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Discuss: Ridley Scott Wants Studios to Make Money Above All

Posted: April 14th, 2012 by WorstPreviews.com Staff
Discuss: Ridley Scott Wants Studios to Make Money Above AllSubmit Comment
Everyone understands that show business is exactly that, "a business," which is why studios often develop formulaic films that can reach the widest audience. And since R-rated films tend to make less money than PG-13 movies, projects that should have lots of blood, sex and language, get neutered in order to become financially successful.

Let's take a look at 20th Century Fox:

Fox's "Die Hard" franchise did quite well for three installments with an R-rating. But when a fourth one was made, the studio decided to make it PG-13 and ended up making more money than with any of the previous films. Fans complained, but now a fifth "Die Hard" is on its way. So, was it worth it?

Ridley Scott, who directed the R-rated "Alien" film and the upcoming prequel called "Prometheus" for Fox, says it's absolutely worth it. "I want certification for ['Prometheus'] that allows me to make as large a box office as possible," he revealed. "If studios don't get their money back we don't have any movies."

It's very likely that "Prometheus" will end up being PG-13, which will result in bigger box office gross for the studio, which will result in "Prometheus 2." And if the gross is big enough, major Hollywood actors, writers, and directors will sign on for the sequel, and the studio would be more than happy to dish out the bucks to make an even grander film.

The other option is to do what "Predators" did. Fox took a similarly popular franchise, brought on a known director, producer, lead actor, and then did the right thing by making the film R-rated. In the end, the film barely made back its budget domestically. And now, there are hardly any talks of a sequel.

But it's not only sequels that Scott is worried about. He knows that if studios don't remain profitable, they end up dying off, which means less movies being developed. And that means less choice for movie-goers.

Question: Do you agree with Ridley Scott that a studio's top priority should be to become profitable, even if it hurts the final product?

Source: WorstPreviews.com, HeyUGuys


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Displaying 53 comment(s) Profanity: Turn On
oklahomaer writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 5:33:21 AM

No, because some movies just need to be R rated.
codeman_1216 writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 5:36:38 AM

There top priority shold be to make great movies. That's where the profit is.
oklahomaer writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 5:36:47 AM

Like the Rambo series.
bandolero999 writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 5:47:25 AM

Predators made it's money back.and it was a hit overseas.

Way better than avp movies.
bandolero999 writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 5:54:20 AM

And the only reason live free was a hit is because it made
249 mil overseas.it barely made its money in the US.
DaveThePhotoGuy writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 6:05:14 AM

Question: Do you agree with Ridley Scott that a studio's top priority should be to become profitable, even if it hurts the final product?

NO!
And, go f*ck yourself you senile old c*nt!
Freudian_Nightmare writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 6:11:15 AM

Of course should the studios prioritize good movies, that goes without saying. But they can only make those movies if they can make movie. So I'm actually with Ridley on this one.

And in the end, we shouldn't blame the studios for cranking out sub-standard sequels and remakes, we should blame ourselves. It is the audience that make a movie profitable. If we just stopped paying for sh*tty movies and actually went to good ones, that would send a message to the studios.
secondbest writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 6:11:29 AM

I feel like here's where the "director's cut" comes in. Release a PG-13 version, then come out with a director's cut either in limited release a little while afterward or on DVD. Problem solved.
Wallace writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 6:12:01 AM

@ bandolero: no, Predators didn't make its money back.
The production budget was 40 M., 70 M if you take the PR into account (boxoffice.com).
It made 127 M in total (boxofficemojo.com). Domestically, 40% belongs to the theaters, internationally even 50% (which is why the domestic gross is more important for studios).

All in all, the studio ended up with 68.7 M, compared to a 70 M budget, or a small loss. Simple math.
Wallace writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 6:13:27 AM

But you're right about Live Free or Die Hard. Adjusted for inflation, it was even the weakest part at the boxoffice.
lppinto writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 6:15:27 AM

I still remember when Ridley told that this one was going to be so gruesome it would make you puke... guess he changed his mind!
oklahomaer writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 6:17:05 AM

Die hard with a vengeance only made only 21 million less total gross. Then if you adjust for ticket inflation live free made the least.
bandolero999 writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 6:44:03 AM

Dvd/bluray sales helped the movie as well.

