JamesSmith

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Just some off questions:

Does anyone know what is/was the most frequently unreleased animated series that is under the auspices of Universal? Casper?

Maybe this will enable a release of Universal's What's So Bad About Feeling Good? and the Perils of Pauline (Pat Boone version)?

--James
 

ahollis

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I believe that with this weeks Kino announcement of 200+ title deal with Universal and the continuing releases from Warner Archive, this announcement has more to do with new release titles that would be handled by Warner Home Video and Universal Home Video than catalog titles.
 

Worth

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I believe that with this weeks Kino announcement of 200+ title deal with Universal and the continuing releases from Warner Archive, this announcement has more to do with new release titles that would be handled by Warner Home Video and Universal Home Video than catalog titles.
Yes. And Warner Archive is a separate division of Warner Home Video.
 
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I'm still wondering what happened with the negotiations of this joint venture after all these months. Aren't Universal and Warners still in the process of this merger, or did it suddenly drop the ball and fall apart because of the pandemic combined with company layoffs? The last article I read about it was back in spring, and it said it was approved by the European Commission, but not by the US Justice Department as of now. Also, didn't Universal begin distributing WB's titles in Japan and very few parts of Europe this quarter as announced?
 
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jcroy

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The only thing "visible" I have seen so far, are some James Bond dvds which now have a Warner sticker placed over the old Fox information. (These are older James Bond releases which were manufactured by Fox several years ago).
 

Stephen_J_H

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I'm still wondering what happened with the negotiations of this joint venture after all these months. Aren't Universal and Warners still in the process of this merger, or did it suddenly drop the ball and fall apart because of the pandemic combined with company layoffs? The last article I read about it was back in spring, and it said it was approved by the European Commission, but not by the US Justice Department as of now. Also, didn't Universal begin distributing WB's titles in Japan and very few parts of Europe this quarter as announced?
Joint ventures and mergers are completely different beasts. A joint venture is an agreement to consolidate one aspect of business for a period of time; a merger is a more permanent alliance. A merger between NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia would be unlikely to be approved by the FTC for example; a joint venture, where the two parties share manufacturing and distribution facilities [as would be the case here], is less likely to draw the ire of the FTC as the companies remain separate entities and are simply sharing this aspect of the business to reduce costs. Much like Warner's licencing deal with Paramount a few years back, this could be temporary or for a fixed period. Big difference.
 

Josh Steinberg

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As for why it hasn’t been noticeable yet, we’re in a pandemic and the home entertainment staffs of both companies are largely working remotely from home. Both companies have recently laid off large numbers of employees, which was part of the plan - the idea is that the disc market is contracting further each year and that there isn’t enough business there to justify each company having its own unique staff to continue as they had been.

I think there’s a little bit of a misunderstanding for why the venture is necessary. The goal isn’t to suddenly release a bunch of previously unreleased titles that wouldn’t sell in a mass marketplace - this isn’t meant to be a new boutique or speciality decision like a Kino. This is because the sales of the studios’ new releases and evergreen titles aren’t measuring up to previous years and the idea is that this will allow continuing to put new releases on disc to remain financially viable for a longer period of time than it would have been with the larger overhead costs of each party having their own department doing the same work. I believe in one of the press releases or interviews it had been stated that they hope this will allow mass market disc sales to remain viable for another 5–10 years.
 
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Joint ventures and mergers are completely different beasts. A joint venture is an agreement to consolidate one aspect of business for a period of time; a merger is a more permanent alliance. A merger between NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia would be unlikely to be approved by the FTC for example; a joint venture, where the two parties share manufacturing and distribution facilities [as would be the case here], is less likely to draw the ire of the FTC as the companies remain separate entities and are simply sharing this aspect of the business to reduce costs. Much like Warner's licencing deal with Paramount a few years back, this could be temporary or for a fixed period. Big difference.
I'm not saying the two studios were merging altogether. I was just referring to their home entertainment sides. It's like CBS/Fox or RCA/Columbia. Also, CIC Video (Universal/Paramount) and Universal's later international ventures with Columbia TriStar/Sony, not to mention Fox/Pathe in the UK and France and Warners' Australian venture with Village Roadshow.
 
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Stephen_J_H

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I'm not saying the two studios were merging altogether. I was just referring to their home entertainment sides. It's like CBS/Fox or RCA/Columbia. Also, CIC Video (Universal/Paramount), and Universal's later international ventures with Columbia TriStar/Sony, not to mention Fox/Pathe in the UK and France and Warners' Australian venture with Village Roadshow.
Again, those are all joint ventures, not mergers. it's a distinction with a difference. The closest thing we've seen in Hollywood in the past have been co-productions, either on a one-off, or a package. Think about the Disney-Paramount deal on Popeye and Dragonslayer, or deals where one studio handles domestic distribution and the other handles international. There's no permanence to the arrangement, or alternatively it is restricted to one element of the business.
 

jcroy

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As for why it hasn’t been noticeable yet, we’re in a pandemic and the home entertainment staffs of both companies are largely working remotely from home. Both companies have recently laid off large numbers of employees, which was part of the plan - the idea is that the disc market is contracting further each year and that there isn’t enough business there to justify each company having its own unique staff to continue as they had been.

