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Anchor Bay Adds Heavyweight Fitness Stars to Its Roster

26 May, 2010 By: Angelique Flores

Anchor Bay has worked out two new distribution deals for DVDs from fitness veteran Billy Blanks and Bob Harper of “The Biggest Loser.”

Having had success with previous titles featuring celebrity fitness instructors — Julianne Hough, Pussycat Dolls and Jackie Warner — Anchor Bay is investing in more high-profile fitness names, according to Julie Cartwright, SVP of brand marketing for Anchor Bay Entertainment.

The distributor will handle DVD and digital distribution of Tae Bo creator Blanks’ product in the United States and Canada, with all new titles to first arrive this fall. Blanks’ This Is Tae Bo streets Sept. 7 (order date Aug. 11), Bootcamp Cardio Inferno Oct. 5 (order date Sept. 8) and Tae Bo Insane Abs Dec. 7 (order date Nov. 10). All DVDs are $14.98 each.

Harper has been a fitness trainer on the hit TV show “The Biggest Loser,” including the Australian version of the show. He wrote the fitness book Are You Ready! Take Charge, Lose Weight, Get in Shape, and Change Your Life Forever. And he has been in a number of “The Biggest Loser” workout DVDs.

However, the upcoming DVDs are his first solo fitness videos. Harper’s Cardio Conditioning streets Oct. 5 (order date Sept. 8), Pure Burn Super Strength Oct. 5 (order date Sept. 8) and Yoga for the Warrior Dec. 7 (order date Nov. 10). All DVDs are $14.98 each.

In these DVDs Harper said he takes no prisoners and shows what he’s really like as a fitness instructor. While he is portrayed on the show as one of the easier trainers, he shows in these DVDs he’s tough as nails. The DVDs are edgy, raw and show the workouts taking place in real-time and the exercisers covered in real sweat. He’s hoping that his style will easily cross over to men looking to get in shape, in addition to women.

“When I’ve seen past workout DVDs before, it’s for women,” he said. “And I always think ‘What about the guys?’”

Still, he incorporates his “Inside Out” method, which brings his motivational techniques that push people to feel good about themselves from the inside first. 

Harpers’s titles will not be branded under “The Biggest Loser,” which Lionsgate has branded for a number of its fitness DVDS. Harper’s titles will be branded under his own name and brand, similar to fellow “The Biggest Loser” trainer Jillian Michaels, whose DVDs also are distributed by Lionsgate. Cartwright pointed out that Michaels’ fitness DVDs dominate the bestseller charts, outselling “The Biggest Loser” branded DVDs.

“We know Bob Harper will be a force as well and will be a top performing fitness DVD for this fall,” Cartwright said.

Anchor Bay will launch an extensive marketing campaign behind the titles, Cartwright said, but details still are being worked out.

Besides Blanks and Harper, Anchor Bay is releasing two new DVDs from Bravo channel’s Jackie Warner in the fourth quarter: Personal Training With Jackie: Time Saver Circuit Training streets Oct. 5 (order date Sept 8), and Personal Training With Jackie: Crunch Free Abs streets Dec. 7 (order date Nov. 10). The DVDs are $14.98 each.

Warner has launched a new book, This Is Why You’re Fat, which has been named on the New York Times bestseller list. This year, she has a new show, “Thintervention,” on Bravo. And she’s the face of “Fit in Your Skin,” a new health-and-fitness program for people with psoriasis.

With the fitness star’s big presence in the third and fourth quarter, Anchor Bay will be able to capitalize on that with the marketing of Warner’s DVDs, Cartwright said.

Another celebrity fitness star who will have a busy Q4 is Julianne Hough (“Dancing With the Stars”). She will add to her “Dance With Julianne” series Nov. 9 (Anchor Bay released Cardio Ballroom last year) with Just Dance (order date Oct. 13, DVD $14.98). That month, the musical drama Burlesque, which features Hough, will be released in theaters. Also around that time, Hough will release her next country album.

“While we’re investing in celebrity and high-profile titles, we are still focusing on proprietary brands too,” Cartwright said.

Among the news there is the debut of a Wii Fit game under Anchor Bay’s “10-Minute Solution” brand as well as new “10 Minute Solution” and “Dance Off the Inches” DVDs.


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