The Anniston Star from Anniston, Alabama on September 16, 1989 · Page 31
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The Anniston Star from Anniston, Alabama · Page 31

Anniston, Alabama
Issue Date:
Saturday, September 16, 1989
Page 31
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Pag10 Th Anniaton Star. Saturday, Sept. 16, 1989 VCR sales rush may be over 'Bambi, ' the Movies get holiday price By JOHN HARTL Seattle Timet Writer The Christmas cassette-buying season officially began Thursday with the release of last year's popular animated feature. MCA Home Video s "The Land Before Time.'' followed Sept. 28 by one of the most requested Disney cartoon classics. "Bambi." Both will be heavily promoted and are priced to sell: "Land" at $24 95 and "Bambi" at $26 99 To attract customers, many stores will be lowering the price even further between now and Christmas Both Disney and MCA are hoping to equal or top the record set last fall by "E.T ." which sold about 15 million cassettes (some priced at as little as $13 apiece i Getting a jump on both "Bambi" and "Land" is the MGMUA restoration of "The Wizard of Oz," which has been out on tape for less than a month but already has sold 2 million copies at $24 95 each The "Oz" statistics have encouraged United American Video Corp. to reissue the 'Batman' to By NICHOLA ZAKLAN L A Daily News Writer Looking to cash in on the lucrative Christmas selling season. Warner Bros. Inc has announced that it will release "Batman" for video sale on Nov. 15 at the suggested retail price of $24 95 The marketing strategy is unusual because films released on video normally are priced at $70 to $80 for six months or more before being discounted. "Due to the overwhelming consumer demand and its extraordinary popularity, we decided this was the best way to go." Michael Finnegan. Warner spokesman, said Wednesday. In its 11th week of theatrical most requested Disney cartoon classic, will be released 1964 cartoon feature. "Journey Back to Oz." featuring the voices of Liza Minnelli. Milton Berle. Margaret Hamilton and Mel Blanc, at $14.95 for the Christmas market. RCAColumbia is releasing the wide-screen restoration of "Lawrence of Arabia" at $29 95 Oct 19 On Oct. 5. Paramount Home Video's is reissuing "The Ten Commandments." "Reds" and "War and Peace" at $29 95 apiece, and "The Red Shoes." "An Officer and a Gentleman," "Grease" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" at $14 95 apiece An early indication of just how large the Christmas video business is likely to be this year even for expensive, rental-priced tapes is the cassette release of "Rain Man." which has generated pre-orders of 602.000 cassettes priced at $89 95 apiece. This easily tops the previous record of 565.000. established last fall by "Three Men and a Baby." According to the most recent Nielsen Media Research survey. 65.5 percent of American homes with television sets now have a VCR storm video stores on release. "Batman" has grossed $238.6 million, making it the summer's No. 1 release in box office receipts. "It's got all the elements of the kind of video people will buy. and there's not a lot of those," said Tom Adams, an analyst with Paul Kagan Associates in Carmel. "It has collectability. repeatability, big-name stars." The caped crusader's entry into the video market also is getting a boost from Diet Coke. The Coca-Cola Co. is waging a multi-million dollar cross-marketing campaign promoting its soft drink along with the video release of the movie. The campaign, which will be as well. That's a 6.5 percent jump in the past year, and a 53.1 percent jump since 1984. According to Arbi-tron. Nielsen's rival in the ratings business. VCR penetration has reached 67.3 percent nationwide Most of those VCR owners bought their first cassette "E.T." or "Cinderella" last fall. Capitalizing on the video debut of "Rain Man" Wednesday, MCA is also bringing out a videotape of the 1945 Abbott and Costello comedy. "The Naughty Nineties." which includes the team's "Who's on First?" routine. (In "Rain Man." Dustin Hoffman is obsessed with the routine, and he and Tom Cruise watch the scene on a portable videotape playertelevision set. MCA has also just released a 1972 Carol Burnett movie. "Pete n' Tillie." in which "Who's on First?" becomes part of the story. ) "Naughty Nineties" is part of an MCA promotion of Abbott and Costello tapes, including two more new ones, "Time of Their Lives" and "Who Done It?." and reissues of launched in early November, includes network television ads featuring an action scene of Batman racing to a Gotham store to stock up on Diet Coke. The spot also will appear at the