Will Fox ever listen????

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Tom Mantan D., Oct 14, 2004.

  1. Tom Mantan D.

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    Time to get on my soapbox again. Will Fox ever listen to their classic mystery fans and release the Charlie Chan series and the Mr. Moto series starring Peter Lorre??

    They should take notes from MGM here in America(despite Fox's bogus statement, MGM MADE MONEY on the Chan set they released!) AND really take notes from a little public domain company Orbit Ltd in the UK. It seems Orbit has found a rights loophole to release the Fox Charlie Chan movies in the UK, CC in London came out a few months ago and apparently sold well enough to warrant CC in Paris arriving in November. HELLO FOX????? Why oh why would you let a small company in the UK release YOUR movies that YOU spent a lot of money restoring??? Just doesn't make sense. NOT only are they selling your movies, they are releasing Inferior prints and STILL making money. This subject just irritates me to no end. I am a CPA, so I do understand costs and profits, seems like a no brainer to me. Peter Staddon, can you hear me??????????
     
  2. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    If it's still not out by next year, you should go on the HTF meet, and you'll be able to press your case to Peter in person. [​IMG]
     
  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I didn't know you were privy to MGM's profit figures?







    Crawdaddy
     
  4. Tom Mantan D.

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    Robert,

    I was basing my MGM statement on 2 things:
    1. Sales rankings on Amazon, Deepdiscountdvd and one other site which escapes me for the moment. And
    2. While I cannot quote the individual due to privacy issues, a person who is well respected and heavily involved in the movie industry (specifically classic movies) indicated to me that sources at MGM were very pleased and if not somewhat shocked by the sales of the dvd set.

    So, no not privy to actual numbers, but I would take what this person said as the next best thing. And I think it is very valid considering these films are bootleged and have sold like gangbusters and still do on good ole Ebay!(which as we can all admit is a very widely used "shopping" service nowadays!)

    On another note, I also have been told by the same authority that several other dvd companies have approached Fox with intent to license and release both Moto and Chan and have been turned down time and time again. Now that begs another big WHY?

    And let's not forget certain management/employee comments from Fox Movie Channel personnel during the whole "to show or not show the films" debacle when they indicated that they enjoyed success in showing the films as well as all of the restoration and marketing funds that went into them.

    The point here is that something is rotten in the explanations and lack of explanations Fox is giving regarding these films. Old films still sell, look at Holmes and Thin Man properties as well as a host of countless other classics.

    Tom
     
  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Because maybe Fox, wants to release some of those titles themselves down the road.





    Crawdaddy
     
  6. Rick Spruill

    Rick Spruill Stunt Coordinator

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    Will Fox ever listen??? When it comes to Chan, unfortunately I doubt it. I'll never understand why someone would spend that much money restoring movies only to let them sit on the shelf. The explanations they've given for cancelling the Chanfest are laughable at best.

    The MGM set is awesome, but I really want those Fox Chans (and Moto). But, after reading the facts and speculation behind Fox's decisions on Chan, I sincerely doubt those films will ever see the light of day.
     
  7. Tom Mantan D.

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    Robert,
    I just wish the reason Fox will not license them is that they wish to release them down the road, that would be fine by me, but I hope you understand my skepticism about that!

    Also, the other site was actually Bestbuy.com, while I agree that does not represent the brick and mortars, I really respect the "human" source who made a statement regarding the sales. But to each his own, in a court of law I would be working off of hearsay and as we all know, that is not the same as "gospel".

    Tom
     
  8. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    If Fox truly wanted to release the titles down the road I doubt that they would be making statements like this (from the most recent HTF/Fox chat):



    The above flies against what any major grey marketer will tell you: Chan & Moto films generate a significant amount of traffic in the "collector to collector" market.

    I did some checking around on the MGM set and Tom Mantan D. is quite correct, the sales were quite good.

    Since the Chanthology came out, some outfit called Trinity has packaged the 1980 revival (Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen) into a nice DVD and gotten them into Walmarts all over the country. This is far from a classic movie (and most Chan fans hate it), but Trinity saw a market for this and put it out.

    The market for the most popular classic "B" films is solid. Universal has done very well with their various classic series (Kettles, A&C, Francis). Warners gave Tarzan the royal treatment and they're currently prepping the Bowery Boys for release. Gene Autry & Roy Rogers are well represented on DVD from Image and Goodtimes. Platinum has very nice collections of Blondie and Hoppy DVDs. MPI sold a bundle of their Rathbone Holmes DVDs.

