Anniversary gifts: special DVDs

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Several high-profile movies will soon be getting the anniversary treatment on DVD as home video marketers take advantage of one of the most obvious promotional opportunities in the business.

First up is a 25th anniversary edition of "The Care Bears Movie," from MGM Home Entertainment, arriving in stores March 20. The limited-edition DVD of the animated classic includes one of the first "Care Bears" TV specials, lost since its original broadcast. Also out that day are Volumes 1 and 2 of the original "Care Bears" TV series. To promote the releases, MGM is teaming with American Greetings on a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign that includes a trivia sweepstakes in which top prize is a Dodge Caravan.

Paramount Home Entertainment is preparing a 25th anniversary edition of "An Officer and a Gentleman" for May 1. The DVD comes with a commentary by director Taylor Hackford, a photo gallery, several retrospective documentaries and a featurette on real-life military romances.

On May 8, Lionsgate will release a lavish 20th anniversary edition of "Dirty Dancing" on standard DVD and Blu-ray Disc. The two-disc DVD includes an interview with star Patrick Swayze and a tribute to the late Jerry Orbach, who played Baby's father. The DVD release will be accompanied by a limited theatrical rerelease of the film, a remastered soundtrack, mobile content, a stage show in London and a line of apparel and accessories.

Also coming May 8 is a 25th anniversary edition of classic screwball comedy "Porky's," from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The "One Size Fits All" edition comes with a commentary from director Bob Clark, various retrospective features, new on-camera interviews, a vintage video game and a photo gallery. The teenage sex romp also will be available as part of the "Porky's Ultimate Collection," which includes all three "Porky's" films -- the "One Size" edition of the original, "Porky's II: The Next Day" and "Porky's Revenge," never before available on DVD.

Paramount also has set May 22 as the release date for a 20th anniversary edition of the Carl Reiner-helmed comedy "Summer School." The DVD comes with a commentary from Reiner and star Mark Harmon, a photo gallery and two retrospective featurettes.

Analyst Tom Adams of Adams Media Research isn't surprised at this flurry of activity on the anniversary-DVD front. As the retail shelf space crunch continues to worsen, he said, studios are looking for any opportunity they can find to stand out.

"And since practically every marketable catalog film has already come out at least once," he said, "you need to create a really special edition to get noticed at retail."
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