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|February 26, 2000|
Shyamalan passes Stuart Little sequel
Arthur J Pais
The global sensation, The Sixth Sense, will be unveiled on home video and DVD on March 28, exactly two days after the Oscars.
What if the film upsets predictions and wins against the front-runner, American Beauty? Sources at Disney say it could still continue playing in several hundred theaters if it wins major Oscars. If not, it will be on in a few hundred movie houses for at least a week or two.
By the time the Oscars are announced, the movie would have grossed $ 300 million in North America and about $ 400 million abroad. Its current gross is $ 282 million in North America and about $ 330 million abroad.
The DVD, priced at $ 29.95, will be launched with an advertisement blitz costing over $ 1 million. It will contain an interview with director Manoj Night Shyamalan and edited scenes from the film. It will also have storyboard-to-film comparisons.
Though Disney gave complete freedom to Shyamalan, in scripting and directing, and the power to have the final cut, at least 10 minutes of the film was edited out.
It will be the first of the five best picture nominees to come out on video.
Among the five, The Insider, which has been nominated for major Oscars, has almost run out of luck at the box-office.
The Oscar nominations have not improved its initial $ 27 million dismal gross considerably. It might end up with just about $ 32 million before Oscar eve. American Beauty, which could reach the $ 100 million mark (from the current $ 81 million), has not announced any dates for video or DVD launch. Cider House Rules, which is a comparatively new movie, is expected to reach the $ 40 million mark (from its current $ 22 million) before the Oscars. It too has no video or DVD release date.
Green Mile, another major Oscar contender, which has already grossed $ 120 million and could end up with about $ 140 million by March 26, is expected to be on DVD in late April.
Industry experts say The Sixth Sense could have explosive video sales. Many expect that it could generate at least $ 150 million in video sales in America alone. The film has been sold to airlines, television and cable networks for about $ 30 million in America. Worldwide video and television sale grosses could work out to more than $ 300 million. In all, the film could collect about $ 1 billion.
For a film which cost about $ 45 million, The Sixth Sense will be among the most profitable films ever made.
In another development, Shyamalan has said he will not be involved in the sequel for Stuart Little, the animation hit, which has grossed $ 135 million in America and about $ 60 million abroad in about 15 markets.
Shyamalan co-wrote the script for the Columbia release. Worldwide, the film about a talking mouse, could roar to the tune of $ 350 million, Hollywood insiders say.
Columbia, which spent a princely $ 120 million on the movie -- with a substantial part of the budget going for the creation of the mouse -- has a potentially lucrative project on hand.
But Shyamalan, who is getting ready to shoot his new suspense thriller starring Bruce Willis and Samuel T Jackson, does not want to think about any other project.
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