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'MOULON ROUGE' GAINS NEW INTEREST.

Byline: Greg Hernandez Staff Writer

What a difference eight Academy Award nominations can make.

The musical ``Moulin Rouge,'' which earned Oscar nods for best picture and best actress (Nicole Kidman), among others, is burning up the home video market with a 160 percent spike in DVD sales since the nominations were announced last week.

``Moulin,'' released early last year, is the only one of the five best picture nominees that is no longer playing in movie theaters. The other four, ``Gosford Park,'' ``In the Bedroom,'' ``A Beautiful Mind'' and ``The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,'' have all experienced significant box office boosts because of the nominations.

``All of the Oscar nominees got a spike and the one for `Moulin Rouge' happened to be on home video,'' said Steve Feldstein, spokesman for 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The stylish musical, set in Paris' now legendary Moulin Rouge nightclub, also stars Ewan McGregor. It was directed, co-written and produced by Baz Luhrmann.

After the nominations were announced, Fox unveiled a new television advertising campaign touting the award recognition and reminding consumers about their ability to rent or own the film.

Retailers, anticipating an increase in consumer demand for the film, increased their re-orders by 1,400 percent. The film has also experienced a 40 percent jump in VHS rentals.

``The movie is unlike any other and its performance in the home entertainment arena continues to be stellar,'' Feldstein said. ``People who saw it in the theaters I'm sure loved and bought it but I think word-of- mouth, and obviously the Oscar nominations, has created greater interest. It's reached a wider universe.''

``Moulin Rouge'' is now an officially bigger hit on home video than it was at the box office where it grossed a so-so $59 million domestically. Since its December release on home video, consumers have spent approximately $70 million on DVD purchases and VHS rentals, according to Fox.

That home video revenue is expected to grow further in the coming weeks, especially in mid-March, when a VHS ``special edition'' of the movie will be released for sale at a suggested price of $14.98. The new VHS will have approximately 20 minutes worth of additional material and will be accompanied by a new, multi-million advertising campaign about a week before the Academy Awards are announced on March 24.

CAPTION(S):

2 photos

Photo:

(1 -- color) ``Moulin Rouge'' stars Nicole Kidman as the high-kicking courtesan Satine.

(2) Nicole Kidman has been nominated for an Oscar as best actress for her performance in ``Moulin Rouge,'' a dazzling musical directed by Baz Luhrmann that merges turn-of-the-century decadence with contemporary pop music.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Feb 22, 2002
Words:441
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