Making Out with the Media: United Artists' Financial Hopes Resting on Tom Cruise's Shoulders, and Other Stories

While his business partner Paula Wagner made waves on Wednesday when she left United Artists and stepped down as its CEO (but still retaining an ownership interest), remaining partner Tom Cruise is going to be feeling the weight of the entire studio’s future when it was also announced that Valkyrie will be moving back into the 2008 movie release schedule, this time slated for a December 26 release.

The first of the two Variety stories is the more interesting one because it details the fact that UA/MGM has two revolving credit lines worth about $450 million, but it’s trying to raise more money because that’s not going to be enough to develop the slate of movies it has on tap, including the aforementioned WWII drama about a German plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, a Guillermo del Toro-directed adaptation of a British TV series called “Champions,” and a Bruce Willis movie about the My Lai massacre in Vietnam called Pinkville. It also mentions that Cruise hasn’t been doing much movie brokering, choosing instead to focus on his acting career — with a little bit of child-rearing and Scientology shilling on the side, I might add.

DreamWorks Animation to Dip Back Into the Funny Animal Well with Sequels to Madagascar (Again), Kung Fu Panda
During a preview for Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Hollywood Reporter quoted DWA CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg as saying that there would be a third movie in the Madagascar franchise that hopefully would finally see the animals return to New York and the Central Park Zoo…thus spoiling the fact that no, they still aren’t back on Manhattan Island by the end of the second movie which comes out on November 7.

At the same preview, but speaking this time to an unnamed Reuters reporter, Katzenberg also said that the studio was in talks with the creative team behind this summer’s “other” blockbuster CG film Kung Fu Panda to create a sequel: “We’ve started conversations about it, and I think in the next 30 or 60 days, we’ll be able to talk completely about that,” the CEO said.

Which is CEO-speak for, “I can neither confirm nor deny any previous reports.”

Related Posts: Kung Fu Panda… 2! (jumped the gun did we, Gordon?)

Posted on August 13, 2008 at 23:08 by Trisha Lynn · Permalink
In: News

4 Responses

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  1. Written by Gordon McAlpin
    on 2008-08-14 at 00:49
    Permalink

    Noooope. I was just reporting on what the Animation Blog said; I knew it wasn’t official.

    Interesting note, though: the original source is now edited to read “But down on the lower levels, artists are working, with animators hand-drawing new material for the DVD of Kung Fu Panda, the original.”

    So either that post was incorrect about that “story crew [which] has started early work” on the sequel (which would be accounted for by Katzenberg’s “conversations”) and they were informed otherwise, or they were instructed to remove mention of it.

    Anyway, really, what does it matter? The movie was a hit; of course there will be a sequel. And YAY.

  2. Written by Trisha Lynn
    on 2008-08-14 at 05:31
    Permalink

    It matters in that really good movies really don’t need sequels, which a certain Filipino comic strip character we both know espouses. ^_^

  3. Written by Gordon McAlpin
    on 2008-08-14 at 10:47
    Permalink

    I don’t think Jason’s ever said anything to the effect of being across-the-board anti-sequel.

    Some characters are made for sequels: any super-hero, Bond, a lot of action heroes… Some just make sense.

    More American Graffiti: unnecessary sequel.

    But in the case of Kung Fu Panda, the Furious Five really do need more character development, and a sequel would remedy that — and hopefully be just as fun as the first one, at the same time.

  4. Written by movie buff
    on 2008-08-14 at 13:13
    Permalink

    The first Kung Fu Panda was certainly lucrative enough to inspire a sequel, even if the second makes half as much as the first that wouldn’t be too bad

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