The hot rumor in video circles is that "Beverly Hills Cop," the blockbuster hit movie starring Eddie Murphy, is going to be released in the fall on Paramount. The good news for consumers is that Paramount is known for pricing popular cassettes at relatively low prices. If "Cop" sells for $30 or $40 many of its fans will buy rather than rent. According to an insider, if it sells at $30 "Cop" would quickly become one of the industry's best-selling cassettes.
If a fall release is planned, the announcement will be made sometime this summer, followed by an expensive, approximately two-month advertising campaign.
If any movie could top "Cop" on cassette, it's "E.T." Some industry insiders are speculating that the Steven Spielberg fantasy, the current box office champ, will be released just before the Christmas season. Video store owners would love that. "E.T" would definitely generate lots of traffic at the nation's video outlets. One industry source said that negotiations for the cassette rights to "E.T." are in the works. Reportedly one offer is $10 million. That, quipped the source, would be a bargain.
LIVE AID VIDEO?: If you want to preserve any of the all-star July 13 Live Aid concerts for African famine relief, you'll have to tape the telecasts presented by ABC and MTV from London and Philadelphia stadiums. Surprisingly, there won't a videocassette featuring highlights and backstage footage.
Said a spokesman for Worldwide Sports and Entertainment, the company producing the show: "Bob Geldof (the rock singer who conceived and organized the concerts) and the artists decided not to market a cassette. If this was being done in a studio that's different. But there's a quality loss in a live concert. Too many things you can't control. The artists wanted to do the live concerts and leave it at that."
FOREIGN FILMS--TO DUB OR NOT TO DUB: A few years ago, there weren't too many foreign films available on cassette in this country. What was worse, many of the cassette versions were dubbed into English. It was a frustrating time for foreign film purists, because they hate dubbed movies. But now, observed video store owner Meir Hed, most of the foreign films on cassette are subtitled.
"I don't like to see films dubbed," insisted Hed. "The result is not what the film maker intended. Also, the dubbing is often done badly."
Hed probably knows more about the foreign film cassette market than most video store owners. His Videotheque stores, in Westwood and Beverly Hills, are nationally known for having one of the most extensive foreign film collections in the country. Needless to say, you won't find many dubbed films in his store.
"I only have a dubbed version when I have no choice," he explained. "If it's a film I want and it's not available with subtitles, then I stock the dubbed version."
His clientele for these cassettes is primarily collectors who rent rather than buy. "There's a surprisingly large market for classics like '8 1/2' and 'Fanny and Alexander,' " he said. "These films aren't that hard for us to get. Most stores just don't bother to stock them."
A big seller among the more recent films, Hed noted, is the Spanish flamenco film, "Carmen." Some of his more obscure cassettes don't sell as quickly, but Hed keeps them in stock anyway. He has a cassette of Roman Polanski's 1965 thriller, "Repulsion." What's unusual about it is that it's in English with Japanese subtitles. You can imagine how many people want that one.
MUSIC AND ARTS: Pop: Sade's album, "Diamond Life," has been the surprise pop hit of the year. To capitalize on the popularity of this young Nigerian-British female singer (pronounced Shar-day), CBS-Fox is releasing "Sade: Diamond Life Video" at the end of July. Priced at $14.95, it includes four song videos and interview footage. . . . "The Fixx: Live in the USA," a concert film featuring the avant-garde English band, is due in early August (MCA, $29.95). . . . "Elton John--Night and Day: The Nightime Concert," shot a year ago at Wembley Stadium just outside London, is in the stores this week (Vestron, $29.95).
Ballet: Sony is offering, for $39.95, "Don Quixote (Kitri's Wedding)," Mikhail Baryshnikov's American Ballet Theater production, shot at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1983, featuring Baryshnikov and Cynthia Harvey. . . . In early August, MCA will release, at $29.95, "An Evening with the Royal Ballet." Shot in 1963, it stars Rudolph Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn.
NEW AND COMING: "The Flamingo Kid," the Matt Dillon movie, has just been released (Vestron, $$79.95). Industry experts predict that this will be a Top 10 rental. Also in the stores this week: The John Candy-Eugene Levy spoof, "The Shmenges: The Last Polka" (Vestron, $59.95).
Vestron has announced the release of Woody Allen's acclaimed "The Purple Rose of Cairo," starring Mia Farrow, at the end of August. The price wasn't mentioned. . . . "Blood Simple," a thriller directed by newcomer Joel Coen, will be out in early August on MCA at $79.95.
In the stores next week: The Michael Keaton comedy "Johnny Dangerously," and "Garbo Talks," starring Anne Bancroft. Both on CBS-Fox at $79.98.
Classics: Next week Embassy is releasing the "The Best Years of Our Lives," the biggest Oscar winner of 1946, for $89.95 and "The Little Foxes" (1941), one of Bette Davis' best, for $69.95. The Marx Brothers' "Monkey Business" (1931) will be available in early August on MCA for $59.95.
CHARTS: "Places in The Heart," starring Sally Field as the gutsy farmer, is off to a great start on the Billboard magazine rental chart, climbing from No. 12 to No. 7 in its second week. Another of last year's "farm" movies, "The River," debuted at No. 15.
"Falling in Love" doesn't have blockbuster potential but the Meryl Streep-Robert DiNiro love story is a modest hit so far, moving up 17 places to No. 16 in its second week on the chart. . . . "Songwriter," the Willie Nelson-Kris Kristofferson movie, isn't doing very well. In its second week on chart it plunged from No. 27 to No. 35. . . . "Protocol," the Goldie Hawn comedy, debuted at No. 33.
"Wrestlingmania" premiered modestly on the sales chart, at No. 29. This ($39.95) video will probably take a big jump next week. "Hulkmania," starring Hulk Hogan, debuted at No. 33. It costs $20 dollars more than "Wrestlingmania" but the Hulk's fans should love it. This one should sell fairly well. . . . "Missing in Action," featuring Chuck Norris, looks like a sales chart hit. It's No. 14 after only three weeks.
TOP VIDEOCASSETTES, RENTALS
1. "The Karate Kid" (RCA/Columbia).
2. "The Terminator," (Thorn/EMI).
3. "Missing in Action," (MGM/UA).
4. "The Cotton Club," (Embassy).
5. "Dune," (MCA).
6. "City Heat," (Warner Bros.)
7. "Places in the Heart" (CBS-Fox).
8. "Teachers" (CBS-Fox).
9. "Body Double" (RCA/Columbia).
10. "Revenge of the Nerds" (CBS-Fox).
TOP VIDEOCASSETTES, SALES
1. "Jane Fonda's Workout" (Karl).
2. "Star Trek III: The Search For Spock" (Paramount).
3. "Gone With the Wind" (MGM/UA).
4. "Prime Time" (Karl).
5. "Wham! The Video" (CBS-Fox).
6. "The Karate Kid" (RCA/Columbia).
7. "The Terminator" (Thorn/EMI).
8. "Lionel Richie All Night Long" (MusicVision ).
9. "Tina Turner Private Dancer" (Sony).
10. "The Jane Fonda Workout Challenge" (Karl).