Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Boxoffice, January 7

Boxoffice was a trade magazine for the movie theater industry. It's chock full of things like giant PR stories for theater seats. I came across it searching for information on the Terrytoon short The Old Fire Horse (which I have yet to find a copy of), which appears later in 1939 in the listings of shorts which appear in the back of the magazine.

My review of these issues is limited to animation stories I actually see. There may be industry stories with minor mentions that I'm likely to miss. One might suspect I will miss more as the year drags on if I sicken of the magazine (tho I've already gone through the December 9 issue, so even if I stop looking at it entirely, there'll be a Gulliverful Boxoffice post near the end). And, while it's a weekly (published every Saturday), it appears the issues online are not all there (12/9 is the last issue for the year; it could be a holiday break, I suppose). But we'll see what we can see.

Boxoffice 1/7/39

In this issue, we have a taste of things to come almost a year away, and a good deal about what's gone on the previous year.


" 'Gulliver' Expected By Next Xmas
New York - Paramount expects to have "Gulliver's Travels," its first feature-length cartoon, ready for release next Christmas. Max Fleischer and 400 artists and musicians are toiling away on the picture in Fleischer's Miami Beach "fairy-land."

The facts and the imagery come from Lou Diamond, head of Paramount's short subject department, who has returned from a visit Fleischer's Florida plant.

Diamond is enthusiastic about Fleischer's patented third dimension treatment of a travesty on war. He also promises certain unusual "entertainment" angles that he declines to reveal.

Although the company does not begin to formulate its short subject schedule for the new season until February of each year, Paramount undoubtedly will have the same numerical lineup as the current program, according to Diamond. He said he has settled on but one phase of the 1939-40 schedule, this being 30 one-reel cartoons from Fleischer, 24 of which will be black and white with six in color. "


The magazine also has a few mentions of Snow White as best film of 1938, Ferdinand the Bull as best two reeler, the item that Snow White was in its 3rd week at the United Artists theater in Detroit, and so on if you search for them.

"A Feature Calibre Play For A Short Subject
Sioux Falls, S.D. - Manager Joe Floyd of the Granada covered nearly all the angles for the RKO-Disney short, "Ferdinand the Bull." The subject rated a holdover.
A 14-foot cutout of Ferdinand, used in the lobby, was illuminated with two Klieg lights. Another large cutout was anchored atop a sound truck which blasted announcements and played the show's records. Four illuminated billboards were used with two-thirds of the space given over to the Disney picture. Window displays were especially made by Floyd and there were 12 in choice locations.
A feature of the advertising was a teaser campaign; newspaper space in the editorial columns was large throughout the run.
There were extra announcements on the radio and records of "Ferdinand the Bull" were broadcast several times through Station KELO, which reaches about 150,000 persons."
On p86, there is an announcement that "Donald's Lucky Day, a Walt Disney short, will be released by RKO on Friday, January 13"

On p88, we are informed that the French like Disney's Silly Symphonies, and are sick of Mickey Mouse.

Note the list of shorts on around the 4th page from the end of the magazine.

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