Jump to content
BK007

Disney's Greed: Anyone Else Worried? (An Essay)

Recommended Posts

Look the only thing we haven't got is a Star Wars musical and with Disney having their own theatrical division, don't think that isn't coming sometime soon.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Like... what, exactly? Their animation division is still very much alive and well, though if we're being honest they were never exactly shining examples of originality.So are you saying that Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi aren't worthy Star Wars movies because they weren't "one man's vision"?

Lucas had final say on everything in ESB and ROTJ. Just because he didn't direct them doesn't mean they weren't his movies.
Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't say I'm bothered about the deal itself, but I am concerned that it's symptomatic of the direction of the industry: blockbusters are getting even bigger and mid budget movies, which Disney has no interest in, are disappearing.

That's mostly because of 2 factors.1) is Piracy. Studios are losing profits because of piracy, so they need to focus heavily on big budget movies because those make the most profits. Even with piracy, those big budget movies will atleast turn a profit.2) is the quality of home entertainment. Less people are going to the movies. Most people stay home and watch movies on their HD TVs.I don't know if there is a solution to numbers 1 or 2. However, while those 2 problems persist, we will continue to see a decline in medium budget movies.
Link to post
Share on other sites

The new trilogy may turn out great, but I'm not comfortable with Star Wars becoming yet another corporate product.

Star Wars has been a huge corporate product since the first trilogy. Star Wars is everywhere. Merchandise, books, comic books, theme park rides, Episodes 1-3. You're over 20 years too late if that's your main worry.What Disney will be able to do is to make more movies, while not being too controlling (like we have seen with Pixar and Marvel). Also, Disney will be able to create even more merchandise and push it deeper into the world market. Lastly, it means an increased presence in the Disney theme parks.But it's also about ILM. ILM gives Disney a huge asset at its finger tips. ILM is doing some ground-breaking stuff with Motion Capture technology. It's the kind of innovation that Disney likes to create themselves. ILM is a huge addition to the company. ILM helps to take Disney to another level in the world of special effects.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Star Wars has been a huge corporate product since the first trilogy. Star Wars is everywhere. Merchandise, books, comic books, theme park rides, Episodes 1-3. You're over 20 years too late if that's your main worry.

There's a difference, though. Lucasfilm may have been a corporation, but Lucas wasn't beholden to anybody as a filmmaker. He could make whatever kind of films he wanted without having to answer to shareholders or any corporate overlords. Some people may think that was a bad thing considering how the prequels turned out, but at least they were his vision and he stuck to it despite the criticisms. Whoever makes the new films will ultimately be working for the Disney suits. If they don't like what they're seeing they'll step in and take control of the films.
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Community Manager

He could make whatever kind of films he wanted without having to answer to shareholders or any corporate overlords.

If you seriously don't think that he had a board to answer to, then you don't know how corporations work.
Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a difference, though. Lucasfilm may have been a corporation, but Lucas wasn't beholden to anybody as a filmmaker. He could make whatever kind of films he wanted without having to answer to shareholders or any corporate overlords. Some people may think that was a bad thing considering how the prequels turned out, but at least they were his vision and he stuck to it despite the criticisms. Whoever makes the new films will ultimately be working for the Disney suits. If they don't like what they're seeing they'll step in and take control of the films.

I think it's a GOOD thing that there might be some people around now saying "Lucas, that's a stupid idea"
Link to post
Share on other sites

If you seriously don't think that he had a board to answer to, then you don't know how corporations work.

I don't think he had a board to answer to, and if he did, they told him to make enough characters so they can make toys until the end of time. That seemed to be their marketing strategy, and it was a good one.
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think he had a board to answer to, and if he did, they told him to make enough characters so they can make toys until the end of time. That seemed to be their marketing strategy, and it was a good one.

Lucas was in business with 20th Century Fox. They were helping him finance his Star Wars movies. They weren't just the distributor the way Paramount was for the Marvel movies. Therefore, he did have to answer to Fox and keep them updated on the progress of the movie. He also had to keep costs under control.Lucas did have a lot of creative freedom. However, Disney has given that same creative freedom to Pixar and Marvel (and when they owned them, to Miramax). Thus, there is no reason to believe that this will change with the sale to Disney. The only real difference is that the profits will now flow up to Disney instead of to LucasFilm. Edited by Walt Disney
Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a difference, though. Lucasfilm may have been a corporation, but Lucas wasn't beholden to anybody as a filmmaker. He could make whatever kind of films he wanted without having to answer to shareholders or any corporate overlords. Some people may think that was a bad thing considering how the prequels turned out, but at least they were his vision and he stuck to it despite the criticisms. Whoever makes the new films will ultimately be working for the Disney suits. If they don't like what they're seeing they'll step in and take control of the films.

