Disney & Fox Would Be the Avatar of Movie Studios

And speaking of Avatar, guess which studio released it?

If your guess is ‘20th Century Fox,’ now picture one studio releasing Avatar, the Alien and Predator movies, Star Wars and Marvel superhero movies.

Those are a few of the movies that would come under the aegis of a combined Disney and Fox, which would likely cause even more consolidation among studios because who can effectively compete with that lineup?

As awesome as the idea is of the X-Men finally coming back to Marvel Studios is, I’m not at sure Disney buying Fox’s film and television production and distribution businesses is such a great idea.

Sure, Simon Kinberg would likely no longer be given free rein to ruin the X-Men, and the fate of the Fantastic Four would finall be resolved in the most awesomest manner possible but it would make Disney even more massive, more powerful than it already is.

And I’m not entirely sure a 21st Century Fox as a division of The Walt Disney Company (it would likely require way too much effort–and money–to get rid of  Fox branding, which is why it’s likely to exist alongside Disney as a stand-along shingle) is a really good idea for anyone that’s not a shareholder in either company.

And to emphasize my last point, Disney earned $2.9 billion in 2016 (and that’s not including the millions generated by Thor: Ragnarök).  

Combining the titles they already control with those of Fox sounds like Ragnarök for all the other studios, which certainly wouldn’t have the seer market power of a combined Disney/Fox.


Michael Bay Says There’re 14 Transformers Stories in Development…

Michael Bay says that there’re 14 Transformers stories in development (most of which are probably intended to be made into movies) and on hearing the news something shriveled up inside me, like an organ that no longer served a practical purpose.

So, I guess I’m saying Transformers are the cocyxx of the movie ‘body.’

They have bothered me for various reasons.  One being that you can tell they take serious money to produce, yet there’s surprisingly little to show for all the effort.

I have yet to see a Transformers movie that in any way resonated with me mentally, or provoked a discussion about anything (other than irritation about never getting the time spent viewing the movie back again).

And I also understand that the Transformers are vehicles–pardon the pun–to sell toys, but do they have to do so so blandly, as if the idea of an engaging story were enough to scare off the people who flock to see the movies to the tune of billions of dollars?

Disney does the same thing–in terms of producing movies with the intention of getting toys based on them on store shelves before whichever holiday season happens to be just around the corner–but their Pixar, Marvel Studios and other divisions typically tell interesting stories as well.

Are We Getting The Real Story As Far As The Fantastic Four Returning To Marvel Studios Goes?

Fantastic FourIn the past few days the rumor that the rights to the Fantastic Four had been returned to Marvel has been denied by both Fox and Marvel Studios.

Though the denials are interesting not only for what they say, but for what they don’t.

Marvel has granted Fox the rights to expand the Fox/X-Men universe into television, which they didn’t have prior.

Before I go any further, I think it’s worth acknowledging that Marvel Studios isn’t a charity and they aren’t going to give Fox anything for free though Marvel has given Fox the rights to make not only one television series, but two.

That’s also interesting because both of those shows, whenever they appear, will be competing against series on ABC, which like Marvel Studios is owned by Disney.

Charity is one thing, stupidity is another so I think we can disregard that Marvel gave them the rights to make two series for nothing in return.

Assuming that to be nonsense, what does Fox have–excluding the X-Men, which Marvel would love to have back but considering how much money they’re making for Fox  the likelihood that that will happen anytime soon is extremely unlikely–that Marvel Studios wants?

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‘Jurassic World’ Teaser Trailer

James Gunn, the director of Guardians Of The Galaxy, has some interesting words for studios that create cinematic universes based on weak properties, and it’s worth reading.  I mention it because Jurassic Park has spawned two sequels, Jurassic Park: The Lost World and Jurassic Park III so perhaps the time has arrived for a relaunch of the property.  Besides, Universal–the studio releasing Jurassic World–is unlike most other studios in that they don’t have much in the way of tentpoles like Disney and Sony, so they have to do the best with the properties they have.

Chris Pratt–also from Guardians Of The Galaxy–is playing the lead, so can we expect to see at least one dance-off between him and an dinosaur?

One can only hope.

‘Escape From Tomorrow’ Trailer

Escape From TomorrowTruth be told, I am less interested in “Escape From Tomorrow” as a movie than Disney’s non-response response to its production.  The makers of the indie film not only made their film at Disneyland, but appropriated many iconic ‘Disney’ elements in its advertising, such as the font that the film’s title is in, as well as the four-fingered hand of a certain Disney character.

And as much as Disney would like to think that that if they ignore this, it will go away, I’d be shocked if there weren’t some sort of negotiations going on behind the scenes because I suspect that the makers of porn parodies would absolutely love to use various Disney trademarks.

Is ‘Rise Of The Guardians’ Doing As Badly–From A Financial Standpoint–As Some Say?

Rise Of The Guardians poster 1DreamWorks’ “Rise of the Guardians, according to one analyst, is not only a failure, but requires somewhere in the neighborhood of a $95 million dollar write-off.  Sure, that’s not a John Carter-sized sized screwup, but it’s pretty large.

Though, when you think about it, that doesn’t really make sense, and here’s why:  The budget of “Rise of the Guardians” is $145 million dollars.  So far it has earned $279 million.

Let’s compare it with another movie, Disney’s “Wreck-It Ralph,” which as far as I aware has been better reviewed and considered a success (I also haven’t read anything about it losing money, at any rate).

The interesting thing is that it has production costs of $165 million, and has–so far–earned $311 million, almost double its costs.

Using that doubling of production costs as a reference point, it doesn’t appear to me that ‘Ralph’ isn’t doing any better than ‘Rise.’

So why is it, as I have asked before, that ‘Rise’ is somehow losing millions of dollars, and yet no one has mentioned ‘Wreck-It Ralph’s” financials, and how they probably aren’t quite up to par (especially if “Rise of the Guardians” is losing money)

As I have said before, “Rise of the Guardians” could be doing better, but is it nearly the disaster that it’s being made out to be?

I just don’t see it.

Why There Will Be a ‘Tron: Legacy’ Sequel (Or Doubters, I Told You So!)

Tron_Legacy_posterA bigger man would just be happy that Disney has put a sequel to 2010’s “Tron: Legacy” on a fast track, and leave it at that.

Luckily for me, I have never been that big a man because for years on various message boards I have said that there would be a sequel, if only because it made just over $400 million at the box-office (and that’s not including monies from DVD sales, toys, and related merchandise) on a budget of $170 million (though what I wished I definitely knew if a production budget included things like advertising costs, or is that’s separate).

Now that’s not a huge amount of money (based upon what the film cost) but it isn’t a failure either.

On various sites, such as Superherohype and Aint It Cool News! (if you go through the postings, I am ‘makneil.’), I have had to deal with the doubters that–for reasons that tended to go beyond whether or not they liked the film or not)–believed that there should be no sequel.

Though as far as I could see, that there would be a sequel is fairly obvious.  Besides the money it brought in, there’s the fact that the original film came out in 1982, so a sequel would be relatively unknown to the movie going public.

That’s why “Tron: Legacy’s” earnings were looked upon so positively, when it was all said and done: The original film came out in 1982, the sequel 30 years later.

That it did so well, under the circumstances, was missed by many.

Another fact that’s not remembered is that the original film was not that successful, achieving primarily cult status.

When you look at the variables that I have considered, there’s was little doubt about the way Disney would go.

I expect DreamWorks’ “Rise of the Guardians” to take a similar path.  It’s currently performing somewhat weak domestically, earning slightly less than half its production budget ($145 million) but has almost earned that amount overseas ($119.4 million).