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MGM Home Entertainment's 'Hannibal' Shocks VHS Rental Market on Aug. 21 With One Price

2 May, 2001 By: Hive News

Looking to take a giant bite out of the price-shy rental cassette market, MGM Home Entertainment, in an industry coup, will release Hannibal, the studio’s $165 million blockbuster, as a VHS rental title for $45 per copy.

Available on August 21, the $45 price-point is available to all retailers with no minimum purchase requirement. Hannibal is the first film of its box office magnitude to be offered at such a low price without prerequisite buying guidelines.

"Details of the program are simple in that there are virtually no restrictions or requirements," said Robert Wittenberg, executive v.p. of sales, MGM Home Entertainment. "Time and time again, our retailers have expressed that they spend too much time focusing on programs rather than the product, so we devised the Hannibal pricing plan to eliminate that problem."

Hannibal, the long-awaited sequel to 1991's The Silence of the Lambs, grossed $58 million in its first weekend and shattered several boxoffice records, including the biggest opening of all time for a non-summer release, the second largest non-holiday opening and the biggest debut ever of an R-rated film. Hannibal also became the first film of 2001 to reach the $100 million mark, earning over $110 million after only 11 days.

"Given the low $45 price-point and the elimination of goals and complicated retailer programs, we are confident retailers of all sizes will stock ample copies of Hannibal, hence, maximizing the film’spotential in the rental market," said Wittenberg.

"We firmly believe Hannibal will be a huge performer at rental and that this pricing plan will enhance both MGM’s and retailers’ profits," he said.

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