Tuesday’s featured article: Today in Hollywood, is back after a two week absence ! Today, we will be talking about how studios through out the industry are having to re-think the amount they are willing to spend on a movie, and if the risks these same companies are taking on the “tent-pole” productions are worth it .
Welcome back !
So as we have all seen in life the higher up you are the harder you fall, and nobody knows this as well as Hollywood. The first decade of the 200o’s for the movie industry were almost like a roaring 20’s all over again, while many movies still bombed, we grew the list of box office billionaires from just one, Titanic, to 11 in less than as many years.
Risks were paying off, many franchises were successful in starting for example: Harry potter, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, Twilight, and many more all preformed like gangbuster, many of which joined that once hard to achieve Billion Dollar Club. Due to this studios didn’t mind taking huge risks, because most likely they would pay off, every year a new movie would come out that you would read as being the most expensive film ever made. As they say, everything was roses, then….
This way of running a studio came and bit them in the ass, and hard. There is no better example of this better than that of Disney, who takes the biggest risks, to just fail that much greater. Prince of Persia, Tron, John Carter, and even 2D animation were all supposed to be huge franchises upon release, but sadly none of them were, they were all buy and large huge flame outs. Disney also lost loads money of huge budget movies like Tangled ( Debatable), Christmas Carol, Mars Needs Moms, they according to a recent report have lost a substantial amount of money from a failed franchise every year now for 4, thats right FOUR ! straight years.
But, Disney isn’t alone, MGM had gone bankrupt for the umpteenth time, and still can’t really find its footing, as it has just publicly stated that it lost money on last Decembers, Girl with The Dragon Tattoo, again supposed to be huge, instead fail making a little more than 200 million worldwide. Universal had the Hell Boy franchise,they produced two film ( while both are great), they both didn’t make money, so any hopes of a third installment are dead. Universal will also lose a tremendous amount of green this summer when Battle Ship is released, which is why Universal dropped its partnership with Hasbro ( if only they had made that pact pre-transformers). Warner Brothers had there lesson in an epic flame out with 2008’s would be franchise that was Speed Racer, that film which was made for 120 million, not even making 95 million at the box office world wide !
So is there hope? Will studios learn?
Well the short answer is… maybe. Paramount has found a sweet spot, spending huge on movies like Transformers or Mission Impossible, while also investing in movies like Paranormal Activity which were all made for less than 10 million dollars all together, and together made over 500 million world wide, which pretty much is all profit. Some franchises have been successful in launching like this past weekend’s The Hunger games, which was the third highest grossing opening weekend of all time, but that was made by Lionsgates, an independent studio. Disney is also ( finally, maybe) learning to cut back and not have 4 movies a year that all cost 250+ million dollars, because of this as you know the Lone Ranger went from being a 275-300 million extravaganza to a more respectable budget of around 217 million, and for Disney thats a pretty good start. MGM is backing movies with more of a chance to be successful now, with James Bond and The Hobbit two parter in their pipeline, and only willing to help finance a second Girl with a Tattoo if the budget is substantially smaller. As stated earlier Universal dropped Hasbro like a hot potato, and now is looking at a 4th Jurrasic park and a booming new animation devision to help them out in the coming years.
Hopefully these studios learn that just because there zip code is in Hollywood or Burbank doesn’t mean they are are unpenatrable to the counties current struggles. And, instead learn that good CGI and 3D aren’t what the audiences are craving anymore, but crowds want GREAT story, performances, and simply something that makes them want to stand up at the end and cheer !
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