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lions gate dvds becoming a lot more kids friendly

lions gate dvds becoming a lot more kids friendly

Old 02-02-04, 03:03 PM
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lions gate dvds becoming a lot more kids friendly

perfect for when little Johnny wants to watch HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES!

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Everyone knows that DVDs are replacing VHS tapes. Retailers prefer their size, and most consumers prefer the picture quality, extra content and durability. And now, Lions Gate thinks it can win over one reluctant demographic with its new "pop-n-play" feature.

These VHS holdouts tend to be the parents of young children, according to Glenn Ross, president of Lions Gate's Family Home Entertainment division. He said that with videotape, even toddlers can hit a play button by themselves. But DVDs start up with menus offering all kinds of special features and things to choose from, presenting a confusing cornucopia for the smallest viewers. Pop-n-play makes the DVD start up automatically without pushing any buttons or needing any help from an adult.

"At about 2 years old, my son could say to me, 'Daddy, I want a video,"' Ross said. "I'd hand it to him, and he got a great sense of self-esteem from being able to do it himself. Then along came DVD. He couldn't read, much less click through the menu options. I'd end up having to say, 'You can't, honey.' That's absurd."

All of the options and special features made possible by the medium are still on the DVDs, of course. A click of the remote control's menu button makes them visible and usable in the normal way.

"We have all used the special features on DVDs as a marketing hook for a long time," Ross said. "People love those -- whether they watch them or not -- and getting rid of them would devalue the DVD. This is the best of both worlds. It serves every customer."

Ross said this development is something that he worked toward for a long time, but there was some initial resistance to it. He attributes part of that to the value of the extras and a worry that consumers might fail to spot them. That concern was eased by collaborating with the packaging design team.

The other main thing holding it back was simply the DVD legacy. "The early adopters were single, relatively affluent men, and it never really got out of that mode, even though the medium grew quickly," Ross said. "Now it's for the whole family, and I don't think anybody really thought about how that made using them different."

He recalled being at a conference and asking one of the speakers what special features that company put on their DVDs for kids. The answer he got was that the movies were in both widescreen and full-screen because younger viewers usually preferred the full-screen version.

For Ross, that was unacceptable. "Pop-n-play empowers kids," he said. "Retailers love it too; It got tremendous popular response from them."

Three titles will be the first to include pop-n-play: "Adventures in Care-a-Lot" and "Kingdom of Caring," featuring the 1980s icons Care Bears, and "Rock N' Roll Clifford" and "Team Clifford" on one disc, starring the award-winning red canine. The DVDs will be available Feb. 17 for the suggested retail price of $14.98 each.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter
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Old 02-02-04, 03:06 PM
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Great. Now DVD can be "empowering" to children. Whee!!!
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Old 02-02-04, 03:08 PM
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Old 02-02-04, 06:48 PM
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Menus that come on before the movie are annoying. Start the ****ing movie already, in the native language with no subtitles. If I want to play with the menu, I'll hit the Menu button.
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Old 02-02-04, 06:52 PM
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I enjoy the Menus, because sometimes I want to watch the trailer for the movie first, especially if it was a blindbuy.
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