Day Fifty-One – Keys to the (Magic) Kingdom

20 02 2010

Disney’s latest announcement didn’t seem like it even needed to be said. To me, it’s just common sense. Basically, if your movie idea can sell toys or comes from Pixar, you’ll be issued a key to the Mouse House’s vault o’ cash. If not, it better be cheap.

The concept of trying to make money outside of just box office isn’t new. I remember when the Godzilla remake came out and my local Blockbuster was filled with Godzilla toys, cups, mouse pads and other useless items. The movie wasn’t too concerned about making a ton at the box office. As long as I bought a bunch of crap outside of the theatre, they were more than happy. (Sadly, I bought the soundtrack. That was before I developed any kind of taste in music. I promise.)

Your only way into the Magic Kingdom is an idea that'll make money; one way or another.

Roger Ebert said on his Twitter that making this statement is the same as an admission of guilt. I don’t think that’s the case. I think it’s just reaffirming their stance in the world of Hollywood. They need to fill all those Disney stores in the malls with something other than Buzz Lightyear dolls and Cinderella pillows. They’ve basically made it clear to every agent and manager exactly what they’re looking for.

Have a great horror idea that takes place in a refrigerator? Does the fridge have a friendly face that can be made into an action figure that the 8-14 year old boys will want in their Christmas stockings? No? Try 20th Century Fox.

Anyone who grumbles that this is just another problem with corporate America owning the studios needs to do their research before worrying. Disney isn’t concerned with making less quality films. They just don’t want to pay for trash like G-Force when it has no potential for a return outside of box office. Can anyone really be upset about that?

Also, low budget in Hollywood means $50 million. I could make a pretty good movie for that amount of money. Sure, my talking unicorn will likely have to be dropped from my script, but I could just get a cheap TV actor to serve his purpose anyway.

Basically, if you need the money, you better have some way to make it back. If your movie can be made for $50 million, it’s reasonable to assume you can be profitable in box office alone. Think The Proposal. If not, your movie better have another way to make up what it owes. Whether it’s cutting the neighbours’ lawns over the summer or selling some cheap plastic toys, you better have a business plan to get your cash back.

Is there really anything wrong with that? Make a movie people will want to spend money on, one way or another, or go looking for your cash elsewhere.

Does that even need to be said?

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28 02 2010
Day Fifty-Nine – Two Months Later… « Fresh Buckets of OJ

[…] Day Fifty-One – Keys to the (Magic) Kingdom […]

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