Cinemaisdead writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 9:22:14 AM

Would an artist paint over a nipple to allow more people to see the art even if it affects the quality of the final product? Nope. Saying that, some films that are 12a now days would probably be 15 or 18 in the past so you can get away with more. I don't think Prometheus is a film that has to be R rated but other films just get f*cked. The main reason is the biggest demographic that visit the cinema is teenagers. They're cutting off a big chunk of money by not letting those little f*ckers in.
trailertrash writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 9:50:27 AM

Looking at it from a studio point of view, It's a business and they are there to make money end of.

If they feel a PG-13 rating will do that for them, Then that is there prerogative no matter what we all think about it.

Take the Expendables 2, when it came out that they were making it PG-13, We all thought that sucked major ass (and it did)

But on the other hand in the studios point of view, I was ready to take both my boys and possibly some of their friends too, Which would have meant more cash in their pockets

Because no matter what, We would have all gone and seen Expendables 2 even as PG-13 but knowing it would have been much better as an R.

So there is reasoning in studios thinking and in what Ridley is saying.

But as film fans we don't care about boxoffice results, Profits and all that, We just want a great f*cking movie like Prometheus to be the best it can be and in our opinion that would be R Rated !!

But if we had an invested interest maybe we would have a different view.

halleluka writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 9:51:30 AM

That kind of thinking, to sacrifice quality in order to appeal for a better rating, is detrimental. The current studio system is in the latter stages of its cycle and is currently competing on cost as it stands. From a competitive standpoint, the rise of technology means you have consumers now possessing the ability to become producers. It's not a sustainable business ecosystem.

Look at theatres. It's been predicted that they're going to go the way of the drive-in. More and more people are choosing to enjoy video on-demand or, unfortunately, turn to downloading torrented copies of the flick. It's part of the reason Blockbuster burned to the ground and from those ashes Netflix came. This 3D tech is a last-ditch effort on the part of the studios to bring people into the cinema.

(Note that I say this living in a developed country where the cultural impact of cinema is different than in an emerging economy, like Brazil or parts of Eastern Europe, where going to the cinema has a different impact than here.)

And the end isn't from purely a B2C standpoint, either. The players within the industry itself are going to be dying out. If one looks at the airline industry the rise of tech, info sharing, and online transactions wiped out the role of travel agents. It shattered their group to the point that, compared to the 80s and 90s, very few actually work as an agent. Transactions and planning can all easily done electronically due to the information out there. I'll predict that casting agents, motion picture & lit agents, and managers will be faced with the same problem. With studios looking to save money and independents rising, more and more will be done online to attract people to their product. Directors will be able to post roles online, actors will continue to post their demo reels online and audition via electronic submission. The people that were previously important for their possession of project knowledge or strong relationships will be discarded.

Note that I mention the actors being able to submit their work online. That preference for casting and creation of films will exist for a short while. Soon major movie stars will choose to sell their digital likeness to the future decision makers (I doubt that will be current studio heads, but I'm unsure as to where the power would shift for them to sell it to). George Clooney will be 90 years old in real life but onscreen he'll still be the dapper dude we've seen in the last decade. Jolie will be finishing up her hip surgery, but her likeness will be in a future Tomb Raider reboot. Andy Serkis was the first person to showcase incredible talent on physical movement and expression and was heralded for his mo-cap work- we're going to see more of those types of performers rise up for film, and less real people in cinemas.

I'd argue by that point the only real place to see performances would be playhouses and theatres, but I don't know how deeply any forecasted paradigm shift might affect people. Will we still be interested in taking in performances by real people in theatres or playhouses?

It all comes back to my firm opinion and belief that the industry is not sustainable. People are able to broadcast original material from their home for others to enjoy. YouTube is the main platform where they can do so and enjoy profitability based on the number of views they get (as well as any resulting outside deals that occur because of popularity). At this point I firmly believe that passionate people outside the system are on level playing ground and can produce incredible films for more people to enjoy. At the end of the day, it's those same people who will prove to be the studios downfall.
Doc Gonzo writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 9:59:20 AM

"The other option is to do what "Predators" did.[...]making the film R-rated. In the end, the film barely made back its budget domestically."

What kind of argument is that? Predators has not been successfull because it was sh*t, not because it was R-Rated. And that goes for a lot of movies.

