A new report indicates Hollywood film and television studio Annapurna Pictures will see its film division reevaluated after the company has run into financial troubles.
Annapurna Pictures is the studio created by billionaire heiress Megan Ellison, who is the daughter of Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison.
The Wrap reports:
“Ellison is ‘reevaluating’ the studio’s film division and is expected to take a more active role in day-to-day development and production after a rocky 18 months that included Kathryn Bigelow’s “Detroit” and the modest indie hit Sorry to Bother You.”
The Wrap also indicates that Larry Ellison is no longer looking to invest in the company. According to their source, “There is a financial issue going on. Her dad has put a lot of money into the company and I don’t think he wants to support her behavior and what’s been going on. There are restraints — the money is not flowing.”
However, a spokesperson for Annapurna relayed, “These are unfounded rumors. Everything is business as usual.”
Another of their sources indicated Megan Ellison “makes bad decisions.” They add, “She wanted to chase all these expensive movies that weren’t going to make money, and she said, ‘I don’t care whether they make money.’ That’s not how you run a company.”
Annapurna has seen some major shake-ups in recent months. President of Film Chelsea Bernard recently existed the company. Her exit followed the departure of President Marc Weinstock and CFO Josh Small. The company also dropped two films that were about to head into production. A Jay Roach movie about Fox News founder Roger Ailes which was expected to star John Lithgow, Charlize Theron, and Margot Robbie and Jennifer Lopez’s The Hustlers at Scores.
The Wrap believes the financial troubles stem from Annapurna’s insistence on launching its own distribution division instead of working with other Hollywood co-producers and distributors.
However, the studio has also produced a number of bombs over the past year. Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit only brought in $16 million at the box office while production estimates indicate it cost $40 million.
One of their most recent projects, The Sisters Brothers starring John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix allegedly cost the studio $7.5 million for the distribution rights in North America. The film hasn’t even made $1 million.
Death Wish starring Bruce Willis was also a flop. The film only brought in $34 million on an estimated $30 million production budget.
Before this recent losing streak, Annapurna did have some success Sausage Party raked in $140 million on a $19 million budget. American Hustle made $250 million on a $40 million budget. And Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty made $132 million on a $40 million budget.
The Daily Wire’s Paul Bois believes the problem with Annapurna is its recent political tilt with its films. He points to Bigelow’s Detroit and Sorry to Bother You as films “that stoked racial divisions between black and white Americans.”
He also points to their upcoming project VICE, which will see Christian Bale become Vice President Dick Cheney and Sam Rockwell portray President George W. Bush. He labels this film as “leftist propaganda.”
While the studio definitely appears to have lost big on left-leaning films, it does look to have a diverse portfolio.
Do you think Annapurna might be having troubles because of their more political movies that have flopped? Or do you think it could be mismanagement?