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'Dr. Dolittle 2' Will Benefit from PG Rating

14 Sep, 2001 By: John Jimenez

The Oct. 23 sellthrough bow of the Eddie Murphy hit Dr. Dolittle 2 should have an advantage in the market because of its ‘PG' rating, says 20th Century Fox's senior v.p. of marketing Peter Staddon.

“We think this is going to be one of the big family releases of the fourth quarter,” Staddon says. “‘PG' material is doing very well on DVD.”

Dr. Dolittle 2, which drew in $111.9 million at the box office this summer, retails at $24.98 on VHS and $26.98 on DVD.

The first Dr. Dolittle was rated ‘PG-13' but Staddon says the studio realized the sequel could be toned down without losing the comedy or cleverness of the storyline. “If you can make something ‘PG,' you can expand the audience dramatically,” he says.

The title was released for sellthrough on VHS, says Staddon, because “the sellthrough market is primarily a family market.” It is a special edition VHS, with a music video and featurette about the animation of the animals.

The DVD will include a number of special features, including two extended scenes with optional commentary, two featurettes — one about the special effects and the other about grizzly bears — the HBO special “The Making of Dr. Dolittle 2,” storyboard sequences, theatrical trailers and TV spots. It is also Fox's second NUON-enhanced disc.

The film will be marketed through TV, print and Internet ads. There are no promotional tie-ins to speak of because of the time crunch for turning a summer movie around in time for a fourth- quarter video release, Staddon says. There will be publicity stunts near street date that have yet to be announced.

Staddon expects the title to do very well on video. “It underperformed theatrically, so we expect it to overperform on video,” he says. “The original sold 8 million units [on VHS and DVD], which shows how many people have bought into this property and are familiar with it, even if they haven't seen the movie."

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