Fox and Universal Licenses

The scuttlebutt on Criterion, Eclipse, and Janus Films. Lists and polls are STRONGLY discouraged.
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Theodore R. Stockton
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#26 Post by Theodore R. Stockton » Wed Oct 26, 2005 4:45 pm

Viva Zapata was initially slated to be a fox classics (or whatever their numbered line is) back when it was to be their Academy award winning and nominated line but dropped out of sight.

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dx23
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#27 Post by dx23 » Tue Nov 01, 2005 11:18 pm

Thedigitalbits.com is reporting on their Rumor Mill that Fox is going to release Beyond the Valley of the Dolls next year on a "Cinema Classics Collection" banner.
Other "Cinema Classics Collection" titles coming in early 2006 from Fox include The Charlie Chan Collection: Volume One (a box set with different titles that those MGM released in their Chanthology set), The Jayne Mansfield Collection (a box set including The Wayward Bus, The Girl Can't Help It and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?), and new special editions of Valley of the Dolls and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.
So i think is almost safe to say that this isn't going to be released by Criterion, unless Fox releases a barebones/almost barebones edition and Criterion releases another version in the future with the already made Roger Ebert commentary. I believe that this title can be taken off the Distinct Possibilities on the Forthcoming list and can be added to another title in the Dead Criterions.

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#28 Post by Jaime_Weinman » Tue Nov 01, 2005 11:23 pm

"The Jayne Mansfield Collection?" Yes, by all means, lump two Frank Tashlin masterpieces in with "The Wayward Bus" and maybe even "It Happened in Athens," what's the diff? Sheesh.

As long as The Girl Can't Help It and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? are coming, I'm happy, but it's too bad that Rock Hunter in particular won't get the Criterion treatment.

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Theodore R. Stockton
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#29 Post by Theodore R. Stockton » Wed Nov 02, 2005 12:16 pm

With FOX releasing "Beyond..." themselves, it quite possible means that Eclipse isn't happening anytime soon.

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#30 Post by Narshty » Wed Nov 02, 2005 2:25 pm

How so? They still have plenty of other stuff to put in Eclipse (loads more samurai action flicks, Richard Gordon schlockers, Equinox, etc)

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justeleblanc
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#31 Post by justeleblanc » Wed Nov 02, 2005 2:27 pm

Theodore R. Stockton wrote:With FOX releasing "Beyond..." themselves, it quite possible means that Eclipse isn't happening anytime soon.
I think that's a safe statement regardless of the Meyer news.

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pzman84
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#32 Post by pzman84 » Sun Nov 13, 2005 2:25 am

On the Sony Pictures Repertory website, it states now they own the J. Arthur Rank library, which is most of the Powell/Pressburger films and the Alexander Korda productions.

I see three possible options to happen:

1. Sony will force Criterion to discontinue the films in their library which now they have the rights to (like The Red Shoes). They will then release these titles on their own DVD lines.
2. Sony will not interfere with the current Criterion releases. They may release these films on DVD but the consumer will be able to choose.
3. This is the beginning of a beautiful relationship for Criterion/Sony.

I have hoping for 3 but will be happy with 2.

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Theodore R. Stockton
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#33 Post by Theodore R. Stockton » Sun Nov 13, 2005 2:37 am

pzman84 wrote:3. This is the beginning of a beautiful relationship for Criterion/Sony.
I doubt this since Sony is releasing Saraband, 2046, and The Passenger, which I think would all do better as Criterions. Sony has put out some horrible discs and most people will probably end up buying these films from other regions.

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Derek Estes
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#34 Post by Derek Estes » Sun Nov 13, 2005 2:44 am

That article seemed a bit ambiguous. All of the other Powell and Pressburger films. Are they referring to the ones that Criterion hasn't released? I know Sony was supposed to release AMOLAD in '04 but it has been posponed indefinitely. I think they also hold the rights to One of Our Aircraft is Missing.

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peerpee
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#35 Post by peerpee » Sun Nov 13, 2005 10:54 am

That article looks like it's from 2003, and it seems to be about theatrical releases.

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ogygia avenue
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#36 Post by ogygia avenue » Tue Dec 20, 2005 6:22 pm

I keep asking about this. Maybe if I post about it, I'll get some answers!

(Or, you know, not.)

I notice in some of the speculation threads that various titles will never be licensed to Criterion because the rights belong to some implacable rightsholder. Usually the rights belong to Paramount, Warners, or Columbia. Why will these rightsholders not license their work to Criterion? ({sarcasm}Is it because Mulvaney and co. don't rinse with Peppermint Scope?{/sarcasm})

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pzman84
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#37 Post by pzman84 » Tue Dec 20, 2005 6:43 pm

Paramount, Warners, and Columbia like money and they don't want to share it with Criterion. Besides, Warners is almost at Criterion's level of quality (keyword: almost).

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#38 Post by cafeman » Tue Dec 20, 2005 8:55 pm

pzman84 wrote:Paramount, Warners, and Columbia like money and they don't want to share it with Criterion. Besides, Warners is almost at Criterion's level of quality (keyword: almost).
Oh, come one, we all love Criterion, but WB is at least equal if not better. And if we go back aways, early WB releases are much better than Criterion.

