Disney Studio Shying from Original Content


July 15, 2013 by bck1402

“The Los Angeles Times reported this week that Disney Studios won’t be making original projects any time soon after their dismal experience with The Lone Ranger.”

What does that even mean?
By all accounts, “The Lone Ranger” should have been an easy success. After all, it had the star, director and producer of the rather successful “Pirates Of The Caribbean” trilogy involved. It did have some name recognition.  It even had some music recognition. It could have been an easier sell. It was really far from being an ‘original’ property. Maybe even a ‘known property’ if not quite widely spread. Then again, I doubt ‘Pirates of The Caribbean‘ was that much of a known property outside of the US.

But movie audiences are a fickle bunch. You never really know what they’re going to really latch on to. Just look at this weekend’s success of Grown Ups 2 over Pacific Rim (which is a far superior movie). But Disney, like every other mega corporation, has to concern itself with making money, and ultimately, it’s the ROI on The Lone Ranger that did it in. Quite dismal returns on an overinflated investment, opening against a cartoon that had half the running time -thus probably showing twice as often- and was in 3D -and likely twice the normal ticket prices. Was it really any wonder that Despicable Me 2 outpaced The Lone Ranger at the box-office? It also didn’t help that The Lone Ranger had problems with the end result either. The could have done with getting to the last fifteen minutes a lot faster than they did.

But back to Disney Studios not wanting to make any original products.
What does that really mean?

No new original concepts?
No new original stories?
No more new movies?

They do have a new Star Wars movie in production. Even with JJ Abrams at the helm, and the original stars returning, it might seem like a slam dunk in terms of returns. They do own the Lucasfilm properties now, so would they make a new Indiana Jones movie? With Harrison Ford no less? How about a new Willow? Val Kilmer would likely jump at the opportunity as would Warwick Davies (they did pitch it in Davies’ series, Life’s Too Short). Since the property is also back with Marvel (also owned by Disney now), how about a new Howard The Duck?

Known properties, but without originality, perhaps?
Is that the new direction for Disney Studios?

Would they play it safe with the next bunch of Marvel Movies and just use what’s already been done in the comics as storyboards. It’s all written and laid out, and they’re selling really well. You don’t need to hire new writers to come up with anything new there. Just get the actors and directors to read the comics, put that up on screen.

Or perhaps, Disney Studios will simply cease to actually make movies, and simply just distribute. Buy movies made and funded by other filmmakers and then distribute under the Disney label. It would seem more cost effective, to pay a fixed amount for an already made product than fund a budget crushing blockbuster.

Of course, this is just Disney Studios, not Marvel Studios or Pixar or even the Disney Animation arm. Overblown budgeted movies have taken down studios before (see Heaven’s Gate and United Artists as well as the Western genre) and after The Lone Ranger, Disney Studios might simply be wary of anything that might be a massive summer tent-pole sure-fire hit movie.

This is just a thought tho…
I could be wrong.

One thought on “Disney Studio Shying from Original Content

  1. […] since the disappointing box-office returns of The Lone Ranger (among other things) that prompted Disney Studios to avoid “original content”, not that The Lone Ranger was ‘original content’ in the first […]

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