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Author Topic: George Lucas is cheating!
Joe Redifer

 - posted 05-30-1999 02:15 AM            Edit/Delete Post 
George Lucas is forcing many theatres to sign a contract saying that they must
keep Star Wars: Phantom Menace in the largest houses possible for at least 12
weeks! Whaddya think of that? George seems to think that his movie is the only
one coming out this summer. I think that there will be many other flicks with
excellent money making potential. Episode 1 should come and go just as any
other film would. Besides, if the movie was THAT good, then he wouldn't need to
have a contract to keep it in the big houses for 3 months. It would do that on its
own. But apparently Lucas is not confident enough in his digital project, otherwise
why would he force a contract upon us exhibitors? I am quickly losing any respect
I once had for George Lucas.

Christopher Seo

 - posted 05-30-1999 02:16 AM            Edit/Delete Post 
I know this is a pretty publicized case, but are there any other occurrences of
distributors stipulating these kinds requirements so they can get good opening
weekend figures and such? I was talking to a theater manager who, I think, said
that they couldn't get "Patch Adams" unless they ran it on both screens there,
because the individual theaters were too small. I'm pretty sure this was a
requirement imposed by the studio and not the theater chain itself.

Joe Redifer

 - posted 05-30-1999 02:16 AM            Edit/Delete Post 
Studios oten make chains/theatres sign contracts. But this one takes the cake!
Normally a theatre will get 2 prints of "Whatever" and they are contracted to play
both prints for at least 2 or 3 weeks, which is why you will often see 1 of the
"Whatever" prints playing in an auditorium by itself and the other print playing in
the small house for just one show a day. This was they are not breaking the
contract. These types of contracts can be signed with just single copies of prints
as well. They will say that you must play the movie at that theatre for at least, say
6 weeks. Once again they will get by with just showing it once per day.

But Lucas wants a full set of shows in the biggest houses for a full 12 weeks. I can
tell you that after 5 or 6 weeks we won't need the 3rd print in the biggest house,
and that there should be something else that should play in there. Maybe Lucas is
trying to make sure that no other movies make any money at all (because they
have no seats) so that he can say that his movie made $200 or $300 million more
than any other movie of the summer. Still chating, though, whatever the case may

Scott Norwood

 - posted 05-30-1999 02:17 AM            Edit/Delete Post 
I really lost my respect for Lucas when he refused to have 70mm prints struck for
the SW trilogy reissue in 1997. Of course, he insisted that it play in THX houses
whenever possible and made sure that all 35mm prints were triple-format digital,
but he didn't do a darn thing to insure top-notch picture quality. In fact, the
digitally "enhanced" (ha!) scenes looked so much worse than the 20-year-old
opticals that they were almost laughable. In fact, the image quality of all of the SW
films pales in comprison with the work done nine years earlier on 2001 (which I
have only seen in 35mm, and which is absolutely stunning in that format, even
though the 35mm prints are mono only; I trust that the 2001 reissue will have
Dolby tracks and be triple-format digital as well). That said, Lucas has every right
to demand whatever terms he wants of theatre onwers. I suspect that the really
smart ones will not agree to his terms and will make more money while doing less
work by showing non-SW films this May/June/July[/August/September/...].

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