EM.TV to Sell Muppets to Jim Henson's Children for $89 Million

Luke

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Originally posted by beaker
but I have total confidence in Rivkin and companies vision for a new Muppet era. Brian Hensosn himself said it was agoniziing seeing the franchise being torn around through these buyout limbos, so I am sure they are anxious to get things moving.
Longterm preservation was a worry and is a good reason why the Muppets have been bought by the kids, but then they don't have deep pockets like a larger media company - they'll only be able to go so far until selling again, the company has to start making more money itself. There was probably MORE longterm preservation with Disney, except it might not have been done how people want. A mainstream Muppet boom whether hardcore fans want it or not is what was vitally needed to really make the Muppets big again. I really doubt it would have been for like one month and then nothing like Movies205 said, Disney are smart and would have had a much more focused outlook on the future - yes the Muppets wouldn't have been out there continously but then again, the Muppets have hardly worked the first half of this year and nobody has noticed. The Henson Company can make great things happen now, but it won't be like it would have been - the bigger media companies want to own the properties they put their full weight behind - if they get into co-productions they usually (in the case of MCC and MTI) promote their own stuff ahead of the co-production. However they'll hopefully do well out of NBC and Fox commissioned stuff and make their name back that way.

Cory is right that more and more Muppet products are starting to show up in the malls and thats a result of Charlie Rivkin basically promoting and licensing the Muppets as if they were Pokemon rather than some nostalgic old brand. Good stuff is happening but it should tell you something that Brian Henson publicly said the kids wanted Disney to buy the Henson Company, they didn't jump in because they wanted to but because they had to. That's actually quite sad to me that it was either this or the Muppets would have been retired on anything but tape. Rivkin might be anxious to get things moving but remember, the kids only stepped in at the last minute and their only strategy is basically running the company like they did before, which didn't work. Lets hope they've learned, keep listening to Rivkin, and the time is a bit better for them now but although i don't see it as inevitable, i also don't see as impossible a sale to Disney in a few years time if things don't go with a bang.
 

beaker

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Originally posted by Luke
Cory is right that more and more Muppet products are starting to show up in the malls and thats a result of Charlie Rivkin basically promoting and licensing the Muppets as if they were Pokemon rather than some nostalgic old brand. Good stuff is happening but it should tell you something that Brian Henson publicly said the kids wanted Disney to buy the Henson Company, they didn't jump in because they wanted to but because they had to. That's actually quite sad to me that it was either this or the Muppets would have been retired on anything but tape. Rivkin might be anxious to get things moving but remember, the kids only stepped in at the last minute and their only strategy is basically running the company like they did before, which didn't work. Lets hope they've learned, keep listening to Rivkin, and the time is a bit better for them now but although i don't see it as inevitable, i also don't see as impossible a sale to Disney in a few years time if things don't go with a bang.
Well I know Rivkin might have been out if Valentine, Disney or whoever bought the company...but I personally think he is *exactly* who the franchise needs to head them up. I woul dbe very sad to not have Rivkin heading up the company, had a buyout taken place. Ive met the guy, and *believe* me privately a buyback is exactly what he wanted.

Slowly but surely, while not *quite* the watershed Muppet merch season I was anticipating, youre finally starting to see some
pretty interesting stuff in stores...and just wait til the Pepe stuff really begins to roll out in a couple months. When I can go to the mall, out for a cup of coffee, or heck even to Walmart and find Beaker stuff...oh boy, ya know that is a good sign. And that is what is neat and special about the brand...the press statement might have mentioned implied strategic partnerships with deep pocket companies, but it is their relationship with smaller name mall boutiques and shops that is really nice.

On one hand I would love nothing more to see the Muppets back to prominence, but I am not sure if an oversaturation Disney thing would have been good. The numbers on the NBC special were really good, and everyone and their adopted Equadorian sponsored kid loves Big Bird...but the core nexus of Muppet fans are still a bit underground. Unsual, in that I would say the Muppets are just as if not more recognized in some parts of the world than Disney, but that their core diehard fanbase still seems a bit small all things considering. And that is ok...because I think I see what Rivkin is trying to do here...and that is slowly push the Muppets back into casual fan and mainstream prominence...which I think is better in the long run than what may have been the case had Disney bought them.
 

