Universal rejects TINTIN!

by Billy Fisher


That is right ladies and gentlemen, a studio has told two of the most powerful men in Hollywood NO.  From the looks of it, not only no but HELL NO!  Crazy but true.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson were denied the money they were expecting to recieve for their Tintin project from Universal.  The dynamic duo brought their budget into the studio today thinking that there was nothing wrong with asking for $130 million dollars.  Well, apparently Universal thought that was too much to ask for. 

Most of you are asking why.  There are a few reasons why, and I actually agree with the reasoning.  First, Tintin is very well known in Europe, but not that well known in North America.   Although Spielberg has been wanting to do this project since 1983, Universal knows that the true money is made in North America and if we are not interested, no money will be made.  Second, Universal is having a hard time swallowing the fact that a majority of that $130 million will be going directly into the pockets of Spielberg and Jackson.  Here is a little portion of what was said:

But in a surprising move, when Spielberg and Jackson approached Universal, which has had a long-standing option to co-finance the picture, the studio decided that the deal made no financial sense. According to several people close to the project, "Tintin" would have to rake in $425 million worldwide in ticket sales before the studios could break even.

The reason: Spielberg and Jackson, who would also produce both movies, would together grab about 30% of the studio's total gross revenue from box-office, DVD, television and other sales. Under that scenario, the pair would walk away with more than $100 million before Universal and DreamWorks could make a profit.

This article really put things into perspective for me.  In my previous view of Hollywood, big wigs like Jackson or Spielberg had no restrictions.  No one would tell them no.  Now I know that even the biggest of the bigs don't get everything that they want.  Of course there is going to be someone that will give them the money.  If all else fails, they can pay for it themselves. 

Now that Spielberg's Dreamworks has left Paramount who knows what is going to happen. In the nasty little split Paramount is laying claim to Spielberg's passion projects 'Lincoln', 'The Trial of the Chicago 7', and '39 Clues'. Paramount president Brad Grey is an idiot. This is proven by him driving away the one studio that provided them with their best movies. Paramount has also put up half the funding for 'Tintin' but who knows what they will do now.

I am interested to see how this comes about.  If the movie never gets made I won't be too torn up, but if it does, man I would love to see what these two great minds can come up with.  I guess we will just have to wait and see.  I will keep you posted as best as I can.  Until then, let me know what you think.

McMurphy Out!