April 13, 2006

DVD suppliers capitalizing on Easter spending boom

By Thomas K. Arnold

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Disney's home video unit
is going into the holiday weekend with the biggest
Easter-themed marketing campaign in its history amid forecasts
of record consumer spending during the period.

Buena Vista Home Entertainment created special tags for
such recent releases as "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion,
the Witch and the Wardrobe" "Chicken Little," "Bambi II," "Lady
and the Tramp" and "Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for
Christopher Robin," touting them as ideal Easter gifts.

Final results aren't in, but according to VideoScan data,
several of the high-profile releases received a bump in sales.
For the week ending April 9, "Bambi II," released two months
ago, re-entered the top 20 at No. 12, while "Lady and the
Tramp" inched up one place to No. 8.

"Easter is easily the second-biggest retail traffic period
behind Christmas, and this year we decided to really capitalize
on all the family product we've put out recently," said Lori
MacPherson, Buena Vista's senior vp brand marketing and product

With the National Retail Federation forecasting consumer
spending this Easter season will hit a record $12.6 billion, up
from $9.6 billion last year, several other suppliers are
preparing new DVDs rather than repromoting old standbys.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment late last month
released a new direct-to-video rabbit movie, "The Adventures of
Brer Rabbit."

Lionsgate assembled a collection of animated Bible stories
titled "Kids' 10 Commandments."

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment packaged its three
religious-themed "Left Behind" films in a boxed set and
released it in time for Easter.

Warner Home Video released "Films of Faith," a three-DVD
set featuring "The Nun's Story," "The Shoes of the Fisherman"
and "The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima."

New Line Home Entertainment took aim at Passover with
"Ushpizin," a fable set in the Orthodox Jewish world.
Writer-star Shuli Rand won best actor at the 2004 Israeli Film
Academy for his work on the film.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter