It’s rare to get this much honesty from the head of a company. Normally they’re worried about PR and how bad they’re company would look. But Universal Studios President and COO doesn’t care.
We make a lot of s#!tty movies. Every one of them breaks my heart.
He spoke at length about not only one movie, but a couple. Read below and enjoy the brutal honesty Meyer lays out.
Cowboys and Aliens: ”Cowboys & Aliens wasn’t good enough. Forget all the smart people involved in it, it wasn’t good enough. All those little creatures bouncing around were crappy. I think it was a mediocre movie, and we all did a mediocre job with it.”
Land of the Lost: ”Land of the Lost was just crap. I mean, there was no excuse for it. The best intentions all went wrong.”
The Wolfman: ”We set out to make good [movies]. One of the worst movies we ever made was Wolfman. Wolfman and Babe 2 are two of the s#!ttiest movies we put out, but by the same token we made movies we believe in. … That’s one we should have smelled out a long time ago. It was wrong. The script never got right… [The cast] was awful. The director was wrong. Benicio [del Toro] stunk. It all stunk.”
You may be wondering if Meyer likes any movies that his studio makes. He does! And that movie was Scott Pilgrim vs The World. But overall, he still hates the other crap they’ve put out.
Scott Pilgrim, I think, was actually kind of a good movie, but none of you guys went! And you didn’t tell your friends to go! But, you know, it happens. … Cowboys & Aliens didn’t deserve better. Land of the Lost didn’t deserve better. Scott Pilgrim did deserve better, but it just didn’t capture enough of the imaginations of people, and it was one of those things where it didn’t cost a lot so it wasn’t a big loss. Cowboys & Aliens was a big loss, and Land of the Lost was a huge loss. We misfired. We were wrong. We did it badly, and I think we’re all guilty of it. I have to take first responsibility because I’m part of it, but we all did a mediocre job and we paid the price for it. It happens. They’re talented people. Certainly you couldn’t have more talented people involved in Cowboys & Aliens, but it took, you know, 10 smart and talented people to come up with a mediocre movie. It just happens.
He wasn’t done pissing on his studio though, he talked candidly about the Hollywood system and how money is above everything. Even the head of a studio hates it, but there’s little he can do, apparently, to fix it.
[A critical hit is] great when it happens, but we did A Beautiful Mind, and I don’t know that we’d do A Beautiful Mind again. That’s the sad part. It’s great to win awards and make films that you’re proud of and make money, but your first obligation is to make money and then worry about being proud of what you do.