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Will Consumers Go to <I>Altar</I> ?

5 Sep, 2002 By: Jessica Wolf

Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment last month announced what the studio hopes will become a fourth-quarter video sleeper.

The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, based on a bestselling novel and starring Jodie Foster, streets Nov. 5. Though it only earned $1.7 million in a limited theatrical run, VP of marketing Tracey Garvin said the studio thinks it's positioned for video success. “We designed the video box art to focus on the great cast: Jodie Foster, Jena Malone, Vincent D‘Onofrio,” she said. “And we positioned it as close as we possibly could to Panic Room [also starring Foster].”

Historically, movies based on bestsellers can find a nifty niche on video even if they underperformed theatrically. Universal's Captain Corelli's Mandolin earned only $25.5 million at the box office, but earlier this year the DVD debuted at No. 5 on VideoScan charts, and the film earned $61 million in video rental revenue, according to Video Store Magazine research. Bestselling book Angela's Ashes hit the big screen for Paramount in 2000, but garnered only a lukewarm $13 million theatrically while the title's video rental revenue clocked in at a respectable $23.3 million.

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