National HTF - did studios share news of new releases?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Steve...O, Sep 26, 2004.

  1. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Hi,

    Just curious - did any of the studios share news of planned new releases during the HTF National Meet? It seems like some juicy tidbits have come out of these meets in the past.

    I'll admit that my main interest in this realm is if Fox gave any insight as to plans to increase the output of classic catalog titles (classic meaning films over 50 years old). As discussed on HTF recently, the quality of those that get released is top notch, but there aren't very many released in comparison to other studios.

    Although I was not able to attend, I do want to say that as an outside observer, I think it is wonderful that studios such as Fox and Paramount make HTF members feel so welcome and treat them with respect. They certainly are under no obligation to do so.

    Steve
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Fox is releasing their film noirs in about the same manner as Warner and Universal. We viewed about 10 minutes of Laura which underwent some restoration work. It looked beautiful! The exact release date wasn't revealed, but it looks like November is going to make some people happy.

    Also, Fox is working on releasing some Fonda and Peck titles. The same can't be said about the Charlie Chan films due to MGM's Chan releases not selling very well.

    Paramount is still working on some ownership issues regarding "The African Queen". It appears all parties want this title released, but details need to be worked out as well as some restoration work needs to be done.




    Crawdaddy
     
  3. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    This is very sad to hear and I personally don't believe the reasons. Hopefully they'll give the series to AB and let them release the titles.

    Would Chan really sell any worse than a few of their Studio Classic titles? Is KING KONG LIVES or ISLAND OF DEATH going to sell more?
     
  4. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    What about Columbia? Have they addressed our concerns about OAR, pricing, edited TV shows, and consumer service?
     
  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Unfortunately, we were never afforded an opportunity to talk with Columbia's Home Video people. We received a Blu-Ray demonstration from Sony management and a tour of Columbia's backlot.





    Crawdaddy
     
  6. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Well, that's your choice, but the person I heard this from is somebody that's never lied to me before.





    Crawdaddy
     
  7. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Thank you Mr. Crawford for the update (and for gathering the information in the first place); it is appreciated. "Laura" will be a treat to watch and good news about the Fonda & Peck titles.

    Regarding Mr. Elliott's comments regarding Fox's rationale about continuing to not release the Chan films: I don't have access to MGM sales figures other than noticing the decent rankings this set had on Amazon and other e-tailers at the time of initial release. How that translates to real world sales; I don't know. At the same time, the MGM Chan series is considered "second tier" Chan and does not have the same level of fan interest that the superior Fox series does. The Fox films would undoubtedly sell better. I think a better guage of potential sales would be gained from MPI's Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) releases which did quite well despite not having the promotional backing that Fox would.

    If Anchor Bay were to handle these releases I would suspect that nobody would be disappointed with the sales results. It is obvious that someone at Fox (not necessarily Fox Home Video) doesn't want these released under any circumstances.

    Steve
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    If it doesn't sell at WalMart and similar retailers then chances are the sales of such product is going to be a disappointment which is what I heard about MGM's Chan releases. Things can change in the future, but never underestimate the power that retailers purchasing agents have in the dvd release process. They can move units in much higher volumes than anything the e-tailers can do with the same product.

    My pragmatic comments might be a major disappointment to some, but you got to remember that business is business.






    Crawdaddy
     
  9. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    Steve,

    Crawdaddy is spot on regarding Laura. It looked absolutely amazing and seeing it on a 20+' screen was one of the highlights of the tours - at least for me. Peter did state that the first 12 noir titles have been chosen and apparently (and surprisingly), Nightmare Alley isn't one of them.

    At Paramount, I also asked about Ace In The Hole but nothing definitive other than a possible '05 release date.


    Herb.
     
  10. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Now, this is good news. A dozen noir titles! Assuming one release per month, that'll keep noir fans happy throughout 2005. If they all look as good as Laura then it shows Fox's classic catalog is in good hands and the DVDs will have been worth waiting for.

    Steve
     
  11. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    Too bad, as this was probably the only chance to get any answer on this as, from what I hear, Columbia gives virtually no regard to customer feedback. For some reason, I'm not surprised that the Home Video people did not turn up. Did anyone ask about Fox's recent trend of double dipping?

    The other things mentioned above sound pretty cool though.
     
  12. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Robert, I certainly wouldn't go as far as say they're lying but it's rather strange these were on the release table (2 I believe) and then the controversy struck and now they won't sell. I've yet to see a Fox budget title in Wal-Mart or K-Mart so hopefully things will change here or at least another studio will handle them.

    Even from a business standpoint it would seem more have heard of Chan over some of their War Classics or Studio Classics. If Chan can't get released then it really doesn't look good for the older titles. However, DVD is still rather young and I'm sure this stuff will eventually be put out. I'm sure with the profits to THE PASSION and STAR WARS something smaller could be released soon.
     
  13. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I've always kept a close tab on Fox future releases and I never remember any of the Chan titles being up for release. I only recall the Chan titles being pulled from Fox Movie Channel. This occurred after a couple of them were shown and Fox try to justified their decision by stating they received complaints about racism. Also, some rumors about Murdoch's wife not wanting these films shown were discussed on the internet.
     
  14. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    **We actually got word from a source that said two of the Chan titles would be released at the end of 2003. This was at the end of 2002 so perhaps things just changed or the news we received was wrong.

    I didn't buy the MGM Chan set because as someone else said, they were second tier stuff plus I really didn't want to pay $55 for Monogram type titles. I guess now I need to buy it to help sales but again, DVD is still rather young so maybe something can happen in five years or so.

    **We meaning a site I was involved in.
     
  15. Charles H

    Charles H Screenwriter

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    NIGHTMARE ALLEY--a terrific noir and an unusual one at that--has not been seen on tv in a long, long time....even on FMC, AMC, Cinemax (where it was once abruptly bumped from a scheduled showing). There were rumors of a remake in the early eighties with Billy Dee Williams. I wonder if it's a rights issue over the original novel. Hopefully,it might come out in a Tyrone Power collection from Fox.
    Was there any word on THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN'S CREEK: SE which has been suggested as an inevitable possibility since before Eddie Bracken's death? ACE IN THE HOLE (THE BIG CARNIVAL) is unlikely since there is no video precedent and Paramount only portals their catalog titles onto dvd. Jan Sterling died earlier this year and Robert Arthur stills survives--as well as Kirk Douglas. It is an essential Billy Wilder...and the only one not represented on any video format.
     
  16. David Illingworth II

    David Illingworth II Second Unit

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    Did y'all ask about Office Space SE?
     
  17. John Kilduff

    John Kilduff Screenwriter

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    Did you meet with Warner?

    If you did, did they make mention of possible releases for the following titles:

    -"Crossing Delancey"
    -"Electric Dreams"
    -"Year Of The Dragon"
    -"Who's That Girl?"
    -Season sets of "Night Court", "Perfect Strangers" and the Spielberg/Warner Brothers Animation collaborations ("Tiny Toon Adventures", "Animaniacs", "Pinky And The Brain" and "Freakazoid!")

    Also, were you able to get any news of 2-Disc Special Editions for 2005?

    Sincerely,

    John Kilduff...

    Eager to know the details, but understanding if HTF and WB want to keep things under wraps.
     
  18. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    We had a paid tour of their backlot. However, unlike other studios like Fox and Paramount, Warner never made any of their Home Video representatives available to us. So basically, it was a backlot tour and that's it.







    Crawdaddy
     
  19. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    I don't mean to sound... pushy, but could you be more specific, Robert?

    I'm really glad that Fox went to great efforts to get Laura right. For Noir buffs like me, it will be an essential purchase.
     
  20. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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