‘Robots’ ratchets up

Fox gears up for simultaneous DVD/PSP push

Fox is waiting more than six months — forever in DVD land nowadays — to release its $126 million-grossing toon “Robots,” but the Sept. 20 debut will mark the studio’s first simultaneous bow for the Sony PlayStation Portable.

Release is timed to get a jump on the popular fourth-quarter selling season and is positioned with marketing muscle the studio hopes will keep it on shelves through the holidays.

Two-disc DVD will be competing with a wave of new and classic animated movies on DVD in the fourth quarter and holiday gift-giving season, including special editions of “Toy Story” (Sept. 6) and “Cinderella” (Oct. 4) as well as the certain fourth-quarter release of DreamWorks’ “Madagascar,” most likely in November, and at least 15 animated straight-to-DVD movies led by “Lilo & Stitch 2” on Aug. 30.

Fox plans a media spend of $20 million on the title and tie-ins with at least a handful of promotional partners and brands including Kellogg’s, Keebler Snacks, ConAgra II Microwave Popcorn and Ortega.

Fox says the campaign will be bigger than that for the DVD of “Ice Age,” which propelled that release to become one of 2002’s top five titles, with consumer spending more than 50% higher than the pic’s $176 million box office gross, according to research by Daily Variety sister publication DVD Exclusive.

Among the bonus features on the “Robots” DVD will be an original four-minute CG-animated short produced exclusively for the DVD called “Aunt Fanny’s Tour of Booty”; an Xbox multiplayer racing game and several other interactivities; and hours of traditional bonus features.

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