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Oz: The Great and Powerful…The 1st of Many Risks

John Carter is now considered one of the biggest movie blunders of all-time. You would think that Disney would start to stray away from big budget flicks for a little while, then work its way back up. Unfortunately…they went the opposite direction. Oz, coming out next month, has a $200 million budget. Let me repeat that, a $200 million budget. That is humongous. That means that Disney needs Alice In Wonderland/Iron Man/Batman numbers to make money. Now that is a risk.

You might be saying to yourself “Hey, that is okay. One big film a year isn’t bad!” Well, you are sorely mistaken. This comes out in March, then May brings us Iron Man 3, and July is the opening for the problem-ridden Lone Ranger. The latter has a budget of somewhere around $300 million. Those numbers are crazy. If the Lone Ranger isn’t a hit, someone will be fired at Disney, I guarantee you.

Mars Needs Moms had this same problem a few years ago. A $150+ million budget paired with a resounding thud at the box office. Though their track record isn’t good, Iger is (allegedly) hammering away trying to get big budget, franchise flicks made. John Carter was suppose to be a huge franchise for the company, along with Tron: Legacy, but both under performed (the latter is apparently still getting a 3rd film).

Looking ahead, we have Maleficent next year, Star Wars 7, Pirates 5, and an apparent 20K Leagues Under The Sea remake with 9 figure budgets. It is constantly mind boggling to me  why they keep churning these out. Back when I was younger, while they had an occasional money-grabber, they would pair them with fun and cheap fare, like the Princess Diaries franchise and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, which is now almost extinct. All they want are huge hits with franchise possibilities, which I don’t entirely agree with.

What do you think? Would you rather see a mix of budgeted films or all blockbusters? Also, are you excited for Oz? Let me know in the comments below! Until next time…Have a Magical Day!

6 thoughts on “Oz: The Great and Powerful…The 1st of Many Risks”

  1. At the risk of stating the painfully obvious, those big-budget films were all in production long before John Carter flopped—large studios aren’t able to course-correct that quickly.

    1. Thank you I was going to say the same thing. And someone has been fired for this already, his name is Rich Ross. Next time make sure to do your research.

  2. “You would think that Disney would start to stray away from big budget flicks for a little while, then work its way back up. Unfortunately…they went the opposite direction.”
    The first thing that comes to mind with this point of yours is Euro Disneyland. Disney invested a huge budget into this project and churned out a fantastic final product, but it was ultimately an enormous financial disaster for them during the first few years it was open which put them into a great deal of debt. This resulted in Disney getting cold feet from spending any large sums of money in their theme park projects for many years afterwards, a decision which consequently created a chain of complete flops after flops such as Disney’s California Adventure and Walt Disney Studios Park, to name a few. It is only pretty recently that Disney has finally started to loosen their purse strings and allow for more money flow into their parks and resorts so that we’re finally seeing some more impressive projects again (DCA expansion, MK New Fantasyland, etc).
    So no, I can’t really say I agree that Disney should “stray away from big budget” anything for awhile simply because of one flop. They have a bad record of going too cheap for too long when faced with the slightest bit of failure. I think we’re seeing a spike in big-budget projects as of recent simply because there are big-budget projects to be made. Iron Man 3 is coming out this May, which I think is safe to say is a guaranteed money maker with the success of the franchise. Avengers 2 is in their lineup of upcoming films, and Star Wars VII is bound to pay itself off. There are a few more big-budget films thrown in the mix, such as Oz, of which the chances for success are admittedly more “up in the air,” but I’ve observed that marketing is handling Oz far better than they handled John Carter and I’m confident that it will turn out to be a satisfactory project (it appears to be much along similar lines as Alice in Wonderland, which was well-recieved by the public). I’m not worried, their lineup of films will eventually stabilize and we’ll be seeing a fair share of lower-budget films once again. But for now, I’m happy to see Disney standing their ground after a flop and refusing to get cold feet on the planned films in their lineup, even if they are on the expensive side. It demonstrates a greater deal of confidence in their own projects than has been demonstrated in years passed and I think, in the end, it will pay off for them.

  3. I’m almost finished reading DisneyWar and this follows along with what made Eisener successful in the beginning. His philosophy was that you didn’t need the big box office hits, you went for the singles and doubles instead. I think it’s with the smaller budget films that there is a chance for more success. If a film that cost $2M to make, takes home $25M it’s first weekend it’s a surprise hit. But if a film that costs $200M only takes home $25M it’s a failure. I think a movie stuido needs to have a good mix of the low-budget films and the high budget. I have no desire to see Oz but will be in the theatre for Iron Man 3.

  4. Also don’t forget that about half of those enormous-sounding budgets are marketing. Personally I think the Star Wars and Marvel movies should be taken out of the equation: essentially they are independent studios under the Disney umbrella and certainly Marvels’ films have done excellently at the box office.

    The criticism levelled at both John Carter and Andrew Stanton has also been grossly unfair. I went to see this movie and whilst sadly the marketing for it (including the name) was was more than decent that will eventually make its money back in BluRay/DVD/iTunes sales anyway, much like the Tron sequel.

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