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Derek Estes
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#39 Post by Derek Estes » Tue Dec 20, 2005 10:53 pm

I would agree to some extent that Warners is becoming equal to Criterion. But I still feel that Criterion's supplements (such as Director and Cinematographer approved transfers, obscure television appearances and interviews of the filmmakers) are considerably better and more thoughtful,than those offered by Warners, though I think Warners thanks to George. Feltenstein, is far and away the best of the major studios, Fox coming in a distant second. But, really the thing to remember is that Warner's owns the titles they release, so really the time and money they put into a product is more of a permanent investment. Criterion, besides the expense of leasing the films from a separate party, tend to put an enormous amount of personal care into their releases, and several of which are pulled shortly after release ie. the Hitchcock films, Staw Dog, or are pulled before release after time and money have been spent i.e. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (though Criterion was apparently paid by Fox for the Roger Ebert commentary). I guess I just feel it is an unfair comparison.

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#40 Post by Ashirg » Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:33 am

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is coming from Fox on June 13th in a special edition. Perhaps, they used Criterion extras.

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Gordon
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#41 Post by Gordon » Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:55 pm

Do Fox own the U.S. rights to Henri Verneuil's, Un singe en hiver (A Monkey in Winter) and Ettore Scola's, Un Giornata particolare (A Special Day)?

Universal: Costa-Gavras's, Section spéciale and Giuliano Montaldo's, Sacco e Vanzetti?

Basil Dearden's, The Captive Heart? It was a Ealing/Rank Organisation co-production and was distributed by Universal in the U.S. What about Dearden's, Sapphire?

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#42 Post by pzman84 » Sat Apr 01, 2006 12:28 am

According to IMDB: Un singe en hiver would probably be owned by Warners via Ted Turner because it was released in the US by MGM. Un Giornata particolare was released by some company by the name of Cinema 5 Distributing. Don't know who has the rights now. Universal did distribute Section spéciale so they probably still have the rights to the film. Some company called Universal Marion Corporation or UMC Pictures distributed Sacco e Vanzetti. Don't know who has the rights now. While The Captive Heart was released by Universal in the 40s, some company called Hollywood Classics released it on VHS in the states. When I looked the up on the web, the only company I found with that name was someone who distributed Hollywood films outside the US. Oh, and a company that makes custom cars. Finally, Sapphire was also distributed by Universal in the states and there is no other company listed as a home video or rerelease distributor.

I would like this moment to remind everyone that IMDB is a service that, while not always accurate, can provide some interesting information on many interesting film facts, like who released a certain picture in the United States. It can be used by people to find out information they do not know, instead of having to rely on others to answer their questions.

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#43 Post by justeleblanc » Sat Apr 01, 2006 2:36 am

pzman84 wrote:I would like this moment to remind everyone that IMDB is a service that, while not always accurate, can provide some interesting information on many interesting film facts, like who released a certain picture in the United States. It can be used by people to find out information they do not know, instead of having to rely on others to answer their questions.
Oh no he di- n't!!! Snap!!

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Gordon
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#44 Post by Gordon » Sat Apr 01, 2006 5:15 am

Hmm. Irony. I actually obtained the titles from doing a IMDb "Power Search", a feature which most IMDb users don't use - or don't know how to use, properly, that is. But I should have been more careful in chosing the films from the results list. :wink: IMDb is the best resource on the Net for obtaining knowledge of the very existence of films and 'types' of films, ie. Norwegian horror films from 1950-1980 or Romanian war films shot in colour. My point in listing 'foreign' Fox and Universal titles, was to bring into focus, films that have a higher chance of being licensed to Criterion (or others).

HERE is the list I helped create for unreleased Universal films. HERE is the Fox list. Both of these lists need further additions, amendments and deletions. Very, very few of the 'great' films on those lists are likely candidates for a license to Criterion, or anyone else.

Of the Universal titles, I'd hazard the following English-language titles: Watkins', Privilege (1967). Either of the 1958 Sirk 'scope films, The Tarnished Angels or A Time to Love and a Time to Die. Hellzapoppin would be great, but it is in rights hell.

As for Fox, Lang's, Man Hunt comes to mind. Fox Europe co-financed Resnais', Je t'aime, je t'aime and Les Clan des Siciliens and the Fox Movie Channel shows the dubbed version of the latter from time to time, apparently. So, no need for sarcasm (the devil's humour) my brothers! :twisted: :wink:

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#45 Post by justeleblanc » Wed Oct 17, 2007 9:30 am

Forgetting any opinion I may have about Ang Lee or his film, the fact that Criterion is slowly moving away from producing onto DVD unreleased, un-restored, or forgotten films and is instead focusing on re-releasing films like THE ICE STORM or HOUSE OF GAMES or DAYS OF HEAVEN -- films that not only already exist on DVD but have decent transfers too -- should be troubling to serious art house cinephiles. I can't help but see Criterion's practice of licensing these films as a waste of time, considering the number of Janus and Criterion owned films that remain unavailable on home video.

