DISNEY buys FOX

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Postby Chuckman » Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:44 pm

For about 70 years the Sears Roebuck Company was *the* retailer. They exploded by become the first true mail order store, publishing huge catalogs that sold almost everything, including prefab houses. The Sears catalog is so significant that it’s a topic of historical study for experts in material culture.

Since no one could really compete with them, they became bloated- an overabudance of executives, greater emphasis on retail stores, and an ever slower logistics chain. Sears’ main business was shipping goods from catalogs, but eventually delivery could take *two weeks*.

When the Internet came along, Sears did not recognize its value to retail, but would not have capitalized on it if they did. Their logistical network, based around big distribution centers that handed packages off to common carriers and retail stores, was totally different from Amazon’s model. The Sears district network was designed to cut costs. Their corporate philosophy was to maximize earnings with margins. Amazon put speed above cost and operates on low margins. Totally different model.

When this got critically bad, Sears made several mistakes. First, they backed off delivery sales hard, switching focus to their generic, unpleasant, outdated and frequently understaffed retail stores. They also bought out competing retail giant K-Mart, which was a chain of generic, outdated, unpleasant retail stores. They abandoned their main business model in favor of focusing on being a poor competitor to JC Penny and bought out a poor competitor to Wal Mart.

The company is now in a death spiral and has been for years, and is only lurching along because the current CEO hopes to get some value back from all their retail locations.

He won’t, though, because the time for that was twenty years ago. No one wants to buy or lease an empty anchor store in a dead local mall.

If Disney is too big they will be poorly placed to take advantage of a new business model, should one arrive. If they’re too mired in their steady, low risk operations when a major disruption hits, a smart competitor will overtake them.

Remember, Amazon was nothing fifteen years ago and during its first decade in operation news articles predicted its death every day because it was bleeding money. Risk. Reward.

What’s interesting about the film business is that money is not in originality. Original works aren’t the big money makers. Every Disney animated feature is an adaptation or a rip off of something. Any list of most profitable or critically acclaimed movies is riddled with films that were adapted from books, biopics, historical fiction, etc. Lack of originality isn’t what will kill Disney, they’ve really never been original in the first place. It’ll be a business trend, a new tech, or even something as simple as changing trends in consumer taste that the behemoth has gotten too big to respond to.

If the Disney leadership is smart they’ll decentralize and make “Disney” a holding company with semi-autonomous units carved out and organized from their existing business combined with compact, tightly organized groups from their new acquisitions.

If they try to make the Marvel and Star Wars properties a “Disney” thing they’ll be making a tremendous mistake. If I were in charge of Disney I’d convert Disney itself into animated films and merchandising only and put competent people in charge of divisions for everything else, and make them tightly knit and competitive. Want to make a Star Wars movie? Convince me it’ll make more than the epic Stilt Man adaptation I was pitched yesterday.

Business model and strategy make companies successful, not product.
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Postby El Squibbonator » Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:57 pm

to watch movies that are entirely CG with actors who do not exist, created for each film

Wait, does that mean we're finally going to get more animated movies aimed at adults?

In all seriousness, you make a good point with your Sears comparison. I think another good comparison would be the fate of the Curtiss aircraft company after World War II. See, up until the 1940s, Curtiss was one of the big names in American aviation. They had a reputation for building planes that were fast, safe, and reliable, and some of their products were world famous, like the P-40 fighter and the C-46 cargo plane. By 1945, they were one of the biggest aircraft companies in America.
So what happened? World War II ended. Other companies, like Boeing and Lockheed, were able to transition to the jet age just fine, but Curtiss wasn't. They had becoming so successful doing the same thing for so long that it never occurred to them to innovate and change. They couldn't adapt to an industry that had, by this point, made them obsolete. So after making one last prototype airplane in 1948, the company folded.
That's the fate of all companies that become too big. They stop innovating, and eventually times change and they can't keep up. Disney might be high and mighty now, but just you wait. Their slice of humble pie is inevitable.
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Postby Chuckman » Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:32 pm

They’re definitely not innovating.

If you want a look at what they will become if they don’t find talent and get out of the way, take a hard look at A Wrinkle In Time.
Last edited by Chuckman on Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:57 pm

I don't think movies themselves will change that much in the next 50 years. Theaters will definitely, but not movies. VR experience will be it's own, separate thing, like 4-D theme park attractions. And, who knows, maybe 50 years from now all theaters will only be theme park attractions. They kind of started off as that anyway, back in the early 1900's when the whole spectacle of a movie was "Look, Ethel! That picture moves!"

