UPDATE, 4:15 PM: How costly a mistake was Mars Needs Moms? Disney says the studio lost about $70 million in release costs and in an impairment charge for a film it now calls “very disappointing.” Still, CEO Bob Iger tried — not always successfully — to avoid sounding sour today as analysts probed him about quarterly results that seemed to have befuddled many of them. Iger talked up the prospects for Disney’s upcoming sequels to Pirates of the Caribbean and Cars. He also banged the drum for The Avengers, the Marvel action film due next year. Now that Disney has negotiated an early exit from Marvel’s distribution deal with Paramount, Iger says the movie will be the “first really big initiative” from Disney’s acquisition of Marvel with the potential to “turn into a true franchise.” He adds that Marvel is developing a block of shows for Disney XD, as well as individual programs for ABC and ABC Family. Also on the television side, Iger says the coming upfront ad market will “be a strong one” – which is far more vague than CBS chief Les Moonves’ projection of “solid-double digit increases” for his network. Iger acknowledged that the last few years were “not as great” for ABC as they were during the heyday of its hits including Lost, Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy. But while he says that ABC has made “no decisions yet” about the primetime shows it will pick up for this fall, Iger adds that he’s “encouraged” by the pilots he has seen including “some really strong shows” from ABC itself.
UPDATE: ‘Mars Needs Moms’ A Costly Disappointment, But Disney CEO Bob Iger Stays Upbeat About Marvel, ABC And ESPN
I love these kinds of reports because they confirm for us what we already suspect. According to research firm SNL Kagan, a film must hit 1.75 on its Kagan Profitability Index to become a moneymaker. But the dozen March releases will average 1.03 — down from the 1.78 average from a year ago (which included hits Disney’s Alice In Wonderland and DreamWorks’ How To Train Your Dragon.) Analyst Wade Holden writes that certain money losers will be Relativity’s Take Me Home Tonight and Warner Bros’ Red Riding Hood. But Holden expects Disney’s Mars Needs Moms from Robert Zemeckis’ ImageMovers Digital to be the biggest bomb, projected to generate just $81.3 million in revenues, although it cost $264.8 million to produce, distribute, and market. The Kagan report says Sony’s Battle: Los Angeles, Relativity’s Limitless, and Paramount’s Rango may come close “if [the studios] have a favorable distribution agreement” with theaters.
This kiddie comedy adventure utilizing performance-capture filmmaking from Walt Disney Pictures and Imagemovers Digital was shot in Disney Digital 3D and IMAX 3D. Featuring Seth Green and Joan Cusack as Milo and his Mom, it is directed by Simon Wells from his screenplay with Wendy Wells and produced by Robert Zemeckis, Jack Rapke, Steve Starkey, and Steven Boyd. The pic is based on the book by author and illustrator Berkeley Breathed, the Pulitzer-Prize winner for his comic strip “Bloom County”. Produced by the team behind Disney’s A Christmas Carol and The Polar Express, the U.S. release date is March 11, 2011:
LOS ANGELES, June 23, 2010 – IMAX Corporation (NASDAQ:IMAX; TSX:IMX) and The Walt Disney Studios today announced a new agreement to release three additional 3D pictures to IMAX® theatres in 2011. The titles included are Mars Needs Moms, starring Seth Green and Joan Cusack, slated for release on March 11, 2011 and executive produced by Robert Zemeckis; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, starring Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz, slated for release on May 20, 2011 and Cars 2, slated for release on June 24, 2011.