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MGM To Distribute Select BV Titles

27 Nov, 2002 By: Joan Villa

Prizzi's Honor, Silkwood, Notorious and more than 70 other films will be distributed by MGM Home Entertainment starting next fall after the studio signed an exclusive five-year deal with Buena Vista Television.

The titles, which include eight movies of the week and 66 BVTV theatrical films such as The Flamingo Kid, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Academy Award-winning best picture Rebecca, will be distributed in the United States and Canada on VHS and DVD. Previously, Anchor Bay licensed the titles and some, but not all, were released on DVD, according to MGM.

“Buena Vista saw that these titles could benefit from being in the MGM library,” explained David Bishop, president and COO of MGM Home Entertainment. “When you look at these titles they match up very well with the titles that MGM has in its library so I'm certain they saw the synergistic effect that this library would have with ours.”

MGM plans to release the films beginning next fall and Prizzi's Honor will be among the first, Bishop said. Others in the first wave will include Duel In The Sun, Straw Dogs, The Day After, Junior Bonner, The Killing of Sister George, Song of Norway, Too Late the Hero and Zachariah.

“We'll be repackaging, repricing and in some cases adding additional material to them,” he noted. “Our plans are to release the first batch in the fourth quarter '03 and then by the end of ‘04 we should have released 90 percent of that library.”

The studio plans to combine the new films with other MGM releases and integrate the product into studio displays, end-caps and promotions with the “look and feel” of an MGM release, Bishop added.

“They are going to be merged with any of the MGM titles that we have that we'll be promoting at the same time,” he explained. “We can go to market with other ‘like' films in terms of genre and title strength and the result is we should be able to get more on a by-title basis.”

MGM Home Entertainment controls the home video and DVD rights to some 4,000 titles, making it the world's largest modern library of filmed entertainment. The company manages worldwide home video distribution rights to United Artists and current Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer theatrical releases, as well as titles from Orion, Goldwyn, and PolyGram libraries.

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