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Disney clamps down on theatrical screenings of Fox titles (1 Viewer)

B-ROLL

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Not atypical for the Mouse House :(
 

Jake Lipson

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Is anyone really surprised by this?

I mean, it's unfortunate, but it seems entirely consistent with Disney's previous behavior.
 

Josh Steinberg

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The practical impact of this is possibly being overstated.

Repertory screenings are all but dead. There is very little market to charge $15 a ticket to something where you have to leave the house at a specific time, when you can watch the same thing at home for free at your convenience. There isn’t big business in a multiplex showing one screening of one twenty year old film at some random interval.

Actual, legitimate repertory cinemas will continue to have access to this material. What appears to be changing is that Disney is bringing Fox’s policy in line with their own, which is to prefer their catalog films to be shown at venues designated to show repertory, rather than licensing to individual commercial theaters.
 

Jason_V

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So Disney buys Fox and makes the Fox rules align with Disney's. Okay...in any other transaction like this, you have to expect the policies of the buyee to change to conform to the buyer. If you don't expect that, you're nuts.

The policy is only for commercial and second run theaters. If you're a repertory theater, then you have nothing to worry about. Sure, as Josh said, they're all but gone

Much ado about nothing, honestly.
 

ScottJH

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I hope this doesn't affect Flashback Cinema. Over the past 8-9 months I have been able to see Aliens, Die Hard, and just this week Big Trouble In Little China in a theater, all of which I didn't during their initial theatrical run. There has also been screenings for The Sandlot, The Princess Bride(not sure if this counts), Home Alone, Patton, The Sound of Music and in 2 weeks South Pacific. The schedule is currently made out through October 2nd and there are no Fox movies after South Pacific. It would be a shame if the Fox titles were now excluded.
 
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Adam Lenhardt

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Much ado about nothing, honestly.
Unless you happen to enjoy seeing older movies on the big screen. There are a few theaters in the Albany area that play older movies, but I don't know that any of them would qualify as repertory theaters under Disney's definition.

As Disney gobbles up more and more of the film industry, anti-trust concerns have to come into play at some point.
 

Jason_V

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This happens in every industry, Adam. That's my point, honestly. Disney bought Fox. To have different rules for each set of movies is pretty silly. I get this takes movies that are older out of play on the big screen, but everyone is allowed to control their assets in way they see fit. This is what Disney is choosing.

It doesn't mean the movie is inaccessible on home video and streaming; it means it's not accessible on a theater screen.
 

Wayne_j

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Unless you happen to enjoy seeing older movies on the big screen. There are a few theaters in the Albany area that play older movies, but I don't know that any of them would qualify as repertory theaters under Disney's definition.

As Disney gobbles up more and more of the film industry, anti-trust concerns have to come into play at some point.
I think the Palace probably would. They at least don't show any current movies.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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It doesn't mean the movie is inaccessible on home video and streaming; it means it's not accessible on a theater screen.
Those are two fundamentally different experiences, though.

And when one studio controls more than a third of the total box office, it's more troubling than a Lionsgate or MGM pulling the same move.
 

Jason_V

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Sure they are different experiences. I can't and won't disagree. But there is no inherent right in seeing a movie in our preferred format.

So if MGM or Lionsgate or Universal did this, it would be okay because of their market share?
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Sure they are different experiences. I can't and won't disagree. But there is no inherent right in seeing a movie in our preferred format.
This isn't a format issue, like IMAX versus conventional or DVD versus Blu-Ray. It's bigger than that. Going to the cinema and seeing a movie with an audience is fundamentally a different mode of entertainment than watching the same content on home video.

So if MGM or Lionsgate or Universal did this, it would be okay because of their market share?
I certainly wouldn't be thrilled, but it would be less of a big deal because they each control far less inventory.

Disney is moving back toward the vertical integration that the Supreme Court struck down in United States v. Paramount Pictures. Disney produces the motion pictures. Disney distributes the motion pictures. And with Disney+, Disney exhibits the motion pictures. If Disney+ is just one mode of exhibition, it's not such a big deal. But when it becomes the exclusive mode of exhibition for many many titles, then it is a big deal.
 

Josh Steinberg

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This is more of a rhetorical question that probably has no answer, but - given the massive changes we’ve seen both in how content is distributed and how audiences prefer to consume that content, and given the declines in theatrical attendance...

Would the theatrical business be viable right now without the revenue that Disney titles bring to the table?
 

Jason_V

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Disney is moving back toward the vertical integration that the Supreme Court struck down in United States v. Paramount Pictures. Disney produces the motion pictures. Disney distributes the motion pictures. And with Disney+, Disney exhibits the motion pictures. If Disney+ is just one mode of exhibition, it's not such a big deal. But when it becomes the exclusive mode of exhibition for many many titles, then it is a big deal.

The massive, huge difference is that, in 1948 when that case was litigated, there was exactly one way to see a movie: in a theater. That's it. There was no home video or television airings or streaming, etc. Today, that's not the case...not even close.

If this is such an anti trust issue, then we need to look at Hulu, Netflix, CBS All Access, the upcoming Universal streaming system, DC Universe, the Apple streaming service, Amazon Prime...because they ALL have content each company produces and is only available on their services.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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I'm sure that Disney is on firm legal footing for what they're doing. I'm just saying that, as a lover of both movies and the communal experience of watching them in theaters, I think some of what they're doing stinks. And I don't think it's healthy for the movie industry as a whole for one studio to have such a big slice of the pie.
 

KPmusmag

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I hope Seattle Cinerama will not be affected by this. It is a first-run theater, but they have a 70mm film festival every year, as well as several retrospectives through the year. Several Fox titles, like Alien and The Sound of Music, pop up pretty routinely there, but since they are not primarily a repertory house, not sure where that will leave them. Their presentations are always pristine (at least the ones I have seen) so it would be a shame. They also showed the original Tron last year as well, speaking of Disney, and Sleeping Beauty.
 

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