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Breaking News: Paramount and Warner Bros. Announce Home Media Distribution Deal


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#1 of 75 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted October 04 2012 - 08:16 AM

Paramount Home Media Distribution and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Announce Home Media Distribution Deal for the U.S. and Canada and a Joint Commitment to Flixster



HOLLYWOOD, CA (October 4, 2012) – Paramount Home Media Distribution and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group today announced that they have reached a strategic alliance centering on more than 600 catalog titles from the Paramount film library.  The deal grants Warner Bros. exclusive rights to physical Blu-ray and DVD distribution of those titles in the US and Canada, and will make Paramount’s UltraViolet offerings available on a non-exclusive basis through Flixster, the Warner Bros. movie streaming and discovery service.


“We are bullish on this deal as it firmly supports innovation in a critical aspect of our business, while at the same time it leverages our collective strengths and assets to maximize profits in the present market,” said Dennis Maguire, president of Paramount Home Media Distribution. “Flixster provides access to the leading movie discovery application that will promote digital content ownership and aid in expanding our digital business. At the same time, on the physical side, this agreement enables us to manage our profitability in a time of change in the marketplace and to focus more resources on new releases. With its strong infrastructure and track record, Warner will not only safeguard but enhance the long-term value of titles covered by this agreement.”


“These Paramount catalog titles are the perfect complement to the Warner Bros. library; they will allow us to offer consumers new multi-feature film packages and debut many titles on Blu-ray for the first time,” said Ron Sanders, president, Warner Home Video. “The deal also adds a new energy to our Warner Archive Collection initiative, broadening the selection of rare titles available to consumers on demand.”


“We’re delighted that movie fans will now be able to access Paramount titles through Flixster, further expanding the already robust library of UltraViolet-enabled content and making the continued transition to digital much smoother for the consumer,” said Thomas Gewecke, president, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution.


The agreement also grants Warner Bros. manufacturing on demand rights and the right to include UltraViolet Digital Copy bundled with packaged media.  Paramount will retain all digital rights for their titles, including electronic sell-through (EST), video-on-demand (VOD) and subscription video-on-demand. Flixster will offer, on a non-exclusive basis, Paramount titles for sale in UltraViolet EST format, UltraViolet Disc-to-Digital and VOD. Flixster will also act as an UltraViolet Locker Access Service Provider for all Paramount UltraViolet titles, and as a redemption site for Paramount UltraViolet Digital Copies.


The three-year deal, which takes effect January 1, 2013,  covers U.S. and Canadian rights only and includes titles such as Terms of Endearment, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Airplane!. The agreement excludes approximately 100 cornerstone Paramount titles, including the Transformers, Star Trek and Indiana Jones franchises. Under the same terms, Warner will gain access to select new titles after the initial 26-week release period.


Paramount will receive licensing fees from Warner Bros. and be entitled to various benefits under a long-term strategic cooperation agreement with Flixster.


About Paramount Pictures Corporation

Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics,Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Famous Productions, Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group.


About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group (WBHEG) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment's home video, digital distribution, interactive entertainment, technical operations and anti-piracy businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHEG oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHEG distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees, as well as directly to consumers through WBShop.com.


 

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#2 of 75 OFFLINE   Escapay

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Posted October 04 2012 - 08:32 AM

Were this 2005 or 2006, when Warner had a healthy succession of catalog releases that were done with decent extras, themed box sets, and pretty-good restorations, I'd be jumping for joy. These days, not much jumping. Hopefully with all the news about their 2013 releases, they'll fit some decent Paramount titles in the mix (just not with the 100th Anniversary label). I'm looking forward to when they release the likes of Samson and Delilah, Sorry, Wrong Number, and Hud on Blu-Ray!

#3 of 75 ONLINE   cineMANIAC

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Posted October 04 2012 - 08:49 AM

Perhaps we'll finally see BREAKDOWN (1997) properly represented on Blu-ray.
 

 


#4 of 75 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted October 04 2012 - 09:08 AM

Nice, more stuff released to the archives I wont be buying instead of nice presentations on Bluray.... Posted Image



#5 of 75 OFFLINE   cafink

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Posted October 04 2012 - 09:21 AM

Russell, I'm confused by your comment. The deal includes both DVD and Blu-ray releases. What is the issue, exactly? Is there something wrong with Warner Bros.' Blu-ray presentations? Also, I too would really love to get BREAKDOWN on Blu-ray.
 

