We Welcome ADV Films

ADV To Release All Of DiC's Dubs

On Sunday, October 15, 2000 at a panel as part of the Nan Desu Kon convention held in Lakewood, Colorado, David Williams and Matt Greenfield of ADV Films announced that the company would release all of DiC's dubbed episodes of "Sailor Moon."

Five days later on October 20, ADV issued a press release which read in part: "Next month, ADV Films will begin releasing the 82 original episodes of the fabulous Sailor Moon television series. The first 2 VHS cassettes, which include 4 episodes each, will be released on November 21st and will contain the English-dubbed, family/children friendly version of the show, as seen on television. Each tape will introduce episodes never before seen on home video and will carry the suggested retail price of $12.98 each. Other VHS volumes will follow shortly thereafter."

Although the press release was headlined: "ADV Films and DIC Entertainment Announce Release of Sailor Moon." we could not get a confirmation from DiC for several days (October 24).

ADV has informed us that there are no plans as yet for a DVD release; the deal is for VHS tapes only. They do not have the rights for subtitled versions or to produce the undubbed episodes. ADV would like to release unedited, subtitled versions of the episodes originally dubbed by DiC.

The VHS tapes are now available for pre-order at Amazon.com and The Right Stuf.com. Tapes 3 & 4 are to be released on December 5. The 4 tapes are:

Sailor Moon 1: "The Legend Begins"
A Moon Star Is Born
Talk Radio
Slim City
So You Want to Be a Superstar

Sailor Moon 2: "The Power of Friendship"
Computer School Blues
Time Bomb
An Uncharmed Life
Nightmare in Dreamland

Sailor Moon 3: "Sailor Mars Joins The Battle"
Cruise Blues
Fight to the Finish
Match Point for Sailor Moon
Unnatural Phenomena

Sailor Moon 4: "Mysterious Tuxedo Mask"
Wedding Day Blues
Shutter Bugged
Dangerous Dollies
Who Is That Masked Man?

All of the above link to Amazon.com. Fans should also visit The Right Stuf site but will need to type in "Sailor Moon" in their product search engine.

Fun & Mischief
Disney To Sell DiC
And The Chaos This Has Caused

As we previously reported via our tickertape, on Monday, September 18, 2000, the Walt Disney Co. announced that it had agreed to sell its majority stake in DiC Entertainment to Bain Capital (which owns Domino's Pizza and sold off Artisan Entertainment) and Chase Capital Partners (which owns percentages in Six Flags Amusement Parks, The House of Blues and Alliance Entertainment). Andy Heyward led the management buy-out and is expected to remain in charge of DiC.

We had thought that there would be no immediate impact on "Sailor Moon." Instead, surprising us and some (if not most) of the companies involved with the property was ADV's announcement that it was going to release all of DiC's dubbed episodes of the series. It appears that DiC waited until it thought it was free of Disney to make a deal that would make DiC money without having to share the proceeds with Buena Vista Home Entertainment (BVHE). (See opposite column.)

We have been told that regardless of the deal, Pioneer & Cloverway are not happy about the intended release schedule. Pioneer & Cloverway have been planning a slow nurturing release of their "Sailormoon S" & "Sailormoon SuperS" television series for Home Video. Their plan is to release 6, then 4 or more episodes every 2 months starting in February 2001. Now, Cloverway (Toei's own representative in the United States), seems to have been forced to watch as DiC & ADV flood the marketplace with their competing episodes.

Mini-Editorial & Suggestion

There are only so many dollars out there to buy Sailor Moon products. Fans have finite, limited cash which we have always recognized. The Save Our Sailors campaign has always tried to focus fans on certain products to help get more episodes dubbed and/or subtitled versions released. (We have also highlighted merchandise which was just plain good & fun.)

The SOS believes that there will be way too many videos being made available at the same time. This will create the false impression that "Sailor Moon" is not as popular as it once was. The flooding of the market will also make it harder and more expensive for ALL the companies to attract sales. We hope that Cloverway can address this situation and suggest that it could do so via the rights to the undubbed episodes and the subtitling rights.

DiC no longer has the rights to the undubbed episodes (which includes the 2 episodes they combined into 1). DiC probably lost them when they lost the future production rights to the property. DiC may or may not have had subtitling rights to the episodes that they had dubbed (for years, there have been conflicting reports on this issue). Recently, sources close to the property have told us that DiC does have these rights. What we do know is that ADV wants these rights and we assume that DiC would like to assign them.

As with the animated features (which went on to make a mint for Pioneer), DiC seems to have been unwilling to put up the dollars or to even take the proper steps to produce these available versions--and yet, seems now to be in a position to do so.

Fans want these versions much more than Home Video releases of dubbed episodes that have been repeated endlessly. We believe that VHS tape or DVD compilations of the undubbed episodes may be worth as much as the features in revenues--in an uncrowded market.

We therefore suggest (and boy are we ready to be ignored once again!), that DiC & ADV rethink their strategy--especially if sales of their dubbed episodes should prove to be lukewarm or worse. We have been told that ADV may lose money on this current deal and we can easily see why. We would rather see DiC & ADV make a lot of money.

Image courtesy of
The Right Stuf.

Image courtesy of
The Right Stuf.

More Fun & Mischief
But The Sale Is Held Up
The Mouse Strikes Back?

Carl DiOrio, writing in Daily Variety, noted two additional aspects of interest concerning Disney selling DiC. One was funny and concerned motivation for the deal, the other was intrinsic to the deal being successful. He quoted one (presumably) Disney source as saying of DiC, "It's the kind of thing where every now and then somebody says, `Oh, do we own DIC?'" DiOrio went on to note that the, "...deal is valued in the nine digits."

We're not sure where the idea came from that DiC was worth over $100,000,000 but several individuals in the industry were surprised by this estimate. Looking at DiC, their most popular shows are based on established characters from other fields and which they don't own the underlying rights to.

This realization (perhaps by Bain & Chase Capital Partners) is maybe why Carl DiOrio later reported (Daily Variety October 26, 2000) in an article buried near the back, that executives at DiC, "...declined comment on the status of negotiations with Disney. But a well-placed source said though matters have taken longer to finalize than anticipated..."

One of those matters could easily include the Home Video rights to "Sailor Moon."

When we recently inquired about these rights, DiC directed us to Disney's Legal Department.

These rights are probably the most valuable and immediately tangible asset in the sale. No other DiC property could create so much cash so quickly--the proof being the results from Pioneer's release of the features. And so this is why the first deal (and so far, the only major deal we've heard of) to come after Disney's announcement of the intended sale was the Home Video release of these episodes.

Most telling was that it was ADV who made the announcement and probably (and unknowingly) made it prematurely. We don't believe that a deal was yet in place and that all of the parties had been notified.

Fans should note that while it is true that ADV is to release episodes that have never been available on Home Video before that they are also releasing episodes previously handled by Buena Vista Home Entertainment (BVHE) and which may still hold some claim over them. Most Home Video rights are licensed to distributors for 5 to 7 years (or longer).

DiC, in it's intoxicating freedom from the mouse, may have sold off rights to ADV which are still controlled by Disney. DiC may have been in a position where it had to buy back the rights from Disney in order to resell them to ADV or somehow address this in the sale of the company. Disney could be using the ADV deal to it's advantage and extract more money from (or to keep the price of the deal high for) Bain & Chase Capital Partners.

But even if DiC should be over-valued it seems to us that all the parties involved want Disney's sale to go through and in the long run that is the only point which matters. Disney has used DiC for as much as it can, Andy Heyward wants to get back in control of his company and Wall Street is moving away from vapor-ware (the Internet) and back into companies with tangible assets.

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