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Alternative Lifestyle Films Shown in Theaters First for More Exposure

26 Jul, 2003 By: Dan Bennett

Increasingly, suppliers in the gay and lesbian video market are taking their product to theaters first, earning precious exposure before releasing the titles on VHS and DVD. First Look, Picture This!, Strand Releasing, Wellspring and others gain much from the marketing that takes place first at theatrical.

Wolfe Video is entering the theatrical market, and TLA Releasing is another supplier keen on maximum exposure through theatrical releases.

“Theatrical has proven a welcoming and ideal place to introduce so many of these titles,” said TLA Releasing director Richard Ross. “A theatrical release boosts the notoriety by the time the title gets to video.”

Sellthrough gets a boost this way, Ross said.

“People may still be underestimating the rental and sellthrough potential of gay-themed video,” he said. “It's been strong and will only grow more so. We are aggressively involved in expanding the market.”

And if the high-profile flick doesn't arrive via theatrical, perhaps it will on TV. Long before the U.S. Supreme Court took a stand on behalf of rights for consenting adults, “Will & Grace” was tickling the funny bones of the masses during prime time.

Lions Gate Home Entertainment will show us where it all began, releasing Will & Grace: Season One (DVD $44.99) Aug. 12. The set includes all the episodes from the first season, along with all-new cast interviews, director and creator interviews, and 11 themed featurettes.

Gay-themed TV stretches across the pond as well, evidenced by BBC Video's continuing success with the “Absolutely Fabulous” series. BBC Video Sept. 30 streets Absolutely Fabulous: Absolutely Special (DVD $24.98), featuring the popular special episodes “New York” and “The Last Shout.”

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