Universal Studios head Ron Meyer is the longest-serving studio head around; he’s 67 and he’s seen it all. So when he was hanging loose at the Savannah Film Festival, he was really hanging loose, admitting that the reason a lot of Uni’s films failed at the box office was because…they stank.
“Cowboys & Aliens wasn’t good enough. Forget all the smart people involved in it, it wasn’t good enough,” Meyer said, without pause. “All those little creatures bouncing around were crappy. I think it was a mediocre movie, and we all did a mediocre job with it.”
“Land of the Lost was just crap,” he continued. “I mean, there was no excuse for it. The best intentions all went wrong.”
But not all box office films failed because of being crap!
“Scott Pilgrim, I think, was actually kind of a good movie. [Addressing a small section of the audience, cheering.] But none of you guys went! And you didn’t tell your friends to go! But, you know, it happens.
“Cowboys & Aliens didn’t deserve better. Land of the Lost didn’t deserve better. Scott Pilgrim did deserve better, but it just didn’t capture enough of the imaginations of people, and it was one of those things where it didn’t cost a lot so it wasn’t a big loss,” Meyer continued. “Cowboys & Aliens was a big loss, and Land of the Lost was a huge loss. We misfired. We were wrong.”
Although everyone is doubtless standing by cheering Meyers’ candor, he also says that BABE 2: PIG IN THE CITY is, along with THE WOLFMAN, “one of the shittiest moves we’ve put out,” and a lot of people would disagree with that. Maybe he got it mixed up with NUTTY PROFESSOR II: THE KLUMPS.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.