NEW LINE VIDEO REVAMPS FLICK, GOES LOW ON $

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Cheapness doesn't necessarily come to mind when thinking of a key characteristic of a compelling brand. But for New Line Home Video, brand-building is the purpose of repricing its surprise box office smash "The Wedding Singer."

Starring former "Saturday Night Live" comedian Adam Sandler and "E.T." actress Drew Barrymore, New Line Cinema's "Wedding Singer" grossed more than $80 million during its theatrical run last spring. The flick piggybacked Gen X and Gen Y nostalgia for '80s pop music. And with youngsters still swooning from "Titanic," the market was ripe for a fun romantic comedy.

Still, the film didn't seem destined for after-market greatness. When the video was released in August at $24.99, its sales reminded the studio of its own "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery." An unexpected hit, "Austin Powers" matured into a video brand name that has driven retail sales and rentals over time. And its $15 sticker price made it harder for its young, bargain-hunting fans to resist.

So hoping for similar success, New Line will relaunch "Wedding Singer" in December, at $14.98.

"Instead of having a strong week or two at mass merchants at a higher price, we can have it there hopefully for months and months," said Steve Ramirez, New Line Home Video's VP-marketing. "Once we have that shelf space, it really opens the door to building a brand."

And promotional partners have signed on. Modern Bride will promote a sweepstakes in an upcoming issue; "Wedding Singer" videos and sound track recordings will be given to hundreds of first- and second-prize winners. Andrew Jergens Co.'s Biore Pore Perfect strips and Maverick Records, which markets the sound track, are on board with separate $5 rebate offers.

New Line Home Video will promote the less-expensive video with print ads in December issues of teen and female-targeted magazines. Creative and media buying are being handled in-house.

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