'Chips' Star's Visits Pick Up Marbles
known for his acting in the TV show "Chips," recently appeared at four Marbles Entertainment video departments in southern California, said Matthew Feinstein, vice president.
Marbles operates leased-space departments in 22 Vons and Lucky stores. Estrada appeared at a Vons store in La Habra and Lucky stores in Stanton, Paramount and Garden Grove. He signed autographs and promoted his latest movie, "Visions," released by Associated Video, Hollywood.
"He got a huge turnout in each location," said Feinstein. The four stores are in areas with large Hispanic populations, with whom Estrada is especially popular, he noted.
One result of the event was an increase in new video members. "We averaged about 30 new members on the day of his appearance in each store. Between 75 and 250 people came to each location to wait on line to see him," Feinstein said. The event was promoted through sign boards in the front of the supermarkets and with in-store fliers.
"Events like these bring a little magic to the store. It is rare when a celebrity comes to town and the people get very excited," he noted.
HBO 'Subway,' 'Felon' Headed for Stores
NEW YORK -- HBO Home Video here is releasing "Subway Stories" to stores Feb. 10. Pre-order was Jan. 20. Featuring such stars as Denis Leary, Mercedes Ruehl, Rosie Perez and Gregory Hines, "Subway Stories" depicts a range of urban characters and how they come together in New York's subways.
Also from HBO, "First Time Felon" is due in stores Feb. 24. Order cutoff is Feb. 3. Starring Omar Epps, Delroy Lindo, William Forsythe and Rachel Ticotin, it tells of a young gang leader who is arrested and sent to a Marine-style disciplinary camp.
For both titles, theatrical-size posters and discounted two-packs are available to retailers, and under HBO's "Great Time Guarantee," dissatisfied customers get a refund for the cost of the rental.
Star Time Shines In Fourth Big Bear
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Star Time Video here has opened its fourth leased-space video department in a Big Bear Supermarket, said David Stewart, owner/operator.
The 1,500-square-foot department is in a new Big Bear in the fast-growing Northwestern part of the Columbus area, he said. The grand-opening festivities earlier this month included an Elvis impersonator.
'Mars' Is Whirling To Market in March
WESTPORT, Conn. -- Avalanche Home Entertainment here will release the science-fiction thriller "Mars" to the rental market March 10. It will have a suggested retail price of $94.98 and a Feb. 17 order date. Avalanche is a division of Lion's Gate Entertainment Corp., which was formerly Cinepix Film Properties, an independent studio.
Live's Windows Set To Be Open Longer
VAN NUYS, Calif. -- Extended 60-day pay-per-view windows are part of the promotional plan for two rental titles scheduled for a Feb. 17 release by Live Entertainment here. "Critical Care" will include Live's new consumer awareness commercial for the video business. Retailers who buy four copies of the title will receive a free DVD offer. For the movie "Double Take," retailers who buy two copies will get a 30% discount. Order date for both is Jan. 27.
Top 10 Supermarket Video Rental Titles
Title (Weeks Out) Studio Retail Last Week
1Men In Black (6) Columbia $ 23.95 1
2My Best Friend's Wedding (3) Columbia 22.95 2
3Conspiracy Theory (2) Warner 107.11 3
4Con Air (4) Buena Vista 107.11 4
5Contact (3) Warner 107.11 5
6George of the Jungle (5) Buena Vista 22.99 6
7Air Bud (3) Buena Vista 19.99 8
8The Lost World (9) Universal 22.98 7
9Face/Off (8) Paramount 105.52 9
10Speed 2: Cruise Control (5) Fox 107.12 10
This chart, tailored for the supermarket video market, is based on information taken from more than 1,000 supermarket rental locations serviced by Ingram Entertainment, La Vergne, Tenn.