While The Long Walk Home and Not Without My Daughter weren’t hits in theaters, don’t write them off as flops just yet. These are exactly the sorts of movies that thrive in home video, which last year, according to new data, pumped twice as much money ($10.3 billion) into Hollywood as theaters did ($5.1 billion). In fact, in 1990 studios earned more from the video-store giant Blockbuster alone than from the top two theatrical chains combined.
Of course, plenty of movies do boffo biz on the big screen. But with those like Home and Daughter — small films whose stars may be past their popularity peak but still command an audience — moviemakers and video insiders alike often regard the theatrical run as mere advertising for the eventual cassette release. ”Home video had to have had a tremendous impact on the decision to make those two movies,” says Kirk Kirkpatrick, VP of sales for Waxworks Videoworks, a major videocassette wholesaler. ”I think with both movies, they’re counting on video to be the cake, not the icing.”