20th Century-Fox Dynamo (August 5, 1939)

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10 NEW DYNAMO Published In The United States Every Week In The Interest Oj Sales Promotion By The Distribution Department Oj 20TH CENTURY—FOX FILM CORPORATION SIDNEY R. KENT, President HERMAN WOBBER, General Manager oj Distribution S HOWMEN are doing some healthy thinking this year. And that is an especially fine sign. We believe, from what we re- cently observed during our recent tour of the U. S. and Canada, that showmen, as a whole, are realizing their necessity of getting behind pictures in a two-fisted manner. We sincerely believe that showmen “have got wise to themselves,” as one observing trade paper editor put it. We believe showmen have come out from hid- ing and are now determined to have “some of the fun” that helped make this the great industry it is. We believe that exhibitors have realized the folly of the tactics of a few who did the “laundry” in public. We believe exhibitors realize they must follow the ex- ample set by the publishers of newspapers in remedying problems. We believe the showman now realizes there has been altogether too much talk and too little work. We believe he is now going to work as he has never worked to build business, to develop new theatregoers. And a better time to get back to the fundamentals of showmanship has never existed. We are on the eve of a new season. That means new and greater opportunity. Let us con- tinue working together with our customers. Let all of us keep in closer contact with him. Let us follow through on every picture. The job just begins when the product is sold. It is under way when the pictures are booked. But the job is not completed until we see to it that every booking is properly exploited, the picture properly sold to the public. It’s the public that has that “last dol- lar” we seek. So let’s follow through—but 100 per cent—in 1939-40! • Not only to say the right thing in the right place, but, far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment. In other words, always be master of yourself. Keep your wits about you. And keep your feet on solid ground. Don’t fly off the handle, for when you do tlvat you’ve admitted you’re licked! • I F “Stanley and Livingstone” is to be the sensational box office it can be, it must be exploited along sensational lines. There can be no argument about that. The subject matter is sensational. The very attempt on the part of Darryl Zanuck to make this pic- ture was sensationally daring—and sensationally successful. The background is sensationally exciting. The performance of Spencer Tracy is sensational—his best! Thus only through a sensational campaign on a par with the many sensational treasures it pos- sesses can do it justice. Confining the exploitation of this great production to newspaper display is not going to turn the trick. Let us not kid ourselves about this. It demands sensational EX- PLOITATION, in the form of sensational stunts—and it inspires any number of such approaches. If “Stanley and Livingstone” does not open to record-breaking business in every key city, it will be because it has not been given the sensational exploitation cam- paign commensurate with the magnificent showmanship job Zanuck has done. True, Tracy’s performance is worthy of another Acad- emy award—as many critics have predicted he will get—but “Stan- ley and Livingstone” is jammed with a thousand and one other ex- ploitable angles. This company has NEVER had a greater ex- ploitation natural—and we stand ready to prove it. And we believe we can. “Stanley and Livingstone” will reflect the exploitation at- tention it gets in every key city, because the studio has delivered a showmanship gem the like of which exhibitors will not get for many moons. • Fortunes do not have a faculty of falling into people’s laps in this business. Most every worthwhile thing 1 in our industry has been accomplished as a result of somebody striving for a definite goal. • C ONGRATULATIONS to the K-6 total delivery prize winning branches. The final weeks of that 52-week campaign saw many new July records established. Clyde Eckhardt and his Chi- cagoans, Reg March and his Saints in particular are deserving of highest praise. They boosted their July business to an extent where their accumulated 52-week’s delivery is in excess of the 52-week quota. And that is something only these two exchanges ac- complished. Chicago made July its best K-6 month. It was planned last April for July to be that—and Eckhardt’s plans did not mis- carry. It was a great piece of work. And here is hoping that the winners will make their July performances the starting post for a greater K-7 delivery. They’ve come in as champions; they’ve set their own pace. All of us know they will be in there working their hardest to prove themselves champions who can follow through. So, again, congratulations—and