HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- "Forrest Gump," the top-grossing movie of 1994 and the fourth-highest of all time, will be released direct to the sell-through market April 28 with a suggested retail of $22.95. Paramount Home Video will mount its largest-ever marketing and advertising campaign for the title, according to the company. Details about the marketing program will be announced "sometime in the beginning of next year," said Jack Kanne, senior vice president of sales. "It is the largest movie in Paramount Pictures' history and it certainly will be the largest home video in Paramount Home Video's history," said Kanne. "Forrest Gump" will probably gross more than $300 million at the box office and is a likely Academy Award nominee. The decision to go sell-through is significant as much for the company that is doing it as the title itself, said industry observers. While it was one of the earliest studios to experiment with sell-through, Paramount has lately been sticking with the rental market for major titles. "Gump" will be Paramount's first major direct-to-sell-through release since "Wayne's World" several years ago. It is yet one more sign of the importance that all the major studios now attach to the sell-through market, said the observers. Going sell-through with "Gump" was "a very difficult decision for us," said Kanne. "It is not a children's movie, and if you look at the top sellers of all time, with maybe one exception, they are all children's movies," he said. "However, as we did a lot of consumer research, we found that the intent to own this movie from a broad demographic of people was very high. That convinced us," said Kanne. "Forrest Gump" will attract many first-time video buyers, he noted. "That's what happened theatrically. People who go to the movies maybe once a year, or once every other year, went to see this movie," he said. "This is the kind of movie that people want to own." That broad demographic -- teens through 60-year-olds -- should translate into big sales in supermarkets, he added. "Also, the research from theatrical shows that it skews a little bit more toward women. Because of that, we think that there is a huge upside for supermarkets, and we will be supplying and marketing that way," said Kanne. "As far as merchandisers and display pieces, we will be gearing a lot of that to supermarkets," he said. These will include shippers ranging in size from 24 units to perhaps 400, he said. "All of those can work well in grocery stores," he said. Kanne would not reveal how many units of "Forrest Gump" Paramount expects to sell, except to say, "I'm sure that it is going to be the biggest number that we have ever dealt with." Paramount is now considering cross-promotional partners for the movie, said Kanne. "We've been having a lot of conversations with a lot of people. There are a lot of people who do want to tie in with this title. We don't think we need one, but if the program is right, there will be a cross-promotional partner, absolutely," he said. The studio made an early announcement about the title to ensure placement in stores when it is released, he said. "A lot of retailers, including food retailers, are closing out advertising for April and May now. So we want to be out there and be part of that planning process," he said.