But nobody's gonna stop making movies. Home theaters have already advanced to the point now where I can buy a THX Certified Panasonic OLED 4K TV and have a better picture quality than my local 2K digitally converted cinema. Sure, the argument for the superiority of 35/70mm film is as strong as it ever was, but what's the point of those arguments when most theaters are digitally converted anyway? Movies and TV shows, in the traditional sense of the term, will be safe on home theater systems and the like, whether it be streaming or the collection of physical media. Even if Hollywood become like AAA video game companies and provide only "live services" for streaming VR content, that'll only free up the indie market to chine brighter and better than before.

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Postby Chuckman » Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:55 pm

I think everyone seriously underestimates how much of the draw of a movie theater is the exclusivity of the releases.

There’s nothing magical about a really big screen and a sound system in a room.

I don’t claim to know what it is but I expect some highly disruptive tech to really shake things up in the entertainment market. I do think rapid advancements in computer tech will completely reshape how movies are made, but I can’t say when or how.

It will be interesting if the tech removes all limits. From the artistic, rather than business, side, art requires limits. Things like budget and casting make creators make creative choices and shape the art as much as the artist does. Makes me wonder what will happen if it costs the same to make a single room stage drama adaptation like Twelve Angry Men or a massive blockbuster with a vast cast and special effects. Of course, if it’s all CGI, it won’t be special effects anymore, just flawless animation.

Edit:

I realized something this morning. I think the next “great leap” will be neural networking images in film (“deep fakes”) used to create entirely new personas or actors for individual movies, and to put the faces of actors on body doubles and stunt doubles seemlessly. (Think of Jurassic Park where the face of a stunt double is clearly visible during the raptor scene in the office, or the scene in Termianator 2 where it is clearly not Arnold and Edward Furlong on the bike)

Eventually they’ll have actors wearing digital masks to act in movies. I know what you’re thinking: what about iconic actors? People go to the movies to see famous actors!

In terms of business trends, that isn’t really true anymore. People see movies because they like certain actors, yes, but they mega stars of the past have not been replaced.

More than that, imagine being the executive at the studio who walks into the board room and says:

With this technology we don’t need to find box offices draws. We can make box office draws.

We can create an actor, and own them. Own their likeness, their voice, everything about them.

They will never embarrass the studio or imperil a production.

They will never overdose on drugs.

They will never abuse film crews or cause a scene in public.

They will never get old, retire, or have scheduling conflicts.

They will never drop dead or otherwise tank a production.

They will never protest our company’s actions or align themselves to causes.

They will never refuse a nude scene or a role they don’t like.

They will not need expensive accommodations and sycophancy on set.

They will never bring a script doctor to a role we give them.

They will never command a massive salary or demand their M&ms be sorted every day.

They will do none of these things because we make them, use them, and dispense with them as necessary. No issues, no Publix relations nightmares, no hassles, no scandals. Total control.


This has already sort of been done, it’s just waiting for
The technology and the right business executive with vision to make it happen.

Right now it’s just a special effect, like the de-aging stuff. It will be used more and more, first to bring back dead actors, then create new ones.

After the uproar for the first time they digitally recreate Marlon Brando is outweighed by the performance of the film at the box office, they will make it happen. Estates refusing to sell the likenesses of dead stars won’t matter; Disney will just have Congress rewrite intellectual property law so that they can use existing film footage of actors as data sets for deep fakes.
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Postby El Squibbonator » Sat Mar 23, 2019 8:31 am

Well, there's one good thing. If everything is CGI in the future, then the stigma of animation being only for kids will be over.
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Postby silvermoonlight » Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:19 pm

View Original PostEl Squibbonator wrote:Well, there's one good thing. If everything is CGI in the future, then the stigma of animation being only for kids will be over.


I remember when Final Fantasy The Spirits With In touched down there was a rumour that all the critics purposely panned it, because they were afraid of this idea that CGI would mean you'd no longer need actors and Hollywood paid them to say it was a bad film to ensure it wouldn't get any more sequels in the west that's what I heard at least. How ironic then it would be if that came to pass that everything they feared comes to a head and they are no longer needed because CGI is that good you can just make stars from scratch.

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Postby Reichu » Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:38 pm

View Original PostEl Squibbonator wrote:Well, there's one good thing. If everything is CGI in the future, then the stigma of animation being only for kids will be over.

Doubtful. Notice how the all-CGI "Lion King" has been very successfully marketed as "live-action" so far? It only counts as "animation" if it LOOKS like "animation". That is -- it needs to be actually stylized in some way, NOT photo-realistic.

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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:19 pm

View Original Postsilvermoonlight wrote:I remember when Final Fantasy The Spirits With In touched down there was a rumour that all the critics purposely panned it, because they were afraid of this idea that CGI would mean you'd no longer need actors and Hollywood paid them to say it was a bad film to ensure it wouldn't get any more sequels in the west that's what I heard at least.


Here's the thing about rumors like that - that's absolute nonsense.

