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Answerman - Why Are Big Hollywood Studios Buying Anime Distributors?


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whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 1487
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:25 pm Reply with quote
And here I thought I was hopelessly late to the party by cutting cable only six months ago. While I can see why cable companies are taking a hit, I'm honestly a little surprised that cinemas are in trouble too. I knew the "Thank you for coming to the movies" ads I'd seen after pre-shows were a response to come kind of piracy movie boom, but I honestly didn't think movie theaters were in that dire straits. It certainly doesn't really feel that way to me as a consumer, with the near-constant bombardment of MCU movies we're getting, though that might speak more to the patently ridiculous money-might of something like Disney rather than being an indicator of overall cinema trends.

I am a little concerned about the potential of Funimation and CR having to part ways though. I thought their quasi-merger was an overall net-positive for the community at large, so I'd be sad to see that go.
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ultimatehaki



Joined: 27 Oct 2012
Posts: 828
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:37 pm Reply with quote
War. War never changes.
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DeTroyes



Joined: 30 May 2016
Posts: 381
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:39 pm Reply with quote
HiDive/Sentai Filmworks will be next. Best bet is they will be absorbed into either the Amazon or Netflix gestalts, but CBS, Disney, or ATT are not out of the question. If I had to place bets I'd say Amazon, due to their catalog of older material (something Amazon seems to like in their potential acquisitions) and the working relationship Sentai appears to have with Amazon.
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Utsuro no Hako



Joined: 18 May 2012
Posts: 811
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:51 pm Reply with quote
The sad part of all this is how people are just focused on the potential for epic crossovers (Wolverine vs Boba Fett! Captain Kirk vs Megatron! Godzilla vs Cloverfield!) that they're willing to accept global oligopolies. In the long run this is going to be a replay of what happened to radio stations after ownership rules were relaxed in the '90s.
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DeTroyes



Joined: 30 May 2016
Posts: 381
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:53 pm Reply with quote
Utsuro no Hako wrote:
The sad part of all this is how people are just focused on the potential for epic crossovers (Wolverine vs Boba Fett! Captain Kirk vs Megatron! Godzilla vs Cloverfield!)


I'd be happy with just Deadpool in the Avengers.

I'm more concerned about when the bottom falls out. Netflix can't maintain their $8 Billion new production program forever; eventually, the money will run out. There are already big questions about how long they can keep their subscriber growth rate, not to mention long-term retention of current subscribers. At some point, the streaming business is going to hit saturation and contraction, and when that happens a lot of these financial pyramids are going to start crumbling. The only question is, will it be sooner or later.

Enjoy the boom while it lasts, because I guarantee the bust will be just as spectacular.


Last edited by DeTroyes on Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ChrissyC



Joined: 17 Jun 2015
Posts: 367
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:58 pm Reply with quote
Dude, I've got a plan...We make a metaphorical anime piece based on the arms race in American media companies.
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GeorgeC



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 566
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:02 pm Reply with quote
It really stinks but the government truly hasn't enforced the anti-monopoly for close to 40 years.

This has happened in a ton of other industries but it's really, really concerning when you realize MAYBE 5 companies are controlling all the media services in North America -- and much of the rest of the world.

Disney's not going to keep Fox Studios open, at least not all of it. It's gonna be downsized drastically... They'll consolidate and lay off a ton of people and there will be that many less films produced per year. Oh, they'll keep 20th Century as a label I'm sure and MAYBE Fox Classic Movies (channel) will on the air but do you think they want more duplication of facilities and personnel than they have already? No, they're gonna lay off a ton of people eventually and probably sell some Fox studio land and studio space to developers. They're not sentimental about landmarks and geography in California. There have been tons of historic sites and long-standing backlots torn down in years past. Nope, they'll be looking at the immediate cash grab then can get! That's what MGM did in the early 1970s when they sold off a lot of studio real estate and tore down their backlots.

I'd be concerned about how Fox film properties and franchises will be handled by Disney in the forseeable future. If you think the Alien films aren't being done well now ---! Disney doesn't have a great track in managing the IP's it acquires. (It's a bit like DC Comics in that sense... They acquire these new characters but really don't understand them or know what to do with them and most of them eventually get squandered and forgotten.) They're thinking how to fit new characters into the theme parks but long-term they don't seem to be planning about how they're going to make any decent media with these things. They've mishandled The Muppets and Star Wars, IMHO.
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DeTroyes



Joined: 30 May 2016
Posts: 381
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:03 pm Reply with quote
ChrissyC wrote:
Dude, I've got a plan...We make a metaphorical anime piece based on the arms race in American media companies.


I can see it now: It'll take place in a Japanese high school, with all the media companies depicted as humanized high school students. "Oh, Crunchyroll-chan! ATT-kun is really interested in you!"
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HAL14



Joined: 01 Apr 2018
Posts: 11
Location: Heart of africa
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:33 pm Reply with quote
DeTroyes wrote:
ChrissyC wrote:
Dude, I've got a plan...We make a metaphorical anime piece based on the arms race in American media companies.


I can see it now: It'll take place in a Japanese high school, with all the media companies depicted as humanized high school students. "Oh, Crunchyroll-chan! ATT-kun is really interested in you!"


Disney-kun will be an innocent looking shota but when nobodies looking: Twisted Evil
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Kadmos1



Joined: 08 May 2014
Posts: 11513
Location: In Phoenix but has an 85308 ZIP
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:58 pm Reply with quote
About media-mergers in general
-I have an FB friend named Vanda Krefft, a former entertainment journalist and author of a 2017 HarperCollins book called called The Man Who Made the Movies: The Meteoric Rise and Tragic Fall of William Fox. She wrote a 2/4/18 History News Network article called "About Those Media Mega-Mergers: Let’s Hope They Don’t Go Through". She talks about how the Edison Trust in the 1910s had a patent monopoly on the movie equipment non-licensed studios (called "independent studios"). The person that lead the anti-Edison Trust crusade that helped get it dismantled by starting a 1912 USDOJ antitrust suit was William Fox (namesake of Fox News).

