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New $3 Product For the Low Price Leader

31 Jan, 2005 By: Holly J. Wagner

Universal Music and Video Distributors (UMVD) has begun feeding the dump bin beast at Wal-Mart with cardboard-sleeved DVDs of catalog ‘B' movies for $3 each, but the titles are not from the Universal vault.

They are movies from small film companies like PM Entertainment and others now under the umbrella of Trinity Home Entertainment.

The titles are being sold through UMVD Visual Entertainment, a new label formed after the Vivendi-Universal split and the sale that created NBC Universal, said Tom O'Malley, GM of visual entertainment for UMVD.

To date, UMVD and Trinity sub-label Kreative Digital Entertainment have released 64 titles, said Trinity president and CEO Philip Knowles. Another 64 are on the way, he added, and the offerings may reach 300 to 400 titles.

“Last year, we came up with an idea of trying to strike a new price point between the $1 public domain content and the $5 catalog titles in the dump bins,” he said, with the line focusing on more recent films with name actors. “Wal-Mart liked the idea.”

So far, the titles — available since Jan. 4 — are offered only at Wal-Mart and on Amazon.uk, but Knowles said he expects to have them at other retailers soon.

Featured talent includes Victoria Principal (Naked Lie, Dancing in the Dark, Sparks, Blind Witness) and martial arts star Gary Daniels (Fatal Blade, American Streetfighter, Full Impact, Capital Punishment) along with a smattering of actors who later made the ‘A'-list, like Ellen Burstyn, Michael Madsen and Mark Harmon.

“We will be looking to market specific titles at holidays and around key actors,” Knowles said. “If there is a major release we can draft off of, we'll do that.”The cardboard sleeves don't discourage anyone, he noted.

“People think it's great; it's very space-saving,” he said. “All of the people that we've showed them to, retailers and consumers alike, have taken to the packaging.”

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