Monday, September 16, 2013
Disney Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo - as reported by The Wrap the other day - recently stated that The Lone Ranger taught the company a valuable lesson... One that should've been taught to them many moons ago... (The same goes for every other big studio.)
What lesson is that you might ask? Don't spend so much money on a non-franchise tentpole film!!!
I've rambled about this before, but I'm glad it's finally dawning on these people that something like The Lone Ranger didn't need to cost $215 million to make, let alone $250 million - as originally planned. Perhaps other big studios ought to realize this as well. How in the world did Universal's derided R.I.P.D. cost $130 million while something like Super 8 cost $50 million and looked just as good, if not better? Gravity is another fine example of what you can do with a reasonable budget and look just as fine as some $200 million blockbuster.
I just wish that Disney thought about this over three years ago; maybe something like John Carter wouldn't have cost anywhere close to $200 million. Perhaps they would've scored a more profitable success with Jerry Bruckheimer's failed Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and actually start a franchise of sorts since the first film almost met their expectations. One could say that The Lone Ranger is the belated culmination of the Rich Ross era, after all, the overspending happened during his tenure as Chairman of the Walt Disney Studios.
Maybe since that film has finally been released, Walt Disney Studios' live action pictures will start carrying smaller price tags. Is Chairman Alan Horn planning on keeping budgets down? Are the 2014 blockbuster/tentpoles like Tomorrowland and Into The Woods going to cost $150 million or less while the Marvel/Lucasfilm projects are the ones that'll carry the $200+ million budgets?
Speaking of which, Rasulo went on to justify $200+ million for things like Marvel films and Star Wars installments, since those are expected to gross lots both domestic and worldwide - and to be fair that's inevitable. But even those don't need to cost so much...
Oh well, better late than never I suppose...
Update (9/17/13): Apparently Mr. Horn is going to put the leash on Bruckheimer and keep him from overspending on films. Good idea, and maybe he'll be able to keep producing films for the company. Well, let's hope they up the quality in the process. (Pipe dream.)