W.D.,Here's some food for thought for you. I'm fascinated by the success of Adam Sandler's Hotel Transylvania. According to Box Office Mojo, the film had a budget of $85 million. It grossed worldwide $341 million.The question is: shouldn't Disney and DreamWorks Animation be able to make animated features that are successful and are made on an $85 million budget? It's not that it should be done every time out -- indeed, it is important for movies with high budgets to be made. There are ROI reasons for it. But in the case of DreamWorks Animation, clearly some low-budget strategies could help alter the company's risk profile in a positive way. I think the key to DreamWorks Animation and Disney's future success is to create at least two opportunities every year for story/concept-driven lower-budget animated projects that help spread the risk. And voice talent should not be paid much money (yes, that is generally the rule, but if a movie is a hit, from what I've read, there is a good chance talent will receive ludicrous-sized bonuses; please see the book on DreamWorks SKG, The Men Who Would Be King, and read about the bonuses the Shrek talent received once that movie completed its opening weekend -- bonuses that were not necessary to give contract-wise, I might add). And again, Hotel Transylvania should be looked at a case study. I never saw the film, but I liked the marketing campaign. We must ask ourselves: why can't more movies be made for $85 million?
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