Wow, this certainly comes out of left field. Satellite News has announced that Rhino Records will no longer be producing anymore DVD releases of Mystery Science Theater 3000, and that Jim Mallon has taken the franchise over to Film Crew distributor Shout! Factory. According to SN, the first release could hit as soon as the middle of this year. The press release also makes mention of the possibility of digital downloads, and the fact that Shout! Factory apparently has the rights to some films in previously unreleased episodes. So, great.
Can you say, “Heck, yes!” In the long run, this can only be good for MST3K. Rhino’s never given the series enough care and attention, and I have a feeling that Shout! Factory is better suited for the show. However, what does this mean for Rhino’s previous releases? I don’t know. Volume 10.2 will be Rhino’s final release, which could put the single-disc release of The Giant Gila Monster in jeopardy. And for how long will the previous Rhino releases remain in-print?
No need to panic just yet, guys. Don’t break the bank in a mad rush to buy all the DVDs you’ve yet to pick up. We don’t have any answers right now, but I’ll post them as soon as they come out. The full press release is included after the break.
UPDATE: Here’s a Reuters article. Interestingly, the article mentions that all 198 episodes of the series are “ultimately bound” for release. Though I’m sure Shout! Factory will be able to expand the number of available episodes greatly, I think this is likely to be an error. Still, interesting.
SHOUT! FACTORY ACQUIRES CULT FAVORITE
COMEDY SERIES MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000
FOR WORLDWIDE HOME ENTERTAINMENT
AND DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION
LOS ANGELES, CA – Adding to its expansive library of comedic TV offerings, Shout! Factory secured the worldwide home entertainment and digital download rights to the long running American cult television comedy series Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K.) This announcement was made by Shout! Factory President Garson Foos.
Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, Shout! Factory will be the exclusive worldwide home entertainment and digital media distributor for Mystery Science Theater 3000 branded properties which include a vast library of original episodes that have never-been-available on DVD or for digital download.
“Mystery Science Theater 3000 is a true cult-classic series. Its high-camp rendition of B-movies to the small screen makes it one of the most memorable pop culture shows of our time,” said Garson Foos, President of Shout! Factory. “MST3K lines up perfectly with Shout! Factory brand. We’re thrilled to work with Jim to further the legend of MST3K on DVD and in the digital marketplace.”
“We are thrilled to be at Shout! Factory. It is a really a great fit for Mystery Science Theater 3000,” said Jim Mallon, President of Best Brains, Inc. and a producer/director/writer of MST3K. “Shout! Factory totally gets the world of MST3K and has shown great respect for Joel, Mike, the Mads and the quirky little bots. They have already issued us lockers. We look forward to great new releases ahead.”