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TOPIC: Most/least favorite movie studios

Re: Most/least favorite movie studios 15 Jun 2004 11:49 #20402

  • muviebuf
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I don't know about the booking end of the thing but I do know that from time-to-time the studios have sales drives.

On more than one occassion I have played a picture that I might otherwise have skipped so that my sales person might meet his goals. I do know that in one instance that resulted in the sales person receiving a paid resort vacation. I am willing to do this is if there is some quid-pro-quo down the line.
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Re: Most/least favorite movie studios 16 Jun 2004 10:12 #20403

  • puzzlegut
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I suppose the problem could be with the booker. They don't seem to try real hard to get us to move their prints from the 4-screen to the single screen when we are done with them. At least with the other studios, when we are done with a print at the 4-screen, they always ask us we can move the print to our single screen for just one weekend. A lot of the bookers have told us that even though we are only open on the weekends, we still have very good grosses. This studio would much rather have us drop a print at our 4-screen so that it can sit on the shelf and collect dust rather than show it for just one weekend at our single screen and have it make at least some money for them.
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Re: Most/least favorite movie studios 16 Jun 2004 11:56 #20404

  • rodeojack
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I've always been curious about that attitude, too.

One explanation I've heard (and I don't know if it's true or not):

The studios somehow relate the grosses a picture makes to the number of bookings required to get it there. The fewer bookings, the better, as the per-screen averages hold up. Allowing a move-over increases screen numbers and decreases (even if only fractionally) prestige.

Beats me... that's just what I was told, the last time I asked.
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Re: Most/least favorite movie studios 16 Jun 2004 12:34 #20405

  • puzzlegut
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I know we are not the only theater to have problems with this particular studio. There is a 2-screen theater near us who wanted to open this studio's movie a few years ago. The studio wouldn't let them open the movie. This particular movie ended up being one of the biggest flops of the year. The studio later on told the 2-screen theater that they "had" to show this movie, otherwise they wouldn't deal with them. It is sad when the theater wanted to show the movie in the first place (before it was known that it would be a flop) yet the studio wouldn't let them have it until it was a flop and essentially forced them to show it.
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Re: Most/least favorite movie studios 17 Jun 2004 14:13 #20406

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A studio may not require you take one picture in order to get another. That is a classic federal anti-trust violation more commonly known as block booking.

I seem to recall that the feds went after one particular studio about 10 years ago whose midwest branch had been engaged in repeated block booking.

[This message has been edited by muviebuf (edited June 17, 2004).]
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Re: Most/least favorite movie studios 17 Jun 2004 19:24 #20407

  • BECKWITH1
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Puzzlegut:
I know which studio is giving you trouble. You can tell by my posts that we somehow negotiated the exact same same stream of movies in our 4 plex and ended up with the opposite results from yours. We also told them that their May movie was not really our audience and picked another studio's film as our first choice. Fortunately, we were able to dump another movie early and took in both films with a sweetheart deal for 2 weeks into the movie that we really wanted for this past weekend. I say fortunately, because their film turned out to do decent business for us and has continued to hold up well enough that we did not send it out at 2 weeks. We sent something else out to get their new film. Now we are in the position to mix the two films from the same studio and are expecting the pair to do particularly well together. We didn't really do anything different from you. Perhaps our booker was just able to smooth the way out better for us. Overall, we have a decent relationship with this studio, but we have been over the same territory as you with a single screen theater and then into a 4 screen.

Life is harder for a single screen and you don't get a lot of respect. Ours always ran as a full time screen as we had to compete hard for film against the bigger multiplexes. We were once "Shafted" by a studio with the exact same circumstances that you mentioned when they pulled their film at the last minute after we advertised for it. We do business with them today but we still remember getting (or not getting) the Shaft.

The studio you have troubles with is also the only one who ever invoked the 90/10 clause on us. That hurt big time as we had such a low per seat average that we pretty much only got to keep the concession revenues in the end. It also caused us to consider parting company with our bookers who couldn't understand that we needed our house allowances raised so that never happened again. House allowances were among the first issues that we checked on at our 4 screen.

We love the added flexibility that we now get at the 4 screen which we were never able to negotiate at the single screen. We have found that 4 screens = more leverage with the bookers because you have more screens to offer them and more films are moving through here at a faster pace. I guess all I am saying is that we have been through it also. Each time, we have to look out for our own long term interests as they are looking out for theirs. Most of the time, we can come to agreements that work for both, but occasionally, one party draws a line in the sand and we avoid each other for a while.
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