More DVD sequels at Paramount?

Feola plans to mine studio's catalog

Move over, “American Pie” — there could be a DVD sequel of “Airplane” and “Naked Gun” movies on the way.

Louis Feola, Paramount Pictures newly crowned prexy of home entertainment madefors, plans to mine the studio’s catalog for a new line of prequels and sequels to begin hitting shelves by fourth quarter next year. Feola, a homevid veteran who helped build Universal’s lucrative line of direct to DVD franchises, will produce four to six pics annually with budgets under $10 million.

Paramount had a DVD Premiere department under its homevid arm, but it wasn’t as bullish as some of its rivals, especially Universal and Disney. This division will operate separately from homevid but collaborate with homevid, theatrical and TV division in developing projects. Feola reports to Rob Moore, President of Worldwide Marketing, Distribution and Home Entertainment.

“We’re going to make sure we’re lockstep with each other,” Feola said.

Ellen Pittleman, who had been charged with overseeing DVD premieres such as “Save the Last Dance 2,” will now focus entirely on acquisitions for the homevid arm, continuing to report to worldwide homevid topper, Kelley Avery.

Besides Par’s library, Feola expects to tap into properties from Par Vantage, MTV, Nickelodeon and BET.

“For whatever reasons, Paramount didn’t go in and exploit its catalog,” Feola said. “Quite frankly, we were ahead of the curve at Universal.”

While at Universal, Feola oversaw the production of 50 madefors, including a long line of “Land Before Time” sequels and several “American Pie” pics. He left U in 2004 after 25 years at the studio and has been consulting ever since.

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