Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Flushed . . .

Despite the fact that Flushed Away is exceeding expert's projections during its first two weeks in North American theaters, DreamWorks announced today that they're taking a "write down" on the film, declaring after 13 days of release that they expect to lose money on the film. The linked article goes on to say "The extent of the write-down depends on factors such as domestic and international theatrical results, revenues related to worldwide free and pay television, home video sales, and distribution and marketing costs, DreamWorks said." In other words, it will be a good nine months to a year before anyone knows how the film will ultimately do worldwide, in theaters and on DVD, but why wait? . . .

This Bloomberg article goes into more detail, especially about the already anticipated Paul Allen stock sell off. As was previously noted, it's in Mr. Allen's interest to sell these shares when the stock is at its lowest, so that his remaining shares will be worth more. The article also notes that the company may buy back some of it's own stock, so that's a second incentive for the stock to be lower for right now. One wonders if the seeming rush to write down Flushed Away is more related to those factors, and less to how well the film is actually doing?

13 comments:

floyd norman said...

Much to my surprise, "Flushed Away" is a darn good little film. It's truly DreamWorks at its best. Or, perhaps I should say, Ardman at its best.

Anyway, DreamWorks' troubles have more to do with billionaire boy, Paul Allen than their movie business. Mr. Allen wants to see a return on his considerable investment. DreamWorks has yet to truly live up to its hype.

Steve Hulett said...

When your company doesn't own a distribution pipeline and has to deliver a monster blockbuster every time at bat, it has a challenging business model to fulfill.

Pixar, the only other indie similar to DreamWorks, is no longer an indie. There is, I think, a reason for this: it's tough to be a stand-alone.

DanO said...

i'll tell ya, i really want to ride on that inflatable slide!
where is that thing? i'll knock down old ladies and push kids out of the way to get on it.

floyd norman said...

Well said.

Steve Jobs is no fool.

Anonymous said...

"exceeding expert's projections"

Hardly. Flushed way deserved it's title. Love Aardman, but the dw meddling showed.

Anonymous said...

"Flushed Away" was, like "Over the Hedge" a cute movie for little kids. Nothing wrong with that! I'm glad kids like them because the videos are cheap and great to divert their attention, even if only for an hour or so.

Anonymous said...

steve jobs is a genuis. selling Pixar for the insane amount of 7.5B while on top, was one of the greatest moves ever made. i am still amazed at Disney's purchase.

Anonymous said...

sad to say Joe was probably about a huge amount of what Disney really purchased. he will be forever missed.

Anonymous said...

This ploy of coming out and proclaiming one's own product as a clear failure sure seems familiar... sort of like what Michael did with Treasure Planet on the Monday after it opened. No attempt to try to go before the public and say "Hey , folks, we've got a really great movie here, why not give it a try" to salvage things...Nope, just write it off and move on. Weird how when they really , really want to dis-associate themselves from something or someone how they are willing to flush $149 million down the tubes.

Kevin Koch said...

Of course, they're not flushing $149 million. After worldwide theatrical and DVD and pay per view and all that, how much will the film really lose? I'll bet not much.

Anonymous said...

Sure , I understand that, Kevin, but their public attitude (since the rift with Aardman) seems like they are distancing themselves from the film and any success it may have later on in foreign markets and DVD sales will not be emphasized by the studio or by press like Variety.com By rolling over and acting like the film is just an outright flop they have added to the perception of an "animation glut" and that animated films just don't perform well enough.

Kevin Koch said...

True, though so far it looks like they're trying to have it both ways -- announce it's a failure and take the write-down, and yet I still see advertising for the film. When the Oscar race really gets going, it'll be interesting to see how they handle that.

Steve Hulett said...

steve jobs is a genuis. selling Pixar for the insane amount of 7.5B while on top, was one of the greatest moves ever made. i am still amazed at Disney's purchase.

So is (I've been told) David Stainton.

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