Vid tosses ‘Sinbad’ a line

Release to include bios, games, printable masks

HOLLYWOOD — DreamWorks Home Entertainment is preparing to raise a strong wind to propel the Nov. 18 DVD/VHS release of “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas” further than the film’s disappointing $26 million box office gross.

The unit is creating a marketing campaign similar to the one it mounted for last year’s “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron,” which led to disproportionately strong sales of 5 million units after a box office gross of $73 million.

The multimillion-dollar campaign includes another boatload of promotional partners such as Baskin-Robbins, M&Ms and Intel.

DreamWorks domestic video head Kelly Sooter said “Sinbad” appeals to a broader range of consumers than “Spirit,” and there are fewer competitors in the family video arena this year than last, when “Monsters, Inc.,” “Ice Age,” “Lilo & Stitch,” “Scooby-Doo,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Stuart Little 2” were released in the period. This year there are just two behemoth family market competitors debuting on DVD, “Finding Nemo” and “The Lion King.”

The “Sinbad” DVD includes a six-minute interactive extra, “Cyclops Island,” featuring the voices of the toon’s stars, Brad Pitt and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Taking off where the movie ends, “Cyclops Island” allows viewers to use their remotes to manipulate one of five characters through a new adventure.

The DVD also includes character bios, three set-top games including “Sinbad’s Sailing Challenge,” DVD-ROM games, printable masks and coloring pages and favorite scene selections. The DVD also contains a commentary by directors Patrick Gilmore and Tim Johnson and other filmmakers, a making-of featurette, production notes and cast and crew bios.

Promo push

To encourage immediate consumer purchase, each VHS and DVD copy of Sinbad will include an instant-win game. Promotional partners also will give the DVD exposure. Baskin-Robbins will run a TV campaign for the Deep Blue Menace Sundae and Sinbad’s Triple Punch Sherbert; M&Ms Magic Minis will have a Sinbad theme; Intel and Atari Inc., which make the Sinbad PC game, will run TV advertising a week after the DVD street date; Regal Cinemas will have Sinbad-themed popcorn bags; Applebee’s Restaurants will give away 4 million children’s cups and kids activity books; and Hewlett-Packard will provide Sinbad-themed projects for kids online.

(Jennifer Netherby is a reporter for Daily Variety sister publication Video Business.)