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TOPIC: Studio chain of command

Studio chain of command 02 Dec 2004 01:07 #24669

  • BurneyFalls
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I am (still) having problems with my WB sales rep and his branch manager. Who is above the branch manager? I want to talk to someone in another office--not their lunch buddy.

I have boycotted them for the past six months.
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Re: Studio chain of command 02 Dec 2004 07:29 #24670

  • Larry Thomas
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There's a division manager who is over the branches.
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Re: Studio chain of command 02 Dec 2004 11:59 #24671

  • poppajoe
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I'm just curious Burney. You said that you boycotted WB for the past six months. Was that really worth to you? I'm sure that they didn't miss your business. I know they're big and mighty but... I don't mean to be rude here, but does it hurt in the end?
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Re: Studio chain of command 02 Dec 2004 16:55 #24672

  • BECKWITH1
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Speaking for Burney here. We are a 4 screen and we also did it for 6 months last year over that blankety blank contract. When we eventually signed it was with lines drawn through everything we couldn't live with. No one said a thing. We didn't hurt ourselves as we had plenty of other choices. We signed when we chose to based upon something that we were eyeing ahead. Burney is smaller than we are and she has plenty of other choices at any given moment. Doubt if she really misses them that much.
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Re: Studio chain of command 02 Dec 2004 17:12 #24673

  • BurneyFalls
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They didn't have anything I couldn't live without during the past six months. I know I am just a minnow in the Pacific Ocean to them, but I want my point to be known.

(Yes. . .I have been referred to as stubborn at times in my life.)


All I am asking of them is for an apology for being harassed and threatened (with no product from them) for not calling in grosses during H.P.3. I had called them in and told the branch manager who was the one making the threat, he better check back with his gross person and get back to me. He didn't call back.

The sales rep has called numerous times to book product and I have not returned his calls.

The second part of this is the advance they want. I am still fuming over that. They are the only studio who wants an advance. It's not the money, the stamp or the time it takes to write the check. It's the element of unjustified distrust that infuriates me.

Every other studio is a pleasure to deal with.
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Re: Studio chain of command 02 Dec 2004 17:44 #24674

  • Larry Thomas
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Sorry, Burney, but if you're not a huge corporation with the ability to buy and sell half the free world, then you are looked on as crooked, untrustworthy scum to a major film company. It's just one of the joys of this biz!
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Re: Studio chain of command 02 Dec 2004 19:41 #24675

  • outaframe
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Yeah, Larry, and the sad part is that it's always the huge chain who ends up as stiffing 'em, while us little fish tow the mark and kiss ass because we aren't powerful enough to NOT bow to their demands... Burney is doing all that can be done under her circumstances, but eventually she too will have to buy from them... Hopefully, by that time they will mellow a bit...
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Re: Studio chain of command 02 Dec 2004 20:40 #24676

  • leeler
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Sorry for the naive question:

Can NATO help in this situation? It just seems like a group of theaters might have enough leverage to make something happen. I don't know the circumstances of the original problem (nor is it really relevant to the question) but couldn't that be an avenue of relief?

Best wishes

Leeler
"What a crazy business"
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Re: Studio chain of command 02 Dec 2004 21:21 #24677

  • muviebuf
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NATO is a trade organization whose function is to smooth out waves - not make them. Don't look for any help there.

FWIW, I have had a running battle with Miramax for the last seven (7) years or so. I don't play their pictures; I'm sure they don't care. Call it a Mexican standoff if you will.
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Re: Studio chain of command 03 Dec 2004 00:22 #24678

  • 4thGen
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NATO does have legal counsel that can give you advice on an individual basis but can't get much more involved than that due to anti-trust laws. A few years back our regional NATO unit had a big problem with some of the things in Sony's Master Licensing Agreement. We informed National NATO of our concerns and they provided legal advice on a response to Sony but it basically comes down to an issue between each exhibitor and the studio rather than all exhibitors as a whole.
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Re: Studio chain of command 03 Dec 2004 02:27 #24679

  • Mike Spaeth
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We pay advances to no studio. The first year, we paid them to Sony ... but after a year of good, timely payment, nada ...
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Re: Studio chain of command 03 Dec 2004 10:55 #24680

  • rodeojack
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If you're new, expect a lot of advances. After you have some history behind you, you can do some negotiating on that. Probably the best time to talk about what YOU want is when they call, looking for screens. "Gee... I suppose there might be an opening that week, but I'd sure like to see my place taken off of advances". If it's a low-risk booking, they might do that for you. Keep your nose clean & it'll probably stay that way.

The problem is that once your account is set up a certain way, not much happens to it automatically. You have to get someone to make the change for you. But it can be done. Like mike says... keep your account in good shape & you've got something to work with.
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Re: Studio chain of command 03 Dec 2004 16:10 #24681

  • BurneyFalls
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I have removed all WB posters from my lobby. That's about all I can do. My accounts are flawless. My credit is flawless. I have owned the theatre for seven years. I may call corporate next. The guys I have talked to so far all work at the same place. Thanks for your responses.
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Re: Studio chain of command 03 Dec 2004 17:53 #24682

  • BECKWITH1
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I think that the basic rule is that you take care of your theater first. After all, each studio is looking out for their interests first. Some of the time our interests are the same and we happily book product. Occasionally, we get to where we don't look favorably on a particular studios activities. If we have another choice that meets our needs we take it instead. While we are booking Paramount's product for the holidays I have no intention of advertising anything of theirs for the non-holiday periods unless I have a strong interest in it. I'm still fuming over the Without A Paddle fiasco and would tell them where to go next time they really want to place a marginal print. I've also learned that Miramax doesn't know whether they are coming or going so it is too difficult to figure out whether they would be interested in placing a print with us. So I'm not looking at their stuff except for a last minute fill in when they have extras to spare. Therefore we don't do a lot of advertising for their film in advance.
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Re: Studio chain of command 03 Dec 2004 17:53 #24683

  • leeler
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Good luck Burney!

Power to the People!
"What a crazy business"
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