Why Studios Don't Pay to Make Movies Anymore (Analysis)

"John Carter"
"John Carter"

Fewer films, farmed-out risk, less cachet -- why Hollywood now operates under dramatically different rules.



Rothman has only been gone since September, but “the whole tenor of Fox has changed,” says an agent. “We’re feeling them being very aggressive.” Gianopulos says that despite the studio’s reputation for frugality, it has always made bold moves (see Avatar). He says the studio’s vision will be more of the same, to a point. “We’ve always had a culture of fiscal responsibility but seek to strike the right balance,” he says. “It’s a balance of risk. When you’re up in these numbers, it’s still a pretty scary and challenging business.” Fox hedges its bets through a massive investment by the funds Dune (it has a piece of nearly all Fox movies) and Ingenious and various arrangements with New Regency. It maintains its emphasis on strong overseas distribution. “We believe in the value and importance of the international market,” Gianopulos says. Distributing movies for outside companies like DreamWorks Animation, which signed a five-year deal in August, only helps Fox maintain a huge and efficient overseas operation.


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