Universal Studios President, Ron Meyer: We Do Make A Lot Of Shitty Movies
It's no secret that most of what comes out of Hollywood these days is designed to fill seats with the lure of special effects, typically sacrificing plot or substance. For every film worthy of an Oscar nomination there are 100 more that are so terrible they never should have been made -- and Hollywood knows it.
During an hour-long chat with students and and the general public at the Savannah College of Art & Design, Universal Studios President, Ron Meyer, openly admitted to making awful movies, reports Movieline.
"We make a lot of shitty movies," Meyer confessed when asked about Universal's recent biggest disappointment. “Every one of them breaks my heart.”
"We set out to make good ones. One of the worst movies we ever made was 'Wolfman'. 'Wolfman' and 'Babe 2' are two of the shittiest movies we put out, but by the same token we also made movies we believe in."
Meyer cited "United 93," the film about the United Airlines flight that was hijacked by terrorists on 9/11, as one of the movies he's most proud of.
For Hollywood "United 93" was not a moneymaker, it only grossed a reported $31.5 million domestically and $76 million worldwide. Comparatively, "Wolfman" was Universal's fourth highest grossing film of 2010, and pulled in a reported $142 million worldwide.
Other films that Meyer openly crapped on included "Cowboys and Aliens," which he said simply wasn't good enough.
"All those little creatures bouncing around were crappy. I think it was a mediocre movie, and we all did a mediocre job with it," he confessed.
But that "mediocre" movie is also Universal's fourth highest grossing film thus far for 2011, grossing $171 million.
It's rare to hear a Hollywood exec speak so candidly, especially when he's rattling off comments like, "'Land of the Lost' was just crap. I mean, there was no excuse for it," he said.
Audiences agreed there was no excuse and as a result the movie only grossed $69.5 million.
Despite Meyer admitting to these failures, he also admits that award contenders are not his top priority.
"[A critical hit is] great when it happens. But we did "A Beautiful Mind," and I don't know that we'd do "A Beautiful Mind" again," he said of the film that won four Academy Awards and actually did well at the box office grossing nearly $317 million.
"That's the sad part. It's great to win awards and make films that you're proud of and make money, but your first obligation is to make money and then worries about being proud of what you do."
That sentiment is felt by actors as well. Last month, Johnny Depp, who earned $100 million last year, told Vanity Fair, "Basically, if they're going to pay me the stupid money right now, I'm going to take it." To put things in perspective Depp's "Pirates of the Caribbean" and its three sequels have grossed $3.7 billion worldwide.
With studios and actors both willing to sacrifice quality as long as they still fill seats, we can expect Hollywood to keep churning out more "shitty movies."
For more, click over to Movieline.