I think there’s a little bit of a misunderstanding for why the venture is necessary. The goal isn’t to suddenly release a bunch of previously unreleased titles that wouldn’t sell in a mass marketplace - this isn’t meant to be a new boutique or speciality decision like a Kino. This is because the sales of the studios’ new releases and evergreen titles aren’t measuring up to previous years and the idea is that this will allow continuing to put new releases on disc to remain financially viable for a longer period of time than it would have been with the larger overhead costs of each party having their own department doing the same work. I believe in one of the press releases or interviews it had been stated that they hope this will allow mass market disc sales to remain viable for another 5–10 years.
I believe Josh is right on this issue. (Allegely he was once a former insider, who might have some first hand knowledge of how some of these processes function in supply chain management of dvd inventory).

I strongly suspect this "joint venture" is not done out of strength, but is done out of weakness. It there was strength for either party, they would go it alone (like they have been doing for two decades already until recently).

In the end, most of these "joint venture" proceses will be invisible at the retailer level (ie. when we see it).
 

willyTass

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It turns out there's only really one giant cd/dvd/bluray discs manufacturer left in north america: Thomson/Technicolor plant in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Currently Disney, Universal, Warner, Paramount, Sony and other smaller movie companies (such as Cinedigm, etc ...) all manufacture their dvds and blurays at this giant Mexico plant. Every disc manufactured at this Thomson/Technicolor plant will have an ifpi code KK** (where ** are alphanumeric wildcards) stamped in the first transparent plastic ring away from the center of the disc.

Though the issue of whether they actually "care about quality" is questionable in regard to disc quality control.
very interesting

from what I’ve read and experienced it seems the worst replicator was Cinram Olyphant Pensylvannia. Next worse seems to be replicators from France

so much so they have threads in France to help people trace where their UHD’s and Blu rays are manufactured
IIRC back in the day, one big laserdisc manufacturing plant was Sony DADC in Terre Haute, Indiana.

https://forum.lddb.com/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=5980

That Terre Haute plant was Sony's primary facility for manufacturing their cds/dvds/blurays/4Kblurays and PS2/PS3/PS4 discs in america, until 2018 when it was closed down for everything but PS4 discs.

https://fox59.com/2018/01/17/sony-disc-plant-in-terre-haute-laying-off-around-380-workers/

Since mid-2018, this is why Sony's dvds and blurays have been manufactured at Thomson/Technicolor's facility in Mexico ever since.
here is a list of replication plants based on IFPI codes


just for fun I pulled out my loupe and checked a few of my discs

The blues Brothers UHD import from Korea - disc pressed in Germany

all Warner archive of course pressed in Mexico

uk import BFI version of Equus pressed in Austria

australian version of Hitchcock’s Psycho- pressed in Australia

out of my 1500+ Blu rays and UHD’s only a handful have rotted since 2006.
 
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jcroy

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very interesting

from what I’ve read and experienced it seems the worst replicator was Cinram Olyphant Pensylvannia. Next worse seems to be replicators from France
This Olyphant, Pennsylvania disc manufacturing plant previously owned by Technicolor (earlier Cinram and WEA), was closed back in early 2018.

The old building was being demolished this past June.

 

jcroy

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so much so they have threads in France to help people trace where their UHD’s and Blu rays are manufactured
What turned me off immediately from jumping onto the 4Kbluray treadmill back in 2016, was when I first heard that Sonopress was a big manufacturer of 4Kbluray discs. Apparently Sonopress was one of the worst manufacturer of bluray discs, where around a decade ago Criterion bluray discs were "bronzing" prematurely. (Criterion went to another manufacturer after that debacle).

Back in 2016-2018, Warner and Universal used Sonopress to manufactured their 4Kbluray discs.

 
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jcroy

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Currently I have no idea where Fox's dvds/blurays are manufactured.

For many years previously, Fox and Lionsgate had their dvds/blurays manufactured at Thomson/Technicolor's plant in Huntsville, Alabama. Discs manufactured in this Huntsville planet will have an ifpi code 2F** (where ** are alphanumeric wildcards) stamped in the first transparent plastic ring away from the center of the disc.

(I don't currently own any Fox dvd/bluray titles which were released after the Disney/Fox merger).
There has been whispered rumors that this Technicolor plant in Hunstville, Alabama might have stopped cd/dvd/bluray discs manufacturing already earlier this year. Though nothing in an official statement (yet).


As one data point, I recently purchased a Fox released box set which had an additional "made in mexico" sticker placed on the back cover. Not surprisingly, all the discs had IFPI code KK** which means they were manufactured at the giant Technicolor Mexico plant.

I haven't purchased any recent Lionsgate titles. So I have no definitive info about where their recent dvds/blurays were manufactured.
 

jcroy

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There has been whispered rumors that this Technicolor plant in Hunstville, Alabama might have stopped cd/dvd/bluray discs manufacturing already earlier this year. Though nothing in an official statement (yet).
(To be more specific).

These are some of the recent rumors posted about the Technicolor Huntsville plant being closed down for cd/dvd/bluray disc manufacturing.





Industrial Maintenance Technician (Current Employee) - Huntsville, AL - July 15, 2020

The manufacturing side of the plant is now shut down to due low demand for CD's, DVD's, and Blu-ray disk.


Team Lead/Internal Auditor (Former Employee) - Huntsville, AL 35811 - July 10, 2020

I was there for 16 years and rarely ever had a bad day. I enjoyed just about everyone I worked with. Management was always good. Then they shut half the plant down and I lost my job, along with many others, so it's time to start that new chapter in life.
 

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