If the head of a movie studio asked this question, “What does a film unit need to ensure financial stability?” how would you answer? “Talent” or “Intelligence” “Innovation” or maybe “Patience.”
NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke had a different answer: “franchises and animation.” Well, okay, that should shut you film romantics up. He was speaking to an audience of bankers, though, so I guess that’s about what you’d expect.
With that in mind, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Burke laid out a plan to release two animation features a year, up from their current output of an animation film every eighteen months or so. The success of “Despicable Me” convinced them they can do this (a sequel to that film is set to be released on July 3, 2013 with a spinoff feature starring on the films “Minions” planned for sometime in 2014).
On a more immediate front, two of the studio’s films from this summer were successful enough to earn sequels. I don’t think there was much doubt that there would be another “Bourne” film, but it’s official. “The Bourne Legacy” earned $182 million, which isn’t great, but it’s serviceable. And as Burke requires, it is a recognizable name that’s easy to sell.
Undoubtedly the bigger surprise is the success of Seth MacFarlane’s “Ted,” which shocked everyone by earning $400 million worldwide. Burke said they want to do “Ted 2″ as soon as they can. No word on whether Mark Wahlberg intends to return.