Critics didn't purposely pan the Final Fantasy movie because of a secret hidden agenda. They panned it because the film was shit. It's a visually impressive & ambitious tech demo but as a movie it's a milquetoast knock of better sci-fi movies devoid of any interesting characters or anything worthwhile to say. The film is trash and bombed because it was a bad movie that couldn't appeal to anyone. Too often baseless rumors started by some dude in a room somewhere gets passed around as fact and it's anything but.

Anywho, animation will no longer be "for kids" in a few years. It's a generational thing. Previous generations while growing up only had kid animation. Then there was kid animation with some hardcore adult animation - i.e. stuff with blood and boobs. Now there's a ton of animation for adults - the animation is for kids debate is only one that pertains to theatrical, in TV + streaming it's a different story with dozens of adult geared animation, most are sitcoms but things are changing thanks to hits like the Avatar series, Rick & Morty and others - and if the people who grew up on that get the chance to make big scale works those will be more diverse in what stories American animation can tell as a medium. Will it ever break to the theatrical market? Possibly if more movies like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse are allowed to be made.

The treatment of animation in the US is a complicated one but it is one that has been progressively changing over the years. Though Disney Animation is the one who strong armed the industry & audiences in such a way that animation was "for the kids only" field for pretty much 50 years and I doubt Disney'll let that change.

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Postby Chuckman » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:48 am

Will animation become a medium for all forms of storytelling or will it simply expand from “kid stuff” to “kid stuff or vulgarity with titties and violence”? The Adult Swim stuff is all comedy, is it not?

I’d love mainstream acceptance of animation as a medium for stories for older audiences; the constraints of live action filming like casting, actors aging, schedules, location shooting, etc often make truly faithful adaptations of big pieces of fiction difficult or impossible.
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Postby El Squibbonator » Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:03 pm

It's happening, slowly but surely. The acceptance that animation for adults can be made at all, even if it's just vulgar comedies, was the first step. So far, so good. The next step is to diversify the number of genres that animation can cover. And we're getting there.

A number of recent adult animated series, while still considered comedies, have a lot more emotional depth and a more serious tone to them than earlier ones such as South Park and Family Guy. One of the best-known examples is Bojack Horseman, which can get downright depressing at times. Rick and Morty also arguably qualifies; there's still plenty of gross-out humor in it, but the show also has an ongoing plot, a mythology, and other such things you'd never find in earlier "adult" cartoons. Truly dramatic, non-comedic animated series are still rare but they're popping up more and more. Examples include Netflix's Castlevania cartoon (despite being based on a Japanese property, it is an entirely American production) and the final season of Samurai Jack.

We're also getting a lot more genre diversity in animated movies over the past few years. Seth Rogen's Sausage Party is the most obvious example, but other recent successful adult animated movies include Loving Vincent (an American/Polish/British co-production that earned $42 million on a $5 million budget) and Isle of Dogs (which earned $65 million on an estimated $30 million budget). Neither of these resorted to crudeness and vulgarity in their efforts to be adult, but both were successful.

Even animated films that are aimed at kids are getting more diverse. If you were a kid in the early 2000s, you might remember a spate of animated action/adventure movies with titles like Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Treasure Planet, and Titan A.E. They seemed to be capitalizing on a nonexistent trend, since they were all massive failures. The conventional wisdom afterwards was that animated action movies don't sell (which is why, when Pixar made The Incredibles, they made sure to market is as a comedy). Cut to 2018, and we finally get a truly successful animated action movie that clearly advertised itself as such-- Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.

The revolution is coming, and if things keeps going the way they're going now, it will be televised. And played in theaters, and streamed, and. . . you get the idea.
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Postby Chuckman » Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:22 am

The animated action movie (as opposed to the standard Disney formula or kid movie) has been around for a long time.

The problem was always that they flopped, as in your examples, but also Disney’s own The Black Cauldron , but there have been a lot of animated cult films: Heavy Metal, Wizards, the animated LOTR, Fire and Ice, a lot of Don Bluth’s stuff.

Spider-Verse will hopefully bring the medium into a broad sphere of genres and bring people back to the cult classics, some of them deserve it.

(Not The Black Cauldron, it’s just bad.)
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Postby El Squibbonator » Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:09 am

You're implying that the animated LOTR and Heavy Metal were unsuccessful. They weren't: LOTR made $30 million on a $5 million budget, and Heavy Metal made $20 million on a $9 million budget.
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Postby Chuckman » Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:49 pm

Yeah I didn't mean to imply that every movie I mentioned was a flop, I was trying to point out that The Black Cauldron was a similar effort (and flop) to the early 2000's attempts at more mature animated films. I shouldn't have mashed those two ideas one sentence.

