Author Topic: What's the deal with Rhino, Shout Factory, and BBI?  (Read 1304 times)

Ron

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What's the deal with Rhino, Shout Factory, and BBI?
« on: February 04, 2016, 12:35:26 PM »
The Rhino / Shout Factory story goes something (supposedly) like this:

Rhino started slooowly releasing episodes of MST3K on DVD in 2000, with a release schedule starting at 2 per year. In the beginning, these were simply reissues of titles previously released on VHS. Many of these early releases were "flipper" discs, with the MST3K episode appearing on one side, and the theatrical release of the movie on the other.

It was around this time that Rhino created the spinoff company Shout Factory to serve as the home for many of their TV and cult movie related products (this is important later). The first box set was released in November of 2002, and beginning in 2003, Rhino hit a stride of releasing 2-3 box sets per year.

In 2004, Rhino sold their music holdings to Warner Brothers, but retained stewardship of video titles that were still in the production pipeline.

In 2006, Mike Nelson announced his new project called "The Film Crew" which would reunite Kevin, Bill, and himself as riffers. He launched a website for the project, and asked for fans to vote for the release order of some upcoming DVDs to be distributed by Rhino.

This is when the Shatner hit the fan.

BBI didn't like the idea of a competing movie riffing venture potentially cannibalizing their sales (because you have to keep in mind that BBI had long said that direct-to-video new episodes of MST3K "wouldn't work). Bob Emmer (the Rhino exec shepherding the project) was upset since he didn't see a conflict, and he already commissioned 4 episodes with agreements in place to potentially produce more. BBI threatened to pull licensing for MST3K, which obviously putting Rhino in a tough spot. Eventually it was decided that the episodes would be released under the Shout Factory brand with some minor reworking; such as some ADR replacement ("Bob Rhino" becoming "Bob Honcho") and Beez McKeever replacing a previously cast voice actress as "Bob Honcho's Secretary." Unfortunately, the delay meant that the project was now dead due to the costs involved rebuilding sets and recollecting the talent which had by then moved on to other commitments... So BBI had "won" in that they had blocked the other show from competing with them.

Rhino and DVD continued to release up until February of 2008 with the last release being "10.2" a one-off disc to replace the Godzilla disc that originally shipping with box set 10 with a disc of 'The Giant Gilla Monster' featuring a special intro staring Joel, Trace, and Frank.

Late 2008 saw MST3K officially move from the Rhino name to Shout Factory with a revamped art style and a standard 3 per year release schedule. The first set released was the 20th Anniversary tin with Crow T. Robot statue.

To date there have been 35 box sets, 11 or so individual releases, a couple of reissues, and a partridge in a pear tree.

More information:

http://mst3k.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_DVD_releases
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhino_Entertainment
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Film_Crew
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shout!_Factory