In video the seasons come and go as they do everywhere, if not always in sync with seasons in other entertainments with which video competes for time and attention.
Early autumn, for example, with a new TV season unfolding, is usually a slower period in video stores. But this fall there are some big titles to promote -- three principal specimens being "Pretty Woman," with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, one of the best box-office performers of all time (Oct. 19); "Total Recall," with Arnold Schwarzenegger (Nov. 1), and the Disney 1953 animated classic "Peter Pan" (Sept. 21), to complement the Mary Martin TV "Peter Pan" released last month.
And earlier this month, to satisfy video's hunger for commemoratives, CBS/Fox issued a 25th anniversary edition of "The Sound of Music."
Another major release this fall comes with a controversy. Paramount has angered many in the industry by raising by $5 the wholesale price of its "Hunt for Red October" (due Oct. 25), starring Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin.
If other studios follow suit with their big titles, it is feared that the price increases could contribute to higher rents at video stores.
Other "name" films just out or due soon are "Glory" (Sept. 19), with Denzel Washington and Matthew Broderick, and Paramount's "Another 48 Hours" (Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte), coming next month.
In November there will be "Back to the Future III," with Michael J. Fox, and "Bird on a Wire," with Goldie Hawn and Mel Gibson. December will bring "RoboCop II."
Next year will come "Ghost," with Patrick Swayze and Whoopi Goldberg, this summer's surprise box-office hit; "Days of Thunder," with Tom Cruise; and "Die Hard 2," with Bruce Willis.
Video stores also offer good pickings from films that may never have received much critical notice or reaped big revenues at the box office.
October and November will bring a number of titles with characteristics that could make video hits: "Stanley and Iris," with Robert De Niro, always a draw on video, and Jane Fonda; "In the Spirit," a comedy with Peter Falk, Melanie Griffith, Elaine May and Olympia Dukakis; "The Gods Must Be Crazy" (both I and II); "Miami Blues," with Alec Baldwin; "Wild Orchid," with Mickey Rourke, both the R and unrated versions; "Q&A;," with Nolte, and "Cadillac Man," with Robin Williams.