NL plans $20 mil holiday season campaign

Just when you thought you’d heard the last of Austin Powers, New Line Home Video said it plans to spend $20 million to push “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” as a DVD and VHS sell-through title on Nov. 16.

New Line’s move marks its biggest marketing effort for a homevid title to date.

The sequel, being released prior to Thanksgiving, is expected to perform well through Christmas against other vid releases, including “The Matrix,” “The Mummy” and animated DVD titles from Disney.

Seeking another ‘Titanic’

Retailers are also expected to heavily back “Powers,” in an effort to repeat numbers generated by “Titanic’s” vid during the same holiday buying period a year ago.

“Austin Powers won’t do it alone, but retailers are going to put their marketing muscle behind the title because of ‘Titanic,’ ” said Matt Lasorsa, a spokesperson for New Line Home Video. “1998 was a very strong year for homevideo.”

The vid push for the latest Austin Powers pic is hardly surprising, since its predecessor, “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” proved a bigger hit on video than in theaters. In fact, many have attributed the sequel’s success at the B.O. to the vid.

The original title has sold more than 3.5 million units on VHS and another 750,000 on DVD. At launch, the new title is expected to ship up to 10 million VHS copies, alone, at $22.98 each.

Ads, credit card, and a float

New Line’s campaign, hoping to target 18-34 year-olds, will include a series of national TV and print spots, in-store support, as well as an Austin Powers Visa card from First USA and a float at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

JVC will also package the “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” DVD with its new DVD players, spending an additional $2.5 million in a separate campaign. New Line has also inked deals with Nabisco, Berkeley Systems, Maverick Records and Burst Gum.

The DVD, to retail for $24.98, will include nearly 20 minutes of deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette and multiple videos from Madonna, Lenny Kravitz and Mel B. Other content will include feature-length commentary by Myers, Comedy Central’s spy-o-graphy, “The Dr. Evil Story,” and menus starring Myers where he interacts with users.

DVD-ROM features include Austin Powers and Dr. Evil Web browsers and playable demo of the Austin Powers Operation trivia game from Berkley Systems.

“Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” has generated $205 million to date at the domestic B.O.

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