Appeal to Fox RE: Charlie Chan and Mr. Moto Movies

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Tom Mantan D., Sep 11, 2003.

  1. Tom Mantan D.

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    Hi,
    this is an appeal to FOX to release the entire Charlie Chan film catalog from the 1930's and 1940's as well as the Mr. Moto series starring Peter Lorre. They have all been restored and not seen in this condition since their release. They would be awesome for dvd. They would also sell, all you have to do is look at the preorder sales for MPI's Sherlock Holmes features from the 1940's that starred Basil Rathbone, there is a huge market for these old films. Fox, if you would like to see how much money you are missing out on, check out EBAY for the last 5 years, these movies have sold gangbusters on the bootleg market. It would be wonderful for these films to make it out of the vaults!
     
  2. Paul Drake

    Paul Drake Stunt Coordinator

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    I fully agree with you Tom.

    Charlie Chan has gotten more publicity this past summer than he has in many a year. From what I understand, the guy that is selling these on eBAY is using subpar prints (or TV airings) and is still selling a bundle of these.

    My proposal would be to make these 2-fers. The entire Mr. Moto series could be housed on a 5 disc box set. The Chans would take a dozen discs. The only extras I would ask for would be English subtitles, trailers if they still exist, and original poster/lobby card art.

    Fox supposedly spent $2 million in restoration costs on these fine films, and the handful of films I saw before FMC caved and yanked them looked much better than ones I'd seen previously.

    Mr. Peter Staddon, if you read this thread, please, please let us know what it would take for Fox Home Entertainment to release these.

    Thank you so much.
     
  3. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

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    I would love to see both of these series on DVD. There is only one Mr Moto film on DVD (public domain), and watching it justs whets my appetite for more. Come on Fox, don't give up on Chan & Moto!
     
  4. Larry Bevil

    Larry Bevil Second Unit

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    Count me in. I'd buy several of them too!
     
  5. Phil E

    Phil E Auditioning

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    Hello,
    Mine is another vote for release of the Chan and Moto series on dvd. If Fox releases them, I will buy them immediately. And since many never were legitimately released on VHS, there would be yet another selling point, along with restoration, history of the studio and the built-in fan club base in addition to general consumers.
     
  6. Tom Mantan D.

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    Hopefully Fox will listen to this appeal, thanks for your replies,
    Tom D.
     
  7. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Well for what it's worth Fox Movie Channel is once again showing Charlie Chan at the Opera, which is bookended with discussions of the race issue led by George Takai.
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I don't have good news about any of the Charlie Chan films being released on dvd because Fox doesn't know if these films will sell enough units to justify releasing them on dvd.




    Crawdaddy
     
  9. Tom Mantan D.

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    I can tell you that all you have to do is look at the bootleg Charlie Chan sales over the last 5 years and they are still going way strong today, so I would say Fox is really missing out. Also, look at the preorder figures MPI has done with the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Films of the same era. AND as far as Moto, the public domain title Last Warning has been a consistent high seller since the beginning of VHS. So I think there is quite a market for all of these movies. I think Fox is just missing the boat here.
     
  10. Tom Mantan D.

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    Addition to my comments,
    I hate to be a conspiracy theory person, but after the Fox Movie Channel DEBACLE with regard to Charlie Chan and unknown to most people, they privately cancelled the Mr. Moto films also(just didnt make a big deal on those titles), it seems to me that Fox is trying to bury Chan and Moto across the board. I say this b/c I am a CPA finance guy and they must have some really bad accountants if they claim that they are unsure of interest and sales. I mean CMON!! after the "huge controversy of the summer" that made every newsline, that was the most press Charlie Chan and Mr. Moto have received in 40 years!!! I always wonder where our large companies get their reasoning and research. Hey FOX, if you need some help doing some financial projections, please ask, I will do it for free.
    Tom D.
     
  11. Paul Drake

    Paul Drake Stunt Coordinator

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    Tom,

    I fully agree with you. The non-responsiveness of Fox to the thousands of people who complained (including FMC's Public Relations Manager and VP of Programming telling me over the phone that they were unable to make comments about the matter) suggested that other forces were at work. I have put some credence into the NY Daily News story that Wendi Deng (wife of Fox owner Rupert Murdoch) was behind all of this.