As said show business is a business, so it's only natural for the studios to try to maximize their profit. But they shouldn't influence directors in their creativity and work. If a movie has a lot of blood/language etc. and it needs to be PG-R then it should stay that way and not be made PG-13 by cutting scenes out, because that's what, in most cases, makes sequels impossible if the original movie sucks and fails...
nitishbhat writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 10:05:35 AM

i seriously dont understand wat all the fuss is about film ratings in the US. i mean, ppl are goin to c movies no matter the rating. do u honestly think no kid under the age o 18 has seen die hard? if the parent doesnt allow the kid to watch the movie in theaters, then he/she will just end up seeing it on DVD or dload it from the net. the internet 4 gods sake!!! one quick search on google n u can just about find anythin out there, no matter the age.

so, why does MPAA have to ruin a movie 4 the ppl who want to c a movie the way it was meant to be? y ruin it 4 the rest o us? hollywood should understand this by now n release 2 or more versions o a movie. one, in the original format, n another 4 all the stupid ppl who think an alphabet makes all the difference
bandolero999 writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 10:06:00 AM

Maybe it Topher Grace wasn't casted it would of made mire money.who's bright idea was that.
Preditorian writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 10:08:37 AM

So now people are making movies based on how the MPAA sh*theads dictate the rating on a film, no matter what effect it has...

Someone should make a film about killing MPAA members.
AngryAngel writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 10:38:27 AM

Studios can't argue about bad movies not making any money. It's a pointless arguement. When wolverine origins was leaked I watched it, when it was released in movie theatres I watched it again, thought it was worse the second time around so I didn't buy the DVD. If Ridley is agreeing to do Prometheus pg13 just so fox can "make more money" then f*ck him, he's forgotten what movies are about.
minkowski writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 11:40:07 AM

Studios used to make plenty of money, back when they produced far, far more R-rated films, but that was before BluRay and DVD became as ubiquitous as stoves and refrigerators.

In the end, it's all about *money*, and not just the kind of money people expect to make as a return on their initial investment.

It's about greed, because Hollywood has grown very, very fat on the billions that roll into their coffers every year from disc sales, and now VOD sales and rental licensing.

They want more, and more, and MORE because now film-making isn't merely a business, or an industry, it's an *empire*, and empires always, *always* choose growth over integrity.

Which is why Hollywood has the MPAA and RIAA performing as the Praetorian Guard, defend the empire from the attacks of the mere barbarians, the unwashed uncouth masses. Us, in other words, even though you, and mostly you because I buy less ans less from them, have, have made them into the insatiable gluttonous monster by buying into every media they offer, ever console they design, every streaming outlet they license, so when you bitch that they now disproportionately emphasis quantity over quality, you, and you alone made them what they are.

Deal with it.

And Ridley, I hate you, f*cker, not for saying what you said, but for saying it without a shred of shame.

(I also failed to mention the fact that Hollywood's empire now spans continents, the entire world in fact, which also a huge component of why films are more about cash and less about art, but f*ck it, it's too late in the day to start caring.)
minkowski writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 11:42:13 AM

...I've always asked for an edit option to help clarify f*ckered posts, and I'm doing that again now, not that I expect my wish to be granted...
DexterMorgan writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 12:04:54 PM

no i don't i want it to be R
DexterMorgan writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 12:07:14 PM

hey where the f*ck did ranger go to,weirdly enough i just noticed he has been around much lately or at all
Freshman writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 12:19:00 PM

It's sad but f*cking true...
minkowski writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 12:35:44 PM

If only Michelangelo had painted and sculpted by committee fiat...
Džeko writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 12:40:37 PM

That's OK you old fart but keep it to yourself!
witwicky-potter writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 1:31:56 PM

He does have a point.Anyone who thinks studios make movies for people to enjoy are simply lying to themselves.These studios dont care about you or me,all they care about is making as much money as possible.you can tell how they dont even care about the critic's ratings.They just advertise a movie so successfuly that a critics opinion doesnt really matter.Shame on you Hollywood
darthnoah writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 2:21:11 PM

The business of entertainment is business.. Simple as that..

Predators was a f*ck awful movie. It sucked at the BO. I thought X-Men:FC sucked ass. If anyone wants to contest that, lets..