Chilly Down

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Fox is tricky about their loyalty. They've clung to certain shows with mediocre ratings but strong cult followings (Family Guy, Futurama) while Andy Richter has been treated abysmally by the network. I think it may be that there's such a long lead time before a cartoon show can get on the air that they're willing to fill programming holes by bringing a show back, if there are still episodes in the can. I'm not sure how the Muppets would fare, but because it's not as big a fish as ABC, CBS or NBC (and hence Fox would be willing to give them a little more of a chance), yet it's a more respected network than WB or UPN, that it's the best place to go. I'd also be open to more NBC movies, but most likely we'll see one or the other, not both. There's not room in the production schedule to work on each simultaneously, and I doubt NBC would want to promote another networks' show anymore (or Fox would let them) any more than NBC is likely to show a Simpsons TV-movie. Whatever the case, I hope we start hearing some new projects being put into the works in the next month or so.

I like that the Muppets are being brought back into the public eye slowly. The NBC movie did well if not phenomenal, and the Pallisades figures are getting raves even from non-hardcore Muppet fans. I know non-hardcore people whom I rarely discuss Muppets with, and some of them were captivated by the MasterCard commercials, and others were excited to get the Mark Hammill Star Wars DVD and Mup. Christmas Carol DVD for Christmas; we watched them over New Year's. There's a strong affection for these characters still in the general populace, and people are really starting to miss them. This is a critical time for the Muppets, and I hope and pray they get it right this time.

BTW, welcome back, Movies205! :big_grin:
 

Movies205

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Originally posted by Chilly Down
BTW, welcome back, Movies205! :big_grin:
Your the first to welcome me back, thx... Luke, I don't know if you know or not but Disney is in a bit of trouble as of the moment... There stock is going down and a lot of there movies have flopped(Treasure Planet), I read in recent press release by Micheal Isener*SP "We are going to re-evaluate are plans, and we learn that movies like Treasure Planet don't sell well" That not the exact quote but I mean disney going jump on the hotest thing and put as much crap on the market they think will sell... So if they bought the Muppets you better believe they saturate the market wiht crap... I gtg I'll post more lata c ya
 

beaker

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Originally posted by Movies205
Your the first to welcome me back, thx... Luke, I don't know if you know or not but Disney is in a bit of trouble as of the moment... There stock is going down and a lot of there movies have flopped(Treasure Planet), I read in recent press release by Micheal Isener*SP "We are going to re-evaluate are plans, and we learn that movies like Treasure Planet don't sell well" That not the exact quote but I mean disney going jump on the hotest thing and put as much crap on the market they think will sell... So if they bought the Muppets you better believe they saturate the market wiht crap... I gtg I'll post more lata c ya
Yeah, I had no idea how much down the toilet financially Disney is going...I knew creatively its been in the toilet for awhile...
but in a summer where everything from Matrix 2, Xmen 2, and T3 will run wild...Disney's animated efforts are nowhere to be seen(well, save Pixar who I dont count as Disney created) Disney's direction? A couple of super old school looking cowboys and Indian type flicks. Wow. I thought after Emperor's NEw Groove they were starting to get their edge back. *sigh*

But yes, slowly but surely is the way to go...with that Fox show as the icing on the cake.
 

Luke

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Disney might not be having the best time financially or even creatively in film right now but quite obviously they are a force in the business like no other and longterm have had enourmous success. Like it or not, there are certain things that Disney could do for the Muppets that the Henson kids are not able to do - it's the reason that Disney was their first choice. I think if they've realised that, the fans should be able to accept it - if it would have been Henson selling the company again we would have definitely seen a sale to Disney. I don't see how you can put the fan blinkers on that one really but i'm glad it was the kids rather than some other smaller company once they had dropped out.

However, i agree with a lot of what Cory said before and maybe just carrying on and building things steadily can be nearly as good for the Muppets. Obviously Disney would have meant things would be a lot easier to achieve in terms of retail coverage, better licensing deals and lucrative film/tv deals but yes, sometimes it is the smaller companies and things that make the higher quality stuff and as i originally said, a strategy of 'more of the same' will be fine with most hardcore Muppet fans.
 

