop during the third quarter, according to research released on Thursday by Rentrak’s Home Video Essentials. Consumers spent $1.75 billion on rentals during the period of July 10 through Oct. 2 – $218 million less than in the same period a year ago. The slowdown is being attributed to a variety of factors, including the tepid economy and dramatically rising gas prices. But mostly the problem seems to be the result of the protracted box office slump that has plagued the movie industry this year. “There’s a bit of dissatisfaction among consumers that is transferring from the box office to home video,” said Brad Hackley, Rentrak’s vice president of business development. “The (box office) slump began in the spring, and we are inheriting that right now and inheriting that within a very soft economy.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 In addition to the Oscar-winning “Baby,” the top-five feature film rentals during the quarter were the Ashton Kutcher-Bernie Mac comedy “Guess Who?”, the thriller “Hide and Seek” starring Robert DeNiro and Dakota Fanning, the Keanu Reeves action picture “Constantine” and Jane Fonda’s comeback film “Monster-in-Law.” Another factor in declining rentals, Hackley said, seems to be the soaring popularity of TV shows on DVD that have become such hot sellers in the sell-through market. But some consumers prefer to rent the TV shows like top-ranked “Lost.” Other top rentals in the television genre were “Six Feet Under: Season Four,” “Nip/Tuck: Season 2,” “The OC: Season 2” and “Desperate Housewives” which was released at the tail end of the quarter. According to Rentrak, consumers pulled back on renting DVD and VHS titles both from individual rentals at brick-and-mortar stores and in the form of online subscription services. Jack Kyser, chief economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., said the home-video industry could be in for an even bigger chill in the months to come. “With other cost pressures, it’s going to be tight, and the pain will really be felt in early 2006 when people start getting their gas bills for winter heating,” Kyser said. Renting a movie “is something they can afford not to do, and people are making discretionary spending decisions: Do we go out to dinner, or do we rent a video?” Rentrak’s data also showed a steep 55 percent drop in the renting of VHS format titles, which are being largely dropped by major chains while the DVD format was up by 9 percent. Greg Hernandez, (818) 713-3758 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!