Monday, December 19, 2011

Movie Studios' Report Cards

The Mouse pares its budgets.

... Burdened the last few years by a flurry of ambitious films that were undermined by their costs -- "A Christmas Carol," "Prince of Persia" and "Tangled" -- Disney downshifted in 2011 to a lower-risk strategy. ...

Through last week, Disney's film slate had grossed $3.36 billion globally, down about 12 percent from 2010's $3.77 billion despite a 20 percent decline in the number of movies released.

Overall profit for Disney's studio entertainment operations for the fiscal year ending Oct. 1 -- a tally that also includes home video -- decreased 11 percent to $618 million on revenue of $6.4 billion. ...

It's been a rugged season for movie studios and film distributors.

Looks like Wall Street is reacting to a weak holiday season at the box office, judging by how the movie-exhibition stocks fared Monday.

Regal Entertainment shares dropped 9 percent Monday to $12.11 and are off 14 percent since Dec. 1. Carmike Cinemas, meanwhile, dropped 5 percent on Monday, while Cinemark Holdings was off 3 percent. ...

With tepid box office results and thinner profit margins, nobody seems able to catch a break.

Even when a company has a hit, there's somebody to point out that secondary markets are sucky, and that follow-up features should be making more money.

Disappointing DVD sales for Kung Fu Panda 2 and lower-than-expected overseas box office receipts for Puss in Boots has one analyst lowering his expectations for DreamWorks Animation. ...

Even if you rake in four or six hundred million dollars, the troubles just don't entirely go away. DVD sales will never be what they were a decade ago.

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Those budgets last year were way too high for films that couldn't live up to their huge production costs. It puts the film at an immediate disadvantage in this horrific economy we're suffering through.

Anonymous said...

And according to several sources (Variety, Nikki), a more accurate appraisel of john carter's budget is well north of $300 million. It's the primary reason Dis said no to the original Lone Ranger budget. Since the film has been tracking poorly (recent test screenings have been duds), and the trailers have had tepid response, Disney executives are very nervous about their jobs.

Anonymous said...

Funny the analysts mention Tangled's $260 million budget. With weak DVD sales, one wonders if it will be out of the red any time soon--especially with toy sales for that property not showing legs.

angry stock holder said...

So yeah, the ugly truth is that Tangled still has not turned a profit at the box-office because of it's incredibly bloated budget of $260 million.

But it was "anointed" as a box-office hit even though the bottom line would show that it's still in the red.

yahweh said...

It's about perception...

Anonymous said...

Disney spent around $6 Billion to profit around $600 Million. I don't know much about investments but is a 10% return in one year considered successful?

Anonymous said...

--> Disney spent around $6 Billion to profit around $600 Million.


Ah, yes, but they are still paying the catering bill for the Executive lunches at ImageMovers Digital.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 6:27 said...

>Funny the analysts mention Tangled's $260 million budget. With weak DVD sales, one wonders if it will be out of the red any time soon--especially with toy sales for that property not showing legs.<

Weak DVD and toy sales? But it seems that everyone I know outside of the industry owns the DVD and their houses are filled with Rapunzel toys!

I really really don't understand how this industry works.

Anonymous said...

^
Hollywood is exactly like Las Vegas, which is exactly like Goldman Sachs and Wall Street - the house always wins, even when they lose.

Anonymous said...

Pay no attention to the anti-Tangled troll. He rears his ugly head every time the film is mentioned on this blog.

Here's the facts: Tangled DVD was the #2 DVD of the year...

http://www.the-numbers.com/dvd/charts/annual/2011.php

And, merchandise reports:

http://www.earningswhispers.com/newsarticle.asp?symbol=DIS&article=158431849&adate=5/10/2011%204:15:02%20PM

"Consumer Products revenues for the quarter increased 5% to $626 million and segment operating income increased 7% to $142 million as improvements at the Disney Store North America and Merchandise Licensing were offset by a decrease at Publishing.

The increase at the Disney Store North America was primarily due to comparable store sales growth and improved margins reflecting the strength of Tangled and Toy Story merchandise. Improved Merchandise Licensing results reflected the strong performance of Cars and Tangled merchandise."

