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Columbia TriStar's 'Troopers 2' Will Premiere on Cable TV

10 May, 2004 By: Jessica Wolf

Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment's upcoming Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation is hitting cable well before its June 1 street date.

The movie, a sequel to the 1997 sci-fi cult favorite Starship Troopers has been available in TV Guide listings for cable channels like Encore Action since April 24.

It boasts no major stars and no recurring cast from the first film, but the studio has high hopes for the movie's video prospects and invested in a sequel because of the underground following the original has inspired, said Tracey Garvin VP of marketing at CTHE. “It continues to perform for us as one of our top sellers,” Garvin said. “It's got such a passionate fan base.”

Garvin said, to her knowledge, the studio has not heard any negative feedback regarding the fact that Troopers 2 hits cable first.

“We think that it gives the video release exposure,” she said.

But Todd Zaganiacz of Video Zone in South Deerfield, Mass., said such cable debuts can have a negative impact on the rentability of a title. And unlike theatrical titles, they've already seen it in basically the same format they would as a video rental. “It literally plays [on cable] up until three days before we get it,” he said. “How deep do you want to go when it just played on cable?”

Cable debuts point to the increasingly sellthrough nature of the market, he added. Zaganiacz estimated that two or three titles a month from CTHE quietly hit cable before video.

CTHE execs wouldn't comment on specific strategies, but did say the cable premiere strategy has been employed before.

Columbia TriStar packed plenty of extras onto the Starship Troopers 2 DVD. “It will rent; it will rent really well,” CTHE's Garvin said. “But it's definitely the perfect DVD sales fare.”

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