Distribution Solutions Inks Distribution Deal With Glass House

Distribution Solutions, a division of Alliance Entertainment, has inked a deal to handle digital and physical sales, distribution, and marketing of Glass House Distribution sellthrough releases in the United States and Canada.

Glass House Distribution has a wide-ranging collection of films and television including comedies “Me, Myself, and Di,” “About Hope,” and “Canadian Strain”; dramas “Skipping Stones,” “Shuttlecock” and “Gutterbug”; horror titles including La Patasola, If She Screams and Infrared Dreams; and thriller, science fiction, family and documentary titles.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“What Glass House Distribution brings to the table with their extensive catalog of feature films and television has us thrilled to partner in business with them,” Distribution Solutions president Ben Means said in a statement. “They are a company founded by filmmakers, so their depth of knowledge into representing quality film and TV is unparalleled.”

Based in New York and Los Angeles, Glass House was founded by Tom Malloy and Bryan Glass in 2015.

“We’re very excited to work with Distribution Solutions and to be able to allow films to reach more platforms and a bigger audience,” said president and co-founder Malloy.

Distribution Solutions will bow its first Glass House release Jan. 7.

Q&A: MVD’s Ed Seaman Relishes Running and Expanding the Family Business

Ed Seaman is chief operating officer of MVD Entertainment Group, a leading independent distributor of filmed content in a variety of genres, from horror to documentary, with a special emphasis on music.

“Serving artists and audiences” is MVD Entertainment’s purpose statement and has served as a guiding light for Seaman throughout his career. Starting with MVD in 1989, Ed Seaman joined the family business started by his father in 1987, longtime industry veteran Tom Seaman.

Having learned every aspect of the business, by the early 2000s Ed Seaman was running MVD, and transformed it from being primarily a wholesale entity for music videotapes to a traditional full-service audio and video distribution firm, and exponentially grew the business.

Today, MVD exclusively represents a vast catalog of audio and visual content on DVD, Blu-ray, CD, vinyl and digital rights, worldwide. MVD’s customer base consists of major retail chains and digital platforms, along with a strong commitment to independent retailers and digital sites.

Media Play News asked Seaman about MVD’s origins, its footprint in the industry and trends in home entertainment. 

MPN: Tell us about the genesis of MVD and what the company has been known for over the years.

Seaman: MVD is a true “mom and pop” story; my parents started it in their family room in the mid-1980s. My father was in the music business his whole life, and he launched MVD as a wholesaler for music videotapes. My sister Eve Edwards joined in 1988, and I came on board in 1989. In the late 1990s, we converted a number of wholesale relationships to exclusive DVD licensing and distribution deals, and we started seeing real growth, acting at that time as part self-distributed label, and part wholesaler. By the early 2000s, we started offering non-music films, which was a big departure for us — and very early on acquired a strong catalog of digital rights on our content. And by 2006 we entered the audio distribution business — selling both physically and digitally.

MPN: What’s MVD up to now? How does MVD acquire product?

Seaman: Within the last 10 years we’ve grown dramatically; our main focus is exclusively distributing great video and audio labels. We are really proud of our representation of great brands like Arrow Films, Blue Underground, Severin, Synapse, and many more from the film side. We continue to sign content to our own brands (MVD Rewind, MVD Marquee), with our video specialist Eric Wilkinson scouring the earth to find hidden gems. On the music side, it is a similar focus; we have great record labels like Time Life, Bear Family, Made in Germany, and much more. We’ve never lost our interest in music-related films too — it is where we come from and will always hold a special place for us.

MPN: How many titles do you have in your catalog and how many do you generally release each year?

Seaman: A lot … I’d say we release around 75 titles per month on film, and another 150 or so on audio. Our team does a great job evaluating and attacking the opportunities on each release, and focusing on the biggest and best opportunities. We have excellent data systems that help illuminate and execute those opportunities, and we’ve got an amazing dedicated team, many of whom have spent their entire career at MVD.

MPN: What is MVD’s footprint in the digital marketplace on streaming services or digital purchase and rental?

Seaman: We’ve been very progressive all along in the digital landscape with a vast catalog of exclusively distributed content. We have great direct relationships with all the major platforms, both for film and for music, and we are aggressive when it comes to working with new and upcoming services, provided they have a sound model and sound finances. MVD built its own delivery systems for digital video, meaning we don’t go through a lab to get our goods delivered to the vast majority of streaming services. That saves our content providers a lot of resources, and allows us to try out some of the newer services without as much start-up risk.

