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Lions Gate Goes Flat On VHS

10 Jul, 2002 By: Joan Villa

Under $40 flat pricing will be the deal for all VHS releases going forward from Lions Gate Home Entertainment, beginning with the psychological thriller Frailty Sept. 17.

The new pricing -- dubbed Easier Profits -- will cover Lions Gate's full slate of some 72 titles per year, noted Ron Schwartz, EVP of North American home video.

The pricing follows in the footsteps of The Wash, O and Monster's Ball which were all offered to retailers through distribution at or below $40. The simpler ordering process that eliminated tiered price programs and minimum purchase requirements, was deemed a success by the studio, he added.

The Frailty DVD will carry a $24.99 suggested retail price and an Aug. 27 prebook date. The VHS will prebook Aug. 20.

“The VHS business continues to evolve and change as DVD for rental continues to grow,” Schwartz explained. “We're trying to implement a plan that will ensure that VHS for rental is still a big part not only for us but for our customers. With the pricing strategy we've employed, we've successfully met our business plan as far as our VHS rental numbers.”

After reviewing previous sales and discussing the program with large and small retail accounts, Lions Gate is confident the new pricing will be embraced, Schwartz added.

“The whole idea is to move away from those programs, to be competitive with market conditions and most importantly to be fair to what our company's initiatives are and what our retail partners tell us they need,” he said.

Frailty will be marketed with national broadcast including MTV, Comedy Central, USA Network, FX and E! and in print publications such as Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone and Movieline. The film will be supported with radio promotions in the top 50 markets and a 60-day pay-per-view window.

The DVD will offer audio commentary with director Bill Paxton, a making-of featurette, Sundance Channel presents “Anatomy of the Scene,” deleted scenes, widescreen presentation and English and Spanish subtitles.

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