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DVD/Bluray rights are cloudy, with a chance of MEATBALLS going to either sony or lionsgate?


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#1 of 7 OFFLINE   Louis Letizia

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Posted May 10 2012 - 06:11 AM

Almost at once, both Sony and Lionsgate announced that Meatballs would be released in June on Bluray(theres is more a rights question -then a bluray one)-Sony had released this on DVD-but, I am fascinated by this films foster child existence on video. I get that Paramount bought the rights to distribute this to theaters and probably lost those rights and yet it was on Paramount., Vestron and HBO vhs. It later went to DVD first on HBO , then Sony(?). Now Lionsgate has it coming on Bluray (is this through the Vestron connection or the Par/LG one?). But-Sony also announced it. Can anyone explain this tangled up like spaghetti rights trajectory on Meatballs ?

#2 of 7 OFFLINE   Jon Hertzberg

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Posted May 10 2012 - 06:28 AM

Almost at once, both Sony and Lionsgate announced that Meatballs would be released in June on Bluray(theres is more a rights question -then a bluray one)-Sony had released this on DVD-but, I am fascinated by this films foster child existence on video.
I get that Paramount bought the rights to distribute this to theaters and probably lost those rights and yet it was on Paramount., Vestron and HBO vhs. It later went to DVD first on HBO , then Sony(?). Now Lionsgate has it coming on Bluray (is this through the Vestron connection or the Par/LG one?). But-Sony also announced it.
Can anyone explain this tangled up like spaghetti rights trajectory on Meatballs ?

Marc Edward Heuck has posted at least a couple times times about this title's convoluted home video release history. A little searching around finds some answers.

#3 of 7 OFFLINE   Louis Letizia

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Posted May 10 2012 - 05:01 PM

I'm well aware of mr. Heucks explanation. But Lionsgate (nice poster art cover) was never in the loop till now. MEATBALLS is a very lucrative film for many.

#4 of 7 OFFLINE   Mark Edward Heuck

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Posted May 11 2012 - 12:30 AM

Where did you see that Sony was announcing a new release of MEATBALLS? I checked Amazon and Blu-Ray.com and all they list is the upcoming Lionsgate standard DVD and Blu-Ray releases, no new Sony editions. But to try streamlining that spaghetti tangle you talked about, it boils down to Lionsgate getting the movie back after years of outside rights issues. The previous Sony release was in fact sublicensed from Lionsgate themselves, since you can see their copyright line on all the supplements. Why they didn't put it out themselves back then is a worthwhile question, since they did have their own label and this would have been a lucrative property to reissue. My guess is that Sony offered LG a lot of money to give them a temporary license on the film, in order to cross-promote it with their release of the director's cut of STRIPES, to have two Bill Murray special editions in the marketplace at once; Lionsgate was a smaller company at the time, probably lacked the resources to do a huge sell-through promotion to retailers like Sony could do, and Sony probably offered them a piece of the take. It's been over 5 years since that Sony release, and obviously, now Lionsgate is a huge studio of their own and they can do their own push on the movie, so they are. Sound right?
"As I looked back over my life, I realized that I enjoyed nothing--not art, not sex--more than going to the movies." -- Gore Vidal

#5 of 7 OFFLINE   Louis Letizia

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Posted May 11 2012 - 04:12 AM

Its listed on DVD Empire-with coverart. Thanks for the explanation. Meatballs has been very lucrative for years. While I was never a great fan of it -theres no denying its impact on slob comedies in the 70s, begun by Animal House the year before. Animal House/Meatballs seem to be the comic equivalent of Halloween/Friday the 13th in their influencing most of what we saw as teens in the 70s/80s. Paramount even had a mini subgenre all their own with camp related flicks. These 4 behemoths spawned probably more imitators than the Bond films. The 60s were crawling with Spy movies like the 80s were with youth/horror.

#6 of 7 OFFLINE   Mark Edward Heuck

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Posted May 13 2012 - 02:30 PM

I went to DVD Empire and yes, I saw the listing for this ostensible Sony edition. But I noticed that it says "Pre-Announce" in the listing, which would technically mean that it has not yet been announced by Sony. I suspect that just maybe, this listing and coverart was created by DVD Empire as a presumptive measure, under the pretense that Sony would put it out. Often times, especially at Amazon, online dealers will create pages for DVD releases that don't yet exist, as a way of gauging interest - if you look at this page, it has a box to check that says "Notify when available" . I recall clicking on presumptive pages for FABULOUS STAINS and BREAKING GLASS long before they were commercially available - Amazon would tabulate interest and take it to the studios to show them pending demand. So I think you can safely disregard this Sony edition as just speculation on DVD Empire's behalf, especially since the two other sites I listed don't have it. It's Lionsgate's show now.
"As I looked back over my life, I realized that I enjoyed nothing--not art, not sex--more than going to the movies." -- Gore Vidal

#7 of 7 OFFLINE   Louis Letizia

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Posted May 13 2012 - 03:20 PM

Thanks...a very interesting wrinkle. As always..I am always grateful




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