After a year of flops and declining DVD sales, CEO Robert Iger is taking Disney films in two very distinct directions to boost profits.
Only blockbusters with excessive merchandising potential or cheap movies featuring cheap actors, will get the green light, according to New York Magazine,
Everything in between — such as a sequel to Sandra Bullock’s The Proposal, which grossed $315 million — won’t make the cut.
It’s all part of Disney’s new edict to make, essentially, only two kinds of films: The $150 million-plus blockbuster with lots of CGI and merchandising (i.e., anything that was once a ride at Disneyland or already a Disney title; anything old or new from Pixar; or a major character at Marvel Studios, for which it paid $4 billion last year) or the $30 million project with young, cheap, on-the-cusp movie stars. (Think Freaky Friday, a Disney-associated title which the studio is talking about making yet again, just seven years after the Lindsay Lohan remake.) “Everything in the middle,” says one producer on the Disney lot, “is toast.”
This approach makes sense. Disney is the world’s largest licenser of consumer products, selling $30 billion worth of additional merchandise in 2008. And they can dig deep into acquired companies Pixar and Marvel, which cost them $10 billion total, to find toy-friendly storylines.
So more Toy Story-types are on the way. We can expect to see fewer dramas from Disney, and across the movie industry, of course. But could we persuade Disney to make a Proposal sequel with a McDonald’s partnership to dole out Sandra Bullock figurines with Happy Meals?
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