Video Business article on studios increasing their catalog DVD releases.

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Robert Crawford, Jan 17, 2004.

  1. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    The studios as well as consumers have come a long way since 1997, with the studios putting more emphasis on releasing their catalog titles to dvd. I remembered a time, when I was very frustrated with the lack of such releases, but I believe that classic film buffs like myself have turned the corner in putting those past frustrations to rest with the studios realizing the gold mine they have in their film vaults. We still have a long way to go in satisfying everybodys need for their favorite titles on dvd, but the studios and film buffs have traveled quite a bit down the road since the early days of this video format.

    The following excerpt is from Video Business which should make some of us even happier about the catalog dvd progression.
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    The great news continues. And those numbers are staggering: almost $4 billion spent on purchases of legacy titles. Amazing.
     
  3. Joshua Clinard

    Joshua Clinard Screenwriter

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    That's an interesting artcile, and a great statistic. Keep the cataloge titles coming. We know were going to get Star Wars this year!
     
  4. David Coleman

    David Coleman Supporting Actor

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    Let's hope that EAST OF EDEN will make the releases this year!
     
  5. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    Sweet, I must have missed whatever news there's been about that, this is the first I've heard of it. I'm definitely there for an SE of that movie.
     
  6. FrankXS

    FrankXS Stunt Coordinator

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    When we look at classic titles that aren't available, we should look to Universal for so many of the Paramount titles from the 30's and 40's such as the early Marx Brothers/W.C. Fields/Cecil B. DeMille's classics/Preston Sturgess's comedies/ the work of Mitchell Leisen/nearly all of Claudette Colbert movies/Billy Wilder's Major and the Minor etc.
    George Feltenstein has been a champion of classic titles for years. When he was with MGM/UA in the 1980's/1990's he was one of the most knowledgable people on the classics and also one of the most accessable executives to listen to collector's wishes. My request to George is to keep mining the gems from the 1930/1940's. The wealth of titles you have covering the careers of Harlow/Davis/Tracy/
    Hepburn/Gable/Crawford/Cagney/Astaire and Rogers/Garson/
    Robert Taylor/MacDonald and Eddy/Stewart is immense. Also if the RKO titles are under Warner Home Video why have we not seen titles like John Ford's The Informer/Hunchback of Notre Dame-1939/Magnificent Ambersons/Ginger Rogers'Kitty Foyle ? The list is endless but maybe some of these will appear in the promised 200 releases for 2004. Could 2005 bring 400 releases ?
     
  7. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    Frank, Hunchback ('39) has been out for a few yrs now.



    its a real shame that Universal doesn't have someone like Feltenstein exploiting their catalog. so much great stuff just a withering away.
    Claudette Colbert, a particualr fave, is seriously under-represented on this medium.

    i'm kind of surprised that Paramount is only planning to release about 60 catalog titles this yr, and only 30 vintage.
    that seems awful small.
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Not at all, considering that most of Paramount's vintage films now belong to Universal.




    Crawdaddy
     
  9. Derek_McL

    Derek_McL Second Unit

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    Yes and frankly I'm beginning to think thats a pity too. I'm beginning to wish Paramount had kept hold of the rights of those pre 1948 titles because Universal seems at best uncertain about what to do with them. I've been a big critic of Warner Brothers in the past but they at least have probably realised they must start getting their classic catalog titles out in significant numbers before HD-DVD takes over. Its probably a long time until it becomes mainstream but the Fox chat suggested to me that the seed has at least been sown and the speed technology changes these days,well you never know.

    On the positive side Universal has some good classic films coming out including the upcoming Abbott and Costello eight film set which is excellent value and the Monster Legacy Sets. Apart from that there isn't a lot, a few rumours yes but nothing concrete. The titles I mentioned were also all produced originally by Universal. It looks to me like the Paramount titles they own are getting neglected. I hope I'm wrong and the rumoured new edition of Duck Soup and those W.C. Fields titles (possibly in a similar set to the Abbott and Costellos?) are coming soon.
     
  10. Roger Rollins

    Roger Rollins Supporting Actor

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    All Universal seems to be doing is regurgitating previous releases in no-frills editions (no extras, no remastering) at Wal-Mart aimed prices. Their neglect of their classic library was blatant during the VHS and LD years, so I hold little hope for any real turnaround there on DVD.

    WB meanwhile, has truly made a huge turnaround in the last 12-18 months that has greatly overshadowed any other studio's efforts when it comes to classics. The recent releases, and those which are forthcoming continue to set the standard by which all classics should be treated on DVD. They've also accelerated the pace of what they are releasing. I perceive it has less to do with the future of HD technology (which is still YEARS away from reaching the critical mass), than the final maturation of the present DVD format itself, which is finally in enough homes to provide a broad enough customer base that it can support classic film releases in a profitable manner for those studios which choose to pursue that audience. Those who remember the first few years of VHS can look at how long it was (5-7 years) into the medium before deeper library classics started to become available.

    I can only hope Universal will abandon their "fire-sale" mentality and really take the time and effort to acknowledge the gems in their library, and treat them right the way Warner Bros. does.
     
  11. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    Which ones do you mean?
     
  12. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    They have little choice when MGM's current output of new theatrical films is so small and so awful. And given their main concentration on catalog, it's even worse that they're taking a huge step backward with all the P&S-only releases of late. It's time to join the 21st Century, Ms. Zwagerman.
     
  13. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    absolutely fab news
     

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