If you have the money to spend on making a sh*tty movie like these, you HAVE to have the money to get a better script written.

And after The Hangover, a good R is anyday better than a f*ck awful PG13..

I'm from India. I don't give a rats ass what the censors in the US say. We watch everything. But I read about movie performances and know whats going on in the studios. And the money making today keeps bringing in bad movies. Nothing is worth that.

I'm ashamed to think of Al Pacino doing f*ckin '88 Mins' and 'S1mone'. 'RAGING BULL 2'?? ARE YOU f*ckING KIDDING ME!!
johnny_boy writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 2:22:26 PM

Should Hollywood priorities making good movies or making money? Is it too much to ask for both? If talent was encouraged maybe you would get good writers and production. Instead of taking time to make a great product now we have mindless films like "Battleship" and Tyler Perry movies.
SACdaddy writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 2:49:16 PM

So when did Ridley stop being an artist and start being a studio shill? Most artist want their work to be well received and eventually acknowledged by their peers , but that doesn't necessarily mean make huge profit. If Scott were the producer I would be with him, but as the director he's on the wrong page. Im not naive, I know the studio has to get theirs but quality sells too. It might not sell as well (today's audience is pretty stupid ie fans praising the Hunger Games and Twatlight), but it can still turn a profit (ie Inception).

Somewhere along the line the studios forgot the proper formula for quality success. Apparently they slept through the 90s and missed the independent film movement that gave us huge profits on small budgets. No worries though, independent movements come around once every 20 years or so, and we appear to be on the verge of one now. More and more studios are realizing how easy it is to make huge profits on small productions that rely on creativity more than expensive effects or highpriced star power. The audience is gaining its voice more too. Fanboys are getting films greenlit now that shouldn't be under the current studio profit formula. Anchorman sequel is a great example of this. The original didn't make enough profit for the studio but a huge fan internet based movement has finally secured its future. I just hope it keeps up.

Scott can f*ck off if he hoes along with this pg-13 bullsh*t. He acts like he doesn't remember his own history. All of his most profitable films have been R rated. His pg-13 Robin Hood was a massive failure I'm the other hand.
SACdaddy writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 2:49:17 PM

So when did Ridley stop being an artist and start being a studio shill? Most artist want their work to be well received and eventually acknowledged by their peers , but that doesn't necessarily mean make huge profit. If Scott were the producer I would be with him, but as the director he's on the wrong page. Im not naive, I know the studio has to get theirs but quality sells too. It might not sell as well (today's audience is pretty stupid ie fans praising the Hunger Games and Twatlight), but it can still turn a profit (ie Inception).

Somewhere along the line the studios forgot the proper formula for quality success. Apparently they slept through the 90s and missed the independent film movement that gave us huge profits on small budgets. No worries though, independent movements come around once every 20 years or so, and we appear to be on the verge of one now. More and more studios are realizing how easy it is to make huge profits on small productions that rely on creativity more than expensive effects or highpriced star power. The audience is gaining its voice more too. Fanboys are getting films greenlit now that shouldn't be under the current studio profit formula. Anchorman sequel is a great example of this. The original didn't make enough profit for the studio but a huge fan internet based movement has finally secured its future. I just hope it keeps up.

Scott can f*ck off if he hoes along with this pg-13 bullsh*t. He acts like he doesn't remember his own history. All of his most profitable films have been R rated. His pg-13 Robin Hood was a massive failure I'm the other hand.
Self-Destructing writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 3:03:14 PM

Scott is right. The studios have to make money. What is happening is more sex and obscene material is being pressed into PG-13 which is being presented to younger people. Some of the great movies are rated R because of the risks taken with the content. Why argue this at all? There are only about 3 good movies that come out each year. Go through your DVD collection and see how many movies you would want to watch right now….with your mom sitting on the couch next to you.
minkowski writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 3:32:17 PM

There's a difference between entertainment and art, and it would seem almost no one here appreciates that fact.

Also, Scott never said the studios have to make a profit. Everyone knows a business has to make a profit to remain economically viable (bet you can't name the film in which that phrase appeared), he said studios need to MAXIMIZE their profits at the expense of other quantities, which is this issue, so if you're going to remark on the news, at least pay attention to what the man said.

