Business briefs: Blockbuster's 'Total Access' having a rough time

Video game and movie rental chain Blockbuster Inc.’s first-quarter loss widened amid a tough in-store rental market and investment in its online rental program Total Access. The company reported a loss attributable to common shareholders of$49.2 million, or 26 cents per share, in the three months ended April 1 versus a loss of $4.7 million, or 3 cents per share, in the prior year.

SMALL CARS

While accounting for less than 20 percent of total annual passenger vehicle sales, high gas prices and improved design and features have caused small-car sales to rise by more than three times the overall industry gain of 1.5 percent. Though the market has fallen 2.9 percent through April from the first four months of 2006, sales of small cars rose 0.2 percent and small SUVs gained 38.6 percent.

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