Universal’s game plan hasn’t been really working out over the past few years. They tried being the fresh and edgy mainstream studio by taking chances on films like MacGruber, Repo Men, Your Highness, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and even an R-rated version of The Wolfman, but none of that panned out financially. While some of those films have gone on to much critical success, none have really earned them back all of the money they sunk into the projects.
It’s sad too, because I supported each and every one of those films on different levels, via seeing them in theaters and buying merchandise and Blu-rays and so on. Many people did in fact and some of those films will live on through the times, but that still doesn’t change where that leaves Universal right now.
They, like many other studios, are going to start focusing more on their franchises. Their flagship right now is the Fast/Furious series, with Fast Five being a massive success, despite the previous films getting middle-of-the-road reviews and respectable, but steady box office numbers. Fast Five blew the lid off of that and that got Fast Six (or whatever you want to call it) greenlit and sped into production, with a seventh film all but guaranteed.
This makes them look at their films from this past summer, like Seth MacFarlane‘s Ted and Tony Gilroy‘s The Bourne Legacy. The first being an R-rated teddy bear comedy starring Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis that went on to gross nearly $400 million dollars worldwide and the second being a rebooted sequel (haha what?) that was met with harsh critical response and middling box office intake.
They believe that Ted needs a sequel and that the Bourne series is far from done, with sequels bringing back Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz.
Are you looking forward to Universal following Paramount’s plan of attack with sequels and franchises opposed to original content and new faces?