Maybe this is a better business decision for Criterion in terms of profits, which it very well may be (I assume DAZED AND CONFUSED was a big hit for them). Still, this seems to be a growing trend, and while I may not blame Criterion for it's new direction, the fact that the premiere art house cinema DVD line is changing their business model is still rather depressing.

(And, to top it off, I think Ang Lee's contribution to cinema is minimal at best, and the myths that his films perpetuate irritate me to no end. But that's just me.)

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domino harvey
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#46 Post by domino harvey » Wed Oct 17, 2007 9:44 am

I know you and I share similar sentiments on the absurd Days of Heaven release (which appears to have been underwritten by the .com forum's Fantasy Criterion Release thread), but at least House of Games added a glut of relevant supplemental features and an anamorphic transfer. I think "rescuing" available films to give them better releases is admirable and since Criterion has only done this a few times, I don't think it's any reason to sound the sirens yet-- it all goes back to sales: an Ang Lee Criterion is going to generate some serious press and presumably serious $$$. Let's all agree to save our vitriol for the forthcoming Chasing Amy yearly reissues.

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Jeff
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#47 Post by Jeff » Wed Oct 17, 2007 9:45 am

justeleblanc wrote:the fact that Criterion is slowly moving away from producing onto DVD unreleased, un-restored, or forgotten films and is instead focusing on re-releasing films like THE ICE STORM or HOUSE OF GAMES or DAYS OF HEAVEN -- films that not only already exist on DVD but have decent transfers too -- should be troubling to serious art house cinephiles.
I don't think Criterion is slowly moving anywhere. They have always released mainstream films that have other releases. Look at their lineup in the mid-to-late nineties in the waning days of laserdisc. Depending on their studio contracts, the amount of these licensed films increases or decreases from time to time, but I would say that overall now (especially with Eclipse), their ratio of semi-obscure auteur cinema to semi-mainstream auteur cinema is greater than ever. This is one "serious art house cinephile" who is not troubled at all.

P.S. -- I Heart The Ice Storm

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#48 Post by jaredsap » Wed Oct 17, 2007 9:49 am

justeleblanc wrote:the fact that Criterion is slowly moving away from producing onto DVD unreleased, un-restored, or forgotten films and is instead focusing on re-releasing films like THE ICE STORM or HOUSE OF GAMES or DAYS OF HEAVEN -- films that not only already exist on DVD but have decent transfers too -- should be troubling to serious art house cinephiles.
Three non-obscure modern American films in the span of what will wind up being at least seven months means Criterion has suddenly changed its business model and modus operandi? That math doesn't add up.
I can't help but see Criterion's practice of licensing these films as a waste of time, considering the number of Janus and Criterion owned films that remain unavailable on home video.
Those of us who -- despite still being "serious arthouse cinephiles" -- love these films and want better than decent transfers and great extras don't see it as a waste of time. It's not like Criterion doesn't have time left over to lavish attention on dozens of other more obscure titles.
Maybe this is a better business decision for Criterion in terms of profits,
It's not just a better business decision -- it's a necessary one.

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#49 Post by Lino » Wed Oct 17, 2007 11:52 am

Hey, if the Ice Storm Criterion re-release means that we're getting steady doses of under-selling foreign cinema on DVD, it's fine by me. I mean, think about it for a while, guys. Criterion needs money to get obscure cinema out, right? So, what if they're getting out an Ang Lee movie or a Richard Linklater once in a while if they sell well? At the end of the day, that ultimately means that we can now foresee more Sjoberg down the line, who knows. Which is great, right?

And let's not forget too that Lust, Caution will be getting some serious press come the end of the year and beginning of next, not to mention Oscar season time. If the recent Venice prize is of any indication, I think the american press will take notice of it like they did with Brokeback Mountain and maybe an Oscar nomination or two will not be out of the question. Not to mention the Golden Globes.

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#50 Post by justeleblanc » Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:10 pm

I may be a bit more unnerved than what's rational. There's obviously more to the deal with Fox than I know about, and so my complaints are probably more uninformed. Still, my point remains that my initial excitement about Criterion's deal with Fox has become less and less enthusiastic. Criterion does have limited time and personnel and so time spent on special editions of DVDs that -- humbly speaking, of course -- don't need re-issues means less time on films that do need DVD issues. (Even BOTTLE ROCKET apparently took up a lot of time from Criterion's restoration department because they couldn't get the exact colors -- which would probably vary on all my televisions anyway.)

It's a trade-off, but it's not one that I'm looking forward to. It means more double-dipping, more of Criterion's time spent on releasing special editions of DVDs that studios would likely produce on their own (as if FOX wouldn't release a special edition of a the Ang Lee film at some point), and less time working on the Janus catalog. Even if it's necessary in terms of profits (which I don't completely buy, the Criterion producers probably love these films and are patting each other on their backs for releasing them but that's another story), it still means that the chances are diminished of seeing more older or forgotten films getting their release. And I do see this as a growing trend.

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