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Discussion in 'DVD' started by JohnS, Apr 17, 2003.
Quote from where?
The Digital Bits
Basically, the fact that Universal may be sold in the near future means that certain of their catalog assets have been put on hold. They aren't going to release anything - including the Hughes films and season sets of TV shows - that might devalue them in the eyes of a potential buyer who could reap the profits of such a release after a corporate takeover is complete.
Among the potential buyers that the news has reported are NBC Studios, Viacom, MGM, and the recently-resigned Barry Diller.
So we were lucky to get BTTF out at all then?
I dunno, in between licencing their titles to Columbia for overseas markets (which only expired last year and was given as the reason for holding back on catalogue titles) and the potential sale now (given as the reason for holding back on catalogue titles) they seem to be harming their current cashflow in favour of undetermined future income.
this certainly is very interesting news indeed. Let's hope that when Weird Science & 16 Candles come out, they will be super duper SE
MGM ? i thought they didn't have a pot to piff in, let alone buy out another studio. might be good news though; perhaps cheap & more catalogue titles
MGM has been reported - see the links in this post for further information. But I too believe that MGM was either up for sale, or close to being put on the market recently. I don't know if their situation has changed, but it's worth noting Die Another Day was a co-production with Fox, and time's must be hard if you're willing to share income on your biggest money maker.
As for Universal, David's suggestion (or maybe hard information) makes sense from a business standpoint, but I have little time for most "business logic" - holding off on products (and thus reducing income) while your parent company is bleeding money (mainly from write-offs and interest payments) sounds OK in the short term, but should the negotiations take longer is it really in Vivendi-Universal's interests?
It seems to me that Universal has been holding off on a lot of products for the past few years, and has never been able to run at it's full earning potential.
James, I must say that there is a lot of insight in your last sentence. At least in my point of view.
As for suggestion/hard info: a little of both, but not based on anything that isn't public and putting two and two together. Thanks for putting that link in there; I was in too much a hurry earlier to go looking for it.
As for BTTF, I believe that the decisions I'm talking about happened after that release. If you see this Jan. 31 post where Walt Riarson first reports that Weird Science was delayed indefinately, then that is probably the timeframe you can expect the decisions to start to have been made.
Note that on Jan. 24th there was a meeting between Vivendi Universal CEO Jean-René Fourtou and the then-CEO of their "Vivendi Universal Entertainment (VUE) co-operative venture" (since May 2002) (also CEO of the USA Interactive (USAi) division), Barry Diller. They discussed "entertainment assets", and issued this statement afterward:
There was a bit more rhetoric about responsibility to shareholders and that sort of stuff, but you get the drift. They were discussing entertainment assets and whether or not anything should be changed with their usage.
By 2/4 they had sold Canal+ Technologies to Thompson, and within 24 hours were denying that the rest of Canal+ was up for sale.
On 2/6 Vivendi Universal was reporting their financial results "for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2002" and nowhere mentioned BTTF! As you can see in this PDF file, they state that "Universal Pictures Group revenues decreased 8% principally due to fewer video releases...In home video, 2002 releases included The Scorpian King, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial 20th Anniversary Edition, compared to 2001..." (continues to name off several 2001 home video releases that resulted in more overal revenue).
On Feb 12 Vivendi Universal had decided to sell off 28 million warrants of Barry Diller's USAi division.
On Mar 19, Barry Diller resigned his "temporary" position as CEO of VUE.
Afterward, Barry Diller has started a lawsuit against Vivendi Universal in regards to VUE and USAi, in regards to which Vivendi Universal just responded today (Apr. 17th) and stated that it is "without merit". In the meantime, Mr. Diller is also hedging his bets, it seems. According to this article, which described his resignation, the reporter stats that "Mr Diller himself is reported to be interested in bidding for Universal Studios." This sentiment is shared in other reports as well, with no more or less amount of detail.
There's more interesting factoids about this company. But I think you guys have enough "light reading" and info to digest for now!
Wow David, and I thought I was obsessive about Universal (you may have picked up from my posting history I have a long standing love/hate relationship with Universal UK).
Not obsessive about anything, just fond of research!
(That's how I got to be a "know-it-all" :wink: )
There was a report posted on AICN a couple weeks ago that said USA Network is supposedly making a tv movie sequel to 16 Candles, with both Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall (star of their Dead Zone series) involved. I wonder if this has any connection to the delay of the original film's DVD release. Maybe they want to coincide the release of the DVD with the premiere of the sequel movie to help promote each other.
Here's AICN's story on it:
Well, and it's obvious that the right time to release the Battlestar Galactica box set would be at the same time the remake (excuse me, "re-imagined" ) miniseries comes out toward the end of this year.
However, when's the right time to release Hulk season sets? When the new film hits, right?
But are we getting season sets? Nope...just a token "pilot telefilm with bonus Season 2 episode" release on one disc. Why is that, I wonder?
"Things that make you go 'hmmmmmmmm'!"
They should bring back the DISCOVISION label!!