Guide to Toho Film Distributors

For the discussion of Toho DVDs, Blu-Rays, CDs, streaming services, VHS, and other formats where Toho films and soundtracks can be found.
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Re: Guide to Toho Film Distributors

Postby omgitsgodzilla » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:36 am

Considering Netflix is treating the anime trilogy as a "series" (in the title cards, if not how they're listed), my guess is once Planet Eater is out, there'll be a delay -- either Netflix's delay between a season going live and being released on disc, or Toho's overseas home-video delay -- and then probably a set of all three films.
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Re: Guide to Toho Film Distributors

Postby Chrispy_G » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:53 am

I would say maybe at the end of the year we'll get the trilogy as a single Blu Ray set? Maybe timed with the home release of KOTM?

I have a question....if I recall correctly someone said that Sony's rights to Godzilla vs King Ghidorah(91) and Godzilla vs Mothra(92) expire in 2019.....has there been any news or rumblings on that front?

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Re: Guide to Toho Film Distributors

Postby tbeasley » Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:40 pm

•Per August Ragone, Kraken Releasing has lost the rights to Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, Godzilla vs. Hedorah, and Godzilla vs. Gigan. Expect Criterion to pounce; when they do, they’ll have licensed all the Showa films except King Kong vs. Godzilla.

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Re: Guide to Toho Film Distributors

Postby Chrispy_G » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:42 pm

Hypothetical....if Criterion's Godzilla licensing goes only as far as the full Godzilla Showa Series(which would be amazing)......who would be a good choice for the Heisei and Millennium films.

We can be almost 100% sure that Sony will do nothing interesting within beyond maybe packaging a bunch of the existing discs together. Since Sony TV owns Funimation....I suppose there is an outside chance they just shift them all over and have Funimation put together some kind of set or release....perhaps with minimal extras.

It would be neat if Shout Factory or Arrow Video pursued them.

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Re: Guide to Toho Film Distributors

Postby Tohosaurus » Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:22 pm

Sony seems to be happy keeping their Heisei and Millennium movies, so they probably won't be moving to a different company at any point soon.
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Re: Guide to Toho Film Distributors

Postby MikeSTZillak » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:37 pm

Chrispy_G wrote:We can be almost 100% sure that Sony will do nothing interesting within beyond maybe packaging a bunch of the existing discs together. Since Sony TV owns Funimation....I suppose there is an outside chance they just shift them all over and have Funimation put together some kind of set or release....perhaps with minimal extras.

Powerhouse Films could release them through their Indicator series.
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Re: Guide to Toho Film Distributors

Postby o.supreme » Thu May 30, 2019 1:10 pm

Tohosaurus wrote:Varan (1958) - Held by Media Blasters. The Tokyo Shock individual DVD and triple-feature are currently out of print.


I just noticed the entry on the main page regarding the Reel Vault DVD release of the American Cut of this film from 2015.

https://www.tohokingdom.com/dvd/varan_u ... ult15.html


I appreciate the fact that the legality of this print is questioned even in the review itself as it appears to be little more than perhaps a transfer of either of the VHS versions released by VCI in 1990 or 1994. Although it is odd, that this can be streamed for free through Amazon Prime. I know Amazon still has issues with some pirated films, but I'm not sure what their policy is regarding making things available to stream. One would think that would not be possible if it weren't legal... :?
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Re: Guide to Toho Film Distributors

Postby mikelcho » Fri May 31, 2019 4:13 am

Got three things here.

*One Missed Call 2 and One Missed Call: Final should say ..."Tokyo Shock set..." with a capital "S".
*This one is a question: Does Sony hold the theatrical and TV rights to Rebirth of Mothra III? If so, then that should be mentioned here.
*Don't forget to mention the Mill Creek Steelbook release of Mothra.

Thanks! Great list, by the way!
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Re: Guide to Toho Film Distributors

Postby Tohosaurus » Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:24 am

o.supreme wrote:I just noticed the entry on the main page regarding the Reel Vault DVD release of the American Cut of this film from 2015.

https://www.tohokingdom.com/dvd/varan_u ... ult15.html


I appreciate the fact that the legality of this print is questioned even in the review itself as it appears to be little more than perhaps a transfer of either of the VHS versions released by VCI in 1990 or 1994. Although it is odd, that this can be streamed for free through Amazon Prime. I know Amazon still has issues with some pirated films, but I'm not sure what their policy is regarding making things available to stream. One would think that would not be possible if it weren't legal... :?


This situation in particular has been very confusing to me. :cry:

mikelcho wrote:Got three things here.

*One Missed Call 2 and One Missed Call: Final should say ..."Tokyo Shock set..." with a capital "S".
*This one is a question: Does Sony hold the theatrical and TV rights to Rebirth of Mothra III? If so, then that should be mentioned here.
*Don't forget to mention the Mill Creek Steelbook release of Mothra.

Thanks! Great list, by the way!


