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Artisan Flying on Coattails

14 Nov, 2002 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Not all home video suppliers have a lot of tentpole releases, but that doesn't mean they're shut out of the tie-in game.

Take Artisan Home Entertainment. The independent studio is quick to recognize an opportunity and revels in piggybacking its catalog product onto other studios' heavy hitters.

* Artisan timed the video release of episodes from the “Croc Hunter” TV series with the theatrical opening of the MGM Croc Hunter movie.

* When the Walt Disney Co. released Pearl Harbor in theaters, Artisan was in video stores with The Discovery Channel's Pearl Harbor documentary.

* When Warner Bros. released Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Artisan released a documentary called Sorcerers & Wizards: Real Magic.

* And when Universal released Jurassic Park 3, Artisan came out with another documentary, When Dinosaurs Roamed America.

“Using tentpole films is an extremely important strategy to Artisan,” said Jeff Fink, Artisan Home Entertainment's president of sales and marketing. “We are very good at exploiting our library and finding the niches in the marketplace that are going to help us aggressively promote our new and catalog titles. Our vast library allows us to work in conjunction with a major motion picture release, star, genre, theme or event.”

Artisan also tentpoles its catalog titles with its own special-edition DVDs. With its Nov. 19 release of Glengarry Glen Ross, Artisan is spending more than $1 million on print advertising and offering consumers a $5 rebate on other Artisan special editions, including Reservoir Dogs, Total Recall, Basic Instinct and Stargate.

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