    If Fox doesn't want to release these because they're leery of the reaction of special interest groups, then they should come out and say so. But please don't put out deep catalog titles like "KING KONG LIVES" and then turn around and tell us that Chan/Moto won't sell.

    Steve
     
  9. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Geez, I think Fox has been a little "skittish" about the Chans, but I wouldn't go as far to be this rude to them in this thread.

    Perhaps Fox ought to use their Anchor Bay contract to license out the Chan films to them.
     
  10. Tom Mantan D.

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    Patrick,
    excellent idea, except Anchor Bay has approached along with MPI and one other I cannot remember, this is all taken from quotes from various classic mystery magazines during the Fox Movie Channel Chan debacle. FOX simply will NOT license them.(as quoted by the studios mentioned above).

    Also, this is not meant to be a rude thread, nor do I think it is, it is simply stating the facts. And rather matter of factly, Fox's statements and actions with regards to the Mr. Moto and Charlie Chan series border on ridiculous.

    Tom
     
  11. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    I also agree that Patrick's suggestion is a very good and Fox would be wise to consider this. However the chances appear to be slim for the reasons Tom mentioned. Fox spent millions restoring the Chan & Moto films; why wouldn't they want to recoup this investment?

    I don't think the comments in this thread are meant to be rude towards Fox. Personally, I've praised them elsewhere in these forums for the consistently high quality of their Studio Classic releases, and I supported their decision to release split season sets of Lost In Space (a move that was highly unpopular for many on HTF). I have no problem giving credit where credit is due.

    However, I do feel that criticsim of their handling of this segment of their library is warranted. To be honest, I think Fox dug themselves a hole on this issue by saying these titles are not sellable. That line of reasoning seemed almost insulting to many (even if that is not how it was intended). Nobody believes that these would sell at STAR WARS levels, but they would sell, especially considering the additional publicity that the Moto & Chan films recieved last year.

    I think some additional frustration came from the fact that it seems that nobody, even editors/publishers of various magazines that covered this issue, could ever get Fox to respond candidly to inquiries on the matter.

    Bottom line - I applaud Fox for the excellent work they do on most of their releases and I look forward to their upcoming Noir line, but until they do right by their Chan & Moto titles, they will be a source of disappointment as well.

    Steve
     
  12. Tom Mantan D.

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    Update to this thread, it is now being reported that there may be a "rights" issue to the Chan films for dvd distribution. Now, this one is way out of my ballpark, my question is how can a studio lose distribution rights to films they own????
     
  13. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Let's see:
    • Warners is releasing a complete set of "Thin Man" titles in August that has already generated much interest.
    • MPI, a relatively minor player, sold hundreds of thousands of units of the Rathbone Holmes films
    Those are two of the three "Big Name" mystery series of the 30s and 40s. The 3rd of course is the Chan series. Why does Fox continue to stonewall these releases?

    A major classic film magazine printed a blurb in their last issue pointing out that the grey market for Chan films is flourishing (per forum rules I won't go into specifics but I can certainly attest to the validity of this statement). Additionally, Orbit Media in the UK is selling a line of R2 Chan films on DVD.

    Fox is sitting on an uptapped gold mine with these films and is seemingly content to allow a number of grey marketers to reap the substantial profits they're making from selling these films.

    Warners took note of how popular the Bowery Boys were in the collector to collector market and now they're releasing all 48 BB films starting in 2006. Fox's Chan films are half that number, have already been restored, and are primed for release.

    Fox, you've done a great job with getting your Noir line off the ground, please keep the momentum going by announcing the release of all 23 of your Chan films and all 8 of your Moto films.

    Steve
     
  14. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    The only rights issues with these is a certain man who called the films racist and got them pulled off FMC and got 2 planned releases canceled.

    With something Steve mentioned, Fox really needs to get these out there now while there's still a market. Fans aren't going to wait forever and they certainly don't want to hear something "won't sell" when other studios are releasing even smaller films.

    If Warner can release 48 Bowery Boys films then there's no excuse for Fox. The one guy, who I won't mention by name, got his press off of starting the controversy so perhaps he'll back down. I'm sure he's found something new to pick on.
     
  15. Tom Mantan D.

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    This topic and Fox's pig headedness makes me disgusted. How in the !!!! can 48 Bowery Boys films make it to release before Charlie Chan?????? Next thing you know, Warners will announce they are releasing the 11 Charlie Chan films they own before Fox. Unbelievable is about the only way to describe this mess. Peter Staddon, I can't quite believe you have any excuses left now that both MGM and Warners have made Fox look foolish.

    Tom D.
     

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