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Fox Home Video Distribution of MGM Titles (1 Viewer)

haroldS

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I don't completely understand the apparently complex deal where Fox got the rights to distribute MGM/UA titles. I have noticed there are multiple title sets that include both Fox and MGM titles, e.g. the forthcoming Alfred Hitchcock Premiere set which includes Fox's Lifeboat.

Why questions are: Does Fox have anything more then distribution rights of MGM titles? When it comes to which titles to release, their price points and how or when to combine titles for sets, does Fox make the decision, MGM or some combination of both?
 

ahollis

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What a complicated question that is. MGM made a deal with Fox in May of 2006 to take over the distribution of its DVD releases. It was unhappy with the way Sony was handling the product. At that time Sony had no interest what so ever in catalog titles, which made up the majority of the MGM Library (post 1986 MGM, United Artists, pre 1996 Polygram Film Entertainment, Filmways, Orion, AIP, Cannon, Embassy Films, Samuel Goldwyn Films and other small independent libraries that they acquired). MGM had a done deal on the table with Warner Brothers until Fox came in and blew the deal away with a huge guaranteed for the DVD distribution rights. The deal also set up a separate division within the Fox Home Entertainment to handle the MGM product. This deal has about three more years left, but this is the last year for the guarantee payments. From now on MGM will only get a % of sales.

I understand that the MGM division within Fox works with packaging and advertising which means they are the ones that put the collections together for both companies products, such as the recently announce Alfred Hitchcock collection and the huge musical collection. I also understand it is up to MGM on what titles are released. It was MGM that wanted to do the Midnite series and Fox went along last year and added some of their titles to it. It is now Fox’s idea not to continue it.

MGM has been working hard to transfer a lot of their titles to HD for their use on their HD movie channel. They are also the ones that have not been allowing the release of those films on standard DVD and Blue-Ray DVD. Why can only be speculated. One reason is that they will open the flood gates now that the guarantees are over and they have to live on %. Another is that they are waiting for the agreement to end so they can take total control over the distribution. The third is that they expect downloading to be the future and they feel it will be sooner than later.

MGM needs the income from the DVD sales to get back into the film making business. They know the value of a library and want to add to that. While they do not have a studio to support, they have a film distribution network, a large corporate headquarters (that overlooks the Fox Studio) and a hell of a lot of debt.
 

Ray H

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Thanks a lot for that explanation as well. I never would have thought to ask the question, but I'm glad someone did.
 

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