Nat'l Lampoon gains control


Newly launched National Lampoon Home Entertainment is revving up with a series of direct partnerships with key retailers such as Blockbuster Inc., Movie Gallery, Netflix and FYE, as well as distributors Ingram, VPD and Baker & Taylor.

The new division gives National Lampoon direct control of the development, acquisition and distribution of all its home entertainment properties for the first time.

National Lampoon plans to distribute 12 feature films a year, four of them original productions and the remainder acquisitions. Some films will be released theatrically through National Lampoon Releasing, while others will be released directly to DVD through National Lampoon Home Entertainment.

The first release will be the original production "National Lampoon's Bag Boy," a comedy with Dennis Farina and Paul Campbell that was helmed by Mort Nathan and is slated to hit theaters soon.

Also in the pipeline are the acquisitions "National Lampoon Presents Electric Apricot: The Quest for Festeroo," a mockumentary on the jam band scene that marks the directorial debut of musician Les Claypool, best known for his work with alternative rock band Primus; "National Lampoon's Homo Erectus," starring Adam Rifkin, who also wrote and directed the film; and "National Lampoon Presents Beach Party at the Threshold of Hell."

Meanwhile, Tom Daniels, president of worldwide distribution at National Lampoon, said the entertainment division has tapped Victoria Sarro and Brandon Wong of M Media Group for its marketing team.

"It's an exciting step in National Lampoon's growth to be taking direct control of our home entertainment properties," Daniels said. "The launch of National Lampoon Home Entertainment and our direct retail partnerships will enable us to maximize revenue from our new titles and from our feature library, which we are building for the first time in Lampoon history."