MPN: How many video labels do you distribute and are you looking for more? What can you offer a label?

Seaman: We have around 30 active video labels — and yes we are ready to welcome more. MVD brings a lot to the table — quick responses and great advice, monthly reliable payments, transparent accounting, including massive visibility through our b2b site, marketing services (which we don’t mark up), possible manufacturing through our replicators (not marked up), and more. Overall, we strive for trade partnerships in our relationships. Our trade partners tell it better than I can at https://mvdentertainment.com/why-mvd/

MPN: What are the trends you are seeing in physical media? What’s the format breakdown?

Seaman: Collectible products given the deluxe treatment is the strongest trend we see. It has to be the right type of film of course with cult-like status, but labels that painstakingly transfer, clean and correct old film to 4K, create and add new content, and beautifully package these films see some great rewards. So, yes, UHD is doing really well, in some cases outselling their Blu-ray companions. The collectors are clearly hungry for well-done UHD.

Distribution Solutions Inks Distribution Deal With Powerhouse Films Label

Distribution Solutions, a division of Alliance Entertainment, has inked a physical media partnership with Powerhouse Films’ U.K.-based label Indicator.

Distribution Solutions will handle sales and distribution of all Powerhouse Films sellthrough releases in the United States and Canada.

The first physical Powerhouse Films releases distributed by Distribution Solutions will be available for purchase in January 2022.

Powerhouse Films has an extensive collection of classic films that includes limited-edition boxed sets and single-title releases, as well as standard-edition reissues of limited-edition titles that have gone out of print, such as John Carpenter’s Christine, Jacques Tourneur’s Night of the Demon and Dennis Hopper’s The Last Movie.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“We are very excited to be in business with Powerhouse Films,” Distribution Solutions president Ben Means said in a statement. “Partnering internationally with a film label like Indicator, which has such a driven passion for physical media, helps expand the quality and coverage of classic films we distribute to the U.S. and Canada.”

“We’re thrilled to be bringing our unique blend of cult and classic cinema to audiences in the U.S. and Canada in partnership with the fantastic team at Distribution Solutions,” Powerhouse Films’ co-founder Sam Dunn said in a statement. “We’ve been working hard unearthing and restoring a raft of incredible titles in order to put together a schedule that will surprise and delight even the most adventurous viewer.”

“Indicator lovingly curates and enshrines obscure, precious gems for the obsessive collector and the genre connoisseur,” award-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro said in a statement.

Distribution Solutions in Physical Media Partnership With Vertical

Distribution Solutions, a division of Alliance Entertainment, has entered into a physical media partnership with domestic distributor Vertical Entertainment.

Distribution Solutions will handle trade marketing, procurement, warehousing, inventory management, VMI systems and management, returns processing, credit and collections, and reporting of Vertical physical sellthrough releases in the United States and Canada, and will work hand-in-hand with Vertical partner Mitch Budin, according to Distribution Solutions.

“Partnering with Vertical Entertainment is very exciting for us,” Distribution Solutions president Ben Means said in a statement. “They bring an impressive catalog of over 300 films that we look forward to putting on shelves to maximize the success of their physical releases.”

Notable films from Vertical include Out of Death (starring Bruce Willis) available on DVD and Blu-ray Sept. 14 under the agreement, Joe Bell (starring Mark Wahlberg), Four Good Days (starring Glenn Close and Mila Kunis), Capone (starring Tom Hardy, Linda Cardellini, and Matt Dillon) and Ava (starring Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell).

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“We are incredibly pleased to be collaborating with Distribution Solutions on our future projects,” Budin said in a statement. “Ben and the DS team have built a first-class organization and we look forward to working with them to further our footprint in the marketplace.”

Don’t Dis the Disc

The little boy’s eyes lit up. No more than 5, he was the son of a woman who keeps house for a neighbor. She speaks only Spanish; the little fellow is bilingual. He had brought with him three Blu-ray Discs – Bumblebee, How to Train Your Dragon, and the second LEGO Movie – he planned on watching while his mother was working.

I ran back to my house, grabbed a handful of recent movies and presented them to him. He eagerly grabbed the loot and said, “Thank you, thank you,” as my neighbor told me he had purchased the three other discs and given them to the little boy as a present, as well. The family doesn’t have a car, and their shopping is limited to the Mexican grocery store nearby, with an occasional bus ride to Walmart for clothes and other necessities.

