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PIRATES booty can’t save Disney jobs

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Even as it rakes in the doubloons from the record opening of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST Disney is planning major cutbacks following such flops as Stick It, Annapolis, Stay Alive and especially The Wild, an animated film about some wacky animals we didn’t even remember opening.

Even as it basks in the box office glory of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” Disney is using the opportunity to tighten its belt.

The Mouse House will announce within the next 10 days that it’s cutting back on the number of films it makes to around eight per year — it currently releases around 18 — and will substantially reduce its workforce. All movies will be Disney-branded, meaning companies like Touchstone could be vastly diminished.

The cutbacks will be far greater than many anticipated, as Walt Disney Studios chairman Dick Cook looks to reinvent the architecture of his studio. Move reflects an effort to improve the studio’s return on investment and get infrastructure back into line.

  1. With as much money as Disney has to promote a film, “The Wild” really must have sucked. Or they just advertised it during kids’ shows (which I don’t watch anymore, honest!), because I don’t remember it opening either. This must have been made because they were going to lose Pixar at one point. Glad they’re leaving the cartoon making to the pros now. Kinda weird that Disney can’t make a good kids’ movie anymore, isn’t it?

  2. “The Wild” came out in April, right smack in the middle of the no-man’s-land between New Year’s and the summer when studios release films to die. Most reviews claimed that it was just another farting animal movie that was just like “Madagascar” except not even as good. It tanked fast.

  3. I took my kid to see “The Wild” and we both kind of liked it. Keifer Sutherland as a lion, Eddie Izzard as a koala, Janeane Garofolo as a giraffe, Shatner as a warthog… what’s not to like?

    Not even close to being the best movie I’ve ever seen, but not even the worst thing I’ve seen this year, either. (That dubious honor still goes to “Date Movie,” which I knew would be bad, but I thought Alyson Hannigan might redeem it. Boy, was I wrong…)

  4. The real fault at Disney lies in its cancellation of all traditional hand-drawn animated features save for the direct-to-DVD releases which even I hear aren’t going to last.

    I, myself, am holding out until Disney returns to the traditional animated features while at the same time releasing the CGI films under the Pixar banner, please.

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