NEWS ROUNDUP

'Star Wars' Trilogy: Flight Limited h Century Fox Home Entertainment here has announced a release date of Aug. 26 for George Lucas's restored and digitally mastered Star Wars trilogy -- "Star Wars," "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi." Pre-order dates are July 28 for the individual films and July 23 for the package, with orders accepted only through Nov. 30. Suggested retail price for

'Star Wars' Trilogy: Flight Limited

h Century Fox Home Entertainment here has announced a release date of Aug. 26 for George Lucas's restored and digitally mastered Star Wars trilogy -- "Star Wars," "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi." Pre-order dates are July 28 for the individual films and July 23 for the package, with orders accepted only through Nov. 30. Suggested retail price for the three is $49.98, with a $29.95 minimum advertised price, or $19.98 each, and a $13.95 MAP.

Fox will also release widescreen versions of the films, with a suggested retail of $59.98 for the package, $39.95 MAP. According to Fox, the series grossed $250 million during its recent theatrical re-release.

'Buns of Steel' Adds Three Titles

BURBANK, Calif. -- WarnerVision, a division of Warner Bros., based here, is planning a "Buns of Steel" blitz, introducing three additions to the popular fitness series. The titles -- "Buns of Steel Target Toning Workout," "Abs of Steel Target Toning Workout" and "Buns of Steel Total Body Fat Burner" -- will street Sept. 2, with a pre-order date of Aug. 5. Suggested retail on the titles is $9.95 each. WarnerVision will simultaneously re-release six "Buns of Steel" titles as the "Buns of Steel" Classic Series, also at $9.95 each.

In partnership with Gold's Gym, consumers who purchase the cassettes will get an in-pack certificate for a free two-week Gold's membership, as well as a coupon for $1 off an additional "Buns of Steel" purchase.

VSDA to Bolster Research, Ads

ENCINO, Calif. -- The Video Software Dealers Association here will begin a research and promotional drive sometime in the first half of 1998, according to a statement by the VSDA's board of directors. Drawing on reserve funds, the association plans to spend in excess of $1 million on consumer research initiatives, expansion of its VidTrac industry statistics program and new advertising strategies, including generic and product-specific ads to which retailers can easily add their own information, and generic spots for use as trailers on videocassettes.

New 'Star Treks' Are Set to Orbit

HOLLYWOOD -- New sell-through releases announced by Paramount Home Video here include four 46-minute episodes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and the Data Collection, a gift set of "Star Trek" episodes featuring the eponymous android character. Suggested retail price for the Data Collection is $64.80, and for the "Next Generation" episodes, $14.95 each. Release is Aug. 19, with order cutoff July 15.

As part of its Showtime Comedy Superstars series, Paramount is introducing three dual-cassette packages featuring comedians Jeff Foxworthy, Tim Allen and Brett Butler, with suggested per-pack retails of $19.95. Street date is Aug. 26, pre-order July 22. Other individual Showtime cassettes due in stores on Aug. 26 feature Joan Rivers, Paul Reiser, Denis Leary, John Mendoza, Bill Bellamy, Tommy Davidson, Elayne Boosler and Richard Jeni, each with a suggested retail price of $12.95.

"It Was My Best Birthday Ever, Charlie Brown!," the first new "Peanuts" program in 11 years, will reach stores Aug. 5. Pre-order cut-off was July 1. A direct-to-video release with an exclusive one-year video window, "Birthday" will carry a suggested retail price of $12.95.

New rental offerings from Paramount include "The Saint," starring Val Kilmer and Elisabeth Shue, set for delivery in stores Sept. 16. "The Saint" has a 46-day pay-per-view window, with order cut-off Sept. 2.

"The Beautician and the Beast," with Fran Drescher and Timothy Dalton, debuts in stores Aug. 19. Order cutoff is Aug. 4, and the PPV window is 45 days.

Arriving in stores Aug. 12 is "Mother," directed by Albert Brooks and starring Brooks and Debbie Reynolds. Order cutoff is July 28, and the PPV window is 45 days.