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9 Aug, 2001 By: Stephanie Prange

DreamWorks Home Entertainment is looking for a happy ending for its Nov. 2 VHS and DVD release of Shrek, featuring a three-minute extended ending on both versions and a double-disc DVD package that includes extras for both kids and adults.

Shrek, already the biggest theatrical movie of the year with $258 million in box office receipts, will get the biggest video campaign in the studio's history, says DreamWorks domestic home video chief Kelly Sooter.

“I think we have an opportunity to be the biggest movie of the year on video,” she says. “I think we can be the biggest retail item of the year, definitely of the fourth quarter.”

The minimum advertised price (MAP) is $15.95 on the cassette and $19.95 on double-disc DVD. That’s $1 to $2 below the typical MAP for animated movies with $120 million or more at the box office, notes Sooter. “It’s a terrific value for the consumer,” she says.

Animators created the extended ending just for the video release, showing “a tremendous commitment from the studio in terms of how we value video,” she says. Unlike many VHS releases, the Shrek cassette also has this extra and the VHS box is a specially designed clamshell-sized paper sleeve. “We continue to believe the VHS marketplace is the lion’s share of the business,” Sooter says.

The double-disc DVD features 11 hours of extra footage. Disc One is aimed at the kids, with games and music videos; Disc Two targets adult viewers with DTS sound and technical information; both discs include the feature with the extended ending, Disc One the pan-and-scan version for the kids and Disc Two the widescreen version for adults. “The movie played so broady that we felt it was best to package it together,” Sooter says.

Disc One also has a behind-the-scenes featurette; new DVD-ROM technology that allows the viewer to voice favorite characters through a computer; character interviews with Shrek, Fiona, Lord Farquad and Donkey voiced by the stars; games and activities just for kids; “Shrek’s Music Room,” which includes the Smash Mouth music video “I’m a Believer” as well as the Baha Men music video and the making of that video; hidden facts; production notes; and cast and crew bios.

Disc Two also features animated menus; Shrek Xbox game playing hints as well as insight into the production of the game; the storyboard pitch of deleted scenes; technical goofs; the original theatrical trailer; production notes; and cast and crew bios.

“We’ve developed content that really truly takes the entertainment value one step further,” Sooter says.

The kid-aimed disc features a branded section for the games and activities called “DWK (DreamWorks Kids) — This Way to Play,” which will be included on future children’s DVDs. “We’re attempting to look at DVD through a child’s eyes,” Sooter says. “This is something that we believe is really unique and innovative.”

Walt Disney Home Video this fourth quarter is also fashioning its Oct. 9 DVD release of Snow White for kids, with extras designed to be simple enough for a kid to follow. That animated classic from DreamWorks animation rival Disney is Shrek’s main competition for the fourth quarter, notes Bill Hunt, editor of the Digital Bits DVD Web site.

The Shrek marketing campaign includes an instant-win sweepstakes in which every package includes a prize. Prizes range from Baskin-Robbins ice cream to Xbox hardware to a “Shrekked out” Kia minivan, Sooter says.

With the marketing campaign, the biggest in the home video supplier’s history, the aim is to go “back to days when people had to get out of their chair that day and get to the store,” Sooter says. “We’ve put together a campaign that will really drive day one sales.”

The campaign includes tie-ins with nine national partners, including Game Boy Advance, Kia and Philips.

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