Nothing has changed. Fox helped invest money into the Star Wars movies, so they had a part ownership in them. Therefore, Lucas had to answer to Fox when it came to time and money.Now, the LucasFilm people will answer to Disney. They are being afforded the same freedoms that were given to Miramax (when it existed), Pixar, and Marvel. Thus, they still have the same freedom that Lucas enjoyed.As for shareholders, they won't be stepping in when it comes to the making of movies. However, the first biggest Disney shareholder is Steve Jobs estate. I doubt they will be complaining about anything as long as the stock price is high. The second biggest Disney shareholder is now George Lucas, and it doesn't sound like you are worried about him interfering.
Link to post
Share on other sites

That's mostly because of 2 factors.1) is Piracy. Studios are losing profits because of piracy, so they need to focus heavily on big budget movies because those make the most profits. Even with piracy, those big budget movies will atleast turn a profit.2) is the quality of home entertainment. Less people are going to the movies. Most people stay home and watch movies on their HD TVs.I don't know if there is a solution to numbers 1 or 2. However, while those 2 problems persist, we will continue to see a decline in medium budget movies.

I have a feeling it may be an induced kind of thing; less people went to the movies, so they made fewer mid-budget films so less people went to the movies and so on...
Link to post
Share on other sites

It is definitely troubling that Disney seems intent on owning every franchise in the world at the expense of producing the kind of original movies the studio made its name with. Pretty much the only major movie franchises they don't own now are Harry Potter, DC and Transformers. Warner Bros. will never give up the first two, but I wouldn't be surprised if Disney makes a move on Hasbro next (that way they won't have to share profits from SW toys, either). They also got Lucasfilm cheap - a new trilogy is pretty much guaranteed to make $4b in box office and merchandise, and that's before you add in all the other revenues they can now exploit.

People can whine all they want about how Lucas ruined the prequels, but those movies were one man's vision. The new trilogy may turn out great, but I'm not comfortable with Star Wars becoming yet another corporate product. And I definitely won't like seeing the Cinderella castle before a new SW film instead of hearing the Fox fanfare.

this is going to be the weirdest part.
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Community Manager

I don't think he had a board to answer to, and if he did, they told him to make enough characters so they can make toys until the end of time. That seemed to be their marketing strategy, and it was a good one.

Every major company, like Lucasarts, has a board. I'm sure Lucas was the Chairman of the Board when he was making the movies, but yeah.
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well the industry has always been about making money I don't see why this should be a shock. And filmmakers and such can hide under the guise of making art, but if they don't at least make a studio some kind of money, their profile drops.And Disney has more than just movies to worry about they haven't been soley a movie studio for decades. For them it's all about synergy, how can you connect the latest property to a film, theme park attraction, television special, video game, social media event. A practice that taking out the latter half of video games and social media Walt Disney himself perfected.Is Disney perfect? Heavens no. The Disney Channel save for Phineas and Ferb and Gravity Falls is an embarassment. And there is no reason why Song of the South continues to sit in the Vault. And as much as I love Walt Disney World the fact that Epcot went from an educational park to one that had to have more thrill rides was a little disconcerting.But I can't look at this cynically right now, all I can do is look at this with excitement at the possiblities it can bring.

