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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Pixar's Originality ... New Products Announced by Red ... Record Budgets

- I really enjoyed this NY Times piece about Pixar's commitment to making original movies, rather than churning out easy-to-market sequels. From Michael Cieply's story:

    “It takes a lot more work,” Richard Cook, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, said of the effort to introduce original films. “The rewards can be unbelievable. But they’re clearly more difficult to market.”

    That originality is a dying value on the blockbuster end of the movie business is no secret. In the last five years, only about 20 percent of the films with more than $200 million in domestic ticket sales were purely original in concept, rather than a sequel or an adaptation of some pre-existing material like “The Da Vinci Code.”

- Red Digital Cinema, which I've always thought of as just a camera company, announced at NAB that they're also going to make 4K projectors and displays. Mike Curtis, a sometime consultant to the company, has the details.

- The budget for 'Spiderman 3' may have passed the $300 million mark (or $350 million, if you believe some reports), according to Variety and Radar Online. James Cameron's 'Avatar,' scheduled for 2009, already has an "initial budget" of $195 million -- which could grow bigger as that project heads toward theaters. When it comes to summer tentpole releases, studios are willing to gamble big and hope they wind up with a movie that becomes a must-see.

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