Movies205

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Originally posted by Luke
Disney might not be having the best time financially or even creatively in film right now but quite obviously they are a force in the business like no other and longterm have had enourmous success. Like it or not, there are certain things that Disney could do for the Muppets that the Henson kids are not able to do - it's the reason that Disney was their first choice. I think if they've realised that, the fans should be able to accept it - if it would have been Henson selling the company again we would have definitely seen a sale to Disney. I don't see how you can put the fan blinkers on that one really but i'm glad it was the kids rather than some other smaller company once they had dropped out.

However, i agree with a lot of what Cory said before and maybe just carrying on and building things steadily can be nearly as good for the Muppets. Obviously Disney would have meant things would be a lot easier to achieve in terms of retail coverage, better licensing deals and lucrative film/tv deals but yes, sometimes it is the smaller companies and things that make the higher quality stuff and as i originally said, a strategy of 'more of the same' will be fine with most hardcore Muppet fans.
Luke I get what your saying and it is true Disney can do things the henson can't do on there own but Disney need some new management and fast... Animated films still can bring in the big bucks just look at Lilo & Stitch but disney thinks that being all flashey going bring in the money. Look at Treasure planet it took a 140 mil to make and only made 38 mil, Then look at Lilo & Stich took 80 mil to make and made 145 mil. Disney needs better management over everything, they don't have it... Look at ABC with the right management that could be the #1 channel but disney is too dam lazy and goes with the flavor of the month. Disney has ****-poor management Luke, even you have to realize that...
 

Luke

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Yeah i completely realise that, i get what you are saying. I've actually not been Disney's biggest fan around here upto now - in past conversations on here i've made major references to all the pitfalls there would have been in a sale to Disney, i just felt that it was the best option there was if the Muppets were to achieve the same kinda visible comeback level as say Winnie The Pooh or even Warner's Scooby Doo. Disney are making some very dodgy decisions and do need fresh management but they are still very powerful and had everything the Muppets needed in-house. I don't doubt a smaller and slower approach with the Henson kids building on whats currently being done won't work for them and i'm glad they stepped in to bid. It's obviously the outcome lots of hardcore Henson fans wanted and we'll see how it goes.
 

Movies205

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Now here the thing though Luke, WB Scooby Doo come back in diff then disney... First they had the movie which did great and then they made a new TV show and they had figures but they didn't overly saturate the market and is why WB made a ton of money... Now winnie the pooh last year ALL I SAW WAS WINNIE THE POOH! Now where is Winnie, no where becuz the public stop buying... But all we can do is wait, Disney suxors... JHC, can do awesome by itself, if first establishes a new TV Show, gets the Creature Workshop making more stuff for more movies, and keeps a steady flow of products... All we need to do is wait and see...
 

frogboy4

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The market must be very different where you are because we have been over saturated with Scooby Doo here well before the film came out. More so than Pooh. In fact, some of my Scooby-loving friends were turned off by the amount of exposure. Just funny how different locations have different perspectives, but you can't travel anywhere in San Francisco or Houston without seeing Scooby stuff. What I find cool is that they have gotten the original cast back for the sequel. I was sure they’d go with new, less expensive actors.

I find it weird how Treasure Planet is viewed as a bad film. It’s not Disney’s best, but I enjoyed it more than Atlantis, New Groove or Stitch. I guess the negative press came early for that film. Maybe they should bring the musical element back to their films.

I remember when Muppet Treasure Island was released and commercials in my market were very rare. Not even the E Entertainment channel ran the preview on their preview show. I found that kind of strange. But I am certain if Disney completely owned the Muppets, they’d get as much promotion as the Lizzie Maguire movie (which is a lot in this city). That’s what Henson really doesn’t have the ability to do. Hope that changes. The funding of projects and adequate promotion are the biggest hurdles for the Henson Company. They have no laurels to rest on these days. There needs to be some reinvention as far as marketing is concerned. I think things are on a good path right now. The Starbucks tie-in is very popular in my circles and is precisely the market they should go for.
 
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