Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost
Prebook and Street Date: September 7; October 5
Studio and Distributor: Warner Bros; Warner Home Video
Synopsis: Well in time for Halloween, WHV releases the second DTV feature for Scooby.
Advertising: national TV, radio, print and on-line advertising
Promotional & Licensing Partners: General Mills, Sun-Maid Raisins and BAMA Jams & Jellies; Witch’s Ghost soundtrack from Kid Rhino, three Witch’s Ghost tie-in titles from Scholastic (For more information on WHV’s promo campaign for Witch’s, see page 47)
Retail Support: 24-, 36- and 48-unit displays come with a free
12-inch Scooby plush
The Wizard of Oz
Prebook and Street Date: September 21; October 19
Price: US$16.95 (video); US$24.98 (DVD)
Studio and Distributor: MGM; Warner Home Video
Synopsis: This rerelease marks the 60th anniversary of this Hollywood classic, which also comes with a behind-the-scenes doc and never-before-seen outtakes.
Advertising: TV (network and cable); print (People, Entertainment Weekly, In Style, Family Fun, Crayola Kids, Woman’s Day, Redbook and Family Life); trailering on select WHV kidvids
Promotional & Licensing Partners: Mrs. Smith Bakeries, Day-Runner, Hollywood Partners, licensed Oz candy, apparel and accessories
Retail Support: national contest for best local store display; P.O.P. kits including buttons, counter cards and posters; merchandisers available in multiple sizes
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas and Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving
Prebook and Street Date:
September 28; November 9
Price: US$22.99 each
Studio and Distributor: Disney; Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Synopsis: New DTV features starring two of the studio’s evergreen characters.
Advertising: national TV, radio and print; trailering on select BHVE video titles
Promotional & Licensing Partners: tie-ins with General Mills’ Lucky Charms and Cheerios; licensed toys from Mattel
Retail Support: 48-, 96-, 160- and 256-piece
Merry Christmas, Teletubbies
Prebook and Street Date: October 5; November 2
Studio and Distributor: Ragdoll Productions; Warner Home Video
Synopsis: This double cassette is the seventh title to be released in the Tubbies’ video franchise, and features five rarely seen episodes. Merry Christmas comes with on-pack Tubbies wrapping paper and gift card.
Promotional & Licensing Partners: Merry Christmas will function with MicroSoft ActiMates Teletubbies dolls
Retailer Support: 18-, 24- and 48-piece displays
Bug’s Bunny Big Top Bunny and The Looney, Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie
Prebook and Street Date: September 28; October 26
Price: US$14.95 each
Studio and Distributor: Warner Bros.; Warner Home Video
Synopsis: Part of the second wave in Looney Tunes Presents Collection, Big Top includes the original Friz Freling-directed feature, and Looney features a compilation of classic Bugs Bunny episodes.
Advertising: both titles tie in with WB’s Mil-LOONEY-Um 2000 marketing campaign, which will include TV, print and on-line advertising
Promotional & Licensing Partners: Act II, Skippy, Subway and Smuckers
Retailer Support: in-store events planned nationwide
* Christmas videos are dominating the skeds of the studios this month. On September 28, Warner Home Video will release Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (US$14.95), kicking off a massive 42-title holiday onslaught that includes repromotions of Richie Rich, Scooby-Doo and Flintstones videos from Christmases past. WHV will follow up with the release of CGI, live-action pic Jack Frost on November 2, prebooking on October 6. Universal Studios Home Video is also getting into the holiday spirit with the November 2 release of HarveyToons Presents a Merry Casper Christmas (US$9.98). The order cut-off date for the tape is October 11. Columbia TriStar Home Video will release its first CGI DTV title, The Nuttiest Nutcracker, on October 19. The prebook date for this movie, which ties in with cross-promo partners Blue Diamond, Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, is September 16.
* Torrance, California-based video retailer Video City has announced stock swap plans to swallow up West Coast Entertainment, which operates a total of 370 West Coast Video stores in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and Curacao. With the acquisition, VC will control 462 stores, making it the fifth largest video retailer in the U.S. VC will also get ownership of West Coast’s e-com site (westcoastvideo.com), which Video City senior VP Dave Ballstadt says will become a major focus for the company.
According Video City CEO Robert Lee, West Coast Entertainment, which recorded revenues of US$120.2 million last year, will continue to operate under its own brand once the acquisition has been finalized, which is expected to happen sometime in the fourth quarter of this year.
* Music distribco Koch International, whose subsidiary Koch Records puts out the Pokémon audio title 2BA Master: Music From the TV Series, is moving into the video distribution business. The Port Washington, New York company recently formed Koch Vision, its content arm, which will seek to acquire the distribution and licensing rights to video and DVD formats for a number of genres, including children’s programming. KV CEO Rick Margolis would not reveal how many titles it will put out in its first year, saying only that the company will maintain a moderate to high interest in the children’s vid business. The company is currently in negotiations for the rights to a number of kid properties, and plans to begin shipping out the first of its kid video and DVD titles in fourth quarter `99 through the mass, music specialty and toy retail accounts that already carry its music products.