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`Titanic’ producers hope for record-breaking dock on video

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If you're tired of paying $7 to see "Titanic" - and Leo - for the sixth, seven, eighth time, be of good cheer. James Cameron's ubiquitous love story will dock in video stores and retail outlets Sept. 1 with the consumer-friendly price tag of $19.95.

The movie, which is nearing the $600 million mark at the domestic box office, will be available initially only on VHS cassette in both pan-and-scan and wide-screen formats. A Spanish subtitled version of the film will also be sold.No plans have been made for a DVD release. Likewise, the much-rumored longer "director's cut" version of the film seems to be more myth than fact.

"This is the director's cut," Cameron said of the 194-minute version of the film that has been playing in theaters since December.

One news outlet reported that Cameron is working on a five-hour version of the film, but Cameron said that was news to him.

The release of the home video version will be accompanied by a massive ad campaign aimed at repeating its record-breaking box office success in video sales.

Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox, which jointly produced and distributed the film, want it to be a "must" on everyone's Christmas list and to break all records for live-action video sales, currently held by "Independence Day."

Paramount Home Video will distribute the video. PHV intends to launch its biggest marketing campaign ever in conjunction with corporate sponsors, Sprint and Max Factor.

The media blitz, including TV commercials and full page advertisements in newspapers and magazines in the United States and Canada, will cost more than $50 million - about $10 million more than the estimated $40 million spent on marketing the cinema version - and will last from August through the Christmas holiday period.

The studio's advertising partners are Sprint and Max Factor. Anyone who switches to the long distance telephone carrier will receive a voucher for $22 off the purchase of the video. Alternatively, there will be a voucher inside the video package that Sprint will redeem for $22 once the customer has switched to the phone company.

Max Factor is tying in the video with its largest advertising campaign ever. It has created a new line of colors based on the movie and customers who buy the video and $10 worth of the cosmetics company's products will receive a free copy of director James Cameron's book, "Titanic."

The movie, which won 11 Academy Awards this year, including best film, has so far grossed more than $1.7 billion worldwide.