beginning of the video. To make up for the low price. Warner will have to sell about 2.4 million of the videos to make a profit. That's about four times the number of units that would be sold for rental-only purposes. Adams said. He added, though, that it is unlikely to sell more than "K T ." which holds the record with sales of about 14.5 million cassettes! For Diet Coke, latching onto Bat- on video Sept. 28 tags "Buck Privates." "Hit the Ice." "Hold That Ghost." "Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein." All are priced at $19.95. and so is Warner Home Video's "The Best of Abbott and Costello Live.'' Other oldies making their cassette debuts in September: Bo Widerberg's 1968 art-house hit. "Elvira Madigan," and Brian de Palma's late-1960s Robert De Niro comedy, "Greetings" (Sept. 6); Fritz Lang's "Die Niebelungen" and a collection of "sword and sandal" epics including "The Egyptian." "David and Bathsheba." "Sodom and Gomorrah" and "Demetrius and the Gladiators" (Sept 7; John Sayles' 1983 New Jersey high-school drama, "Baby It's You." which has had the'- Bruce Springsteen songs removed from its soundtrack (Thursday): Dennis Hopper's famous 1971 flop. "The Last Movie" (Tuesday): and Faye Dunaway's TV movie. "Beverly Hills Madam" (Sept 28) Nov. 15 man's cape is a chance to reach the 12- to 34-year-old audience, a notoriously difficult consumer to target through advertising, said Ron Lawrence, a senior vice president and media director for the Los Angeles office of D'Arcy Massius Benton & Bowles, a New York-based ad agency. "Young people are not easy to get. They are not heavy readers They don't watch a lot of television But they will pay attention to Batman." Lawrence said. "We believe that it's a good fit." said Coca-Cola spokesman Randy Donaldson, noting that the television spot already has aired in Canadian theaters in conjunction with the release of the Batman movies there this summer. By STEPHEN ADVOKAT Knigbt-RJdder Newt Writer The beady days of record videocassette recorder sales may finally be over. Two new studies, one by Nielsen Media Research and another by Zenith, suggest that the majority of sales for VCRs and color televisions for the next few years will come from consumers replacing existing models rather than from first-time buyers. Nielsen says 6S.S percent of the nation's households now own a VCR, an increase of only 1 percent from February, the smallest rise since 1962, considered the videocassette 's start-up year. . Sales figures from March through May suggest that only 39 percent of the VCRs sold were bought by first-time buyers. A Zenith Survey suggests that 62 percent of VCR sales went to first-time buyers. That figure is expected to fall to ess than 50 percent by the end of 1990. . c AFTER PONG: Nolan Bushnell might not be ahousehold name. But there's a good chance you've had one of his products lying around your home. . Bushnell ' invented "Pong" and is the founder of Atari. Now he has a new product and a new company: Bushnell is introducing MicroTV through a company called Aapps. MicroTV will let Macintosh II computers show live television images. The device will cost $395,, will offer 108-channel cable-ready . tuning capabilities and should be available in October. NINTENDO PLUS: By next fall, Nintendo hopes millions of Americans will get their financial and current events news through the same machine they use to save Zelda and bonk Super Mario. Nintendo is discussing the project with AT&T. With a modem and special software, Nintendo owners would be able to use their game machines to accept information via the phone lines. The concept isn't new. Such systems as Prodigy and CompuServe already are delivering online PC data services into the home, with limited success. But Nintendo hopes its game base will give it an edge in convincing Americans to subscribe to a data service. PCs are in an estimated 15 percent of U.S. homes, while Nintendo is in more than 20 percent of U.S. households. The video giant plans to launch its new computer information service, by fall of 1990. VIDEO, SI: The Electronics Industries Association, a Washington, D C. -based trade organization for the electronics industry, is offering a series of informational booklets written in Spanish. The latest titles in the group's "Consumers Should Know" series are "How to Buy, Use and Care for VCRs, Camcorders and Tape" and "About Service Contracts: About Repair Service." For copies of the free pamphlets, send a self-addressed, stamped business-size envelope to Electronics Industries Association, P.O. Box 19100, Washington, D.C. 20036.

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