Views
3 years ago

Boxoffice-January.24.1953

ALLIED GOING DIRECT TO D

ALLIED GOING DIRECT TO D OF J WITH ANTITRUST VIOLATIONS Organization Bypassing Arbitration as a Way To Settle Disputes NEW YORK — Off icial National Allied policy now calls for recourse to the government in its attempts to have certain trade practices changed. Some members will have recourse to the courts. Wilbur Snaper, president, made the statement at a press conference Tuesday (20) which he called, he said, to make the position of the organization completely clear. He emphasized that he spoke officially for the organization and not as an individual. WANT GOVERNMENT TO KNOW In other words, instead of placing any reliance on an arbitration system a,s a means of settling complaints. Allied will try to prove through the government that distributors are guilty of violations of the consent decree. Allied has already filed with the Department of Justice a number of complaints regarding trade practices it charges are illegal, and it is preparing other cases for filing, among them .some having to do with prereleases of important pictures. He said the alleged violations are so self-evident that the government is certain to ask corrective action. Snaper discussed advertised releasing plans for "Salome" as typical of some complainedof distributor practices. He said he wasn't centering his attack on the Columbia picture alone, but used it as an example of a general bad practice. However, he said he thought the Columbia statement had gotten the company "in trouble." POINTS TO 'DISCRIMINATION' Snaper saw discrimination implicit in the statement that prerelease engagements would be limited to cities of 75,000 population or more. He criticized a request in the statement that an exhibitor in bidding for the picture supply "such other information" (beyond dollar guarantee, terms, length of guarantee, etc.) as the exhibitor "may consider important in helping us to evaluate his offer more carefully." That, Snaper said, could have to do with setting admission prices. He said that the mention, "probably for the first time in advertising," that under the law only an exhibitor can fix admission prices, constituted a recognition that prices have sometimes been fixed by a distributor. He questioned the provision that "no special clearance will be granted." He also criticized the statement that a sales policy for the further relea.se of the picture will follow the first prerelease openings. Snai>er went to considerable length to comment on some reports of Allied participation in the arbitration discussions that led up to the second Allied rejection of a distributor draft of a .system. He said Allied had never rejected arbitration, but had taken the position that before there could be agreement on a system, a number of distributor practices would have to be corrected. TOA Will Try to Untie The Arbitration Knot NEW YORK—Directors of Theatre Owners of America will start wrestling with the arbitration problem Monday (26) at a two-day meeting here. Company sales managers will attend the Tuesday se.ssion. They all want arbitration, but how to get it started without Allied is one of the road blocks they have to tackle. It's a formidable obstruction because joint action by distributors and exhibitors on a plan will require the cooperation of the Department of Justice in securing court approval in the form of amendments to the con.sent decrees. Some TOA members think it can be done; some don't, and the same thing can be said of distributors' lawyers. Whether or not to make the attempt is to be the topic of most of the discussion. Harry Brandt, president of ITOA, says his organization is still ready to go along. "Why should exhibitors be deprived of avenues of relief, recognized by all segments of the arbitration conference to be new and good, because the plan does not contain all the sources of relief that all segments of the conference want included?" asked Herman M. Levy, TOA general counsel, in a statement issued after had heard that National AUied's board had turned down, for a second time, the last version of the arbitration plan because it did not include arbitration of film rentals. TOA has favored arbitration of film rentals, with the exhibitor the only one who can institute the proceedings, and it also has wanted definitions of prerelease pictures, and it is ready to resume conferences. Levy declares. "But," Levy adds, "whether an entire plan, with so many 'plus points' and representing the result of the unanimous acceptance of the principles of arbitration, should be completely discarded because it cannot be all things to all men is a question which must have the most serious consideration. "The distributors have spoken. They have stated that they will not agree to the arbitration of film rentals. If that is their final He answered reports that distribution did not have a clear picture of Allied views by saying that before the New Orleans board meeting he had met personally at least three times with Eric Johnston, president of the Motion Picture A.ss'n of America, and Ralph B. Hetzel jr., Sidney Schreiber and the