New Line Home Video has become the top independent home-video marketing and distribution company, reaching a year-end total of $ 170 million in sales thanks in part to its successful relationship with Columbia TriStar Home Video.

“The past year’s figures are a reflection of New Line’s innovative and aggressive marketing and sales campaigns,” said Stephen Einhorn, president and CEO. “We have beenexpanding our production profile with higher budgets, greater star power and broader appeal. We are projecting our homevideo sales to exceed $ 234 million in 1994 driven by a strong theatrical profile.”

New Line’s also unveiled its 1994 slate of 35-40 rental titles, backed by an aggressive schedule of marketing campaigns, sweepstakes and tie-ins.

The slate will be kicked off with three Castle Rock Films, “Needful Things, “”Malice” and “Josh and S.A.M.,” all of which will be promoted and marketed under a Rock Solid Rental promotion.

The company will also release Robert Altman’s “Short Cuts” and again tap into the Kid ‘n Play franchise with “House Party 3.” Soon-to-be-released theatrical titles “8 Seconds” and “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues” will join the recently released “Blink” onthe slate.

In sell-through, where the company scored big last year with “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3,” New Line will market a 25th-anniversary edition of “The Lion in Winter” digitally remastered and offered in wide- and full-screen versions. The upcoming release of John Carpenter’s “Escape From New York” will include extra footage and a featurette on the making of the film.

Featurettes, which played a big part in New Line’s value-added programming, will continue next year. The company believes the “making of” infofilms placed on the homevids helps to increase awareness for its releases.

Director Louis Malle was included in the featurette on “Damage,” as was Robert Altman on the vid release of “The Player.” The inclusion of a profile on the Hughes brothers, the creative team behind “Menace II Society,” helped stoke interest in that title.

As a result of its continued growth, New Line has also upped several key execs: Patti Bodner to VP of marketing, a new post; Cathy Mantegna-Scott to executive director of publicity; Sara Olson to director of marketing; and Pamela Kelley to executive director for national accounts.

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