Studio extends toon vid pact

DIC Entertainment and American Greetings have expanded their DVD output deal with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Under the new five-year, multimillion-dollar pact, Fox will distribute DIC catalog titles from the Care Bears, Madeline, Inspector Gadget and Dennis the Menace lines.

American Greetings created the properties, and DIC acts as the brands’ licensor.

In addition, DIC and American Greetings have extended Fox’s series of new Strawberry Shortcake releases, including four made-for-DVD releases in 2007. First on deck is the Nov. 14 made-for-DVD bow of “Cooking Up Fun.”

Fox first partnered with DIC and American Greetings in 2003, helping relaunch the 1980s Strawberry Shortcake franchise. Since then, Fox has sold more than 9 million DVD and VHS units in the franchise Stateside, generating $1.5 billion in worldwide retail sales between 2003 and 2005.

Prior to Fox, a variety of suppliers handled the DIC catalog, including Lionsgate and UAV.

Earlier this year Fox signed on to release three straight-to-DVD Care Bears pics and one theatrical film between 2007 and 2008.

Fox’s success with Strawberry Shortcake at Christian outlets particularly impressed DIC, and DIC hopes the studio can break its Madeline property into the Christian market as well.

“That makes sense for our other product as well,” said DIC global sales topper Nancy Fowler.

DIC plans to relaunch Madeline, a mischievous Parisian schoolgirl first introduced in a 1939 children’s tome, next year with toys and DVDs.

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