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Still Ticking . . .

October 25, 1987|Pat H. Broeske

Not to kick a dead camel . . . but we couldn't help but notice that RCA-Columbia Pics Home Video is going pretty far in its promotion of the "Ishtar" video, due Nov. 17.

In fact, they're going clear to Morocco--which is where the $40-million-plus Warren Beatty/Dustin Hoffman/Elaine May bomb was filmed.

That is, two grand-prize winners of the "Road to Riches" sweepstakes will win two weeks (for two) in "magical, mysterious Morocco."

And more: 10 first-prize winners of RCA Dimensia Remote Control TV/Monitors, 50 second prizes of Casablanca Ceiling Fans, 250 third prizes of Yamaha Electronic Keyboards and 2,000 fourth prizes--leather luggage tags bearing the "Ishtar" logo.

Asked about all this hype for what undoubtedly ranks as this year's biggest theatrical fiasco (ticket sales were a paltry $14.3 million), RCA/Columbia Pics Home Video PR director Fritz Friedman said, "We think an exciting promotion should go with an exciting film."

Acknowledging what he called an "inverse correlation" between box office and video performance, he said diplomatically: "Sometimes, the more controversial a film is--even at the box office--the better it will do in the video stores. People will say, 'Is this as bad as everyone said?' and will have to see for themselves." He hastened to add, "I'm not saying that 'Ishtar' is a bomb."

But the curious may prefer to rent--rather than buy: It will be offered at . . . $89.95.

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