Timing tricky because movie still a moneymaker

Buena Vista Home Entertainment has quietly started informing major retailers that surprise hit “Spy Kids” from Disney’s Miramax/Dimension will be released on video in September.

The timing is a little tricky since pic is still raking in millions of dollars at movie theaters — it was third-biggest last weekend with $5.7 million in its fifth week. Studios don’t like to make video plans public while movies are still flourishing at the box office.

But mass merchants such as Wal-Mart, where most videos are sold, typically need to develop plans as early as March and April for fall and holiday-selling seasons. Universal Studios Home Video held a major event for its key retail accounts at Universal Studios in Orlando last week for last year’s “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” which isn’t being released until Nov. 20.

Disney traditionally releases its holiday theatrical family pics from the previous year for purchase on video in late third quarter/early fourth quarter, announcing them to retailers in February or March.

But director Robert Rodriguez’s large-scale fantasy-action adventure “Spy Kids” has generated nearly $94 million and shaped up to be a perfect family title for Disney to release to the sell-through market in the all-important fourth quarter.

Buena Vista would not comment.

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