Times Staff Writer

The big news in the world of videocassettes recently has been Paramount's marketing strategy. The company has found that there's a whole new market for their former best-sellers at a lower price. This volume sales approach has been successful for items that were no longer selling big at higher prices.

Paramount dropped the price of old hits like "Trading Places," "An Officer and a Gentleman," "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" and "Flashdance" to $24.95. Consequently, sales of these videocassettes have markedly increased, pushing most of them back into the Top 10 of the Billboard magazine sales chart.

BITS: "Raquel, Total Beauty and Fitness" is surging. It's up to No. 12. . . . Slow-starting newcomer, "Streets of Fire," (No. 35) doesn't look like a hit. . . . "Madonna," a video featuring disco singer Madonna, debuted at No. 20 and could be a big seller. It's priced relatively low--$19.98--to appeal to the youth market. Other debuts: "Tightrope" (No. 32). This Clint Eastwood thriller should do bang-up business in the next few weeks.

RENTALS: "Robin Hood," the animated Disney oldie (1973), is doing well--No. 12. . . . "Tightrope" debuted at No. 25. It should be an even bigger hit as a rental. Other debuts: "Best Defense" (No. 20), "Cloak and Dagger" (No. 22) and "Manhattan" (No. 32).


1--"Purple Rain" (Warner Bros.).

2--"Jane Fonda's Workout" (Karl Video).

3--"Raiders of the Lost Ark" (Paramount).

4--"The Empire Strikes Back" (CBS-Fox).

5--"Prime Time" (Karl Video).

6--"48 HRS." (Paramount).

7--"Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (Paramount).

8--"Star Wars" (CBS-Fox).

9--"Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (Paramount).

10--"1984 Summer Olympics Highlights" (ABC).


1--"Police Academy" (Ladd/Warner Video).

2--"Purple Rain" (Warner Bros.).

3--"The Natural" (RCA/Columbia).

4--"The Empire Strikes Back" (CBS-Fox).

5--"The Last Starfighter" (Universal).

6--"Romancing the Stone" (CBS-Fox).

7--"Dreamscape" (Thorn/EMI).

8--"The Neverending Story" (Warner Bros.).

9--"Splash" (Touchstone).

10--"The Philadelphia Experiment" (Thorn/EMI).

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