Thursday, July 13, 2006

"Pirates" Is A Hit! You're All Fired!

Disney responded to the massive success of "Pirates of the Caribbean" by firing a "substantial" number of employees and reducing the number of movies it releases from 18 to 8. Frankly, releasing eight movies a year hardly constitutes a major movie studio -- 12 at least means one movie a month, roughly and increases your chances of success. Eight movies means every single one of them needs to do well or your DVD division wil suffer the following year. Indeed, there's no room for error whatsoever when you only make eight movies a year. Some idiots proclaimed "Cars" a disaster -- even though it's chugging along towards the average $250 mil gross that (remarkably) Pixar films have made. But how would the flops "Annapolis" or the animated flick "The Wild" have been treated if they were 25% of the Disney's annual output? Or does Disney plan to magically cut out only the flops? And in the final bit of idiocy, all Disney movies will be branded as "Disney" films as they phase out Touchstone. Why? Because "Disney" films make more money. Now how many of you would have stayed away from "Pirates" if the little logo at the beginning of the movie had been "Touchstone?" I thought so. None.

4 comments:

Reel Fanatic said...

It was, definitely, an odd couple of weeks .. Though I don't want anyone to lose their jobs, I do think Disney making fewer movies and investing more money in each one could definitely be a good thing

Syntax_Error said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Syntax_Error said...

I'm very excited about the possibilities Disney might have, being able to concertrate more money, but then again, less movies might very easily mean less good movies, which there were VERY few of this year anyway.

Michael in New York said...

18 movies is a pretty reasonable number of films for a major studio. No matter how many jobs they cut, that basic infrastructure is always there, sitting around and getting paid, whether they have to work on launching 8 movies or 18. Plus the DVD division would suffer with its number of titles cut in half. Yes, you can't just make 100 movies when trying to discover a hit; they're too expensive. But the fewer rolls of the dice you make, the fewer chances you have to hit your number. Even doing just ten movies can mean you'll go four months without a hit in the blink of an eye -- that's awfully hard to explain to investors. Studios can definitely make too many major movies -- it's hard for anyone to handle, say 30 major releases. But 10 or 8 is swinging too much in the opposite direction. If fewer movies meant better quality, I'd push for them to make six a year. But it doesn't work that way.