Hmm...have you been buying Disney Blu-Rays? My sentiment stems from there, and as I said I lived in the UK, so it was even worse than in America. But, point being, I've already said that the studios have to make money, we all know that. However, they should make money whilst making quality product. When your worries are more about, how can I create a theme park ride, a merchandise line and a TV show out of the movie I am about to make, your focus is less on the movie and you would require, I assume, meddling. After all, do you think they'll accept a TDK-lite SW film with a gritty and dark overtone for a reboot or so on, or would they rather stuff inside as many characters as possible that would easily lent to toys? That is Disney, my friend. Is it wrong to want to synergize? Heavens, no. But let the movie breathe first. Disney have not been doing that and just reading the statements of Iger over the last couple years will show you this. Furthermore, again I have no problems with synergizing, but like I said, if Disney, and they surely will outcompete the marketplace by having every movie release branded, what do you honestly think will happen? Hollywood, as I have said, has been bleeding creativity and as you said, it's all about the money, so the other studios are going to try and copycat as much as they possibly can. What does that mean? Less opportunities and less chances for mid-budget flicks and noveau filmmakers and the overreliance on brands continues. What is mindboggling is that without taking a chance on an original property, no brands can be built, but logic meet window, now jump out. They are not a solely movie studio anymore, and indeed, they don't even need the movie side of things since it doesn't make them a significant amount of money compared to their other sectors, HOWEVER, if you cannot see that Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and whatever else they decide to get their hands on will make up a huge share of the industry every year, then you're not seeing the big picture. To them, it's nothing, but to the industry, it's everything and because of that influence they need to be creative innovators but they are not and don't want to be.

And, I'm sorry, but how are they not leaders with innovation? They bought Marvel and started one of the most successful franchises in history that ended with the Avengers. Disney Channel started the whole trend of manufactured teeny bobby shows. Their broadcast network, ABC, has some of the most original shows on television: 666 Park Avenue, Once Upon a Time, and Last Resort (and this is despite Pushing Daisies' flop). You might not agree with Disney's approach but they are one of the most successful media companies in the world for a reason. Yes, they are greedy but they would be a terrible company if they didn't work to maximize profits.

Where have you got your facts? Marvel was already in existence, as a movie studio, before 2008 when Iron Man was released and plans for the Avengers was laid down then. So, did they start it? No. What point are you trying to make? The Avengers, mind you, was also made under Paramount before Disney bought over Marvel and then bought the rights, which they shared with Paramount. But, how is this innovation anyway? They are relying on Marvel and it is the latter that innovates, not the former- and just like Pixar and Star Wars, Marvel is a specialty studio and it will only make movies in that sphere, so like I said, Disney are not innovators.Teeny bopper shows is not innovation. Look at them. Sure they were successful, but their stars are troubled, more to do with the whole manufacturing that Disney did, once again, not concerned with the actual people, but the profits. Again, I am not arguing against maximizing profits. Everyone wants to lump it together to make an easier counter-argument. I am saying they have a responsibility to help the industry by attempting at the very least to innovate. Reliance on established brands that are autonomous is not innovation despite what the brands may do themselves, and like I have said to DAR, they are specialty brands, which means it's all within that sphere and that sphere alone. No real chances are taken with established fanbases. Surely you understand that.

That's mostly because of 2 factors.1) is Piracy. Studios are losing profits because of piracy, so they need to focus heavily on big budget movies because those make the most profits. Even with piracy, those big budget movies will atleast turn a profit.2) is the quality of home entertainment. Less people are going to the movies. Most people stay home and watch movies on their HD TVs.I don't know if there is a solution to numbers 1 or 2. However, while those 2 problems persist, we will continue to see a decline in medium budget movies.

True and not true. People only turn out to big budget movies, especially overseas, because they see it as worth the price of admission. Something like a Transformers or Avengers begs to be seen on screen because of the effects and whatnot something most people cannot recreate at home. However, look at movies like Taken. Mid-budget and even leaked online prior to release and see how that run played out. If the movies are good enough, people will turn out, but as we all know, they have to be given a platform, a chance and a they are all competing for the fixed or ever-declining moviegoing budget of the public. The masses are not like us, they don't see as many movies as we do but even then they know, they have been conditioned to expect big budget fare in the summer and holiday season. Now, credit where it's due, many great releases have made a lot more money than crap ones in recent years, but still when they exhaust their budget on a movie they are pre-conditioned to favour, they end up forgoing something better. It's fantastic that movies like Argo can make a run for a $100m and so on, but maybe (I haven't seen it) it deserves more. Why should it not make more? Anyone remember the days of the Fugitive and so on? Anything should be able to become a phenomenon, but Hollywood is not giving them all an equal footing. Of course it's harder to create a blockbuster out of a drama than it is an extravaganza but that doesn't mean one should simply dump all the mid-budget movies into the trash.So, whilst you say piracy affects them, I say it's the movie studios themselves who have brought it to its knees and are now blaming it somewhere else. In fact, this is commonplace. When something tanks, bombs or whatever they tend to come to the wrong conclusions of why it failed in the first place. Meddling is never at the top of the list.
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that as long as Disney doesn't get ridiculously big, and take up a 75+% share of the marketplace it's in, it's fine. This is actually Darwinian Capitalism at its best, and if Disney's strong than it can devour the weaker companies, I don't see the problem with it as long as it doesn't get out of hand, this is nature working right here.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that as long as Disney doesn't get ridiculously big, and take up a 75+% share of the marketplace it's in, it's fine. This is actually Darwinian Capitalism at its best, and if Disney's strong than it can devour the weaker companies, I don't see the problem with it as long as it doesn't get out of hand, this is nature working right here.

