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Disney’s Cancellation Of Henry Selick’s Stop-Motion Animated Film Costs Them $50 Million

Disney's Cancellation Of Henry Selick's Stop-Motion Animated Film Costs Them $50 Million

It’s understandable that following the colossal flop of “John Carter” and the money woes of “The Lone Ranger” (which has still managed to go over budget and behind schedule), Disney would be tightening their belt. But it seems even as they try to save money, they manage to lose some at the same time. You’re doing it wrong, guys. So to add to what has been a bumpy 2012, it looks like accountants and executives will have more explaining to do.

CFO Jay Rasulo told the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference in Los Angeles that the studio is taking a $50 million dollar write-down (meaning the overall value of the company is taking a hit) due to the cancellation of Henry Selick‘s stop-motion animated film last month. It was a rather surprising move considering the movie had an October 2013 release date, and Selick had already done early promo for the picture. The project was one being shepered under Selick’s Cinderbiter production shingle, and while Disney left the door open for him to take the movie elsewhere, we’re coming on a month now and nothing has happened.

All told, the aborted movie will cause a 2 cent per-share hit on earnings. But it’s not all doom and gloom as the CarsLand theme park is “an absolute grand-slam home run,” and then there is their Marvel division, which basically just prints money. But here’s a tip, Hollywood: don’t start production on a movie if you don’t intend to finish it. Cool? Cool. [The Hollywood Reporter]

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Drew Taylor

Oh I'm sure they intended on finishing it. This was a big title for Disney, the potential first film from a potential stop motion division of Pixar (imagine the hopping Luxo Jr. lamp, but stop-motion-animated and you'll get the idea), a follow-up to what Disney hopes will be a wildly successful film in "Frankenweenie," and overall the next step in a logical progression of the relationship between the studio and Selick, a wonderful filmmaker (but not exactly the easiest guy to get along with). There were problems from the start and Selick had a hard time getting into the creative groove of Pixar, particularly the tear-it-down-and-start-all-over-again ethos of the so-called Brain Trust and at some point Disney had to pull the plug. The reason they gave him the option to take it to another studio was to try and salvage their relationship with him, but "The Graveyard Book," the high-profile Newberry-winning Neil Gaiman novel that Selick was set to adapt for the studio, seems very much in doubt right now. Hopefully feelings can be mended and paychecks can be paid, because what a terrific match of talent and source material…



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