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Paramount/SKG split costs for WOTW?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Out of curiousity- If you have the world's most bankable director and the world's biggest star, why would you split producing/distribution costs?

I know business is business but it would seem that in regard to this film (based purely on the premise, director and talent attached) it defines the term "Exception to the rule".

Any industry savvy folk here who can explain that in a nutshell?

Just curious.
post #2 of 14
The movie was supposedly the first to be greenlit with a 200 mil budget. As far as I know, they decided to even it up within the two studios.
post #3 of 14
Yeah, I'm pretty sure it's because teaming the most popular director with the most popular star costs, roughly, a gajillion dollars.
post #4 of 14

Minority Report's boxoffice was a bit lackluster

I wonder if the "just okay" returns for Spielber's and Cruse's last outing, Minority Report made them skitish to go it alone. Minority Report grossed $358 million worldwide, and only half of that ($175 million) would have likely made its way back to the studio. I would guess that both Cruise and Spielberg had some meaningful backend points, reducing that return lower. With a budget just over $100 million, and P&A estimated at $40 million, you pretty much just break even at the boxoffice, leaving only DVD/video and TV sales for profit.

Given it double in size budget, if WOTW did similar or even just slightly better numbers than Minority Report, it would big a sizeable money loser.
post #5 of 14
From what I understand, the early reported number of $200 million was erroneous. It's actually something closer to 100-130 million, and in today's market of smaller and smaller returns, splitting the cost is the best way to make a profit.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
These arguments and points all make sense but I'm still surprised by it.

I guess it's because I assume a title like WOTW which is so well know isn't as much a risk as a Minority Report. Meaning, I could see them having some doubt because MR is a flat out SCI-FI flick set in the future with a bald, weird pre-cog chick. Whereas WOTW is set in modern day and everyone knows about the story already either from Welles radio gimmick (not personally, historically) or the 50's flick.

Most people are very familiar with the title: War of The Worlds, regardless of whether or not you've seen or heard either the radio show or the 50's flick.

So I just assume that if there's one guaranteed flick you don't worry about a return of your investment on, that one would be it.

But then again, I don't have $130,000,000 plus P&A laying around.

Thanks for your replies.
post #7 of 14
But then again, Minority Report was the first Spielberg/Cruise collaboration and some may think that War of the Worlds is a "cheesy" property. Cruise was also more bankable back then.
post #8 of 14
Paramount has the legal rights to the film title "WOTW", and the film rights to the book in countries where it is still under copyright (The UK and Europe)which means that if you wanted to make the film you have to go to Paramount, and they could pretty much dictate terms since without their OK, no film.
The 130 Million dollar figure is correct. A big budget but hardly the biggest ever.
Yes, if you split the costs you also split the profits, but you also split the risks. And there was no guarantee this was going to become a Event film until the first trailers came out and got the buzz going.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Nice info about Paramount, dudalb. Thanks.

All these posts are solid. Your arguments make sense.

As a follow-up comment to Mastonikolas, you're right.

The interesting thing with this whole Cruise/Kat debacle is that we have finally, historically, seen the beginning of the end of the world's top star.

Each other period in history they've just sort of been replaced gradually as they grow older. Paul Newman/Burt Reynolds/Clint Eastwood - To Stallone/Murphy - etc. Nothing dramatic happened. We didn't really "see" it coming. It just happened. They got older and someone younger, more hip came along.

But with all this over-exposure and weirdness coming out of Cruise lately, we've managed to see our first global superstar actually Jump The Shark.

Stranger still is that I'm more consciously aware of Cruise's short stature now. Never have been before. Ever. But suddenly I'm seeing him as a short guy.

Is it because I see him too much now and get to compare him more to those he's standing with or being interviewed by? I'm not sure. I think it's a psychological thing associated with the energetic bursts coming out of him left and right over the last month. He actually looks small sitting there and babbling. I can't explain it any better than that.

And hey, I'm all about supporting free will. Screw me. Scream from the rooftops what you believe in.

But when it's a religion based on a book a science fiction writer wrote that charges you money to become more enlightened, that just gets a little weird for me.

I want old Tom back. But I don't think it's humanly possible to get there. Once the cat is out of the bag...

...Ya cain't stuff him back in with an E-Meter.

I guess the old saying is true: Mystery is a powerful lure.

Give us back our mystery, Tom. Please.

Hopefully WOTW doesn't suffer from this over-exposure.

Spielberg must be crapping himself.
post #10 of 14
I think it is less the affair with Katie Holmes and more the way Cruise has become so open a shill for Sceintilogy that is doing the damage.
I really think that attack on Brooke Shields is what started his image to begin going downhill fast.
It won't hurt WOTW...I think the idea that Spielberg does the most famous Alien Invasion story of all has always been the big drawing card, not Cruise....but it will be interesting to see how Cruise's next film after WOTW does since I think he had done real damage to his career with these antics.
But if WOTW is the gigantic hit that is expected...and I think it will be..it will be in spite of Cruise and not because of him.
And I would say hiring his own sister as his PR Person was not a brilliant move....
And I bet that the Paramount/SKG PR people would love to strangle Cruise. Until the Cruise shit started the campaign was brilliant, now they are spending a lot of time on damage control.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hwood96
it's a psychological thing
Just don't mention that to him.
post #12 of 14
1. As long as Cruise continues to work with great filmmakers, continues to pick good scripts, and continues to make good movies that consistently haul in $100 million+ per film, we're not going to be seeing his downfall for awhile.

2. His attack on Brook Shields wasn't completely unwarranted. It isn't just scientology that has a problem with our increasingly medicated society, a society that tells us that feeling sad occasionally is 'unatural' and should be avoided at all costs. We are indeed becoming a society much like A Brave New World.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Spielberg must be crapping himself.
I don't think he cares.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepe
1. As long as Cruise continues to work with great filmmakers, continues to pick good scripts, and continues to make good movies that consistently haul in $100 million+ per film, we're not going to be seeing his downfall for awhile.

2. His attack on Brook Shields wasn't completely unwarranted. It isn't just scientology that has a problem with our increasingly medicated society, a society that tells us that feeling sad occasionally is 'unatural' and should be avoided at all costs. We are indeed becoming a society much like A Brave New World.
She was taking anti depressents on a doctor's advice. I agree that drugs are probably overused, but how about taking it on a case by case statement. Feeling sad occasionally is one thing, a state of constant depression is another.
And where is Cruise's fucking degree in Medicine?
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