CENTURY CITY, Calif. -- "Independence Day," the biggest theatrical film of the year, is set for a direct-to-sell-through release Nov. 22.
With no cross-promotional partners, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment (FoxVideo) here is mounting a $30 million advertising campaign that is expected to make 6.5 billion impressions in six weeks, said Bob DeLellis, president of the studio. This will be the largest campaign ever for FoxVideo.
"This is going to be an event, and the event is the movie," he said. "You are going to see it everywhere. You are going to see displays that you have never seen before in this industry."
FoxVideo expects this to become the biggest-selling live-action movie ever on video, with sales "north of 20 million units," predicted DeLellis. "Independence Day" will have a suggested retail price of $22.98, a minimum advertised price of $14.95 and a prebook date of Oct. 21.
"Supermarkets ought to look at this particular title differently than others. They shouldn't look at this as a pure in-and-out title. There is an opportunity to bring it in and replenish," he said.
"Independence Day" appeals to a very wide audience, he said. "It hits almost every demographic group, and there is no parental resistance to this title," said DeLellis.
Retailers contacted by SN are optimistic about "Independence Day." "It is positioned so that it will most likely be the No. 1 or 2 seller among the adult Christmas titles," said a video executive with a Northeastern chain, who asked to remain unidentified.
"When compared to other titles, like 'Twister' and 'Mission Impossible,' 'Independence Day' would be a stronger title for sell-through, because it has a broader appeal among kids and adults," said Gary Schloss, vice president of general merchandise at Carr Gottstein Foods, Anchorage, Alaska.
"It's just a huge, huge, huge opportunity for both rental and sell-through," said John Fincher, national account sales, for video distributor Baker & Taylor, Morton Grove, Ill. On the rental side, supermarkets will triple the amount of space on their new release racks for "Independence Day," as well as for "Twister," "The Nutty Professor" and "Mission Impossible," he said.
A key element in the "Independence Day" merchandising is a three-dimensional package design created for the sell-through release. Using a new lenticular technology called 3D Live-Action Art, the package will show actual movie footage of the scene where the White House is blown up by the alien space ship. The 3D-piece will be shrink-wrapped on the box and only available through the end of the year.
"The beam comes down from the space ship, and the White House explodes in your hands," said DeLellis. The creation is so detailed that "you can actually see particles of the building in the explosion," he said.
The large display units -- FoxVideo is offering shippers from 24 to 1,400 pieces -- will draw customers' attention, he said. "It is going to be a major in-store event. People will stop and go, 'Wow,' " said DeLellis.
The timing of the release -- the Friday before Thanksgiving -- also works in favor of heavy supermarket sales, he said. Thanksgiving falls late in November this year.