I’m actually surprised there isn’t more inside media coverage of the disastrous debut of CBS Films’ first release – “Extraordinary Measures“ starring Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser ($6.0 Million opening weekend from over 2,500 theaters – finishing 8th behind “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” in its 5th week).
Les Moonves, former bit player on “The Six Million Dollar Man” turned powerful CBS media mogul, is the exec on the hot seat this time. (Personally, I can imagine Jeff Zucker pushing this story just to get his name out of the press.)
Four years ago, when Sumner Redstone was completing the disastrous Viacom / CBS split, Mr. Moonves wanted Paramount Pictures so badly that when he didn’t get it, he decided he could create a new Paramount Pictures from scratch – CBS Films.
It’s a cold Monday morning at Black Rock today.
I’m assuming there will be two maybe three more failed releases in 2010 and then a decision to “refocus CBS’ energies on our booming cable network distribution platforms and new media” (translation: the end of CBS Films).
The R.I.P. tombstone above is generous in giving CBS Films a four year lifespan (2007-2010) considering the first release wasn’t until this past weekend – but I think three years of staffing up and development does count as being in business.
Or… my personal dream plan, somehow have CBS either acquire or wrest away Paramount from Viacom. News Corporation buys the cable channels from Viacom (assets they sorely need). Viacom shuts down thus getting us one step closer to saying bye-bye to Sumner Redstone forever.
Regardless of what happens, CBS’ old media experiment is not going to make it. But Les Moonves can take solace in the fact that a very exciting Super Bowl is coming to CBS and he still runs one of the top two broadcast networks in the country.
There was a time when that would have been enough for one man.
Jill Kennedy – OnMedea