    As I said above, Fox spent $2 million dollars on restoring these films and creating new 35mm prints. Restoration is often cited as a hold up in getting vintage films to DVD. That has already been done. The marketing of these films was already done over the summer as you mentioned. The major costs would be for the actual film transfer, packaging, and distribution. Issue a press release and place an ad or two in key classic film magazines and let the marketplace take over. Money on extras would be minimal (all I would ask for are English subtitles and any trailers that still exist).

    I realize that I oversimplified it a bit, but I feel the point Tom made is valid. The groundwork has already been laid for the financial success of releases. Yes, I know that these films won't sell millions of units, but if a second tier series like "Mr. Wong" can be a success for Roan/Troma a major series like Mr. Moto or Charlie Chan could reap decent returns for Fox.

    I would invite someone from Fox to tell us why they think these won't be profitable.
     
  12. Bill Burns

    Bill Burns Supporting Actor

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    I would love to own these in comprehensive boxed sets, and would consider both series' a purchasing priority (only when issued legally by Fox, of course), but they must be unedited -- if edited, I'm afraid I'd have to pass. Scholar commentaries would make a nice addition, but I'd discourage any commentaries that focus on appologizing for and/or characterizing content; fans of these shows know what to expect, and historical context is relatively easy to understand. [​IMG] Comments about the careers of the actors and filmmakers, how the series' came to be and why they eventually ended, on-set gossip, period reaction from critics and fans, production histories, etc. ... I'd love to have commentaries focusing on these areas.
     
  13. Tom Mantan D.

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    Well,
    as usual when the subject of Mr. Moto or Charlie Chan comes up, Fox has no comment. I would love to know why this studio does not want to make money on these films???

    Beyond reason,
    Tom D.
     
  14. AlanBrom

    AlanBrom Second Unit

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    In this day and age, why spend millions on restorations and plan no DVD release? My question is, when is Fox going to enter the DVD arena for real?
     
  15. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    You might not be happy with Fox about not releasing these titles, but based on Fox's dvd releases over the years, the above swipe at Fox is cheap and unnecessary.





    Crawdaddy
     
  16. AlanBrom

    AlanBrom Second Unit

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    Cheap and unreal? I hardly have any Fox titles in my library since they hardly put anything out. I have tons of MGM titles, so I know they're doing something right.
     
  17. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Mmm. A very quick perusal of my dvds from Fox:

    The Abyss
    Alien
    Aliens
    The French Connection
    Planet of the Apes
    Miracle on 34th Street
    Mrs. Doubtfire
    The Sound of Music
    South Pacific
    Speed
    The Simpsons
    An Affair to Remember
    Star Wars: Attack of the Clones
    The Ghost & Mrs. Muir
    MASH

    Yeah, Fox isn't putting out any dvds at all.
     
  18. Tom Mantan D.

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    Hi,
    let's not get into a debate about Fox's dvd catalog as a whole, my only point with this whole thread is that Charlie Chan And Mr. Moto will sell. Again, I am a numbers guy and if you want me to estimate the daily sales on ebay, it would be quite easy. Like I said earlier, only 1 Moto title has been out there since "time began" for vhs sales and it has consistently been a success. Therefore, it would only stand to reason that nice original prints mastered to dvd from Fox would sell even better on all 8 titles. And with Charlie being even more popular, I can guarantee the 23 Fox Chan films would sell quite well. I really fail to see the debate on their worth, like I said, look at the bootleg sales for the last 5 plus years, they are huge!
     
  19. Paul Drake

    Paul Drake Stunt Coordinator

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  20. Tom Mantan D.

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    I am starting to believe that rumor as nuts as it sounds, because I have this feeling Fox is "afraid" of something when it comes to these movies and I really do not believe it is the Asian activists either. The activists had no problem with dvd releases and they stated that numerous times, their problem was with broadcast, which is a separate debacle that I will not even go into. But I agree for some reason, Fox seems to not want to make money on these films, which is ludicrous to me.
     

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