Tuesday, August 29, 2006

WB/Legendary Still Showing their Poker Faces

"Everything is going excellent, we have no weaknesses, endless sequels and virgins will be ours, the comic-reading infidels will be crushed!"

As Vincent Chase learned recently on Entourage, people in the business of Hollywood, often say one thing and do another, and never EVER admit to anything that doesn't put them in the best possible light. We've heard the rhetoric from Lord Singer, Alan Horn, Jeff Robinov, and now the people that co-financed Singerman, Legendary Pictures, are joining the "everything is a-okay" fray. In a recent Variety article, the trade paper speculates:
"If Legendary is unnerved, it isn't showing. Like Warners, Legendary insists it will turn a profit on "Superman Returns," and has given all indications that it's on deck to co-finance a sequel."
Some comic movie sites around the web seem to be putting a lot of stock in this statement, that it's the smoking gun for a sequel. However, they're not taking into account that Legendary is on the hook for half the cost of Singerman like WB, which makes this just as much "fluff" as WB's earlier comments.

While the film is still in theaters both here (just a few) and abroad, and with the DVD a few months away, they're going to say whatever they can to try and salvage their investment. They're not exactly going to say they're not on board for a sequel right now, it would be counter-productive to say about a project they invested in with the inclination it was going to be a feature film franchise. What they do in the boardroom come next year after the film and DVD are nothing but a bad memory, will tell you how they truely feel about things.

And like we said earlier, Singerman in the long run will most likely be "profitable." However, that's a relative term. If your revenue exceeds your costs by $.01, techincally it's "profitable," but the key is just HOW profitable will the film be? Will the profit margin justify a continued investment in this project? These are the decisions made by the money people in Hollywood, not the PR reps and spin meisters.
"Like Legendary, all the funds argue that they won't be made, or broken, by just one pic. By investing in a slate of pics over the course of several years, they're virtually guaranteed a return of 10%."
And I agree with this 100%, its whats called "investment diversification." You cover yourself by having your "eggs" in multiple "baskets." Although I hope for Legendary's sake they haven't been invested in the rest of WB's Summer 2006 slate, because that portfolio would be getting kicked in the teeth right about now. That being said, if you invest in something and it blows up in your face, do you dump money back into another project managed by the same people just because in the end you'll come out 10% ahead? Would the Enron stockholders have invested in Ken Lay's next business venture? I think you know the answer to that. NO! People adjust portfolios all the time, especially if they've made a mistake, they seek to minimize their risk and cut their losses. Don't be surprised if Legendary wants a little more input in any potential sequel discussions.

Dave Poland has an interesing take on all this in his Hot Blog. Ironically enough he finds an interesting analogy in the Tom Cruise/Paramount fiasco:

"Mission:Impossible 3 cost a lot (at least $50 million) less than Superman Returns and made more at the box office and should do similar numbers in Home Entertainment.

Paramount won't re-up thier deal with Cruise/Wagner.

Warner Bros. is claiming that they will make $50 million in Superman Returns

The difference in gross point dollars being paid out is about $40 million.

Who do YOU thnk is lying?

Oh, but wait... it's about jumping on couches and arguing with Matt Lauer. My bad.

Or to put it in Anne Thompson terms... who would you rather have fronting your next $250 million (including P&A) investment, Tom Cruise or Bryan Singer?"

Is Tom Cruise available to direct? At least we'd get something "original."


Anonymous said...

I wonder what kind of virgins are waiting for Singer?

Anonymous said...

[quote]I wonder what kind of virgins are waiting for Singer?[/quote]

Very scary thought!

According to today's box office totals, "Stupidman Returns" is now behind "Pixar Cars".

Anonymous said...

^LOL above.

I don't know why anyone hasn't posted a comment yet but I think you guys are doing an awesome job.

BTW, I'm anonymous because I don't have an account.

Anonymous said...

Man, they should just stop with a sequel for this film, I mean, really.