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TOPIC: Are guarantee's legal?

Are guarantee's legal? 01 Nov 2008 00:11 #30252

  • BurneyFalls
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I did a quick search and found a couple inquiries about guarantees. but not really what I was looking for. Are guarantees legal? I have never been asked for a "guarantee" before today. A $200 minimum occasionally with one studio, yes, but not a $1500 guarantee. I think they just made up my mind to pass on their vampire movie. Anyone else have a guarantee? What states are they illegal in?
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Re:Are guarantee's legal? 01 Nov 2008 01:29 #30254

  • Transit Drive in
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Why wouldn't it be legal? Studio usually do not ask for a guarantee unless they feel a theatre is a low gross situlation with questionable first-run capability. They also want to ensure you are not going to pull the print in 14 days without recovering their print costs first.

For a title such as TWIGHLIGHT, if you won't gross at least $4,000 over the first full week, you probably don't deserve a first-run print. That's the studio's call, and you can't fault them for wanting to get at least the cost of the print out of an engagement when they are footing the bill for your first-run print.

Rick
"As long as there are sunsets and stars at night, there will always be drive-in movies."
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Re:Are guarantee's legal? 01 Nov 2008 03:29 #30256

  • slapintheface
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Guarantee in most states are illegal...You can find out on line or nato were your state stands.
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Re:Are guarantee's legal? 01 Nov 2008 13:27 #30259

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I was told the same thing on the guarantee on Twilight. I do not mind having a guarantee if it means they will confirm a movie with me 3-4 weeks ahead of time. We now have a great deal of time to promote the movie.

Vs. being told that I will have to wait a week before the movie breaks to see if I will have a movie.

As a seasonal first run, guarantees are helpful. We are not that fall off of being full-time (or at least pretty damn close)

I am more than happy paying guarantees if it means we keep getting new movies year-round. Otherwise we are stuck playing move-over in Jan/Feb and Sept/Oct. That hurts us when we do play first-run.

For exp. HSM3: I have spoken to at least 3 familes who saw the movie elsewhere b/c they did not know we where playing it. Why? b/c we have been playing old stuff for 2 mos. So I would be more than willing to pay guarantees if it meant I was getting movies on the break.

Now, I do not believe in paying guarantees all of the time. We played a movie earlier in the summer and it tanked for us and pretty much everyone. We did have a guarantee which gave us a cost of 75%. The same studio wanted a guarantee on a movie later. One that IMHO was a 50/50 film (meaning equal potential for being a flop or hit). I balked at the the guarantee and still got the film.

We were offered a Oct action film that did poorly in our district but thankfully passed. We did not deserve the film. At least 30% of the theaters in our district will do worse than a $1500 guarantee. How many of them had to pay guarantees?

I wish the studios treated us better in film distribution. I do not expect a studio to give us a film if they have a good chance to lose money on it. However, if I am willing to pay a guarantee then I think they should give it to us.

I also wish more of us could develop a system of sharing booking info without fear of retribution (Hence, I hope we can come up with a way to meet in person so we can be a bit more open with each other). How do I know if I am being treated the same as others in my position?

Another thing that I cannot understand is why the studios let megapleaxes keep 2nd or 3rd prints for 3 weeks. Okay, so I did not get the last "blank" movie b/c the studio wanted to keep costs down. But why not tell me that I can get the movie for sure after 2 weeks b/c they will take a 2nd print from a mega plex.

We need to get away from the book on Monday for Friday. I am sure I will add more later. Time to thread.
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Re:Are guarantee's legal? 01 Nov 2008 13:33 #30260

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I was told the same thing on the guarantee on Twilight. I do not mind having a guarantee if it means they will confirm a movie with me 3-4 weeks ahead of time. We now have a great deal of time to promote the movie.

Vs. being told that I will have to wait a week before the movie breaks to see if I will have a movie.

As a seasonal first run, guarantees are helpful. We are not that fall off of being full-time (or at least pretty damn close)

I am more than happy paying guarantees if it means we keep getting new movies year-round. Otherwise we are stuck playing move-over in Jan/Feb and Sept/Oct. That hurts us when we do play first-run.

For exp. HSM3: I have spoken to at least 3 familes who saw the movie elsewhere b/c they did not know we where playing it. Why? b/c we have been playing old stuff for 2 mos. So I would be more than willing to pay guarantees if it meant I was getting movies on the break.

Now, I do not believe in paying guarantees all of the time. We played a movie earlier in the summer and it tanked for us and pretty much everyone. We did have a guarantee which gave us a cost of 75%. The same studio wanted a guarantee on a movie later. One that IMHO was a 50/50 film (meaning equal potential for being a flop or hit). I balked at the the guarantee and still got the film.

We were offered a Oct action film that did poorly in our district but thankfully passed. We did not deserve the film. At least 30% of the theaters in our district will do worse than a $1500 guarantee. How many of them had to pay guarantees?

I wish the studios treated us better in film distribution. I do not expect a studio to give us a film if they have a good chance to lose money on it. However, if I am willing to pay a guarantee then I think they should give it to us.

I also wish more of us could develop a system of sharing booking info without fear of retribution (Hence, I hope we can come up with a way to meet in person so we can be a bit more open with each other). How do I know if I am being treated the same as others in my position?

Another thing that I cannot understand is why the studios let megapleaxes keep 2nd or 3rd prints for 3 weeks. Okay, so I did not get the last "blank" movie b/c the studio wanted to keep costs down. But why not tell me that I can get the movie for sure after 2 weeks b/c they will take a 2nd print from a mega plex.

We need to get away from the book on Monday for Friday. I am sure I will add more later. Time to thread.
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Re:Are guarantee's legal? 01 Nov 2008 14:58 #30261

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In Pennsylvania any type of guarantee or any type of advanced payment has been prohibited by statute since 1986.
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Re:Are guarantee's legal? 01 Nov 2008 22:38 #30265

  • rodeojack
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I think Rick nailed this one. In some cases, the studios strike a print based on acceptance of your booking. They're expecting to cover (at least) the cost of that print during the course of your two-week minimum term. Is there some reason they should be required to provide products to you at a loss?
In Pennsylvania any type of guarantee or any type of advanced payment has been prohibited by statute since 1986.

OK... but there's nothing that forces the studios from being more choosy in a situation like that. They could simply say that they don't have a print available for you. What're you going to say?
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Re:Are guarantee's legal? 03 Nov 2008 01:11 #30275

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I understand them not wanting to make a print without knowing they will make that money, but nearly every movie is like a crapshoot and why is this one any different? I play many movies on the break and have never been asked for a guarantee. I would be more inclined to not worry about it for a movie with a track record, like Iron Man 2, Spidey, HP, etc. But for an unknown, it seems extreme.

I don't know if this is a good movie that will fill seats. Many women/girls have read the books. But will that equate to a successful run? Who knows. I will pass and pick it up after the multiplexes have accepted the gamble and introduced the film to the public. If it is successful I might change my mind on the sequels. In the meantime, I will book something else without a guarantee.

Many times products fail to meet expectations. In a perfect world everyone's expenses are covered and everyone makes money. But if the product is bad, the buyer shouldn't be expected to shoulder the entire burden, especially in our field, where there are no guarantees any film will perform well on any given week. Fortunately this week has been good. :)
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