The Sandlot 2: It has been more than a decade since the original, but 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment thinks it can score a home run with its 2005 DVD premiere movie The Sandlot 2.
This is the first project for Tom Siegrist since signing on as VP production at Fox in February. Sandlot 2 is expected to street within the second quarter of next year.
Many of the key players from the baseball-themed The Sandlot, released theatrically in 1993, are returning for the sequel. Director David Mickey Evans and stars James Earl Jones and Karen Allen (Raiders of the Lost Ark) are back. Fresh additions include former Ally McBeal cast member Greg Germann.
After grossing $35 million at the box office, The Sandlot has sold 7 million video units, 2 million of which have been since 1999.
"It was such a tremendous family movie," Siegrist said. "It was strongly remembered, and the audience is still looking for the same product."
At his previous post at Universal Studios Home Video, Siegrist worked on straight-to-video sequel Bring It On Again. Snagging $26 million since its January release, Bring It On Again ranks only behind Buena Vista Home Entertainment's The Lion King 11⁄2 ($156 million) among top-selling video premieres this year.
"It's a tough market to get a good feel for," said Rich Wilde, video marketing manager for Texas-based Hastings chain. "But definitely the family titles are going to play better."
Siegrist declined to discuss specific costs but said Sandlot 2 has been budgeted at a "mid-level range" compared to his various DVD premiere projects. He hopes to launch four to six video premieres a year.
The division also will look out for theatrical financing opportunities. It is currently behind The Incident of Loch Ness, a mockumentary, which will have a limited release in 10 cities later this fall.
As for Sandlot 2, "it's intended as a DVD launch" but will be reviewed by execs for possible limited release, Siegrist said. A promo partnership is under discussion.