What I was getting at is there's always been a cult following for adult animation, but it's always been a geek thing. With geek culture being mainstreamed it might take off and bring attention to those more obscure older flicks.

If I had James Cameron money I'd force Hollywood to produce an animated remake of Flight of Dragons that's de-kiddified and aimed at adults.
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Postby El Squibbonator » Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:29 pm

So, how long would you give it before we have an animated movie that:
-Is financially successful
-Is Rated PG-13 or R
-Is Released by a major studio
-Is NOT a comedy
-Is NOT based on a TV series
-Grosses at least $100 million worldwide.
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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:53 pm

^ For a movie to be released and fulfill all that criteria?

Either not in the foreseeable future or ever.

Every studio has their own streaming service in development right now so there's less incentive than ever to release a risky adult-geared animation film to theaters. Any studio can certainly make a PG-13 or R rated animation film but then they can just drop it online and remove both the cost of marketing such a film to wide audiences & completely remove the risk of recouping their investment.

And while it is true that Sony is working on making their own cinematic universe with Spider-Verse as a launching ground (by 2029 I predict every Spider-Person who showed up in that film & in the sequels will have their own ongoing series) & a hit PG-13 rated animation film could come out of that it wouldn't be an original. It would be a superhero movie based on a pre-existing character, series, franchise, etc.

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Postby El Squibbonator » Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:36 pm

Gendo'sPapa wrote:And while it is true that Sony is working on making their own cinematic universe with Spider-Verse as a launching ground (by 2029 I predict every Spider-Person who showed up in that film & in the sequels will have their own ongoing series) & a hit PG-13 rated animation film could come out of that it wouldn't be an original. It would be a superhero movie based on a pre-existing character, series, franchise, etc.


I never said that it had to be totally original. The criteria technically only said it had to not be based on a TV show. And while it's true that Spider-Man is a pre-existing character, Into The Spider-Verse is a completely new adaptation of said character rather than being a direct spinoff of any particular TV series. Wikipedia even has a comprehensive list of animated films based on TV series; Into The Spider-Verse does not appear on it.

So a hypothetical successful PG-13 entry in the Spider-Verse series would therefore fill all of the criteria:
It would meet the "not a comedy" criterion because Into The Spider-Verse was marketed with an emphasis on drama and action rather than humor, which is very rare for an animated movie.
It meets the "not based on a TV series" criterion because while it does use pre-existing characters it is not an adaptation of a TV series featuring those characters.

If a PG-13 or R-rated movie based directly on a novel, a comic book, or even a video game had met all of the criteria, it would have qualified as well. I specifically excluded TV series because the majority of successful adult animated movies have been little more than theatrically-released TV episodes (i.e. The Simpsons Movie and South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut)

It's worth noting that there have been a number of movies that came close to meeting all of the criteria but only missed one or two. Sausage Party filled almost all of them but it was still a comedy. Isle of Dogs and Loving Vincent also met almost all of the criteria, except they did not reach the $100 million mark and were not major-studio productions. Robert Zemeckis's Beowulf, in 2007, was an animated PG-13 drama that earned $190 million, so on the surface it would seem to have met all the criteria. Unfortunately its $150 million budget meant it failed the "financial success" criterion. Notice that three of the movies I just mentioned came out in the past three years.

As for future movies that could potentially meet all of the criteria, there are a number of adult animated movies being produced now--probably more than any time since the 1970s. Most are comedies, but then we also have:
-An adaptation of the comic book The Goon by Deadpool director Tim Miller
-A fantasy action movie called Black Knight directed by Genndy Tartakovsky
-An animated horror movie called To Your Last Death
-A film by Titmouse called Foxy Trotter
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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:19 pm

Disney’s streaming service designed to crush Netflix, DISNEY+, launches November 12th and at the start at least will cost just $6.99 a month.

Disney is claiming when it launches the service will have EVERY Disney Animated Film, EVERY Marvel film, EVERY Star Wars film with Episode IX to follow in early 2020, all but three Pixar films, every Disney show cartoon + live action, AND it will launch with the Star Wars: Mandalorian show, several new shows, and a shit ton more. Plus it will have a ton of 20th Century Fox properties including EVERY EPISODE of The Simpsons.

So yeah.... Disney is about to crush Netflix at their own game.

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Postby hui43210 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:25 pm

^

Yep, I'm sold. This could be when the competition starts to weigh on Netflix a lot more, seeing as they don't seem to make money as it is.
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Postby FreakyFilmFan4ever » Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:16 am

I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the major reasons why Disney bought out the Fox properties was so that way Disney would have more than just Disney branded titles on their Disney+ service. Movie services are cool and all, but just having Disney branded titles keeps you from having an audience interested in R-rated films, and Fox’s Alien franchise, Deadpool movies, etc. are more than enough to make up for that.


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