Years ago, Walt Disney Pictures decided to change up how it would release movies. Instead of a wide annual slate of about two dozen films like most of the major studios, they would shrink their slate to around half that number.
Buoyed by the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm – they adopted an all tentpole strategy going forward – one they could monetise across all levels and with fewer titles they could make each one an event.
It’s worked for them though, Disney has quickly become the dominant studio in Hollywood with various others like Sony, Paramount and Lionsgate struggling to keep their head above water, while others like Fox and Warners need some retooling.
Now, Paramount looks to be trying to at least partly copy that with Viacom CEO Bob Bakish telling an investment gathering this week (via Deadline) that the plan will be to work more with Viacom’s core cable networks like Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., BET, Comedy Central and MTV to collaborate in developing movies and spinoff TV series:
“[Disney] essentially now they run a defined slate. We have an analogous opportunity with a different set of assets. … That will help people understand what types of projects we’re looking for and will help us differentiate those projects in terms promotional support we’re able to give them.”
The comments come as former chairman of 20th Century Fox Jim Gianopulos has emerged as the front-runner to run Paramount along with Michael De Luca overseeing the motion picture division of the studio – but no deals are yet in place. Former Universal co-president Scott Stuber had been rumored for the big gig but he is expected to run Netflix’s expanded motion picture division.