more power to you in 1939-40! • Newton once made this significant observation: “If you do not practise with people you do not like, you will not be able to make friends with people you do like.” • N O man who limits his vision with regard to potential earning power will ever perform the unusual or be found among the leaders. Time has proved that time and again in our business. The fellow who never starts is the ill-advised, short-sighted in- dividual who says: “It can’t be done!” We know there is no occa- sion for such a view in our business. The record proves that. The chap who rushes for the crying towel, who sheds tears because somebody happens to have more confidence in his ability than he has by urging him to get greater results, is truly a pathetic figure; he’s licked before he starts. Distribution can profit by the example set by production. Hollywood never has given up—thank God for that! No one has been more abused, and unjustly in most cases, than the makers of this industry’s pictures; yet, they have gone right ahead, doing a better job year after year. They have always sought and, as a result, accomplished greater things. And that same spirit in distribution has put this industry among the greatest in the world. And chump, indeed, is the timid soul who thinks he should stop and change things now. More than ever, it’s forward march! • The easiest thing in all the world and one of the greatest trouble- makers : you can always find excuses jor not doing the things that you do not want to do. & rpHERE is nothing wrong with conditions in any part of the world that good pictures will not remedy. That was true six years ago. And it is equally true today. We sincerely wish that it were possible for the studio to rush prints of such vehicles as “Hollywood Cavalcade,” “The Rains Came” and other big specials to the branch for trade showings for exhibitors. We have seen these pictures and we believe that were they available for terri- torial trade showings, exhibitors would be breaking down the doors of our exchanges to sign contracts—and we are not unmindful of the fact that sales momentum on K-7 is at maximum right now. But, we make this statement in the hope that you will get a better idea of the real greatness and unlimited box office possibilities of the K-7 productions that Zanuck has been making and will con- tinue to make. If these pictures could be seen by you and your exhibitors you would be convinced that our K-7 sales policy is definitely a conservative one. And exhibitors would be the first to concede that point. How we wish such showings could be possible! We know they would be the means of adding millions of dollars to potential September and October Drive revenue. , The Latest I S H O P j TALK ) . Comment TTOLLYWOOD is still thrilling II to what it saw at two pre- views: “Elsa Maxwell’s Hotel for Women” and “Stanley and Livingstone.” By this (time you know there was no end of reason for that enthusiasm. How much these two exploitation specials produce will reflect the follow- through effort of ourselves and exhibitors in the matter of prop- er exploitation and presentation. • T HE Central division wound up the K-6 season in the No. 1 position on accumulated 52- week’s delivery. In so doing, Bill Gehring’s division has set a record. No division has ever held first place on total delivery for the length of time that the Centrals have. They have been up there on the throne ever since their division was created. Con- gratulations on a magnificent pace-setting job! “Bigger pictures and more bigger pictures will make bigger busi- ness. That is what we told the studio! Now those bigger pictures are being made available. Let’s prove we knew what we were talk- ing about by getting bigger business! • YlfHERE at the end of the K-5 season last year there had been ” 12 salesmen who had not sold a single nickle’s worth of adver- tising accessories. In the compilation published this week only two — Philadelphia’s A1 Davis and Calgary’s Scott — represent blanks. In the case of Frank Scott, we are surprised because the latter once ranked one of the most active in the matter of ad selling. However, one thing the past season brought out: adsales managers never received greater nor more lucrative co-operation and material help from film salesmen. Keep up the good work, Mr. Salesman. The adselling job is everybody’s job and it is ap- parent from the K-6 record that the adsales forces need all the help they can get. given the best pictorial cover; of the world’s doings. And w H ERE are the offices that fin- ished the 1938-39 season with 52-weeks’ accumulated over-quota delivery on the fol- lowing efforts: Total delivery—Chicago and St. John. Short subjects—None. Movietone News—Cincinnati, Dallas, Washington, Oklahoma City, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Minneap- olis and Salt Lake City. Adsales—Montreal. • ■'TVHE