Carry on.

Anonymous said...

Lol.

Only in Trollsville is having the number 2 dvd of the year "weak dvd sales".

Anonymous said...

With 96 million dollars in sales, Tangled is the number one grossing dvd of 2011.

Ridiculous troll is clearly taking stupid pills.

Steve Hulett said...

[Tangled] was "anointed" as a box-office hit even though the bottom line would show that it's still in the red.


Dear Angry:

We know the picture is in the red how? And please source your data.

Anonymous said...

Wonder how much longer Rich Ross will keep his position now that the Muppets has run out of gas.

Anonymous said...

Oh look, that OTHER troll! This is a bona-fide troll reunion!

Anonymous said...

So much for the risk-taking Disney. With less movies each year, they are making "predictable" entertainment more than ever. For example, John Carter is their last-minute attempt to cash in on Avatar and Lord of the Rings, judging by the production design and comments I've heard from others around the net.

And as for Tangled being a disappointment, that was a foregone conclusion, only because it isn't Pixar. The overall success and failure of a product often depends upon which "side" you're on and what "angle" one is playing.

el diablo said...

'Here's the facts: Tangled DVD was the #2 DVD of the year...

One sided assesment...nice try bucko! Here are three links showing dvd sales for tangled didnt make the top ten...

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/rentrak-announces-top-dvd-sales-171600735.html

http://www.app.com/article/CN/20111205/NJENT03/312050021/Top-DVD-sales-box-office-draws?odyssey=mod_sectionstories

http://www.filmcrave.com/dvd_top.php



keep trying to fudge the numbers...as for merchandise, merchandise has nothing to do with the quality of a movie. If your trying to appeal to popularity, again, thats the argumentum ad populum, which is again, an argument that's irrelevant to the movie's merit's or lack there off.

diablo

Anonymous said...

**Oh look, that OTHER troll! This is a bona-fide troll reunion!**

Says the leader of the self-delusion reunion.

The Muppets has tanked. No more Kermie movies. Deal with it.

Anonymous said...

"...as for merchandise, merchandise has nothing to do with the quality of a movie. If your trying to appeal to popularity, again, thats the argumentum ad populum, which is again, an argument that's irrelevant to the movie's merit's or lack there off."

This thread is about Hollywood movie studios, right? Since when are we discussing the quality or merit of an individual movie? Am I missing something?

Hollywood builds franchises from intellectual property - especially Disney. "Movies" have very little to do with Hollywood anymore. It is all about the entire 'package' or whatever you want to call a bundled revenue stream. And Tangled, without a doubt, was a winner, and far more than most.

Anonymous said...

keep trying to fudge the numbers

No offense diablo, but what the FUCK are you talking about? What, you think I'm the owner of the-numbers.com website or something? Im just providing links to actual, factual data.

No one is fudging anything, except for maybe you droppin fudge in your little crybaby poopy pants.

Anonymous said...

The Muppets has tanked

Im confused. With a budget of 45 million and a 77 million cume so far (still has legs in theaters), and a good chance of it making another chunk in DVD sales, how EXACTLY is that tanking?

You want an example of tanking, look at movies like the Conan reboot. 90 mil production budget, worldwide cume of 48 mil.

Did you fail math class you tiny little troll?

Anonymous said...

Sorry Diablo, I forgot to mention the most important thing. THE LINKS YOU PROVIDED ARE FOR THE PREVIOUS WEEK. NOT THE TOTALS FOR THE YEAR.

Of course Tangled isnt the top DVD of last week you fuggin retard. Its #2 of OF THE WHOLE GODDAMN YEAR.

Seriously, why do I bother arguing with you people?

Anonymous said...

"Weak DVD and toy sales? But it seems that everyone I know outside of the industry owns the DVD and their houses are filled with Rapunzel toys!:

Tangled toys did marginally well, but don't have legs. And DVD sales are down about 45% from a few years back. Including for cartoons like Tangled.

A cartoon I liked a lot.

