The nation’s largest independent video sell-through company, GoodTimes Home Video, has become a subsidiary of the newly expanded GoodTimes Entertainment Co. The parent now has six other divisions for everything from computer software to special products, books and a new international branch, said Joe Cayre, prexy of the parent company, at a press luncheon Monday.“We have repositioned ourselves as a diversified multimedia company,” said New York-based Cayre. “We’re probably one of the few companies in the world with absolutely no debt.” GoodTimes Home Video — formed in 1984 — manufactures, produces, licenses and distributes children’s and family and fitness programming and has a library of about 3,000 titles. GoodTimes’ 1993 homevid product lineup includes sequels to hot-selling fitness tapes: “Cindy Crawford/The Next Challenge,” Richard Simmons’ “Sweatin’ to the Oldies 3” and “The Marky Mark Workout Video” starring Fabio. They also have big expectations for “Charlton Heston Presents the Bible.” The parent company is privately owned by Cayre (and his family), who told Daily Variety that about 60% of the company’s business comes from its homevideo sell-through operations. Cayre said he doesn’t expect the homevid hold on the company to change overnight. It is expanding to deal with changing technologies and will soon make product available on CD-ROM and Macintosh-compatible software to complement its existing IBM-compatible software. The hottest title for GoodTimes’ Software subsid is the game “F-15 Stealth Fighter,” retailing at $ 19.95. Ten-week-old GoodTimes Software has “licenses with 40 of the leading software publishers,” Cayre said, including Electronic Arts. Titles are now available in 1,400 stores, and by Jan. 1 that will increase to 4,000 stores, he said. “Our expanded homevideo activities and international development, combined with product offered by our new operating units, have already resulted in a 40% increase in revenue for the first half of 1993. Because the second half of our calendar year is typically busier, we can comfortably project 45% growth overall for 1993,” he said. GoodTimes has also launched Gotham Pictures, which sells titles to retailers in the homevid rental market. First title out will be Heston’s Bible story on Oct. 2. Cayre said a multipic deal will be announced shortly. GoodTimes Special Products handles sell-through of the popular diet program Deal-a-Meal for $ 39.95. The company will ship 7 million units in fourth-quarter ’93. GoodTimes Direct was formed to tackle the direct sales market. Steven Hecht, director of marketing for the parent company, said the subsid has deals with Time-Life (for “Little House on the Prairie” and Heston’s Bible story), the Nostalgia Network (for six episodes of “Combat”) and the Media Syndication Group for Simmons’ workout tapes. The Direct subsid also forged a precedent-setting deal with American Telecast , which will invest about half a million dollars to create the first kid’s infomercial to flog Beatrix Potter yarns. The company’s 2-year-old publishing arm, GoodTimes Book Publishing, puts out traditional Christmas and Easter stories. “It’s seasonal gift-giving merchandise ,” explained Andrew Greenberg, senior VP of the parent company. In ’92, it sold more than 5 million books and projections are for 7 million to 8 million this year. The homevid division also has a new deal with Orion Home Entertainment Corp. for 30 titles — including “Dressed to Kill” and “Mad Max”– which will be available in sell-through in September for $ 12.95. Titles such as “Easy Money” and “The Amityville Horror” will sell for $ 9.95. Cayre said only about 15% of GoodTimes HomeVideo revenues comes from features and “we see that going down.” Last but not least is GoodTimes Intl., geared to “exploit all we do here,” said Cayre. Its 18 foreign deals include alliances with VCL/Carolco in Germany, Sony in France, BMG in Japan and, most recently, Polygram’s Vision Video in the United Kingdom for Cindy Crawford’s second workout tape. Aside from its international revenues, the parent company exploits 10 methods of distribution. In order of importance, they include revenues via mass merchants (such as Wal-Mart); wholesale clubs (such as Price Club/Costco); video specialty stores; entertainment music stores; toy stores; and bookstores. Drug stores, convenience marts, supermarkets and direct mail make up the balance.
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