After the Edison Trust was dissolved, various big Amer. movie companies later started monopolizing the film industry (ironic). Of this, Vanda wrote:
Quote:
Ever fearful, the industry continued to pull toward consolidation. Warner Bros. and Universal started to amass theaters, Warners entered talks to merge with Paramount, and William Fox, once the industry’s loudest voice for open competition, landed the biggest deal in motion picture history in early 1929 when he bought a controlling block of stock in Loew’s Inc., parent company of MGM. That deal was never completed for various reasons, not the least of which was a Department of Justice antitrust lawsuit alleging that Fox-Loew’s would have an oppressive 40 percent market share—the same number estimated for the proposed Disney-Fox merger.

-Famed movie critic Leonard Maltin wrote an 8/2 article for The Hollywood Reporter called "Death of a Hollywood Studio: A Eulogy for 20th Century Fox". He brings up a valid point in the concluding paragraph that many of the pro-Disney/Fox merger might be overlooking: if the famous Alfred Newman-composed fanfare opening that has been used since 1934 doesn't survive the merger, it "will truly be the end of an era.".

-Why Disney just can't get a license from Fox for the Fox Marvel movie characters is something that could have been a big news story. Sure, at this late in the game, Team Fox will most likely become part of Team Disney. I do hope China says no. What we can do is educate other people on why the mega-mergers don't really work.

*However, I was told by a person on FB that the Edison Trust actually didn't actually own many of the patents they sued the companies over.
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Greed1914
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 2968
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:06 pm Reply with quote
GeorgeC wrote:
It really stinks but the government truly hasn't enforced the anti-monopoly for close to 40 years.

This has happened in a ton of other industries but it's really, really concerning when you realize MAYBE 5 companies are controlling all the media services in North America -- and much of the rest of the world.

Disney's not going to keep Fox Studios open, at least not all of it. It's gonna be downsized drastically... They'll consolidate and lay off a ton of people and there will be that many less films produced per year. Oh, they'll keep 20th Century as a label I'm sure and MAYBE Fox Classic Movies (channel) will on the air but do you think they want more duplication of facilities and personnel than they have already? No, they're gonna lay off a ton of people eventually and probably sell some Fox studio land and studio space to developers. They're not sentimental about landmarks and geography in California. There have been tons of historic sites and long-standing backlots torn down in years past. Nope, they'll be looking at the immediate cash grab then can get! That's what MGM did in the early 1970s when they sold off a lot of studio real estate and tore down their backlots.

I'd be concerned about how Fox film properties and franchises will be handled by Disney in the forseeable future. If you think the Alien films aren't being done well now ---! Disney doesn't have a great track in managing the IP's it acquires. (It's a bit like DC Comics in that sense... They acquire these new characters but really don't understand them or know what to do with them and most of them eventually get squandered and forgotten.) They're thinking how to fit new characters into the theme parks but long-term they don't seem to be planning about how they're going to make any decent media with these things. They've mishandled The Muppets and Star Wars, IMHO.


I'm curious how much of acquiring Fox was motivated out of trying to get Fantastic 4 and X-Men movies under its umbrella. It doesn't seem like much of a coincidence that Marvel cancelled Fantastic 4 for a while and cut the legs out from X-Men when Fox wouldn't work with them the way Sony eventually did with Spider-Man. And wouldn't you know it, Fantastic 4 comes back right around when Disney buys Fox. Marvel farmed out movie rights to various characters and story lines years before Disney got involved with them, and that never seemed to sit well with Disney.


I also agree with you that it is concerning that a few companies are now controlling the vast majority of content. It sort of hit me when I was shopping for a present for my niece at a local store, and I had to really look around for something because all of the most prominently displayed toys were Disney properties.
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Lemonchest
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Joined: 18 Mar 2015
Posts: 1702
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:16 pm Reply with quote
Must be nice, having a media industry to be worried about. Though I suppose it's a concern abroad, too, since fewer American studios means less films for the rest of us to beg to be made here.
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Kadmos1



Joined: 08 May 2014
Posts: 11513
Location: In Phoenix but has an 85308 ZIP
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:25 pm Reply with quote
There is some hope left that the Disney/Fox deal won't be realized: Bloomberg writers Nabila Ahmed AND Christopher Palmeri wrote a 7/30/2018 L.A. Times article called "In Trump era, Disney-Fox deal still faces regulatory hurdle: China". They wrote that while the merger was approved by the USDOJ the week before the article was published, the deal still requires 15 foreign regulators. Of note, one of those regulator is Chine's State Administration for Market Regulation. The Chinese market accounting for Fox's revenue is <2%.
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DeTroyes



Joined: 30 May 2016
Posts: 381
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:38 pm Reply with quote
Greed1914 wrote:
I'm curious how much of acquiring Fox was motivated out of trying to get Fantastic 4 and X-Men movies under its umbrella.


Don't forget Star Wars.

Disney likes complete control of its properties, and the fact that both Star Wars and significant portions of Marvel were not controlled by them means that sooner or later Disney was going to try to obtain those rights. The fact that they also get Alien, Predator, and a bunch of other franchises (not to mention many, many classic films) are just icing on the cake.
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OjaruFan2



Joined: 09 Jul 2018
Posts: 24
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:44 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
it's hard to see from the consumer point of view, but here in Los Angeles, people are freaking out

What kinds of people in LA are freaking out? Company execs? Journalists?
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