Just because I state facts doesn't make me a troll. Maybe you ought to take off the rose colored glasses.

Anonymous said...

Which facts were those again? Care to cite sources?

Anonymous said...

Annual report. Hollywood reporter. Variety. L.A. Times. Wall Street Journal.

You can be a fanboy all you want--but the facts don't change.

Anonymous said...

The facts regarding films like Tangled costing too much and not able to get out of the red during their theatrical run is exactly what the article you quoted is about , Steve.

"Burdened the last few years by a flurry of ambitious films that were undermined by their costs -- "A Christmas Carol," "Prince of Persia" and "Tangled"...

I liked Tangled. Saw it twice in the theater. I bought the BluRay. But $260 million production cost ? C'mon ... that's irresponsible.

Anonymous said...

Listing the names of websites and trades you read us not "citing sources," you bozo.

And going from "burdened by high production costs" to "Tangled is still in the red" is a huge leap. The article says nothing of the sort. YOU said that

Let's recap. I still fail to see where Tangled did not turn a profit. 600 million theatrical run and 100 more in DVD...I'm pretty sure that's way more than doubling the budget.

And you may call Tangled's budget irresponsible, and on one hand I agree. But to be fair, Rapunzel, in some form, was in pre-production for 7 long years before Byron and Nathan took over and started from scratch to make what we now know as Tangled.

Anonymous said...

"Sorry Diablo, I forgot to mention the most important thing. THE LINKS YOU PROVIDED ARE FOR THE PREVIOUS WEEK. NOT THE TOTALS FOR THE YEAR.

Of course Tangled isnt the top DVD of last week you fuggin retard. Its #2 of OF THE WHOLE GODDAMN YEAR."


Quoted for awesomeness. el Diablo is pwnd! Does it hurt to be that stupid?

What. A. Fucking. Idiot.

Anonymous said...

"Im confused."

Obviously. Especially regarding proper punctuation.

"With a budget of 45 million and a 77 million cume so far (still has legs in theaters), and a good chance of it making another chunk in DVD sales, how EXACTLY is that tanking?"

Ah, there's something else you're confused about. "45 million budget" is a bogus number only neophytes believe. The movie cost much more than that when you factor in advertising (reportedly Disney spent around $90 million on trying to push the Muppets onto a largely unwilling public). And then there's the fact that movies have to make up to 3 times their overall budget before they can start turning a profit. The Muppets movie isn't making anywhere near that and at this point, never will.

And my quote about the Muppetfilm "running out of gas" is taken directly from the authoritative website "Deadline Hollywood":
http://www.deadline.com/2011/12/major-hollywood-studios-market-share-2011/

Now why don't you hop over there and tell darling Nikki that SHE'S a troll too?

Anonymous said...

Hollywood budgets are a lie, but in the other direction. Most reported production budgets are half in reality. They do this to get the public excited by a big budget movie, because big budget means good right?

Plus they like doctoring the numbers. You wonder why nobody takes a Net Deal from studios. Nobody makes money off of movies anymore. Or at least what they let the IRS know.

Anonymous said...

^The fact that studios doctor numbers is very true. But Disney has been downplaying the Muppets' numbers (never mentioning the P & A budget) because it doesn't want the film to appear as what it is - a disappointment. After all, it's trying to relaunch a franchise it probably shouldn't have bought in the first place, and if the public perceives that the franchise's comeback film has failed, then bye-bye to any merchandising sales (which, as of this writing, have been distressingly sluggish as it is).

Basically, all you have to do is compare the Muppets "comeback" with the comebacks of the Chipmunks and the Smurfs to realize what a weak sister the Muppets franchise is by comparison.

Anonymous said...

"Im confused."

Obviously. Especially regarding proper punctuation.


Wait...you're actually busting my balls for not putting the apostrophe between the "I" and the "m" of "I'm?" REALLY?

Dude, seriously? Go fuck yourself.

Look, I'm (yes "I'm," you douche nozzle) discussing what's publicly reported. We can speculate all day about the numbers that studios may or may not lie about, but the benchmark of this discussion is about reported numbers.

