Saturday, July 14, 2012

Disney's planned Snow White film scrapped, what's going on with the studio?

Remember Disney's planned Snow White film, The Order of The Seven?  It was set to star Saoirse Ronan (Atonement) and was to take place in Asia.  After Mirror, Mirror and Snow White and The Huntsmen, Disney decided to try it's own live-action film about the apple eating princess.  But budget issues arose and the film has now been scrapped.  It's not that big of a deal that a movie gets scrapped, but let's take a look at a few more examples of how Disney is majorly struggling right now.

Who can forget the John Carter debacle?  The movie was an absolute, certifiable flop.  It cost Disney hundreds of millions of dollars and was only able to muster up 73 million dollars, domestically.  In fact, the movie did so bad, Disney was forced to write off 200 million dollars from it's financials last quarter.  Does that accounting talk mean?... It hit Disney's bank really, REALLY hard.

All the studios are begging for profitable franchise films they can bank on for years, not just Disney.  But John Carter proved something; you can have all the spectacle in the world, if you've made a bad movie, no one will show up to your party.  Last year's Green Lantern was no different.  Warner Brothers simply kept throwing money at their problem, hoping it would improve the film, and it didn't.  A god-awful script was just too much for a shirtless Ryan Reynolds and CGI to overcome.

If the John Carter fiasco wasn't enough, what about the one involving the Lone Ranger budget?  The movie was announced with a dream team of filmmakers, all with solid track records.  John Carter comes along to throw doubt in every executive, and Disney is forced to cancel the film due to its massive budget.  A few weeks later the film gets the go-ahead with a reduced budget.  Production is still in progress, but what now?  What else could happen to this poor studio?  The movie is on its way to going 50 million dollars over budget, placing it right back where it was at when the project was canceled.

I'm not crying over Disney's issues, and neither should you.  But these stories do beg the question, what is going on with this studio?  It WAS the executive team.  I posted a few weeks ago the solution to all their problems, it's Alan Horn.  He's been hired to take over as Chairman of the Board.  I this these missteps would have been averted with a guy like Horn in the driver's seat.  Disney will always have it's animation department and merchandising deals to carry the load, but it'll be interesting to see what else Horn can do to bring it back to greatness.

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