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Wednesday - October 10, 2001
- Sony Gives $124 Million to Square
- Mummy Returns Breaks DVD Opening Records
- Blockbuster Launches Massive Shrek Promotions
- News Link of the Day - Animated TV Union Agreement


Sony Gives $124 Million to Square
(by digitalmediafx.com) Sony has given Square $124 million as an investment in the company's game making department, of which Sony will receive shares in exchange, making it an 18% owner in the company. The move further secures the loyalty of Square to Sony (Playstation) even though Square isn't contractually bound to not make games for other systems.

Square's Final Fantasy X is expected on U.S. shores in January 2002 for Playstation 2. Meanwhile Sony is claiming that it will not lower the price of the Playstation 2 this year, even with strong competition from Nintendo's GameCube and Microsoft's Xbox.

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Mummy Returns Breaks DVD Opening Records
(by digitalmediafx.com) Universal's The Mummy Returns has registered the biggest first week in the history of DVD with consumers purchasing over two million units of the record-breaking initial shipments of 4.5 million DVDs.

The combined DVD and VHS sales of The Mummy Returns have racked up more consumer sales in the first week than any other title since the release of Toy Story 2 with the DVD besting the biggest DVD of all time: Gladiator. The Mummy Returns combined initial week VHS and DVD sales are over 70% greater than the 1999 release of the original Mummy movie.

"This is a fantastic launch to what will be the biggest fourth quarter in the history of the video business," stated Craig Kornblau, president, Universal Studios Home Video.

The Mummy Returns DVD includes a sneak peek at next year's spinoff, The Scorpion King.

The record could be short-lived, however, depending on demand for the DVD release of The Phantom Menace next week and Shrek next month.

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Blockbuster Launches Massive Shrek Promotions
(by digitalmediafx.com) Blockbuster has prepped several promotions to tie in with the release of DreamWorks Shrek on November 2, 2001. The promotions include:

- For the pre-sell, customers will get a free DVD or VHS copy of Shrek when they buy a $25 10-week rental card from Oct. 2 - Nov. 1. Customers can pick up their free copy on the release date of Friday, Nov. 2. The 10-week rental cards are good for one rental per week at a participating Blockbuster store for each of the 10 consecutive weeks following activation. Each card is activated upon initial use and is valid at the store where the card is activated.

- The chain is offering three exclusive special-edition $5 Blockbuster GiftCards featuring Shrek. Customers will get one (1) Shrek $5 GiftCard free with the purchase of $50 in Blockbuster GiftCards from Oct. 23 - Dec. 16, while supplies last.

- To promote the release date, customers who buy Shrek on VHS or DVD with a tub of popcorn and receive an instant $3 off the purchase, through Nov. 20.

- In-store promotion includes in-store retail merchandiser, POP -- terminal toppers, shelf talkers and window decals -- plus in-store Blockbuster TV and direct mail.

- Development of local radio promotions and/or store events in the top 40 U.S. markets. Promotion details may vary.

Shrek DVD

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News Link of the Day - Performers in Animated TV Reach Union Agreement

According to FOX News:

"The Screen Actors Guild has reached a tentative three-year contract for performers working in animated television.

Terms were not released pending a two-step ratification process that begins Thursday with members receiving details of the offer. SAG's national board also must approve the agreement..."

Click here for the full story.

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