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OUTTAKES THE SEQUEL

Formula Movies

November 22, 1987|Craig Modderno

Noticed the bundle of baby movies hitting theaters? It started with "Raising Arizona" early this year, revolving around a kidnaped tyke. "Baby Boom" and "Made in Heaven" are currently out featuring toddlers. Opening this week is "Three Men and a Baby"--a remake of the 1986 French film "Three Men and a Cradle," about bachelors trying to raise an infant. "Maybe Baby" is acoming with Molly Ringwald. Likewise John Hughes' "She's Having a Baby," to be released early next year.

Are yuppie ticketbuyers really so fascinated by the diapered set?

UA seems to think so. Among its promotional gimmicks for "Boom": a weeklong ticket giveaway at radio station WLVQ in Columbus, Ohio, to the adult listener who offered the best imitation baby cry on the air; a speed-diapering contest in a Tulsa department store where dolls were used in place of real babies; a slew of planted articles connected to parenting, and a print and TV tie-in with Robin Leach doing a voice-over for a Huggies diaper ad, featuring "Baby Boom" star baby Elizabeth realizing that "You can never be too dry or too happy" while enjoying the "Lifestyles of the Young and Famous."

But Touchstone won't emphasize cute cuddlers for "Three Men and a Baby," said a publicist: "We're not promoting the baby angle. Who needs babies when you have three handsome actors (Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg, Ted Danson) to sell a film? These are men women want to have babies with!"

Reps for "Maybe Baby" and "She's Having a Baby" claim their campaigns will also downplay newborns.

Explains a Hughes spokesman: "Our film is about the emotional growth of two people having a child. The baby is almost regarded as just a necessary prop in the picture."

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