late Joyce O'Hara, assistants, and had "made Allied's position perfectly clear." "Distribution has said they want to know what abuses we want cleaned up," Snaper said. "They have been told. They know. They have been supplied with the findings of Abram F. Myers, Allied board chairman word, then I say that the plan should be accepted—with such changes as can be agreed upon, and that an attempt thereafter be made to place the system in operation as quickly eus po.ssible. That, it seems to me, is owed to the industry by all of its leaders. "Under the propased .system there is no compulsion to use it. Exhibitors may or may not do so, as they choose. But, again, I say, it seems unfair and illogical that those exhibitors who want to use it should be deprived of what appears to be a speedy, effective, and inexpensive tribunal for so many of our grievances. The conditionmg of the acceptance of a 'plus point' system of arbitration on the inclusion of certain other matters now in the system is, in my opinion, a luxury that no segment of the industry can afford. "One way lies a 'plus point' system: the other way lies strangulation, debilitating, and chaotic litigiation. What privilege of choice can there validly be under the circumstances? ""At our board meeting the directors will discuss fully the stymie that now exists. I feel certain that the board will undertake to accomplish whatever it feels it can to assi.st in the breaking of the impasse." Alfred Starr. TOA president, said all the major company sales managers had accepted invitations to attend. Starr's comment: "In an industry .so beset with strife, with litigation, and all ill-will. I know of no better way to improve relations than through the frank di.=cussion of mutual problems. There are tho.se who wish to run to the police to seek governmental interference. If that approach can lead anywhere, it will be only to greater stricturing of our industry. It is difficult to comprehend how men who are so close to the chaos created by the decisions and by decrees in U.S. vs. Paramount, et al.. can now go back to the same source for more purported help. Where and when in industry history has government been of any assistance to exhibitors in the operation of their business?" and general counsel. At one of my meetings with MPAA, Herman M. Levy, Theatre Owners of America general counsel, and Emanuel Frisch, president of the Metropolitan Motion Picture Theatre Owners Ass'n, were present, and they agreed that Allied had made its position clear. "I have asked distributors through MPAA for a solid, positive conciliation system, but they threw it back in our laps. I had thought that might be the means of reopening the talks and of easing the abuses. However, all they wanted to talk about was the arbitration draft which we cannot accept." 8 BOXOFnCE January 24. 1953

' cartoon FIRST SIX MONTHS OF '52-53 TO SEE 172 FILMS RELEASED 30 Less Than Same Period In '51-52; More in Color, 28 Features in February By PRANK LEYENDECKEB NEW YORK—With the addition of 28 features for February 1953 release, the first six months of the 1952-53 selling season will see a total of 172 features, including 12 reissues, released by the 11 major companies. This is 30 less than the 202 released by the same companies during the first six months of the 1951-52 selling season. Only five of the pictures in the 1951-52 period were reissues, but there were considerably more westerns or minor programmers. BIG BOOST IN COLOR However, pictures in Technicolor and other color processes again showed an increase during the first six months of 1952-53, when 59, or more than one-third, are in color, compared to the first six months of 1951-52 when only 42 were in color. For the 1952-53 period, 46 are in Technicolor, four each are in WarnerColor, Trucolor and Cinecolor and one is in a process known as Exotic color. The total of 28 releases for February 1953 is only one less than the 29 released in February 1952 but eight of the 28 are in Technicolor and one in Cinecolor, compared to only seven in color in February 1952. The Technicolor pictures for February 1953 will include the prerelease of Walt Disney's cartoon feature, "Peter Pan," another musical, "The Jazz Singer," and six in the costume-adventure category, "Mississippi Gambler," "Treasure of the Golden Condor," "Ivanhoe," "Niagara," "The Naked Spur" and "Last of the Comanches." "Kansas Pacific" is in Cinecolor. LIST IMPORTANT DRAMAS Other important dramas for February 1953 will include the prerelease of "Come Back, Little Sheba," "I Confess," "Girls in the Night," "Limelight," "The Silver Whip," "The Tall Texan," "Rogue's March," "Jeopardy," "The Hitch-Hiker," "Angel Face," "Sword of Venus," "Bandits of Corsica," "San Antone," "The Magnetic Monster," "Tangier Incident" and "Target—Hong Kong." The only comedy is "The Stooge." "The Homesteaders" and "The Marshal of Cedar Rock" are the only program westerns. Broken down by companies, the February 1953 releases will be: ALLIED ARTISTS — "Kansas Pacific," in Cinecolor, starring Sterling Hayden, Eve Miller and Barton MacLane; "Tangier Incident," starring George Brent