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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Can you show a movie before release date? (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2 
 
Author Topic: Can you show a movie before release date?
Marc Hansen
Film Handler

Posts: 93
From: Seattle, WA, USA
Registered: Dec 2000


 - posted 07-05-2006 11:23 PM      Profile for Marc Hansen   Email Marc Hansen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
How restrictive are the contracts with respect to showing a movie early and how aggresivly do they enforce them? The reason I ask is because I see quite a few theaters showing Pirates at 12:01AM Friday but one local independant theater is running it at 10:00PM Thursday. He's calling it a sneak preview. How much of a risk (if any) would you run doing that?

Marc

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Christopher Crouch
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 128
From: Holywood, ca, usa
Registered: May 2006


 - posted 07-06-2006 12:39 AM      Profile for Christopher Crouch   Email Christopher Crouch       Edit/Delete Post 
I had always been under the impression that such "sneak previews" were via special, pre approved arrangement only and any varience from the agreed upon start date would risk future bookings and relationships with the distributor involved.

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17775
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 07-06-2006 01:08 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
The independent theater running a 10pm show, unless specifically approved by the studio, is very illegal. I'm sure the studio would be very interested in hearing about it.

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Mike Spaeth
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1129
From: Marietta, GA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 07-06-2006 01:30 AM      Profile for Mike Spaeth   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Spaeth   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
ESPECIALLY Buena Vista. They are extra cautious/anal about stuff like that.

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John Wilson
Film God

Posts: 5438
From: Sydney, Australia.
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 07-06-2006 01:41 AM      Profile for John Wilson   Email John Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Maybe he'll run 121 minutes of trailers and then hit the screen at 12.01 Friday.
[Roll Eyes]

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Dustin Mitchell
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1865
From: Mondovi, WI, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 07-06-2006 02:39 AM      Profile for Dustin Mitchell   Email Dustin Mitchell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It is possible (though not likely) that he was granted special permission for that show. However, I was told that Disney was not allowing ANY 10:00pm sneaks on Thursday and the '12:01' show was the earliest they'd allow.

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Brian Michael Weidemann
Expert cat molester

Posts: 944
From: Costa Mesa, CA United States
Registered: Feb 2004


 - posted 07-06-2006 06:18 AM      Profile for Brian Michael Weidemann   Author's Homepage   Email Brian Michael Weidemann   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah, if we run earlier shows, for instance a 10:00pm like we did with Superman Returns, it comes higher ups with approved permission. I read an e-mail explicitly denying the ability to run early shows for Pirates, though.

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Dennis Benjamin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1445
From: Denton, MD
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 07-11-2006 07:16 PM      Profile for Dennis Benjamin   Author's Homepage   Email Dennis Benjamin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The film companies will flip out over it!

I used to work at a location near some Universal Picture Offices (in Cincy, Ohio). We got prints in all the time that would sit around for weeks before the opening dates. Sometimes we would not even know what movies they were (when they came in unmarked). One time I got curious and ran a print for myself and a friend of mine (it happened to be "Apollo 13"). Well, I found myself in the DM's office the next morning explaining myself. I then had to write an apology letter to the head of the Universal office there. Man - I almost lost my job over that one! That was just a 'private screening' too, I couldn't imagine a public one. I heard that a chain ran a Buena Vista print before they were supposed to once - they didn't play Disney movies for over a year after that!

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10973
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 07-11-2006 07:26 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Turn the fucker in! Let's make an example of this Maverick!

Then maybe Hollywood will get with it and stop stupidly issuing all those DVD screener discs all the mafia and Chinese mass producer people want to get before the movie is released.
[Roll Eyes]

The rest of us "cattle" will still get to watch subliminal snippets of shit code, er, I mean "crap code" -eh, "CAP Code" (finally, got it right, yeesh!). We get to see the chicken pox shit on all the good, rapid fire action sequences. If it's a 3 frame edit, count on chicken pox firing itself on it. SPLAT!

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Caleb Johnstone-Cowan
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 593
From: London, UK
Registered: Mar 2006


 - posted 07-12-2006 08:31 PM      Profile for Caleb Johnstone-Cowan   Email Caleb Johnstone-Cowan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Perhaps if they gave us decent prints as well, our one for Over The Hedge was atrocious considering we're the flagship site for our chain.

"One time I got curious and ran a print for myself and a friend of mine (it happened to be "Apollo 13"). Well, I found myself in the DM's office the next morning explaining myself."

What's wrong with doing that? Need to check the print after all [Big Grin]

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Jack Ondracek
Film God

Posts: 2348
From: Port Orchard, WA, USA
Registered: Oct 2002


 - posted 07-15-2006 02:52 PM      Profile for Jack Ondracek   Author's Homepage   Email Jack Ondracek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's entirely possible the show was legal.
We've had several of them in Washington State this year. I asked my booker about it the first time I saw it happen... it was at a Regal cinema, and the staff had such short notice they just had handwritten signs about it at their theatre. The booker checked and said that the studio had authorized the early show on Monday, too late for the theatre to change their advertising.

So... it is possible a theatre could fudge on a "early show", but they do happen legally.

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Marc Hansen
Film Handler

Posts: 93
From: Seattle, WA, USA
Registered: Dec 2000


 - posted 07-15-2006 07:58 PM      Profile for Marc Hansen   Email Marc Hansen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
No Jack I don't think it was. On my way home that night I went by (8ish) and the hand written sign in the window basically said "due to circumstances beyond our control we are FORCED to reschedule our 10PM show to 12:01AM" The forced was in BIG letters.

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Jack Ondracek
Film God

Posts: 2348
From: Port Orchard, WA, USA
Registered: Oct 2002


 - posted 07-16-2006 02:25 AM      Profile for Jack Ondracek   Author's Homepage   Email Jack Ondracek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yah... looks like you've got that one figured out! [Wink]

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Andrew Peter Chobaniuk
Film Handler

Posts: 28
From: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Registered: Jul 2006


 - posted 07-24-2006 05:29 AM      Profile for Andrew Peter Chobaniuk   Email Andrew Peter Chobaniuk   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
what about showing movies early to select staff only

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Jack Ondracek
Film God

Posts: 2348
From: Port Orchard, WA, USA
Registered: Oct 2002


 - posted 07-24-2006 06:43 AM      Profile for Jack Ondracek   Author's Homepage   Email Jack Ondracek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's like everything else in this business that goes beyond the master licenses. Some things fly under the studios' radar... other things do not.

While not specifically authorized under the master license (unless I've missed it), every responsible theatre I know of pre-screens their films before showing them to a paying crowd. Aside from operator error in building the prints (which almost never happens to anyone here), there are occasional defects in the prints. These need to be found immediately, and a pre-screening is where that's supposed to happen.

As for allowing staff to the screenings... and maybe their family and a friend or two... that easily falls within the wording of the contracts I'm familiar with. While the studios could do something about it... they might not. A single-screener in Bogalusa could probably do it for years and not get noticed... while any theater YOU work at would probably get nailed the first time you tried it.

How your theatre gets along with the competition can also have a huge effect on life around your place. Some theatres (and bookers) live to catch their competition doing something they think might get them in trouble, while others are pretty cooperative... just depends on where you are, I guess.

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