I was traveling all day as Movieline's report from the Savannah Film Festival picked up steam around the blogosphere, but early on it was clear that two polar-opposite reactions were building in response to Universal Studios chief Ron Meyer's comments about his studio's well-publicized (at least, outside of the studio) recent flops. Either you love his blazing moment of candor -- because we've all thought the same about most, if not all, of the woeful Universal films mentioned -- or you despise what he stands for. But Meyer is a businessman, the President and COO of one of the largest movie studios and theme park conglomerates in the business. Should more filmmakers and studio heads follow suit?
Universal Chief Ron Meyer Addresses VOD Fiasco, Admits Cowboys & Aliens, Land of the Lost, Wolfman Kinda Stunk
Of the major Universal Studios flops in recent memory, a handful stand out for their massive, and high profile, box office failings: 2009's Sid and Marty Krofft adaptation Land of the Lost, 2010's abysmal Wolfman and geek cult film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and this summer's megawatt disappointment Cowboys & Aliens. No one, it seems, is more painfully aware of Universal's missteps than longtime studio head Ron Meyer, who candidly addressed his recent Tower Heist VOD experiment, revisited his rise through the ranks to the top of the Universal chain, and admitted Wednesday in Savannah that some mediocre movies deserve their fate: "We make a lot of shitty movies. Every one of them breaks my heart."
The gold standard for bad movies getting Oscar love has to be 2007's multiple Razzie-winning Norbit, which earned an Oscar nod for Best Make-up, and from that moment forward demanded to be called by its rightful name: "The Academy Award-Nominated Norbit." (Shudder.) This year's crop of Oscar-nominated critical duds are cinematic masterworks by comparison -- and most of them can thank the thankless effects, costume, and sound mixing technicians for the profile-boost -- but still... who'da thunk these 8 films would have come this far?