CULVER CITY, Calif. -- With the upcoming release of "The Indian in the Cupboard," Columbia TriStar Home Video here will begin a program that will send a regular stream of movies -- mostly family-oriented -- direct to sell-through.
The studio has established a "Family Collection" label to help market the products. Priced at $22.95, "Indian," which will be released Jan. 16, 1996, will be the first title in that line. "It is an ideal title for supermarkets because, besides being a hugely entertaining and wonderful film, it fits the demographics of supermarkets," said John Reina, vice president of sales for sell-through at Columbia TriStar. Columbia TriStar announced the title's release date in September, in part so that supermarkets could prepare for its arrival, said Reina.
"The hardest thing about the grocery channel is its need for information and to allocate space four to five months in advance," he said. The January release date also will work for supermarkets because there probably won't be other major sell-through titles coming out at that time, he said. This attitude represents a big change in direction for Columbia TriStar, which previously focused almost exclusively on serving the rental market, said observers.
"There is a strong demand in the marketplace from consumers who want to create their own home libraries," said Reina. Columbia TriStar's direct-to-sell-through announcement on "Indian" follows the high-profile repricings in the fourth quarter of "Legends of the Fall" and "Little Women." The studio expanded its sell-through sales force from two to six in anticipation of this move. Columbia TriStar's "Family Collection" was established to help consumers make purchasing decisions, he noted.
"Grocery stores need to identify products for easy selection by the family," he said. A "Family Gold Line" with products retailing at $14.95 will be introduced soon, Reina added. Meanwhile, the company will continue to market its "National Geographic" line, which includes the "GeoKids" and "Really Wild Animals" sub-lines. "The Indian in the Cupboard," which has generated about $40 million at the box office so far, will be supported by national television advertising that will create over 100 million impressions.