Prairies emerged the un- questioned dollar delivery champion district for the K-6 season. It was first on total delivery and on adsales, second on short subjects and an over- quota third on News. What the Prairies do during the new sea- son will make interesting watch- ing, for conditions out there never have been better econom- ically and the crop is reportedly the best in many years. • Y OUNG Connelly of Boston followed through admirably on adsales through the K-6 sea- son. The fact that he did the best adsales job among sales- men was no accident. In fact, Connelly told us a year ago that he was going out after that honor. He planned it that way— and for that congratulations. Getting 85 per cent of his zone’s total adsales revenue for a 52- week period is a record of which the young Bostonian has every reason to be proud. • A N interesting list indeed would be one enumerating the exclusives scored by Truman Talley’s Movietone News organi- zation during the recent K-6 season. But while swiftness is one of our News’ big assets, greater and more important we think is the fact that it has we would call the box-officizing of these events is its greatest asset, for that has meant added dollars to exhibitors the world over. • “'THE WARE CASE” is doing A a business that is surprising New York showmen. This Gau- mont-British promises to be an- other “The Vanishing Lady.” In- cidentally, it is most interesting to observe the increasing num- ber of bookings the U. S. branches have set on “The Van ishing Lady” for August and September. More about “The Ware Case” on another page. • fTVHERE is quite a squabble on I-among the Los Angeles, Dal- las and Kansas City as to which has the best claim to Linda Dar- nell and Brenda Joyce. Brenda originally came from Kansas City. Linda is claimed by both Dallas and Los Angeles. And when two cities start fighting over newcomers, you must be- lieve that these young persons have indeed a promising future ahead of them. All this makes very worthwhile publicity for these talented young actresses.. • G OOD news for Hollywood is the announcement coming from many cities whose school authorities state they will inau- gurate dramatic classes in their high schools this coming Fall. Future talent can be effectively developed last year. We hope that some direct contact can be effected betwen these school au- thorities and high school dra- matic classes. Why couldn’t graduates qualify for screen- tests? It would encourage the authorities—and would furnish the industry with a new source for future talent. I T can be done! Other circuits gave up. They feared the times. They had a score and one reason for marking time and waiting for the new season. All did that excepting the circuit headed by Spyros Skouras. That circuit initiated a Drive while other circuits worried about busi- ness. And the National Thea- tres circuit broke records. It could be done. And so the NTC boys have earned the right to be chesty. Mr. Skouras is proud of them. And so he should be. They went out and GOT MORE BUSINESS when ithe others said it couldn’t be done! QOME of us don’t like to have LJ our weaknesses pointed out. That’s one reason why some dis- like the shuttle sheet. It’s the “know-all, see-all, tells-all” fac- tor of our business year. It’s all down on paper, in black and white. The shuttle sheet con- tinues to be the most construc- tive revenue-finder in the his- tory of distribution. It’s as useful today as it was when in- itiated by Mr. Wobber seven years ago. It’s an honest inven- tory! It’s the pal of all who are out to do bigger things! • G ENE AUTRY is a great showman in addition to be- ing a great artist. He is in a class by himself as a crooning cowboy. A splendid fellow per- sonally, Gene is now in England making variety appearances. He has been giving the Jane With- ers picture no end of publicity in England by broadcasting the fact that he will co-star with that grand little trouper in a made-to-order version of “Ju- bilo.” And Gene is as big a box office draw abroad as he is in this country. • W E want to take this oppor- tunity of paying tribute to the district and branch mana- gers’ secretaries in our Domestic organization. A more conscien- tious, harder working group of employees you will not find any- where. What we like about these young ladies is that they are al- ways anxious to help, to co-oper- ate—and they lend their services with a smile. We believe our managers are a most fortunate lot to have such secretaries. • C ritics galore are nominat- ing Spencer Tracy for the Academy award for the best per- formance of the year. To back this nomination they point to his performance in “Stanley and Livingstone.” Here is a char- acterization that is real. Spencer Tracy IS the daring newspaper- man, Stanley. We believe the critics in your community will feel the same as do those in Hollywood and in New York.