And Disney is going about it differently from other Studios. Disney isn't flat out taking over the smaller movie companies. Instead, Disney is making the heads of those other companies into Disney insiders. Steve Jobs of Pixar, Ike Perlmutter of marvel, and now George Lucas of LucasFilm. All these guys are becoming a part of Disney, instead of Disney giving them money to go away. Disney is growing by bringing in talent to its company.
Link to post
Share on other sites

However, look at movies like Taken. Mid-budget and even leaked online prior to release and see how that run played out. If the movies are good enough, people will turn out, but as we all know, they have to be given a platform, a chance and a they are all competing for the fixed or ever-declining moviegoing budget of the public. The masses are not like us, they don't see as many movies as we do but even then they know, they have been conditioned to expect big budget fare in the summer and holiday season. Now, credit where it's due, many great releases have made a lot more money than crap ones in recent years, but still when they exhaust their budget on a movie they are pre-conditioned to favour, they end up forgoing something better. It's fantastic that movies like Argo can make a run for a $100m and so on, but maybe (I haven't seen it) it deserves more. Why should it not make more? Anyone remember the days of the Fugitive and so on? Anything should be able to become a phenomenon, but Hollywood is not giving them all an equal footing. Of course it's harder to create a blockbuster out of a drama than it is an extravaganza but that doesn't mean one should simply dump all the mid-budget movies into the trash.So, whilst you say piracy affects them, I say it's the movie studios themselves who have brought it to its knees and are now blaming it somewhere else. In fact, this is commonplace. When something tanks, bombs or whatever they tend to come to the wrong conclusions of why it failed in the first place. Meddling is never at the top of the list.

If mid-budget movies made a lot of money, then big studios would be making them. When Indie films were all the rage, most big studios created Indie labels (except for Disney, which bought Miramax instead). If there is a lack of mid budget movies, and mid budget movies made money, then more big studios would be making them.To get the movie going audience to go to a movie in this day and age, it takes a huge amount of advertising. Movie studios will only shell out that type of money if they can get a big return on their investment. Mid Budget films will continue to decrease until a smaller Studio like Lionsgate proves that they are worth making. Or, until there are enough big budget flops that the risk is too great and studios return to mid-budget movies.Disney has historically had terrible live action films from about 1969 until the late 80's. Finally, they started releasing better movies through their Touchstone and Hollywood Studios labels. Now, they have had some live action success and are finding greater success with their big budget film strategy. They finally found something that works for them. Which means that they aren't greedy, but rather, they are sticking to what they do best.If Disney had a history of making multiple great mid-budget films, then you'd have a point. But, they don't. Your argument against Disney would be better suited for other studios with a better track record for success with mid-budget films. Edited by Walt Disney
Link to post
Share on other sites

If Disney had a history of making multiple great mid-budget films, then you'd have a point. But, they don't. Your argument against Disney would be better suited for other studios with a better track record for success with mid-budget films.

They were the biggest studio in the 90s for precisely that reason.
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that as long as Disney doesn't get ridiculously big, and take up a 75+% share of the marketplace it's in, it's fine. This is actually Darwinian Capitalism at its best, and if Disney's strong than it can devour the weaker companies, I don't see the problem with it as long as it doesn't get out of hand, this is nature working right here.

Surely there are competition laws to prevent total dominance in that fashion.
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.




×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Guidelines. Feel free to read our Privacy Policy as well.