The End of the Paramount Decree?

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domino harvey
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The End of the Paramount Decree?

#1 Post by domino harvey » Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:21 pm

US Justice Department asking to revoke the anti-vertical integration laws against studios owning theatres— famously put in place in 1948, even before TV took over, this was the first signal of the beginning of the end of the classic studio era’s omnipresence of movies as the dominant cultural output. Should be interesting to see what results from such an overturn in such an era of diminished box office attendance, at least

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knives
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Re: The End of the Paramount Decree?

#2 Post by knives » Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:32 pm

It was functionally dead with Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon but this is a depressing turn of events all the same.

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The Elegant Dandy Fop
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Re: The End of the Paramount Decree?

#3 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:33 pm

The Justice Department must be getting pressure from Netflix and Disney. Disney obviously wants to eliminate the middle man and control the market themselves and Netflix has already expressed interest in acquiring the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. This really depressed me and the idea of their head of antitrust kowtowing to massive corporate interests and leveling the already bland current cinema landscape into having Disney sanitize all the theaters in the US is gross. The current state of corporate driven cinema makes studio system look fairly tame in comparison. Might as well obliterate these laws as Disney is already a monopoly in a way Paramount never was.

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Big Ben
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Re: The End of the Paramount Decree?

#4 Post by Big Ben » Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:49 pm

The key word in there is asking the Court to do this. It does not however fill me with confidence that the Justice Department is asking this in the first place though. However I can't imagine consumers would react all that well to curated theaters either. Hopefully.

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The Elegant Dandy Fop
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Re: The End of the Paramount Decree?

#5 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:03 pm

Big Ben wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:49 pm
The key word in there is asking the Court to do this. It does not however fill me with confidence that the Justice Department is asking this in the first place though. However I can't imagine consumers would react all that well to curated theaters either. Hopefully.
But the influence of lobbyists and money in American politics over the last sixty years doesn't lead me to believe it's wholly their decision alone. Consider the FCC's decision in recent memory to end net neutrality.

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Big Ben
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Re: The End of the Paramount Decree?

#6 Post by Big Ben » Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:16 pm

The Elegant Dandy Fop wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:03 pm
Big Ben wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:49 pm
The key word in there is asking the Court to do this. It does not however fill me with confidence that the Justice Department is asking this in the first place though. However I can't imagine consumers would react all that well to curated theaters either. Hopefully.
But the influence of lobbyists and money in American politics over the last sixty years doesn't lead me to believe it's wholly their decision alone. Consider the FCC's decision in recent memory to end net neutrality.
The FCC's decision was widely unpopular to the point that both sides of the political spectrum spoke out about it and it was rebuked by numerous state laws (My state being the first.) effectively rendering the ruling moot (At least for now.). I don't disagree with you at all and I share your cynicism but the effectiveness of the dismissal (If it happens) may not go over well once people realize what's going on. But that's a big if right now which is why I stressed above I was not full of confidence.

But I think it's important to stress that it cuts both ways too. Surely the more conservative elements in the US would be upset when they realize Disney owned theaters probably wouldn't carry a religion based film that had an anti-abortion message for instance. Or Netflix. Etc. Etc.

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BenoitRouilly
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Re: The End of the Paramount Decree?

#7 Post by BenoitRouilly » Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:32 pm

The Division finds the consent decrees no longer meet consumer interests … We cannot pretend that the business of film distribution and exhibition remains the same as it was 80 years ago.
No, Studios Won’t Buy Theaters, but Small Exhibitors Fear Destruction While DOJ Touts Innovation

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BenoitRouilly
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Re: The End of the Paramount Decree?

#8 Post by BenoitRouilly » Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:14 pm

(...) Since I wrote this, thought, something much more draconian than superhero pictures may threaten non-franchise pictures. On Monday, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim said that the Department of Justice is moving to end the consent decrees that have governed Hollywood studio conduct since 1948. (See here and here.)

The implications of this are staggering. We may see the return of block and blind booking, the prospect that a studio could own a theatre chain (and give favored place to its own pictures), and the decline of independent producers and art houses that favor smaller films. Nonsensically, Delrahim quoted an earlier Scorsese remark about his craft: “Cinema is a matter of what’s in the frame and what’s out.” Delrahim went on: “Antitrust enforcers, however, were not cast to decide in perpetuity what’s in and what’s out with respect to innovation in an industry.” Thus the ideology of predatory “disrupters” goes on, and even auteurs are unwillingly recruited to the enterprise.
David Bordwell in Captain Cinephilia: Scorsese strikes back

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senseabove
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Re: The End of the Paramount Decree?

