Depressed With Paramount Musicals

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Joe Caps, Mar 26, 2003.

  1. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    We musical buffs have been begging Paramount for some real musicals
    lil Abner
    Half a Sixpence
    Darling Lili
    On a Clear Day You Can See Forever
    They respond - NO yo may not have these.
    Instead we get a bumch of Faux musicals first - grease, Flashdance, etc
    they then waited a few months and announced four MORE Elvis movies.
    They then wait a few months and now anounce Grease 2 and Popeye.
    Paramount, frankly - how much could it cost you to give us the four films above.
    A side benefit is that it would finally shut up me, Greg - m and Doug bull.
     
  2. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Perhaps the original elements are in poor condition.
     
  3. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    Martin,

    I just read your post and to quote:

    "Hey maybe we'll even get around to those musicals"

    So I now take my foot out of my mouth and say, "Thank you, Martin"

    I would guess "on a Clear Day" and "Darling Lili" will sell enough copies due to the stars attached (especially if released in their longer versions, Streisand fans would go wild, after all you are selling the star not the title) And "Scrooge" would seem to be a holiday favorite.


    Tough sell:
    "Li'l Abner" is not usually regarded as a musical, it would appeal to fans of the original comic strip (And judging by ebay there are many, Abner stuff seems to sell consistantly) BUT younger consumers know little to nothing about the comic strip. And though this title would be most welcome, without the proper marketing hook, I doubt it will sell. Does anyone under 40 (besides me) know who Julie (Catwoman) Newmer or Stella Stevens is?

    I wouldn't be surpised if Paramount passed on "Abner' or the little seen "Half a Sixpence" and "Oh! What a Lovely War" (my personal favorite) as they are British films.

    *Although "Oh, What a Lovely War" has it's pluses:

    You can sell the all star cast:
    Lawrence Oliver, John Gielgud, Raplh Richarson, Michael Redgrave, John Mills, Maggie Smith, Vanessa Redgrave, etc.

    The fact it is an anti-war film - and we are at war.

    It also won the Golden Globe for Best Musical (as did "Chicago")

    Isn't a true musical in the sense people don't burst out into song.

    And it has never been made available on video


    enough said[​IMG]
     
  4. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    .... and don't forget BOB FOSSE in the OSCAR NOMINATED LERNER and LOEWE Musical "THE LITTLE PRINCE " which is based on one of the alltime best selling children's books.

    I can see no reason why any of the titles mentioned above would not make money, if given the correct marketing strategy.

    What may have been slow at the box office then does not necessarily equate to today's Video market.

    Universal are releasing a lot of older Musicals.
    They obviously can see a profitable market in them, and those titles are older and less well known than the newer Paramount titles mentioned in this thread.
    I know that I for one have pre-ordered all of the Universal titles.
     
  5. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    Yeah Doug, but besides the three of us, who else will buy them?
     
  6. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    Who else would buy them?
    Greg, If marketed properly, some thousands of consumers worldwide.

    A big full page glossy ad placed in a large circulation Australian magazine this month by Warners, features nothing but old classic musicals and has the headline,

    "Hit the right note - Sing with the Stars".

    It features full color photos of some 15 MGM and Warner DVD Musicals.

    Mate, Let's get a positive spin going on this.

    Would Universal and Warners be taking a chance on their upcoming Musical DVDs if they had doubts about their sales?
     
  7. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    Doug,

    Paramount musicals and MGM musicals are two different ball games. Where as most people in the states have seen or heard of "Singing in the Rain" and "My Fair Lady" few people even went to see "Half a Sixpence" and "The Little Prince" in their theatrical run, plus they have no hit songs like "My Fair Lady" that people know of.

    I would love to see the Paramount musicals arrive on DVD, but speaking from a marketing stand point, they won't sell very much no matter how much Paramount spends on advertising.

    MGM built up it's market with the release of "That's Entertainment" and through their VHS releases. Audiences became aware of these films. The Broadway adaptions also have a built in audience from high schools, community and dinner theater productions. People are familiar with these shows.


    Paramounts slate of musical are more obscure. Few people have even seen many of them. "Darling Lili" "Half a Sixpence" "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever", "Oh What a Lovely War!" and "The Little Prince" all lost money - big time. Parmount seldom screens them on television. Many were never issued on VHS. So audiences don't know these films. They are harder to sell, Paramount would basically be lucky to break even on these titles, and they would be wise not to spend money to advertise them.

    These films will mostly sell to cult fans and maybe one or two will catch on (since Julie Adnrews and Barbra Streisand stopped making film musicals their flops sell only to fill the void. If Paramount gives each title a small budget then maybe they could manage to release them. It's a shame they won't license them out to a company like Anchor Bay or Image Entertainment (those companies have released obscure titles but only because they can't release the blockbusters)

    The release of these films would be a goodwill gesture only to broaden their catalog. Though they may get lucky with a title or two.

    Sorry to be so negative, but Paramount is running a business.
     
  8. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    Greg,
    Whose side are you on mate?

    If you want these musicals as much as myself and others, you need to start being positive.
    As you say, Paramount are running the business, not you.
    It's their game, they will make the decisions, so please Greg, try not to disencourage them.
    We need to sell them on the positives.

    How many consumers out there have heard of "Rhythm on the River"," Birth of the Blues", "The Emporor Waltz", "Rhythm on the Range","A Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court","Louisiana Purchase","College Swing","Big Broadcast of 38" and "Star Spangled Rhythm".

    What do all these Musicals have in common?

    They are all little known PARAMOUNT Musical titles!

    UNIVERSAL has seen fit to release them all on DVD.

