New Line Home Video anticipates shipping approximately 750,000 units combined of three releases in the first quarter, “Mr. Saturday Night,””Honeymoon in Vegas” and “The Player,” according to senior VP sales and marketing Michael Karaffa. If that goal is achieved, the three would be worth around $ 45 million (gross wholesale) to the company.

The most unusual marketing elements belong to “Mr. Saturday Night” (March 24 street date), as director/star Billy Crystal will be involved personally to a large extent.

Crystal has already met with the sales reps for New Line’s distributor, Columbia TriStar Home Video, and with the trade press. He also will sign his name on solicitation letters and appear in personalized trailers in support of the release.

He explained his commitment to the project, saying, “I couldn’t be prouder of anything I’ve done in my life,” and noted that his overriding intention is to have people see the film. In theatrical release, it earned only $ 13 million, despite a $ 14 million P&A expenditure.

Win a date with Billy

Part of the marketing campaign for the vid release involves a contest for consumers, retailers and distributors, and the prizes include lunch with Crystal.

The marketing plan will also feature a fund-raising element in support of “Comic Relief.”

The video itself will feature outtakes and “making of” footage, not ordinarily included with a vidcassette, and rarely on a film that did relatively poorly in theaters.

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