“Missapprehension Held Causing ‘Holdouts’”

Artifact Type Sources, Trade Journals
Publication The Film Daily
Volume XLI
Number 4
Page Number 4
Place New York, NY
Publication Date July 6, 1927
Transcript Show/Hide

Headline: “Missapprehension Held Causing ‘Holdouts’”

Minneapolis — Steps should immediately be taken by producers and distributors to relieve the misapprehension declared to exist between buyer and seller in the picture industry, declares “Greater Amusements” appealing for “removal of the barriers,” which are causing exhibitors to “hold off” in buying films.

“The selling season is on in full swing, in a sense, and it is very apparent that it is, in reality, a hectic, selling season, at best,” the publication declares. “With exhibitor organizations and trade papers warning theater owners not to buy in block, not to buy blindly and to be careful lest they get ‘hooked’ on ‘sappy’ contracts, the result is that the producer, distributor and exhibitor each find himself virtually up against a stone wall in proceeding with the year’s business schedule.

“Theater owners must know a reasonable time in advance what product they will have for their theaters. They must do their buying with the same intelligence that is required in other lines, giving thought primarily to the public’s wants, with both eyes focused on the box office. Distributors need the signed contracts of the independent theater owners to secure a circulation estimate of product upon which to base the limit of expenditures and the possibilities of revenue before they can (or at least before they will) definitely make up their production cost appropriations.

“Reports indicate that exhibitors are not making any mad rush to buy the new seasons offerings and the various companies’ sales representatives are in a quandary, wondering what it’s all about. Producers and
distributors, in the majority of cases, have not been very explicit in their announcements of the season’s line up, except as to the actual number of pictures to be delivered. Distributors are treading on dangerous ground by the insertion of too many clauses in the contract—clauses which make these contracts anything but uniform and equitable.

“The tendency of exhibitors to hold off the signing of contracts for new product increases the selling cost many fold, delays production and creates a generally unhealthy condition which ultimately effects all branches of the industry.

“Exhibitors should view and review each contract and product offered them. When a salesman presents his proposition he is entitled to and should receive serious consideration. For the prospective purchaser to tell the sales representative he is not interested is not only unfair but does not serve its purpose. If something is wrong, in the exhibitor’s opinion, with the contract or product offered, the salesman should be made acquainted with it so he would have some thing concrete to report to his home office. In that way only can the exhibitor hope to effectively rectify any wrongs or abuses in the contracts or release schedules.

“We believe the solution rests with the producers and distributors. Because of their formidable position and their ability to cope with intricate situations, through their organization, a speedy adjustment of a dangerous barrier is very possible.”

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Citation “Missapprehension Held Causing ‘Holdouts’,” The Film Daily, July 6, 1927.