with Mari Aldon, and "The Homesteaders," a Wild Bill Elliott western with Barbara Allen. COLUMBIA — "Last of the Comanches," in Technicolor, starring Broderick Crawford, and Barbara Hale with Lloyd Bridges and Johnny Stewart, and "Target—Hong Kong," starring Richard Denning with Nancy Gates and Richard Loo. BOXOFFICE :: January 24, 1953 Signing of Grainger Now a 'Formality' HOLLYWOOD—While at midweek no statement had been forthcoming from Howard Hughes, RKO Radio board chairman, as concerns the signing of James R. Grainger as president of the company, informed spokesmen for the organization made it known that the deal has been set beyond recall. They pointed out, however, that one minor detail must be taken care of before official announcement can be made. Before Grainger, who is leaving his post as Republic vice-president in charge of sales and distribution, can become RKO's president he must be elected a member of the directorate. Such election, said these informants, is a mere technicality. Just how soon Grainger can a.ssume the RKO presidency appeared to hinge upon the length of time required to clean up his affairs at Republic and upon when the RKO board will schedule a session at which he will be elected thereto. Grainger, in what probably will be his last official function as a Republic executive, left for Chicago to preside at a two-day regional sales conclave, following which he will continue to New York and Miami for similar meetings. LIPPERT—"The Tall Texan," starring Lloyd Bridges, Marie Windsor and Lee J. Cobb. METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER—"The Naked Spur," in Technicolor, starring James Stewart, Janet Leigh, Ralph Meeker, Robert Ryan and Millard Mitchell; "Rogue's March," starring Peter Lawford and Richard Greene with Janice Rule: "Jeopardy," starring Barbara Stanwyck, Barry Sullivan and Ralph Meeker, and the general release of "Ivanhoe," in Technicolor, starring Robert Taylor. Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders and Emlyn Williams. PARAMOUNT—"The Stooge," a Hal Wallis production, starring Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, with Eddie Mayehoff, Polly Bergen and Marion Marshall, and the prerelease of "Come Back, Little Sheba," a Hal Wallis production, .starring Burt Lancaster and Shirley Booth with Terry Moore and Richard Jaeckel. RKO RADIO — "Angel Face," starring Jean Simmons, Robert Mitchum and Mona Freeman; "The Hitch-Hiker," a Filmakers production, starring Edmond O'Brien, Frank Lovejoy with William Talman; "Sword of Venus," with Catherine McLeod, Robert Clarke and Dan O'Herlihy, and the prerelease of Walt Disney's feature, "Peter Pan," in Technicolor. REPUBLIC—"San Antone." starring Rod Cameron, Arleen Whelan, Forrest Tucker and Katy Jurado, and "Marshal of Cedar Rock," an Allan "Rocky" Lane western with Phyllis Coates. TWENTIETH CENTURY-FOX—"Niagara," in Technicolor, starring Marilyn Monroe. Joseph Cotten and Jean Peters; "Treasure of the Golden Condor," in Technicolor, starring Cornel Wilde, Constance Smith and Walter Hampden with Finlay Currie, Fay Wray and George Macready, and "The Silver Whip," starring Dale Robertson, Rory Calhoun and Robert Wagner. THREE ON UA LIST UNITED ARTISTS—"Bandits of Corsica," an Edward Small production, starring Richard Greene and Paula Raymond with Raymond Burr and Dona Drake: "The Magnetic Monster," an A-Men production, starring Richard Carlson with Jean Byron and Harry Ellerbe, and the general release of Charles Chaplin's "Limelight," co-starring Claire Bloom with Nigel Bruce, Buster Keaton and Andre Eglevsky and Melissa Hayden. UNIVERSAL - INTERNATIONAL — "Mississippi Gambler," in Technicolor, starring Tyrone Power, Piper Laurie and Julia Adams with John Mclntire and Paul Cavanagh, and "Girls in the Night," with Glenda Parrell, Harvey Lembeck, Patricia Hardy, Glen Roberts and Joyce Holden. WARNER BROS.—"The Jazz Singer," in Technicolor, stan-ing Danny Thomas and Peggy Lee with Mildred Dunnock and Eduard Franz, and "I Confess," an Alfred Hitchcock production, starring Montgomery Clift, Anne Baxter, Karl Maiden and Brian Aherne. MGM Making Tests of Ten Reissues on Dual Bills NEW YORK—MGM is trying test runs of five twin-bill reissues under a "Hall of Fame" title. If they work out as hoped the releases will be spaced about a month apart. The tests are to be in Loew houses in Nashville, Akron, Rochester, Richmond and Dayton. The bills are "David Copperfield" and "Tale of Two Cities"; two Technicolor musicals, "Meet Me in St. Louis" and "Easter Parade," "A Woman's Face" and "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," "They Gave Him a Gun" and "The Last Gangster," and "Billy the Kid" and "China Seas." Johnston to Talk at Meeting Of Newspaper Ad Heads NEW YORK—The value of newspaper advertising to the industry will be discussed by Eric Johnston, president of the Motion Picture Ass'n of America, during a three-day meeting of the Newspaper Advertising Executives Ass'n to open Monday (26) at the Edgewater Beach hotel, Chicago. Johnston has previously criticized the newspaper policy of charging a premium rate for theatre advertising.