Everyone has regrets. Those of us who aren’t in the public eye in any way can sweep them under the rug. Actors or actresses who dislike roles they played though? They’re stuck with the reminder forever. George Clooney regrets his decision to don the mask of Batman. He signed on board for commercial and monetary reasons and disliked the experience so much that he keeps a photo of himself as Batman in his office as a reminder.
So, he stays away from summer tent poles now. In fact, he recently told Deadline he’s fed up with Daniel Loeb. The guy is a hedge fund investor who is threatening Sony over a couple of movie flops. Clooney criticizes him because he thinks he “is trying to spread a climate of fear that pushes studios to want to make only tent poles.”
I’ve been reading a lot about Daniel Loeb, a hedge fund guy who describes himself as an activist but who knows nothing about our business, and he is looking to take scalps at Sony because two movies in a row underperformed? When does the clock stop and start for him at Sony? Why didn’t he include Skyfall, the 007 movie that grossed a billion dollars, or Zero Dark Thirty or Django Unchained? And what about the rest of a year that includes Elysium, Captain Phillips, American Hustle and The Monuments Men? You can’t cherry pick a small time period and point to two films that didn’t do great. It makes me crazy. Fortunately, this business is run by people who understand that the movie business ebbs and flows and the good news is they are ignoring his calls to spin off the entertainment assets. How any hedge fund guy can call for responsibility is beyond me, because if you look at those guys, there is no conscience at work. It is a business that is only about creating wealth, where when they fail, they get bailed out and where nobody gets fired. A guy from a hedge fund entity is the single least qualified person to be making these kinds of judgments, and he is dangerous to our industry.
Of course, there were a lot of glaring flops over the summer, but the box office still beat it’s previous ticket sales record by seven percent.