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Scare Up Some Halloween Fun With New Treats on Video

14 Sep, 2003 By: Meryl Schoenbaum

Retailers know this is the perfect time of year to stock up on Halloween-themed films that will appeal to kids of all ages. And suppliers have made sure trick-or-treaters will be able to fill their goody bags with a wide variety of thrills and chills.

Artisan Home Entertainment sets the tone with its “Hallmark Halloween Promotion,” which includes five new-to-DVD films from Hallmark Home Entertainment: Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Night Scream, Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Deadly Invasion and Silent Predators. Also included in the promotion are two Halloween favorites: Don't Look Down and Haunted. All seven digitally mastered DVDs come in full-screen versions and are available at $14.98 each.

“Halloween promotions have been a very successful part of our business for years, and it has become an extremely important season for retailers,” said Hosea Belcher, SVP of marketing at Artisan Home Entertainment. “Consumers are doing more impulse buying, so endcaps and promotional tie-ins are key.

“We are targeting both kids and adults with this promotion. We have something for everyone, from titles like Legend of Sleepy Hollow to ones with killer snakes and serial killers. It includes new titles as well as old standbys.”

The $14.98 price will remain in effect after the promotion, Belcher said.

Artisan likes to work with stores on a retailer-by-retailer basis to suit their particular requirements. “For instance, if a retailer wants a 36-count of mixed titles, we will accommodate that,” Belcher said.

Hit Entertainment brings Barney's Halloween Party to DVD for the first time. The story has Barney and his friends decorating the school gym for a Halloween party. After one of the gang returns from trick-or-treating empty-handed, the lesson learned is that the best treats at Halloween are good friends who share their goodies. The DVD, available now, is $16.99 and features an optional Spanish-language track; the VHS is $9.99.

Paramount Home Entertainment will delight children with Nicktoons: Halloween. The Nickelodeon title includes new Halloween episodes of “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Rugrats,” “Rocket Power,” “Hey Arnold” and “Fairly OddParents.” The Nicktoons: Halloween DVD, available now, is $19.99.

And finally, what would Halloween be without a ghost -- especially one that's popular and lucrative? Amblin Entertainment's $100 million box office hit Casper comes to DVD Sept. 23 from Universal Studios Home Video. The Casper Special Edition DVD includes an extra called “Casper's Haunted House of Halloween Fun,” which features interactive Halloween activities for kids; safety tips for trick-or-treating; instructions for making costumes; director's commentary; a behind-the-scenes look at how the special effects were created, and more. The Casper Special Edition DVD is $19.98.

Halloween is a great time of year to push new and catalog product into the video stream, suppliers say, because retailers are always primed this holiday with a plethora of decorations, costumes, candies and treat bags lining store shelves, most of which are designed for kids.

“Most of the major retailers participate in Halloween,” said Matt Lasorsa, SVP of marketing for New Line Home Entertainment. “All of the electronics stores, record stores, mass merchants all get behind Halloween fare. Then you have stores like Wal-Mart, Kmart and Target, which carry so much Halloween product in general as well as a variety of adult and kid Halloween videos. While Mom is shopping for Halloween candy or costumes, she can grab a copy of The Littlest Vampire at the same time.”

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