“If I was one of your studio friends,” my neighbor said, “I’d get them to put their DVDs and Blu-rays into every little Latino grocery store they can find. So many people do their weekly grocery shops there – and I’m not talking about Spanish-language movies, although I think those would do well too. I’m talking the big hits, the superhero films, the stuff the kids like to watch.”

He makes an interesting point. In the years just before and after the 1997 launch of DVD, independent video stores were summarily dismissed by Hollywood as more trouble than they’re worth. In the final days of the VHS rental business, it was all about getting as many copies of the hits into stores as was possible, through copy-depth incentives, revenue-sharing and other strategies.

And when DVD came around, the studios gladly handed the business over to the mass merchants and big box stores.

Listening to my neighbor, I wonder if it isn’t time to once again go small? I know everyone’s focused on the digital business right now, strategizing how digital movie sales and rentals – known by that catchy industry term “transactional video-on-demand,” or the roll-off-your-tongue acronym “TVOD”-can compete in market increasingly dominated by subscription streaming.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

But let’s not dismiss the disc. Our industry has a habit of burying a product before its time (remember VHS?) and, in the process, leaving lots of money on the proverbial table. There’s still a huge market for Blu-ray Disc and even DVD, and the emergence of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc has generated a whole new fan base of enthusiasts who realize the optimum way to view content is still on a physical disc.

The big box stores have taken note and spruced up their disc sections over the last year or two – particularly Best Buy, which moved discs from the back of the store to a prominent position near the front. Target has end caps with new movies in the main aisle, and at the Walmart near my house clerks are having a hard time keeping new movies in stock.

Studios should take a long, hard look at expanding distribution channels – grocery stores that serve particular ethnic communities, book stores in college towns, sporting goods stores, music stores, you name it.

At this year’s San Diego County Fair, which just ended its month-long run on July 4, one of the busiest booths in the merchant hall was “Must Have Movies,” devoted exclusively to catalog product and dressed up with posters for movies such as The Goonies, Young Frankenstein, Weird Science and The Karate Kid. Apparently the owners travel the fair circuit and, from the looks of things, have built themselves a nice little business.

Yes, home entertainment is evolving. Yes, streaming is the future. And, yes, selling and renting movies electronically, over the Internet, is so much easier than moving physical product because there’s no inventory, no shipping, no returns.

The only problem is, so many customers still want discs.

Lionsgate, Nordisk Ink New Scandinavian Distribution Deal

Lionsgate Aug. 15 announced a new multiyear output deal with Nordisk Film in Scandinavia.

The long-term agreement includes a pipeline of upcoming titles from Lionsgate and subsidiary Summit Entertainment, including the action comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me, thriller A Simple Favor, the Charlize Theron/Seth Rogen comedy Flarsky, and The Kingkiller Chronicle: The Name of the WindJohn Wick: Chapter Three and Chaos Walking.

“Scandinavia is a key market and we look forward to bringing our diverse portfolio of commercially exciting and star-driven event films to moviegoers in the territory,” Helen Lee-Kim, president of international at Lionsgate’s motion picture group, said in a statement.

Lionsgate’s feature film slate has generated nearly $10 billion at the global box office over the past five years led by Wonder, La La Land, winner of six Academy Awards, double Oscar winner Hacksaw Ridge, and the Hunger GamesJohn Wick, and Now You See Me franchises.

“Together with our continuously growing local product portfolio, the deal with Lionsgate will constitute the backbone of Nordisk Film’s leading market position in Scandinavia,” said Kenneth Wiberg, SVP and managing director, Nordisk Film Distribution.“We have no doubt that their movies will continue to resonate with our audiences in the coming years.”

Lionsgate also has output deals with StudioCanal in Australia, Leone Film Group in Italy, Metropolitan Filmexport and SND in France, Belga Films in Benelux, Eagle Films and Jaquar Films in the Middle East, Encore Films and Golden Village in Singapore, Monolith in Poland, and eOne in Spain. Other deals include Central Partnership in the CIS and Vertical in Eastern Europe as well as a joint venture partnership with IDC in Latin America, a digital partnership with iQIYI in China, and Lionsgate’s UK distribution company Lionsgate UK.