Filmauro, BMG Video ink package

Italo production and distribution outfit Filmauro has pacted with BMG Video for the release of 13 Filmauro titles on homevideo, starting with Roberto Benigni’s hit “The Monster.”

Also included in the deal are “Bullets Over Broadway,” “Pret-a-Porter,” “Kika” and “The Professional.”

Filmauro topper Aurelio De Laurentiis is undertaking a first-of-its-kind operation with the release of “Monster,” launching the serial-killer comedy simultaneously as a rental, sell-through and newsstand title.

The film went out Nov. 28 via BMG to video rental and retail outlets. In a separate agreement, periodical distributor DeAdis supplied the release to newsstands nationwide, packaged with a 24-page booklet on the film, published by Filmauro. In all, 550,000 units were shipped, backed by a $1.5 million promotional campaign that includes saturation TV advertising.

De Laurentiis, along with many other producer-distributors, is irked by the proliferation of cut-price videos being sold with national newspapers and news magazines. In the past year, an estimated 5 million cassettes have been sold at newsstands each week.

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