‘Blair’ bewitches license deals

Pic magnet for tie-ins

Artisan Entertainment’s new inhouse licensing and merchandising division is adding 18 domestic and international licensing deals for “The Blair Witch Project.”

The pic, which has already grossed more than $140 million worldwide, became available on homevideo and DVD on Friday and reaches many international markets in the next two months.

The pic has attracted new licensees for such product categories as apparel, accessories, publishing, gift/novelty and posters.

Domestically, such companies as Pangeo, Topps, C&D Visionary, Czar Marketing, Fotonovel and Signature Group have come aboard.

Topps has launched a line of cards and is developing a collectible card game based on the film.

On the international front, Australia-based Acme will introduce apparel and headwear items; British-based Alchemy has produced a series of dogtags due in stores soon; and Otter Press of Australia, Screenpress of the U.K. and Sperling of Italy are repackaging and distributing the domestic comic books.

Studio 21 is producing key chains, notebooks, playing cards, T-shirts, sweat shirts and caps for the South Korean marketplace, while the U.K.’s Zag Posters is creating postcards and Germany’s X-Treme is manufacturing socks, patches, knit hats, backpacks and pins.

The product from licensees will, for the most part, be available at retail stories by the film’s opening date in each respective territory.

Salerno & Associates has assisted Artisan in developing “The Blair Witch Project” marketing campaign.