Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Hollywood Babble On & On #1133: Conjuring Up A Lawsuit

Here's a little tale of terror that's guaranteed to curl your hair, or, if your hair is already curly, straighten it.

Once upon a time, a horror film called The Conjuring was made for about $20 million, and about another $20 million was spent on prints and advertising.

The Conjuring got good notices and excellent word of mouth and raked in $138 million domestically, and another $180 million at the international box office.

Now this should be where I say: "And they all made sequels happily ever after" but I can't.

Because according to the producers all the profits DISAPPEARED!

The film's producer's Evergreen Media claim in their lawsuit that not only has their contracted profit participation not been paid, they're also fighting over who has control over the rights to any and all sequels and that the dispute scotched a proposed Conjuring TV series deal with Lionsgate.

Now I don't know the details of the contracts, or the personal relationships between the major players in this case, but all I can say is:


Why does every business  partnership involving a major studio seem to end in litigation?

Why do major studios look at potentially lucrative franchises and the first thing they think of is how can they ruin relationships with the people who made that franchise possible?

Why do I always have to assume that it's always the studio's fault?

Why can't Hollywood studios accept the first rule of real capitalism?

You don't know what that rule is?

Oh, well I'll drop some explaining on your lap.

The first rule of capitalism is that in any business relationship all sides get what they want.

Here's an example: you want to buy a cup of coffee at your local chain store. You want the coffee more than you want the money in your pocket, and the clerk wants your money more than they want that triple chocolate latte double-double vente fortissimo congealing on their counter.

You get your coffee, they get your money.

You both got what you wanted.

Why can't Hollywood grasp that?

They could probably milk about 3 to 4 more Conjuring movies with comparable budgets and similar box office if they manage to maintain a similar level of quality before they hit the inevitable law of diminishing returns.

Why not just do those movie and television projects with a minimum of fuss and muss and litigation, relax, and let them make everyone some money?

It's not rocket science, it's just plain old common sense.


  1. D, you think this is a big reason why Hollywood always gets capitalism and businesses etc. Heck, when I read some of these I start to see why the movies have this weird trope about "greedy" businesses doing things that would actually cost more money than... almost any other possible action. What about you? You think that's where it comes from?

  2. Adam Smith's complete capitalist manifesto makes it clear that capitalism doesn't work in an amoral society. Which explains Hollywood.

  3. Rainforest Giant5/4/14 2:36 pm

    Hollywood is ego stroking and shady business all wrapped up in decadence that would make Sodom and Gomorrah blush.

    They are the scorpion on the frog's back. The frog knew the nature of the scorpion before he gave him a ride.