RENTAL ROUNDUP

SuperComm Adds MGM to Its Roster-fee program supplier SuperComm here has added another major studio name to its roster, according to retailer sources.Beginning in January, SuperComm will include Orion titles from MGM Home Entertainment, Santa Monica, Calif., in its solicitations. The first two titles are "Eight Heads in a Duffle Bag" and "City of Industry." Industry sources indicated the primary MGM

SuperComm Adds MGM to Its Roster

-fee program supplier SuperComm here has added another major studio name to its roster, according to retailer sources.

Beginning in January, SuperComm will include Orion titles from MGM Home Entertainment, Santa Monica, Calif., in its solicitations. The first two titles are "Eight Heads in a Duffle Bag" and "City of Industry." Industry sources indicated the primary MGM labels would be included in future months. Among the major MGM titles in theaters now are "Red Corner" and the new James Bond movie, "Tomorrow Never Dies."

SuperComm supplies more than 1,700 supermarkets in 30 chains or divisions of major chains, said industry sources. Accounts known to be using SuperComm include Nash Finch Co., most Kroger and Dillon divisions, Randalls Food Markets, Pathmark Stores, Marsh Supermarkets and Smith's Food & Drug Centers.

Des Walsh, SuperComm's vice president and general manager, declined to comment on the MGM deal. When asked if any other big studios might sign on with SuperComm, he said, "We continue to have ongoing conversations with a number of potential suppliers who are committed to supporting the supermarket rental business."

With shared-transaction-fee programs like SuperComm's, retailers obtain movies for a small handling fee and then split the rental revenues 50-50 with the supplier. This enables them to bring in greater copy depth than they could otherwise.

Clifford Feiock, video coordinator at Nash Finch, Minneapolis, confirmed SuperComm was offering the titles from MGM and Orion and said he would bring in three times as many copies of these as he would from traditional distribution."

SuperComm currently supplies rental titles from Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Burbank, Calif.; New Line Home Video, Los Angeles; and HBO Home Video, New York. Both SuperComm and Buena Vista are divisions of Walt Disney Co.

Among the other content providers channeling products through SuperComm are Cabin Fever Entertainment, Greenwich, Conn.; PM Entertainment, Sun Valley, Calif.; BMG Video, New York; and Full Moon Entertainment, Los Angeles.

'For Sale' Sign Put On Cabin Fever

GREENWICH, Conn. -- UST Inc., parent company of Cabin Fever Entertainment here, has confirmed Cabin Fever is for sale as part of a strategic plan to concentrate on its tobacco business. Cabin Fever will continue operating until the sale, UST said in a press statement. The company said it has received "numerous inquiries" from interested buyers.

Blockbuster CEO Joins VSDA Board

ENCINO, Calif. -- The Video Software Dealers Association here has named John Antioco, chairman and chief executive officer of Blockbuster Entertainment, Dallas, to serve on its board of directors. Antioco takes the place of Rich Ungaro, who has left his position as Blockbuster's executive vice president of domestic retail operations.

The VSDA also reported it has collected 1,750 pounds of food for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank through the canned food drive of the Fast Forward to End Hunger Program. Several companies participated in the drive, including Hallmark Entertainment, Los Angeles; MGM Home Entertainment, Santa Monica, Calif.; New Line Home Video, Los Angeles; Trimark Home Video, Santa Monica; and Universal Studios Home Video, Universal City, Calif

Top 10 Supermarket Video Rental Titles

Title (Weeks Out) Studio Retail Last Week

1Men In Black (1) Columbia $ 23.95 New

2The Lost World (4) Universal 22.98 1

3Face/Off (3) Paramount 105.52 2

4Jingle All the Way (5) Fox 19.98 3

5Liar Liar (10) Universal 22.98 4

6The Fifth Element (5) Columbia 107.11 5

7Batman & Robin (6) Warner 22.98 6

8Romy & Michele (4) Touchstone 103.91 7

9Breakdown (7) Paramount 103.92 8

10Free Willy 3 (2) Warner 22.96 10

This chart, tailored for the supermarket video market, is based on information taken from more than 1,000 supermarket rental locations serviced by Ingram Entertainment, La Vergne, Tenn.