Friday, July 19, 2013

Baby Disney

DWA charts a new course.

[Turbo marks] the beginning of an era where DWA depends less on box-office and more on TV, video games, theme parks and merchandising.

The film is tracking from $30 million to $35 million over its five-day opening weekend, a lower-than-desired result for the company. ... DWA is at work on Turbo-based TV series, which will premiere on Netflix in December. Though not the company's first small-screen foray, the Turbo deal augured a far more ambitious future for the company in the TV business. ...

Turbo is not just a film. It's a TV series, a video game, a theme park attraction and, first and foremost, a brand.

It's a page from the Disney playbook: "Cars" grossed $461 million at the box office, solid for a Pixar movie but nothing extraordinary. Yet Disney took that movie and sold toys, a video game, and a theme park that has helped boost sales both at California Adventure and the adjacent hotel. ...

Jeffrey Katzenberg often says he learned the cartoon business from Walt, going over old sweat-box notes to figure out how the D.W. Griffith/John Ford of animated features put them together several lifetimes ago.
Stands to reason that he's taking another leaf out of the Disney playbook and diversifying into amusement parks, games and merchandise. When your business model is "Make a hit movie ... make another hit movie ... make another hit movie ..." ad infinitum, you're bound to hit rough patches, because they ain't all going to be hits.

It's tough to run your company like it's a sub-set of a conglomerate when it's not. And it's a challenge to expand into new areas, but it's a move that needs to be made. Otherwise your cartoon studio goes the way of the Fleischers rather than Uncle Walt.


Anonymous said...

Now if Jeffery could just buy a successful cable sports network then he'd have a real business!

Steve Hulett said...

No doubt he's working on it.

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