ADV is not dead, it just smells funny

I discovered something quite interesting while trying to find contact information for Section23/SXION 23 Films, AEsir Holdings and Switchblade Pictures so I could ask if they’d be licensing certain Asian sci-fi movies. You see, it turns out that I made a mistake when I reported that ADV Films had gone out of business and that most of its assets were bought by several corporations registered by their former senior vice president of business and legal affairs. As it turns out, ADV had (more or less) split itself into several companies!

This actually isn’t anything new in the entertainment industry. Ventura Distribution was alleged to have done something like this several years ago, which angered enough of its former clients to start a (now defunct) website called “Ventura Ripoff.” However, ADV/Section23/etc. does not seem to have angered or lost anyone they have done business with in the past.

According to the sources given here, Section23 Films is a “distributor and marketing company of Switchblade Pictures, Sentai Filmworks, and AEsir Holdings.” The company is also said to have acquired all of ADV’s old licenses and most of ADV’s old staff. This says the co-founder of ADV is now employed as the “manager of Section 23 Films, where he over sees business of Section 23’s subsidiaries; Sentai Filmworks, Switchblade Pictures, Valkyrie Media Partners, and Sephrim Studios.” Wikipedia also notes how episode 19 of the podcast alleges that the entire process was a “drastic rebranding and restructuring” of ADV done to take advantage of certain loopholes. I’ve also discovered that the Amazon listing for the (as of this writing) yet-to-be released You’re Under Arrest: Full Throttle – Collection 1 DVD set lists “Adv Films” as the releasing studio, a title that’s handled by Sentai Filmworks and Section23 Films.

Please don’t think that the “smells funny” part of this post’s title implies any wrongdoing; it’s just a Frank Zappa homage. I’m glad they’re still in business and hope to see more horror/sci-fi releases from them in the future, no matter what name the company uses. In case you’re wondering, I did eventually find a website for Section23 Films and two websites for Switchblade Pictures, along with this very interesting fansite devoted to Section23 and co.

Just to keep this “on topic,” I have a little something for those of you who want to buy the Orochi: The Eight-Headed Dragon (aka Yamato Takeru in Japan) DVD but feel that the price on Amazon is too high: Just mosey on over to Amazon’s listing for the much cheaper original release from 2003!

UPDATE: It looks like my comment about nobody in the business having gotten upset over ADV’s transformation was only true until 2011.

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