Thanks for the corrections! I haven't seen it specified that Sony holds those for theatrical and TV. I would assume so but it's never been mentioned specifically. I could even delete those off of some of the other movies as the list is truly supposed to be for home media.
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Re: Guide to Toho Film Distributors

Postby Terasawa » Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:25 am

I can't comment on theatrical rights; there used to be a list from Keith Aiken of titles that Sony had available for 35mm exhibition but that was probably ten years ago and Google didn't turn up anything.

Sony however definitely controls television rights to Rebirth of Mothra 3. (By the way if we want to get technical, the title is with the digit "3" instead of Roman numerals.) The film's TV premiere in 2003 opens with the TriStar logo, it has always played on TV (SciFi, Encore, etc.) with the TriStar logo, and it appeared on Sony's own Sony Movie Channel and Crackle.
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Re: Guide to Toho Film Distributors

Postby mikelcho » Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:37 pm

Terasawa wrote:I can't comment on theatrical rights; there used to be a list from Keith Aiken of titles that Sony had available for 35mm exhibition but that was probably ten years ago and Google didn't turn up anything.

Sony however definitely controls television rights to Rebirth of Mothra 3. (By the way if we want to get technical, the title is with the digit "3" instead of Roman numerals.) The film's TV premiere in 2003 opens with the TriStar logo, it has always played on TV (SciFi, Encore, etc.) with the TriStar logo, and it appeared on Sony's own Sony Movie Channel and Crackle.
Two questions.

*Is the second Rebirth of Mothra film written as 2 or II?
*I kinda-sorta remember Rebirth of Mothra 3 having the Toho logo on it when it premiered on the SciFi Channel. Am I wrong or something?
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Re: Guide to Toho Film Distributors

Postby Terasawa » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:18 am

Yes, the versions of ROM3 on TV and Sony's Blu-Ray have the English Toho logo; the TriStar logo always precedes it. That's because Sony/TriStar didn't prepare its own visually-unique version of the film as they had for the '90s Godzillas and the first two Mothra films, they simply added their corporate logo to Toho's export version.

I don't know whether the official Toho title for the second film is "Rebirth of Mothra 2" or "Rebirth of Mothra II," nor do I know the title on Toho's export prints. However, when TriStar made its "version" of the film for VHS (and later for DVD, and then Blu-Ray), the title was "Rebirth of Mothra II." Picture. As with the their versions of the Godzillas and ROM1, they cut the Toho logos (replacing them with text), added their own minimal opening credits, and added the film's English title as a subtitle under the Japanese title. Oh and they've also used Roman numerals for the titles of ROM2 and ROM3 in packaging.
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Re: Guide to Toho Film Distributors

Postby mikelcho » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:37 pm

Terasawa wrote:Yes, the versions of ROM3 on TV and Sony's Blu-Ray have the English Toho logo; the TriStar logo always precedes it. That's because Sony/TriStar didn't prepare its own visually-unique version of the film as they had for the '90s Godzillas and the first two Mothra films, they simply added their corporate logo to Toho's export version.

I don't know whether the official Toho title for the second film is "Rebirth of Mothra 2" or "Rebirth of Mothra II," nor do I know the title on Toho's export prints. However, when TriStar made its "version" of the film for VHS (and later for DVD, and then Blu-Ray), the title was "Rebirth of Mothra II." Picture. As with the their versions of the Godzillas and ROM1, they cut the Toho logos (replacing them with text), added their own minimal opening credits, and added the film's English title as a subtitle under the Japanese title. Oh and they've also used Roman numerals for the titles of ROM2 and ROM3 in packaging.
Okay, thanks for telling me. Now I know. I thought that I wasn't imagining seeing the English Toho logo the first time that I watched it.

I just wish that Tristar had taken the same care with the 1990s Godzilla films (up to 1999, I think; I could be wrong, you know) and the other two RoM films that they did with this one.

I think, however, that Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II and all of the rest of the Toho Godzilla films from 2000 onward were the exceptions to this rule. Am I right here or not?

And there's another question here: why didn't they fix what they did before when they released them on Blu-ray? (or did they; I'm not sure here) That's what I would've done if I were in charge of the project, but that's just me, I guess. I'd have figured: give the public quality Blu-ray releases of all of these films and they'll respond accordingly. That's just common sense.

I also would've released the two Kiryu films together on one disc and put GMK and Godzilla: Final Wars on the same disc, but again, that's just me, I guess.
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Re: Guide to Toho Film Distributors

Postby Terasawa » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:27 pm

I'm not sure this is what you're asking, but...

As mentioned, Sony's release of ROM3 is simply Toho's export (or "international") version of the film. If that's unfamiliar terminology: basically, from the early '60s to at least Final Wars, Toho would create an English language version of each of its most exportable films. So to use ROM3 as an example, they had the film dubbed in English and prepared English titles and credits and logos. In essence, the export/international versions are the Japanese versions with all Japanese text and dialogue translated to English.

Sony/TriStar didn't adopt the practice of simply slapping their logo on Toho's export versions until probably around 2003, when ROM3 first showed up on TV. After that, with a few of exceptions, Sony did the same for its remaining Toho kaiju releases. This includes the Godzilla films from Megaguirus to Tokyo SOS, the Showa Godzillas they released on DVD in 2004, and the current HD transfers of SpaceGodzilla and Destoroyah. (Final Wars uses the end credits and a credit for "Toho Pictures" at the start of the film from its export version but is otherwise visually the Japanese version of the film. As for other films, sometimes a logo was changed or the title was redone, but I'm not going to go case-by-case. Just understand that generally the Sony releases I mentioned in this paragraph are Toho's export versions.)

