Film-Tech Cinema Systems
Film-Tech Forum


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | my password | register | search | faq & rules | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Theater-distributor disputes

   
Author Topic: Theater-distributor disputes
Charles Everett
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1470
From: New Jersey
Registered: May 2001


 - posted 07-01-2003 02:31 PM      Profile for Charles Everett   Email Charles Everett   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Quite a few of them so far this year:

  • Reading Entertainment's US chains (Reading/City Cinemas, Angelika Film Center) ban all Fox and Universal product. This comes after City Cinemas claims in a lawsuit that UA and Loews sites in Manhattan get all the A pictures.
  • Regal/UA/Edwards have a dispute with Paramount over a promotion for Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. As a result Regal/UA/Edwards theaters that split product won't get the Tomb Raider sequel.
  • At least one chain in Germany will not play The Hulk and several other German chains may pass on Sinbad as well. According to UK-based Screen Daily, UIP wants a larger-than-usual share of film rental for those titles.
Are these disputes healthy or harmful in the long term?

 |  IP: Logged

Ian Price
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1714
From: Denver, CO
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-01-2003 07:19 PM      Profile for Ian Price   Email Ian Price   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
These disputes are healthy. The exhibitors shouldn't let the distributors get away with everything. There should be limits and the distributors should respect those limits. There are more than 500 films per year so missing a few shouldn't worry an exhibitor.

The distributors need to learn that they are not alone in running this business. This business is a partnership and must be respected as such.

 |  IP: Logged

Ken Layton
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1452
From: Olympia, Wash. USA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 07-01-2003 11:43 PM      Profile for Ken Layton   Email Ken Layton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree with Ian. Exhibitors should never allow the distributor to walk all over him (or her). If distributor "A" has too high of film rental terms or is way too restrictive then the exhibitor has the right to tell distributor "A" to go to hell as there are plenty of other distributors out there just begging to put their film in your theater.

 |  IP: Logged

Jack Ondracek
Film God

Posts: 2274
From: Port Orchard, WA, USA
Registered: Oct 2002


 - posted 07-02-2003 01:17 AM      Profile for Jack Ondracek   Author's Homepage   Email Jack Ondracek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
there are plenty of other distributors out there just begging to put their film in your theater
Wellllllll...... not so fast!

This may not be the best attitude for an independent or small chain to take.
With the number of screens out there now (I don't recall what the current figure is), you've got to have a bunch of them for a distributor to notice... much less remember you at all. There aren't that many major outlets, and you don't want to make yourself memorable by making too much noise. They'd just as soon take you off service as mess with you. unless you have a respectable screen count.

It's a game... and it can be played well... but I wouldn't go so far as to tell any distrib where to shove his film. Much better to just say you don't have any available screens (IF they even ask). It's an entirely reasonable response that means the same thing, whether true or not.

 |  IP: Logged

Ken Layton
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1452
From: Olympia, Wash. USA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 07-02-2003 10:01 AM      Profile for Ken Layton   Email Ken Layton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't believe in tact---I tell it like it is. My friend Ford Thaxton used to book films for Tom Moyer junior. Ford wasn't afraid to tell the distributors where to go. We got the films we wanted and at the terms we could live with.

 |  IP: Logged

Steve Anderson
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 168
From: Nashville, TN
Registered: Feb 2000


 - posted 07-06-2003 08:58 AM      Profile for Steve Anderson   Author's Homepage   Email Steve Anderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Last week we booked Sinbad and wanted to have Finding Nemo as our second feature. There were prints available for FN but Disney said we could not run two animated features back to back.
I don't see the problem.....there was a print just sitting in the depot...when it could be making some money!

 |  IP: Logged

Rachel Craven
Madam Moderator

Posts: 2190
From: Pensacola, FL
Registered: Dec 2000


 - posted 07-06-2003 11:16 AM      Profile for Rachel Craven   Email Rachel Craven   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes but Steve, if you were running 2 animated features it would take profits away from Sinbad. [Roll Eyes]

 |  IP: Logged

Ian Price
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1714
From: Denver, CO
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-06-2003 12:00 PM      Profile for Ian Price   Email Ian Price   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I wasn't advocating a small independent theatre pissing off a distributor. I was just saying that I appreciate it when the big chains stand up for their rights. It benefits us all.

