Film | by Shane “Urge To Merge” Hnetka
Warner Bros. Chairman Toby Emmerich recently did an interview for Entertainment Weekly discussing the company’s struggles at making a superhero cinematic universe, and he had a theory on the lukewarm reception to recent DC movies.
“I think the good movies work better,” Emmerich told EW. “Somebody once said the best business strategy in motion pictures is quality. And I think in a world of Rotten Tomatoes and social media, what’s been proven [is] the better the movie — particularly in the superhero genre — the better it performs. You can’t hide the bacon anymore.”
I like that it’s taken them this long to realize that making crappy movies doesn’t make them money. Not sure what bacon they hid in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, though, but that movie sure did suck.
Consolidate Consolidate Consolidate!!!
The movie industry has changed lots over the years. Companies have emerged, merged, split and been absorbed by larger corporations. It’s like one of those animations about prehistoric amoebas gobbling-up each other and evolving.
But big corporations buying the studios is nothing new. Back in the 1980s, Warner merged with Time. Paramount was bought by Gulf And Western in the 1960s (which also tried to buy Time when Warner Bros. was buying the company).
Everyone wants Intellectual Property. As the digital age continues mergers have become a way to stay ahead of the competition, as well as stockpile content for their own streaming services to compete with Amazon, Netflix and others.
Disney has been buying up companies left, right and centre. Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm are all owned by the Mouse House, and Fox might be next. AT&T just bought Time Warner, which has led Comcast to try and outbid Disney on Fox.
It should be interesting to see what happens. If Fox bails on the Disney deal they have to pay Disney $1.525 billion, which Comcast says it will cover.
All these mergers are creating massive corporations that control content, which could make life more expensive in the future. If you want to watch shows with DC superheroes, you’ll have to subscribe to AT&T; if you want to watch Star Wars, Disney and Marvel movies you’ll have to subscribe to Disney. It seems like an expensive future for viewers. Well, maybe the house of cards will collapse.
The Windmills Win
Sometimes a person just can’t win. Terry Gilliam has lost the rights to his life-long movie project, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. A couple years ago he made a deal with producer Paulo Branco, who never supplied the funds for the movie and made demands Gilliam wouldn’t agree to after the contract was signed. Gilliam found new funding and made his movie; problem was that Branco still had that contract, and now a French court has ruled he still owns the movie. All that blood, sweat and work for nothing.
Shane Hnetka is a made-in-Saskatchewan film and comic book nerd. Read his weekly column Sunday Matinee on our blog.