 


#6 of 75 OFFLINE   MLamarre

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Posted October 04 2012 - 09:25 AM

How will this deal affect Olive Films?

#7 of 75 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted October 04 2012 - 09:30 AM

Warners is great at releasing the same titles over and over again in wonderful blurays and of course they mostly do a nice job.. Catalog titles, not so much. That's what the archives are for. Or have you not seen the countless titles dumped in the archives that used to come out in affordable boxsets with lots of extras? This is the studio that worked for years on The Bowery Boys and are now dumping them in to the archives to end up as DVD-R's with no chance to find a new audience. What makes you think they're going to turn around their mission statement of the past 3 years with these Paramount titles? It says right in the release that they are going to beef up the archives and their horse shit ultraviolet initiative with them.


Would I rather Olive release? No, but how about Criterion? Or Image?


So in reference to your ridiculous "worst news ever/terrorist comments" please, continue to stroke your boners on vapor ware and talk. I'm not getting my hopes up until I see a release slate of classic titles hitting blu.



#8 of 75 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted October 04 2012 - 09:32 AM

If I'm reading this right, Paramount still schedules, preps and authors their own releases with Warner merely handling distribution/packaging. Sounds similar to how MGM is partnered with Fox. Shouldnt effect any deals Paramount has with other companies that have licensed other titles in their catalog (Olive, Criterion).

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#9 of 75 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted October 04 2012 - 09:35 AM

Warner has released more Pre-90s catalog on blu-ray than any other major studio, and this includes accounting for distribution deals to smaller companies. This is a fact. I can post the raw numbers if anyone wants them

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#10 of 75 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted October 04 2012 - 09:40 AM

Originally Posted by Brandon Conway 

Warner has released more Pre-90s catalog on blu-ray than any other major studio, and this includes accounting for distribution deals to smaller companies. This is a fact. I can post the raw numbers if anyone wants them


Seeing how Warner's holds the release rights to arguably the largest film library in the world, I don't think anyone would argue those numbers.



#11 of 75 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted October 04 2012 - 09:53 AM

Originally Posted by Russell G 


Seeing how Warner's holds the release rights to arguably the largest film library in the world, I don't think anyone would argue those numbers.


Right, but the notion that something gets tossed aside into the Warner Archive rather than it being on the cusp of a Blu-ray release is just illogical. Warner Archive and Warner Catalog are two completely different groups within Warner's home video structuring. I know for a fact that there have even been some instances where an Archive title sold well enough that it was re-assigned to the Catalog group for a future release. My point is: the Warner Archive has helped Warner's vast catalog get out to the public far more than it has hurt the chances of more obscure films making it out to Blu-ray.


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#12 of 75 OFFLINE   David Weicker

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Posted October 04 2012 - 09:53 AM

Can we find out what 'era' of the Paramount library they now have access to. Most of the films I associate with Paramount currently belong to Universal (pre-48 - Marx, Crosby, Hope, Hutton, Lake, Ladd, Sturges, DeMille, etc.) David

#13 of 75 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted October 04 2012 - 09:55 AM

Originally Posted by David Weicker 

Can we find out what 'era' of the Paramount library they now have access to. Most of the films I associate with Paramount currently belong to Universal (pre-48 - Marx, Crosby, Hope, Hutton, Lake, Ladd, Sturges, DeMille, etc.)
David


It sounds like Warner will be handling distribution for everything Paramount owns that they haven't licensed to another publisher.


It also sounds like it'll contain a LOT of re-packaging of current titles....


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#14 of 75 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted October 04 2012 - 10:09 AM

Originally Posted by Brandon Conway 


 I know for a fact that there have even been some instances where an Archive title sold well enough that it was re-assigned to the Catalog group for a future release. My point is: the Warner Archive has helped Warner's vast catalog get out to the public far more than it has hurt the chances of more obscure films making it out to Blu-ray.

