VIDEO RENTALS : ‘Internal Affairs’ Has Appeal

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Richard Gere’s high profile is luring renters to his cop drama “Internal Affairs.” In two weeks, it rocketed to No. 4 on the Billboard magazine chart. Though it earned a respectable $27 million in theaters, “Affairs” has the rental market appeal of a movie that grossed two or three times as much. “Family Business” didn’t do nearly as much box-office business as expected when it came out last Christmas. Considering its high-powered cast--Dustin Hoffman, Sean Connery, Matthew Broderick--and respected director, Sidney Lumet, its $12-million box-office gross is rather puny. But its star power is beginning to dazzle renters. “Business” started slowly in the rental market, but jumped 10 places to No. 9 in its third week on the chart. “We’re No Angels” is no big rental hit. After peaking at No. 13, this newcomer is already sliding down the chart--to No. 17.

* Right now the rental Top 20 is unusually heavy with dramas and dark comedies with adult appeal. That largely explains why many renters--teens in particular--are flocking to “Tremors,” the comedy/horror flick which shot up to No. 10 in just two weeks. For those starved for a wacky movie, “Tremors” is the most appetite-quenching fare to come out in the past month.

Ranking Weeks Ranking 2 Weeks On Rental Top Rentals Last Week Ago Chart 1. “Steel Magnolias” (RCA/Columbia) 1 1 6 2. “The War of the Roses” (CBS-Fox) 2 4 4 3. “Tango & Cash” (Warner) 3 2 6 4. “Internal Affairs” (Paramount) 21 ... 2 5. “Always” (MCA/Universal) 4 6 7 * “Tremors” (MCA/Universal) 23 ... 2