Last week, Mars Needs Moms, the animated feature film from Robert Zemeckis, brought in a paltry $6 million at the box office in its opening week-end. With a reported budget of $150 million, Moms Needs Mars is shaping up to be one of the biggest box office bombs of all-time. The loss will hardly be felt by powerhouse Disney Studios that produced the film, but the disappointing gate coupled with the incredibly excessive production costs have resulted in Image Movers Studios (an animated wing of Disney) shutting down all further operations and laying off all associated employees.
This isn’t the first time that a studio has had to shut its doors thanks to a movie that held all their eggs in one basket. Hardly. And it won’t be the last as budgets for films can balloon to half a billion dollars (Avatar) when all calculator tapes are tallied while cinematic attendance is sitting at an all-time low.
Killer Reviews has taken an in-depth look into the big budget films and has produced a two-part article on related topics. Part I will examine the big budget films that ultimately crippled or closed a studio. Part II will look at why movies are so expensive and where those production dollars are allocated.
I don't know how the studio thought they were going to recoup their monies for Mars Needs Moms. $150 million!? Considering that most studio's quote les than it actually cost, you have to assume assume that it would have to make $300 million to make some money after the theatres and everyone else gets a cut.
In February, I got a warm fuzzy feeling when the Carolco logo chimed in before Universal Solider. It was like seeing an old friend from my youth. When the film was over I went to Wikipedia to see what other films Carolco was responsible for. There are a number of my favorite films but I expected a bit more. Apparently my love for the Carolco logo comes from just 4 films; Total Recall, Universal Soldier, Terminator 2, Rambo 2. Because of those 4 films I probably saw that logo more than a few dozen times each year growing up. Reading that Cutthroat Island (1995) was responsible for killing Carolco piqued my interest in seeing the film. Your article might be the final push I need to finally seek out this title.
Rambo: First Blood Part II
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
i had no idea that one film could sink a studio. makes sense. i just never thought about it. guess it shows that when the budget balloons you are kinda on the hook - too late to pull the plug, too much invested to keep going.
this was my favorite article of yours. i always wondered why the logos for production companies from yesteryear were no longer around. like tri-star. what happened to tri-star?
The 80's Tri-Star logo is one my favs too. They merged with Columbia in 1987 and again with Sony in 1998. They use the Tri-star name but the last film they distributed that I have seen is STARSHIP TROOPERS (1997). They distributed 2010's FASTER which I'll finally get to the next time my wife and I have a babysitter and time to watch movie.