Directors offer Hollywood a package deal

Lisa Napoli May 7, 2007
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Directors offer Hollywood a package deal

Lisa Napoli May 7, 2007
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KAI RYSSDAL: Every bad spider pun you could imagine has been put to good use today. So I am not doing to add to the list as I describe how Spiderman 3 did at the box office this weekend: $151 million in the U.S. alone.

Today’s other Hollywood story has nothing to do with Tobey McGuire or guys climbing buildings in over-hyped comic book take-offs. Here’s Marketplace’s Lisa Napoli.


LISA NAPOLI: The Los Angeles Times reported today on a unique proposal that’s being floated around Hollywood: Five Mexican directors shopping themselves in a five-picture, all-or-nothing deal that could fetch a hundred million bucks.

Stu Levine of Variety says for the studio that bites, it’s a good investment and has international appeal.

STU LEVINE: They could be the next Spielbergs and the next, you know, Martin Scorceses. Yeah, it could be huge. Look at, you know, the Latin influx in the United States and how, you know, Spanish television does so well.

Levine says the idea of asking a studio to bankroll a typically indy directorial quintet is unprecedented. Especially since part of the deal is that two of the movies get made in Spanish.

Mark Young teaches the business of Hollywood at the University of Southern California. He says having the films “Babel,””Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Children of Men” under their belts gives the cabal clout.

MARK YOUNG: If they hadn’t had that string of well-known and successful movies, such a deal, you know, might not be quite as tenable.

The five-pack is asking for creative control over what they make. And Hollywood-watcher Nikki Finke says that notion goes against the trend right now to take back power from the talent.

NIKKI FINKE: You don’t necessarily want these directors making “Pretty Woman.” You would like them making a Pretty Woman aimed at the Latino market.

But, she says in Hollywood, the ultimate driver besides money is the fear of losing out to the competition. So, she says, the Mexican quintet is likely to ink a deal.

In Los Angeles, I’m Lisa Napoli for Marketplace.

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