As is evident with the all the new noir/gangster, Tarzan, horror etc boxsets that have come out since the creation of the Archives.... actually no, that's not happend. And the Archives are not available outside of the states unless ordered through 3rd party sites at a premium. So the world is guaranteed DVD-R since they don;t get access to the pressed discs. Posted Image


There's a huge difference with presenting films to be found for an audience (all those sets released prior to the archives) and catering to a collectors audience (what is happening now). It's a snake eating it's own tail, classic sales are down in mass market as the mass market gets the same titles over and over again. I mean, if us colelctors bitch about it, what are the odds they're going to be well recieved by a casual fan?  Warners big announcement to kick off their 90th anniversary is the most colossal repack ever put forth by a company. Where's Showboat? they've been talking about that one for what, 10 years? Probably in the Archives maybe eventually.


But it's true they do good work representing classic films on blu, like the never before seen 3D Wizard Of Oz should be a treat...


I'll continue to not get my hopes up until I see some title announcements.



#15 of 75 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted October 04 2012 - 10:11 AM

The three-year deal, which takes effect January 1, 2013,  covers U.S. and Canadian rights only and includes titles such as Terms of Endearment, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Airplane!.

Ferris Bueller and Airplane! are already out on Blu. In Canada anyways. I'm not sure about Airplane but I believe Ferris has some mastering issues. This will be a good test on Warners commitment, let's see if they just repack or put out a better version.



#16 of 75 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted October 04 2012 - 10:27 AM

Originally Posted by Russell G 

As is evident with the all the new noir/gangster, Tarzan, horror etc boxsets that have come out since the creation of the Archives.... actually no, that's not happend.


There's no "insta-blu-ray" button that gets pushed and out comes a Blu-ray release the next week. Re-assigning a title, re-evaluating elements, putting it on the schedule, authoring the assets/disc, etc. - this process takes a few years.


Originally Posted by Russell G 


I'll continue to not get my hopes up until I see some title announcements.


My mistake, I somehow read that the following new-to-Blu titles were mentioned for 2013 release...


The Big Parade (1925)

The Jazz Singer (1927)

Little Caesar (1931)

The Public Enemy (1931)

Grand Hotel (1932)

The Petrified Forest (1936)

Mrs. Miniver (1942)

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Easter Parade (1948)

White Heat (1949)

House of Wax 3D (1953)

East of Eden (1955)

Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

Giant (1956)

Cabaret (1972)

Westworld (1973)

A Star Is Born (1976)

The Right Stuff (1983)

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

Sommersby (1993)

Best in Show (2000)

The Nativity Story (2006)


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#17 of 75 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted October 04 2012 - 10:28 AM

Originally Posted by Russell G 

Ferris Bueller and Airplane! are already out on Blu. In Canada anyways. I'm not sure about Airplane but I believe Ferris has some mastering issues. This will be a good test on Warners commitment, let's see if they just repack or put out a better version.


It'll be a repackaging, if I'm a betting man. 99% confident in that. It's a distribution deal, not a new ownership/re-authoring deal.


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#18 of 75 OFFLINE   Scott D S

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Posted October 04 2012 - 11:19 AM

Hmm... if it means countless repackagings, forget it. If it means we might get titles like Serpico, Marathon Man, The Elephant Man, The Nutty Professor, Congo (shut up!), Top Secret!, the Naked Gun sequels, and a re-release of Zodiac, then count me in! (There are also those early Blu-Rays Paramount licensed to Lionsgate like Hard Rain and The Relic that are now OOP.) One question... can we assume any and all existing extras will be ported over as well? And I assume this doesn't effect any pre-existing deals with Olive and Criterion.

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Posted October 04 2012 - 11:21 AM

Give us ORDINARY PEOPLE---RAGTIME----WITNESS and 1492

#20 of 75 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted October 04 2012 - 11:22 AM

Originally Posted by Scott D S 

Hmm... if it means countless repackagings, forget it.
If it means we might get titles like Serpico, Marathon Man, The Elephant Man, The Nutty Professor, Congo (shut up!), Top Secret!, the Naked Gun sequels, and a re-release of Zodiac, then count me in!
(There are also those early Blu-Rays Paramount licensed to Lionsgate like Hard Rain and The Relic that are now OOP.)
One question... can we assume any and all existing extras will be ported over as well?
And I assume this doesn't effect any pre-existing deals with Olive and Criterion.


Pre-existing deals should not be effected.


My guess is that a Zodiac re-release is probable, even if its just a re-issue of the previous disc.


I'm sure Paramount will continue to release more new-to-Blu titles, just like they did in 2012.


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932





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