Otherwise, this discussion is pointless and baseless and we could all just make up whatever we want to support our own biased opinion.

Internally, Tangled is considered a big success both creatively and financially. It's made WDAS much more stable, and they're pushing ahead with amazing, creative ideas (I went to their open house, in case you're wondering). I dont know anything about The Muppets, other than what's reported online, and from what I can tell, it's a huge creative success, and so far a modest financial success.

Nothing wrong with that.

But go on making yourself feel better by rumor-mongering and correcting punctuation. It must be pretty awful having a tiny penis, so I forgive you.

TotalD said...

Rather than argue the results, lets ask some real questions. Our money is worth half since Reagan yet these budgests have climbed far beyond inflation or money costs. I've worked on 2.5 million dollar features and 200 millin dollar features. I keep asking the question, how are these budget arrived at ? For example, can the union give us the estimate costs of a union crew on a production like Tangled? That would at least give us an idea where a % is being spent.

And it's Christmas so I hope everyone is ok.

For a long time there has been a lot of verbal jousting over the results when really , it's the cration costs that have me mystified.

Anonymous said...

The Muppets is a clunker for Disney. The *reported* numbers prove it. It'll probably finish at 80 million stateside, thus not even doubling the *reported* production budget and not covering a cent of the publicity costs. "Creative success" is a matter of opinion. I thought the movie was a crashing bore. But then I guess I don't "comprehend the Muppets on a deeper level than you." :P

And on that note, I'd insult YOUR masculinity, but I doubt you have any.

Anonymous said...

Ballparking it:

300 employees, average salary 80k working for 3.5 years (maybe a smaller crew for 2.5 years, then a giant crew for a year or two, but it probably averages out to something like that) equals...

84 million. Add in costs for building overhead, actor pay, etc etc, its easy to see it go up into the 120-150 range.

For Tangled, add in the 7 years of Rapunzel, then Rapunzel unbraided, execs leaving and director changes, before Tangled even gets started, and thats where you get skyrocketing costs

Point is, the primary coast of any film is salaries.

Anonymous said...

But then I guess I don't "comprehend the Muppets on a deeper level than you."

I havent seen The Muppets. But I trust the 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, and dont have arrogance to claim I have better taste than 97% of the population.

I never claimed to like it. I said (quoting myself here, because clearly you didnt read it the first time):

I dont know anything about The Muppets, other than what's reported online, and from what I can tell, it's a huge creative success, and so far a modest financial success.

So I guess we can now assume that small penis size directly correlates with illiteracy. Good to know.

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

The Muppets is successful enough for Disney. It still hasn't had a full foreign release.

It will net more than Percy Jackson did globally, and that is getting a sequel.

Disney has already gone on record saying that Muppets has exceeded its expectations.

97% Positive on Rotten Tomatoes does mean a critical success.

Count me in the 3%. But just because I don't like a film, doesn't mean I need to say it isn't successful, when it clearly is.

Anonymous said...

Muppets was a cute re-start to a once amazing franchise. I liked it, my kids liked it, but you can't help wonder how much Disney spent trying to sell it to the movie going public. In the end it may break even but it still was a decent film overall for the fans.

Doug Bennett said...

Hey Steve, if the union is going to have a blog, it really needs to start taking responsibility for it. If ever there was a case for moderating comments, this thread is it.

Can you not have a policy where any post that includes name-calling is deleted? What is the point of having childish arguments like those above on the union blog? They add nothing to our union, our industry and our art.

Anonymous said...

This isn't a union blog. This is Steve's blog.

El Animador said...

Yeah, but what if you agree with the guy doing the name-calling? A dilemma!

Anonymous said...

What's worse, name calling or people spreading false information about studios in the union?

Anonymous said...

"Internally, Tangled is considered a big success both creatively and financially."

Artistically--no question. Financially--it just ain't so.

Anonymous said...

Care to cite sources? No? Didn't think so. Troll elsewhere please

Anonymous said...

Already did, troll/fanboy. If you can't stand the facts, stay out of reality. You're good at it.

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