    Regardless of box-office failures, the titles we are requesting would be far better known to a somewhat younger consumer than those older ones that Universal are releasing into the market place.

    I'm sure that Martin was being honest and sincere when he said that one day they may get around to the Musicals again.

    The biggest problem is when?
     
  9. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Doug,
    Sorry, but I agree with several of Greg's points and just because he's stating what should be obvious to us all, doesn't make him a part of the other side for discussing the biggest problem with selling musicals to the general public of today. Hopefully, the success of Chicago and Moulin Rouge will help change that perception about musicals.





    Crawdaddy
     
  10. Martin Blythe

    Martin Blythe Second Unit

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    Maybe we can throw one your way this year. How about Scrooge?
     
  11. Benn

    Benn Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Martin,
    You know me, I've been lookin' for SCROOGE with Albert Finney all this time. I'm ready to buy a couple of copies. Plus I'm from a large family that loves the movie for part of our annual Yule season.

    In support of Doug's position. Maybe we should encourage Paramount to give those musicals some TV airing. What better way to advertise and get public/consumer interest in them. It might create the market for them.
     
  12. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    Hmm... "Scrooge" Thank You, Martin.






    Doug,

    QUOTE: How many consumers out there have heard of "Rhythm on the River"," Birth of the Blues", "The Emporor Waltz", "Rhythm on the Range","A Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court","Louisiana Purchase","College Swing","Big Broadcast of 38" and "Star Spangled Rhythm".

    With the exception of "A Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" which I've never seen and know little to nothing about, I've never heard of ANY of the other films you mentioned. I'm under 40, so that may be why, but if I haven't heard of them, I would guess most under people 40 haven't either (since I do know a thing or two about musicals)

    Your best bets: "On Clear a Day" "Scrooge" and "Li'l Abner" all of which have been released on VHS and appear on television from time to time. I would guess these three will eventualy see the light of day on DVD, HD-DVD.

    Bravo has also shown "Oh! What a Lovely War" from time to time, and HBO has been running "The Little Prince" and the re-cut "Darling Lili" also appears from time to time on the Turner network, so there is some hope that you can at least record them.

    All others will be totally unknown to audiences unless a major Broadway revival renews interest in them, and I doubt that will happen - ever. Sorry to burst your bubble.
     
  13. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    Thanks for the encouraging announcement Martin.

    It's great that there are a number of Fanatical Musical Fans all on the same side (There, I said it Rob) who can hold an intelligent disscussion and bring up good points and get an instant result.

    Well Done all. Martin we luvs ya!

    If somebody want's a copy of Scrooge on Laserdisc, I suggest they check out e-bay this weekend, cause that's where mine is headed by way of my e-bay selling agent.

    Let's hope that the DVD has the Laserdisc's Overture and Exit Music. [​IMG]

    Greg, you're being a bit negative again.
    But I still count you as a mate with common goals.
     
  14. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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  15. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    "Is it a good idea to sell your LD?"

    Jeff,
    Call me irresponsible...
    Hey that's a great title for a song.
    I wonder if Paramount's Famous Music Corp would be in the Delicate Condition to consider it. ( bad in joke for Movie Music Buffs)

    Seriously though I will give it some thought over the next few days.
    I'm sure if Martin says it's coming, then hopefully it will.
    My obvious bet is just before Christmas.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    Some of us are especially obsessed with Half a Sixpnce. Why? All the others have been shown on cable, or released on dVDin widescreen. Half a sixpence is only pan scan on tv and VHS. And still no stereo even though the stereo track was found in 1992.
     
  17. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    I'd go for SCROOGE first, Martin - "Thank you very much!"

    Actually, any of them would be great - thanks for listening.
     
  18. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    Joe,

    Maybe British actor Tommy Steele will star in a hit tv sitcom, then "Half a Sixpence" would finally be released. Maybe in England? So you can get the Region 2 copy.

    Maybe if Julie Newmar signed copies of "Li'l Abner" at The Virgin Mega Store on Sunset Blvd, Parmamount would sell a couple hundred copies (She always gets the longest line at the Celebrity photo shows, maybe that's where she should sign them)

    [​IMG]


    Half a Sixpence did appear on VHS so you never know. Maybe Broadway Encores will do a concert version and release a new cast recording starring Michael Ball.
     
  19. Jeffrey Gray

    Jeffrey Gray Second Unit

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    I think this situation, like most of our complaints about Paramount, goes back to Eric Doctorow. I read somewhere (a post by Joe Caps?) that he hated musicals, which is why they were unavailable on DVD (and, to a lesser extent, LD; I swear that I read that Doctorow pulled the plug on some musical LDs AFTER production had started...once again, did Joe Caps say this?). If Tom Lesinski doesn't have as much disdain towards them, they could have a better chance of coming to DVD...
     
  20. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    Anchor Bay didn't need any publicity from Tommy Steele to successfully release both the Roadshow and the Standard theatrical DVD versions of the lesser "The Happiest Millionaire"
    They have his earlier low budget British Musicals that are also being prepared for DVD.

    Warners likewise doesn't appear to need any publicity from Tommy Steele for their upcoming DVD of "Finian's Rainbow"

    I have no doubts that Sixpence could sell enough copies to stay in the black.

    It is a very colorful, tuneful and super lavish Musical, based on a story by H.G.Wells.
    A bright and attractive designed DVD Case could work wonders.
    From the Director of "Showboat","Annie Get your Gun" and "Kiss me Kate"

    As already stated, there are a lot of lesser known and less deserving Musicals either released or about to be released on DVD out there.
    "Half a Sixpence" stands head and shoulders above most of them.
     

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