Monday, 17 August 2009

Hollywood Babble On & On #349: Some News Bits

Welcome to the show folks, here are a few takes on recent movie-biz news.


Dreamworks has finalized their deal for financing from India's Reliance BIG media, and distribution via Disney's Touchstone Pictures.

This looks like a good deal for everyone. There's some real cooperation between Bollywood and Hollywood, and I like cooperation, Disney gets some product for their borderline moribund Touchstone Pictures label, and if things work out they could both stand to make some good money.

I just hope they follow some simple advice:

For Hollywood:

1. Keep things simple. Their vagari
es of international finance complicates things enough as it is. This deal does not need Hollywood bookkeeping making it worse.

2. Remember that Bollywood is bigger than Westerners like us can ever comprehend. It has a built in billion+ audience in India alone, as well as millions of other fans worldwide. While folks like I may jest about the film's simple stories and spontaneous musical numbers, the people behind them are not rubes. They are sophisticated business people who have managed to build a powerful industry in a country with a myriad of hindrances to a successful enterprise, from massive poverty, to bureaucratic meddling. Don't let your Hollywood ego drive a wedge between you.

For Bollywood:

1. I think the best advice I can give comes from some Cold War nuclear arms reduction treaty negotiations. Trust, but verify. Get your own accountants looking in on things.

2. Put some of those stunning Bollywood actresses in Dreamworks movies. If only for me.


Independent producer Halcyon, the folks behind the attempted revival of
The Terminator franchise are suing the hedge fund Pacificor for a variety of financial sins both mortal and venal over the financing of Terminator: Salvation. They are also accusing the man who helped broker the deal of pretending to be Halcyon's agent when he was, they allege, secretly working for Pacificor.

Now do you see why I keep demanding simplicity in film financing. The more complications, the more lawsuits. It's that simple.


Summit, the independent distributor of such hits like Twilight, recently got their ass handed to them on a plate with the release, and crashing of their movie Bandslam.

Now Nikki Finke received a message from someone claiming to be an "insider" at Summit, claiming stubbornness at a high level at the company made them wrongly sell the pic as a High School Musical rip-off when it was more of a John Hughes teen drama, with music.

And despite some people disagreeing with the veracity of the e-mail, you really can't buck the accuracy. The film scored an overall 80%+ at Rotten Tomatoes, and almost 90% with the top critics. That's pretty impressive, and should have done way better than the ass end of the Top 10, with a per-screen average beaten by my home movies of my trip to the hardware store. (Which Roger Ebert declared: "A slapstick masterpiece.")

The film's performance shows an egregious failure at Summit, and puts the continued success of the Twilight franchise into question. I mean, the fury of the Twilight fans can only burn so hot for so long, when it starts to dim, you need a slick and professional marketing campaign that knows the audience to keep the franchise going until the finish line.

Maybe a couple of hot Bollywood starlets could liven it all up?

Damn I got a one track mind.


  1. I was first thinking the film was a dud because it was pure CRAP. But the ratings on RT prove otherwise.

    BANDSLAM is an example of a pretty passable film that was just handled and marketed badly. Hopefully it will find legs on DVD.

    A good example of this mismanagement was the repeated title changes. The film went from being called WILL, to ROCK-ON to BANDSLAM, it shows that like Land of the Lost, the powers behind this film did not know how to sell this.

    They basically tried to do the EPISODE 1 trick, that is get people to pay for a ticket to watch a trailer for a hyped film that everyone wants to get a glimpse of.

  2. What was the exclusive trailer being played in front of this movie?

    I fell for that when they released 'Wing Commander' and that was one awesome ad for 'Star Wars' the younger bland years.

    Well.. I also went to watch the movie since it was written by the same guy who made that great game with Mark Hamill...

  3. It was the trailer for New Moon, the next film in the insipid Twilight franchise.