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Criterion loses rights to all Merchant Ivory titles

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28 replies to this topic

#1 of 29 OFFLINE   Mark-P

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Posted June 25 2013 - 01:49 PM

This just posted on Criterion's Facebook page:

 

All the films in our Merchant Ivory collection, plus our Criterion releases of HOWARDS END (pictured), are going out of print. 

We’re selling them through the end of June.

 

Looks like I'll have to grab a copy of Howards End on Blu-ray before it's gone, since it's the only BD of Howards End that will play in region A.



#2 of 29 OFFLINE   Lord Dalek

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Posted June 25 2013 - 03:22 PM

Well I guess that'll make that guy who keeps complaining about the grain on Howards' End happy.



#3 of 29 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted June 25 2013 - 03:36 PM

Oh lordy, here we go again.  

 

Is there a quick and dirty list of their Merchant Ivory titles somewhere?



#4 of 29 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted June 25 2013 - 03:50 PM

Oh lordy, here we go again.  

 

Is there a quick and dirty list of their Merchant Ivory titles somewhere?

 

It's a pretty extensive (and expensive) list:

http://www.criterion...and-james-ivory



#5 of 29 OFFLINE   Lord Dalek

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Posted June 25 2013 - 04:14 PM

Apparently its due to a dispute between Ivory and his bond company, not Studio Canal.



#6 of 29 OFFLINE   seangood79

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Posted June 25 2013 - 11:26 PM

Well since Howard's End on Blu was a result of a poll by Criterion, maybe it's time for another one.
Or maybe I had voted for Picnic at Hanging Rock and am still bitter that it hasn't been released yet.

#7 of 29 OFFLINE   Cinescott

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Posted June 26 2013 - 06:01 AM

Glad I bought "Howards End" when I did.


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#8 of 29 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted June 26 2013 - 06:15 AM

At a glance, I don't know how many of those titles I know enough or care enough about to go crazy acquiring them right now. I'll do some checking today.

Edited by Charles Smith, June 26 2013 - 06:15 AM.


#9 of 29 OFFLINE   jimmyjet

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Posted June 26 2013 - 08:43 AM

does criterion get a license that allows them to make only so much of a title ?



#10 of 29 OFFLINE   Derrick King

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Posted June 26 2013 - 09:52 AM

No, Criterion licenses titles for a set amount of time, usually a number of years.  These are going OOP because of this.

 

Janus' rights to HOWARDS END was supposed to end March 13, 2014. I guess the early termination was part of the settlement.



#11 of 29 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted June 26 2013 - 10:31 AM

So...fire sale on all the unsold discs????

#12 of 29 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted June 26 2013 - 11:12 AM

My understanding of the dispute is that it's a money/distribution rights matter.

 

Criterion's license was renewed through a third party company, which Criterion understood to have the authority to negotiate it.  Turns out that Merchant Ivory had a different idea about that.  So Merchant Ivory sued both Janus and the third party, essentially saying "these guys didn't have that authority and you shouldn't have worked through them."  I note that Merchant Ivory had no complaint to speak of about the QUALITY of the discs.  It was simply a matter of who negotiated the rights to release them.   The fact that the matter settled with both sides paying their own costs tells me this was not a huge matter.

 

In the end here, Criterion's license lapses and these titles go out of print.  Merchant Ivory is free to try another distributor if they believe this will get them a better situation.  Frankly, I think they would have been better off staying with Criterion.  But licenses lapse all the time.



#13 of 29 OFFLINE   Derrick King

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Posted June 26 2013 - 12:46 PM

Merchant Ivory is free to try another distributor if they believe this will get them a better situation.  Frankly, I think they would have been better off staying with Criterion. 

 

So true, especially in this market, I'm not sure any other distributor will treat those films as well as Janus/Criterion did.


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#14 of 29 OFFLINE   Escapay

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Posted June 26 2013 - 02:02 PM

No, Criterion licenses titles for a set amount of time, usually a number of years.  These are going OOP because of this.

Could this be why Warner/BBC's Blu-Ray for A Room with a View went OOP a few years ago?  Or did that licence just expire and they couldn't renew it?

 

It's my favorite Merchant Ivory film (granted, I've only seen a few of their films), I was always hoping Criterion would pick it up for their line.

 

I guess I'll have to order Jane Austen in ManhattanHeat and DustMaurice, and Howards End sooner rather than later.



#15 of 29 OFFLINE   Ken Volok

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Posted June 26 2013 - 02:30 PM

I wouldn't bother with "Jane Austen in Manhattan" unless you're an absolute completist.



#16 of 29 OFFLINE   Derrick King

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Posted June 26 2013 - 02:42 PM

Could this be why Warner/BBC's Blu-Ray for A Room with a View went OOP a few years ago?  Or did that licence just expire and they couldn't renew it?

 

This doesn't have anything to do with that.  I imagine the second scenario you mention is right.  The license expired and, for whatever reason, it wasn't renewed.



#17 of 29 OFFLINE   Steve Tannehill

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Posted June 26 2013 - 03:20 PM

Got my order in for Maurice.  I already have Howards End.


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#18 of 29 OFFLINE   Cinescott

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Posted June 28 2013 - 03:57 AM

It's a shame these Merchant Ivory films are getting so hard to find on Blu-ray, since they seem ideally suited for the format. I have A Room With a View and Howards End and both are tremendously detailed.

 

I coincidentally happened to be in London during the original theatrical release of Howards End and saw it on an enormous screen in Mayfair. Great experience.


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#19 of 29 OFFLINE   battlebeast

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Posted June 28 2013 - 09:55 AM

I'm confused as to what Ivory alleges Criterion did.


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#20 of 29 OFFLINE   Moe Dickstein

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Posted June 28 2013 - 10:00 AM

They say they renewed the deal with a third party who criterion was told controlled the rights but didnt.

M/I were always incredibly difficult to deal with, even to the point of insisting on their own branding rather than being included in the collection. The CC branded Howard's end only came much later than the original deal
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