For some reason, TriStar had decided to make its own video credits for the initial releases of the '90s Godzillas and the first two ROM films. Subsequent DVD and Blu-ray releases of these movies -except the aforementioned Blu-ray releases of SpaceGodzilla and Destoroyah- are based on those 1998 versions.

Godzilla 2000 of course is a whole other story since TriStar made its own English version. Actually, the only carryover from the export version is one line of dialogue: "As long as the beer's cold, who cares?"
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Re: Guide to Toho Film Distributors

Postby mikelcho » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:33 am

Actually, I was mentioning the fact that Tristar cut out the English language version of the Toho logo completely (except for RoM III and possibly GvsMGII) and also cut out things at the end of the films like the music and audio at the end of SpaceGodzilla and the montage of scenes and music by Akira Ifukube at the end of Destoroyah in the VHS releases of these films. I think that they did the same thing on the DVDs, but I don't know what they did on the Blu-rays.

Sorry if I wasn't too clear here.
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Re: Guide to Toho Film Distributors

Postby Chrispy_G » Sat Jul 27, 2019 3:39 am

So....I just want to take a moment to happily appreciate the fact that, slowly but surely....the rights mess of Godzilla movies being ALL OVER THE PLACE as far as North American Distribution is really not all that complicated any more.

1. 15 films from 1954-1975 - Right at home with Criterion in the Showa Era Set

2. 1984 - The Return of Godzilla - Kraken

Theoretically for another 2 years....considering that Kraken's 2014 G titles had rights lapse this year, ROG being licensed in 2016...if the same circumstances apply, that rights deal will go until 2021, unless something changes.

3. 1989 - Godzilla vs Biollante - Lionsgate/Echo Bridge

I'm not exactly sure where the rights fall or how that works.

4. 12 Films from 1991-2004 - Sony

Doesn't seem to be changing any time soon. I would love for the Criterion Set and current spotlight on the Godzilla Franchise as a whole to maybe inspire them to do something more with their titles. Steelbooks, Collector's Editions, maybe a pair of Box Sets, partnering with a boutique label like Shout Factory to do something a little more special with.

The first 50 years of the franchise is only spread across FOUR Distributors. Amazing

5. 2016 - Shin Godzilla - Funimation

Funimation is now majority owned by Sony....so I'll consider them 'separate' for now, even though in a fashion....they are under the same umbrella.

6. 2017-2018 - Anime Trilogy - Netflix

Who knows if or when a home market release will ever occur and exactly who would handle it.

7. 2014-2020 - MonsterVerse Trilogy/Quadrilogy - Warner Bros

SEVEN Distributors across 35 films. That is not bad at all.

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Re: Guide to Toho Film Distributors

Postby BabyG1975 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:34 pm

So out of curiosity and to get final confirmation

1.) Does Toho have the rights to Godzilla 1985 AND can they distribute the film?

2.) Does Miramax own Godzilla vs Biollante or do they just have it leased out?

3.) Did Sony/TriStar resign the contracts for Godzilla vs King Ghidorah and Godzilla vs Mothra (1992)?
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Re: Guide to Toho Film Distributors

Postby Terasawa » Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:56 am

BabyG1975 wrote:So out of curiosity and to get final confirmation

1.) Does Toho have the rights to Godzilla 1985 AND can they distribute the film?


Yes; no-ish. Ostensibly there are legal issues with the score that Toho doesn’t want to deal with (namely, New World’s editors tracked in music from Chris Young’s score for another film). However, I think they could conceivably release the film with a modified soundtrack. They just don’t have any interest in doing anything with it.

There are zero dubs or alternate versions of these films that Toho “doesn’t own the rights to.”
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Re: Guide to Toho Film Distributors

Postby Great Hierophant » Tue Oct 22, 2019 5:45 am

I wonder with "long-term" deals like with the Sony Godzilla films, Miramax and Biollante or the Saperstein films (GKOTM, MvG, IotAM, AMA, ToMG, Rodan & WotG) with UPA and later Classic Media, whether these relationships had simply lengthy licensing terms (20+ years), automatic renewal on payment of a fee, or part-ownership.

Terasawa wrote:There are zero dubs or alternate versions of these films that Toho “doesn’t own the rights to.”


Toho may have the rights to all dubs and alternative versions of every movie they ever produced, but they have no elements for many foreign dubs in their archives.

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Re: Guide to Toho Film Distributors

Postby Terasawa » Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:30 am

Great Hierophant wrote:
Terasawa wrote:There are zero dubs or alternate versions of these films that Toho “doesn’t own the rights to.”


Toho may have the rights to all dubs and alternative versions of every movie they ever produced, but they have no elements for many foreign dubs in their archives.


Correct - but that's not the same as "Toho doesn't have the rights." Fans need to understand that.
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