#9 Post by senseabove » Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:44 pm

Another article about how it could shake out, with an interesting point about the timing of Guild contracts coming up next year comparing it to the renegotiations in the 50s as TV licensing boomed...: 4 ways a new Justice Department decision may radically reshape moviegoing

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BenoitRouilly
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Re: The End of the Paramount Decree?

#10 Post by BenoitRouilly » Sat Nov 23, 2019 2:58 pm

Nice Peter Labuza article there.
I don't understand what is "anti-innovation" in this decree (which is the ground Studios use for its removal).
And can the situation of indie films and art houses get any worse than it is right now? The end of this decree will just obliterate them...

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tenia
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Re: The End of the Paramount Decree?

#11 Post by tenia » Sat Nov 23, 2019 6:15 pm

In the US, isn't any restrictive law considered anti-innovation ?

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DarkImbecile
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Re: The End of the Paramount Decree?

#12 Post by DarkImbecile » Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:51 am

"Innovation" is just a word that polls well when connected to businesses, so whenever they need support for something, they label it as pro-innovation, or vice-versa.

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dvining
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Re: The End of the Paramount Decree?

#13 Post by dvining » Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:45 pm

I had been hoping that the Paramount Decrees would actually be expanded.

I was hoping that some lawsuit would work its way through the courts directed at a streaming service owned by a production company (Disney+ being the biggest target), and SCOTUS following through on precedent by saying Production companies cannot own streaming services, based on the Paramount Decrees.

Looks like that far flung theory ain't happening.

Le sigh...

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BenoitRouilly
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Re: The End of the Paramount Decree?

#14 Post by BenoitRouilly » Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:17 pm

I'm not worrying about Studios running streaming platforms... In fact, unlike multiplexes, streaming platforms seem the seek a diversity of titles to bait consumers, even artfilms.
However the major studios already "own" (with their films being scheduled) something like 90-95% of the market of available screens in the USA. And they are fighting for the remaining 5% to "own" 100% of the screens, and leave none to indies and foreign films to be seen on the big screen. How could this be fair competition and no-monopoly? An anti-trust law is still necessary today, even more than in the 40ies...

"Innovation" must be a convenient buzzword because I don't see how an increase of their monopoly will bring innovation and diversity to the screens...

huntergrayson
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Re: The End of the Paramount Decree?

#15 Post by huntergrayson » Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:50 pm

Netflix already has one theater under its belt as it’s taken over the Paris, the last remaining single-screen theater in New York.

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FrauBlucher
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Re: The End of the Paramount Decree?

#16 Post by FrauBlucher » Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:11 pm

Just saw this story. The chips will start falling now

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Never Cursed
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Re: The End of the Paramount Decree

#17 Post by Never Cursed » Sat Aug 08, 2020 11:08 am

The Paramount Decree has been formally struck down, ending the 72-year-long federal proscription of vertical integration in film distribution (and fueling speculation that AMC will be acquired in whole or in part by a streaming service).

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movielocke
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Re: The End of the Paramount Decree?

#18 Post by movielocke » Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:41 pm

I’d say Disney will go after amc hard, WB after regal and amazon and Netflix some of the smaller chains.

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knives
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Re: The End of the Paramount Decree?

#19 Post by knives » Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:40 pm

Now is the worst.

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The Fanciful Norwegian
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Re: The End of the Paramount Decree?

#20 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Sun Aug 09, 2020 4:38 am

movielocke wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:41 pm
I’d say Disney will go after amc hard, WB after regal and amazon and Netflix some of the smaller chains.
Should be noted that Netflix and Amazon were never covered by the decree, and both were supposedly in the running a couple of years ago to acquire Landmark from 2929 Entertainment (which also owns Magnolia). Disney was only covered because of the Fox acquisition. In fact, the only companies that were barred from owning theaters without court approval were Fox, MGM, and WB; Paramount and RKO made earlier settlements with the government that didn't include this restriction, though they still agreed to sell off the theaters they owned at the time. But the truth is even the restriction on the original three was dead by 1989, when the DOJ and the courts allowed WB to acquire a 50% stake in Cinamerica Theatres with more or less unlimited latitude. (The other 50% was owned by Gulf and Western, which also owned you-know-who.)

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