Thank you.
Dekead writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 3:42:39 PM

I understand the business part of films but they are also products of passion and creativity. I think the most successful filmmakers would balance these two beneficially. With ratings it can be 50-50, kids eouldnt be able to buy tickets for R rated films but a watered down PG-13 could disappoint the biggest fans of the product
SACdaddy writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 4:07:41 PM

@self destructing: cramming MORE sex and violence into pg-13?!?! Have you seen an 80s-90s pg-13 movie? They got away with murder back then. Some even had nudity! Now you can barely killed someone onscreen. Fast Five was the most extreme pg-13 film I've seen in the last 20 and that had one f-bomb and zero sex. I liked it ok, but when I saw the real version I was blown away! Taken is the best example of the diminishing effects of pg-13. I saw the R rated version online before that pg bullsh*t was released here in the states. I spent the next month telling all my boys how badass it was, but when they finally went to see it they were far from impressed.

If I base everything I did I life off what my mom though, I'd never have fun. Why should my film going experience be any different?
encoreyourface writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 4:43:34 PM

i agree with secondbest, release the pg-13 in theaters and then release r-rated directors cut, making fans and the studio happy, which means more movies for us, and (eventually) the quality we want them.
Damon242 writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 4:46:11 PM

If they keep making films in 3D then there'll be enough money to make these R-rated films
OneTime writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 5:11:57 PM

no
BadChadB33 writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 5:24:58 PM

That just goes to show greed rules. Hollywood doesn't care what what die hard fans want anymore.
elrei writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 5:52:40 PM

@trailertrash

Speaking of Expendable 2...

http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/rorschachsrants/news/?a=57910

Maybe a decade later.. but I can't wait to watch THAT scene!
minkowski writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 5:58:31 PM

Awesome image elrei.

Sadly, Arnie looks ready for the glue factory though.
minkowski writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 6:17:55 PM

I think it would have been awesome if he had wielded the Cyberdyne shootout gun (GE M134 Minigun) instead of what he has in the image.
Tanman32123 writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 7:24:07 PM

He's got a point though...
struck21 writes:
on April 14th, 2012 at 8:12:49 PM

You take an action movie where countless people die in countless ways and everyone is protrayed as an uber badass saying "Golly that was mean." In stead of "What f*ck you ass!?" Sorry, making money shouldn't be taken over doing justice to the film you are making.
trailertrash writes:
on April 15th, 2012 at 2:56:05 AM

elrei

Really wicked pic there, Reminds me of the that awesome jungle shoot out scene in Predator

Can't wait for that movie,Thanks bud ...
trailertrash writes:
on April 15th, 2012 at 2:57:32 AM

Mink - lol
Alteredstate writes:
on April 15th, 2012 at 11:12:43 AM

Has it occurred to anyone that if the studios stopped paying actors, and actresses, obscene wages then they might, just might, make better returns on their films.
Man in Black writes:
on April 15th, 2012 at 2:56:54 PM

Ridley , i like your films . Riddle me this then if HW is all about profits why so many sh*tty remakes - reboots , or plain unoriginal ideas ? Is it a lack of common sense ? Or have all the studio executives been drinking the same kool-aid ?
kBob writes:
on April 15th, 2012 at 4:07:27 PM

Can't knock a guy for being honest. As long as Prometheus is a good summer movie then I'll be happy. I'm not expecting anything on the level of Alien or Aliens, for that matter. But logically, if you produce a good film, then word-of-the-mouth will help bring in revenue. Some exceptions, yes, but in the case of Prometheus, if the movie is well done and executed then an R rating won't matter. In fact, making it PG-13 can lose money because you'll lose people who don't want to be subjected to watered-down material. Either way, if it is PG13, it can still be dark and gritty. Expendables 2? Needs to be R because the fun of the first one was based on how over the top it was. The Alien franchise can have a solid PG13 entry if done correctly. Its supposed to be built on mystery and suspense, and doesn't need to be loaded with sex and excessive language.
Dre-EL writes:
on April 15th, 2012 at 4:33:50 PM

Do PG-13 for theatres and an urated or x-rated DVD blu-ray.
LanceGill writes:
on April 16th, 2012 at 3:15:16 AM

"And that means less choice for movie-goers."

No, no, no. This means MORE choice for movie-goers.

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