UPDATE: The original CBS Films R.I.P. post below was written on January 25, 2010, right after “Extraordinary Measures” starring Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser flopped.
The latest CBS Films release to flop is “Beastly” starring actors who didn’t get cast in “Twilight”. This modern take on “Beauty and the Beast” (one of an endless stream of upcoming Fairy Tale Movies) had an opening weekend of about $10 million. While this one is not a complete disaster like the previous releases, and may only lose a couple of million, it won’t, by any means, be able to save the life of the division.
CBS Films – R.I.P. (January 25, 2010)
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).
I realize the Jay/Dave/Conan/Jeff Zucker drama is a much sexier story but CBS Films’ failure is another example of the cocksure executive that believes he can do no wrong.
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 coming end of CBS Films – probably at the end of 2011).
The R.I.P. tombstone above is generous in giving CBS Films a four year lifespan (2007-2011) considering the first release wasn’t until this past weekend – but I think three years of staffing up and development does count at being in business.
Another possibility for CBS would be to acquire Summit Entertainment. At least then they would have two guaranteed hits in the pipeline – the final two “Twilight” movies.
Or… my personal dream plan, somehow have CBS either acquire or wrest away Paramount from Viacom. News Corporation then buys Viacom’s cable channels (assets they sorely need). And 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.
Jill Kennedy – OnMedea