We have a booker and he is the very model of respect and gentility. We did manage to piss off one distributor in our first year. It was Artisan and it was because we refused to book 9th Gate. Our reasons were valid and we were in the right. They refused to give us any product for a year. We met with them at ShoWest and the president of Artisan told their film seller to cool it.

As far as booking Sinbad with Finding Nemo, Disney will never play like that. They are very strict with the rules. I hope you stuck with Finding Nemo because Sinbad is going to tank. Finding Nemo will be another Disney/Pixar classic and will do repeat business.

 |  IP: Logged

Jack Ondracek
Film God

Posts: 2274
From: Port Orchard, WA, USA
Registered: Oct 2002


 - posted 07-06-2003 03:51 PM      Profile for Jack Ondracek   Author's Homepage   Email Jack Ondracek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
I don't believe in tact---I tell it like it is. My friend Ford Thaxton used to book films for Tom Moyer junior. Ford wasn't afraid to tell the distributors where to go. We got the films we wanted and at the terms we could live with.

Tactfully spoken, Ken [Wink] However, the Moyer family has been in this business for a long time, and are most likely still well-known to the studio powers (for whatever that's worth). Bookers can play on that and communicate with a level of diplomacy that would likely be poison to an indie with a small screen count.

In any case, the game can be otherwise played. My booker is dynamite. She was once married to an exec at Columbia, golfs and otherwise schmoozes with the people she has to deal with, and (so far as I know) has never had to tell a studio booker to go to Hell [beer] ... at least, not while she's making a call on my behalf!!

 |  IP: Logged

R. Andrew Diercks
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 232
From: Marion, Iowa (In the middle of everywhere)
Registered: May 2003


 - posted 07-07-2003 12:17 AM      Profile for R. Andrew Diercks   Email R. Andrew Diercks   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When anti-trust laws made it illegal for studios to own theatres in America it was to protect all. Exhibitors have to fight! If studios keep getting there way, they own us anyway. I have heard (enlighten me if I am wrong) that Sony is attempting to ban all discount tickets to all of it's features. What other business can't discount their product. If they succeed all others will follow. We need to let the studios know that we are providing them a service as well. Most think they do us a favor by relying on concession to keep the lights on. We're too small, but the big guys can't let up.

 |  IP: Logged

Jack Ondracek
Film God

Posts: 2274
From: Port Orchard, WA, USA
Registered: Oct 2002


 - posted 07-07-2003 12:51 AM      Profile for Jack Ondracek   Author's Homepage   Email Jack Ondracek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
...Sony is attempting to ban all discount tickets to all of it's features.
It seems it's becoming more common that we'll get a fax from a studio (Sony and WB, usually), advising of various rules and dire consequences. There's the usual paranoia from WB about piracy and the security of their prints. Both of them have been advising that they're enforcing per-caps for a certain number of weeks... sometimes as many as 6... a couple of times, it's been 8, but usually 4. They also insist that we can "unilaterally charge our selected admission price", but that we have to notify them in writing and get their approval before any changes are made to our normal prices.

None of this appears to apply after a print goes sub-run though. We have a couple subs in our area, and they don't appear to have any problem... except for a 6-week blackout window between the end of first-run & the start of a sub-run week (Warners).

 |  IP: Logged



All times are Central (GMT -6:00)  
Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic    next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:



Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.3.1.2

The Film-Tech Forums are designed for various members related to the cinema industry to express their opinions, viewpoints and testimonials on various products, services and events based upon speculation, personal knowledge and factual information through use, therefore all views represented here allow no liability upon the publishers of this web site and the owners of said views assume no liability for any ill will resulting from these postings. The posts made here are for educational as well as entertainment purposes and as such anyone viewing this portion of the website must accept these views as statements of the author of that opinion and agrees to release the authors from any and all liability.

© 1999-2018 Film-Tech Cinema Systems, LLC. All rights reserved.