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Lionsgate's pad

Lionsgate has cut a multiyear deal with LeapFrog Enterprises — which develops technology-based learning products — to develop, produce and distribute direct-to-DVD feature films. Lionsgate also has acquired home entertainment distribution rights to LeapFrog's catalog. With last week's signing of a distribution agreement with HIT Entertainment, Lionsgate is now looking at capturing 15% of the nontheatrical family home entertainment business.



HD DVD group out

The HD DVD North American Promotional Group is officially dead now that Toshiba pulled the plug on the next-generation format. Ken Graffeo, who served as the group's co-president with Universal Studios Home Entertainment chief Craig Kornblau and doubled as the studio's HD DVD point man, is exploring options.



Slimming down

Conscious of a space crunch at retail and in consumer homes, Sony is rolling out a new line of thinner boxes for use with multidisc collections. Complete-series sets of the TV shows "Soap" (12 discs) and "What's Happening!!" (nine discs) will arrive in stores June 10 in "Space Saver" packaging, each a little more than an inch thick.



Latino confab

The fifth annual Latino DVD Conference will be held Tuesday at the InterContinental Hotel Los Angeles in Century City. The event, produced by Home Media Magazine, takes a look at the growing Latino population and Hollywood's attempts to reach it. Speakers at the one-day confab include filmmaker Youssef Delara and executives with Lionsgate, Xenon Pictures. Details: home mediaconferences.com.
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