Universal Studios' Head Honcho Ron Meyer, “We make a lot of sh*tty movies."

Universal Pictures' President Ron Meyer on 3-D, The Wolfman, Scott Pilgrim, and Cowboys & Aliens.

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By Mark Julian - 11/3/2011

Source: Movieline

Ron Meyer while speaking at the Savannah Film Festival to students and members of the public at the Savannah College of Art & Design.

His personal and therefore Universal's stance on 3-D:
"I’m not a believer that every film should be 3-D,” said Meyer, acknowledging his own fiscal concern over Universal’s expensive upcoming 3-D film 47 Ronin, led by Keanu Reeves. “I think there’s a place for it; I think certain films lend themselves to it. Warner Bros. did Journey to the Center of the Earth; that movie would have never worked had it not been 3-D. The only thing that made that film palatable at all was the 3-D aspect.”

“None of us would be able to do, or afford, what Jim Cameron was able to do with Avatar,” Meyer continued. “Avatar was everything money could buy, and we can’t afford to be in that business. He spent a lot of money, he did a brilliant job… you were inside that movie, and that’s what made it work. You were surrounded by that film. I think 3-D has a limited capacity, but a capacity. I don’t think all films should be 3-D and we should be careful about falling for that.”


On the well-publicized financial disappointments Scott Pilgrim, Land of the Lost, and Cowboys & Aliens?
Movieline put the question to Meyer: Why did the aforementioned Universal event films fail?

“Cowboys & Aliens wasn’t good enough. Forget all the smart people involved in it, it wasn’t good enough,” Meyer said, without pause. “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 was just crap,” he continued. “I mean, there was no excuse for it. The best intentions all went wrong.”

“Scott Pilgrim, I think, was actually kind of a good movie. [Addressing a small section of the audience, cheering.] 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, ten smart and talented people to come up with a mediocre movie. It just happens.”


The Wolfman producer Stratton Leopold, who happens to be a Savannah native, showed up to wrap the chat.

Leopold, amiably introducing himself: “I’m Stratton Leopold…”

Meyer, good naturedly: “It’s one of those movies, the moment I saw it I thought, ‘What have we all done here?’ That movie was crappy.”

Leopold: “I said the same thing before the reshoot. I said, ‘Why are we spending all of this? Let’s shoot two scenes to create some sympathy for the [hero] and that’s it,’ but…”

Meyer: “We all went wrong. It was one of those things… like I said, we make a lot of bad movies. That’s one we should have smelled out a long time ago. It was wrong. The script never got right…”

Leopold: “The cast -”

Meyer: “—was awful. The director was wrong. Benicio [del Toro] stunk. It all stunk.”











Universal Pictures (sometimes called Universal City Studios or Universal Studios for short, or just perhaps simply Universal), a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, is one of the six major movie studios in the US, as of today. It was founded in circa 1912 by Carl Buttman, although it did not take major production until about 1915.

Being nearly a century old, it is one of the oldest continuously operating film studios in the USA. On May 11, 2004, the controlling stake in the company was sold by Vivendi Universal to General Electric, parent of NBC, the godfather of news. The resulting media super-conglomerate was renamed NBC Universal, while Universal Studios Inc. remained the name of the production subsidiary. In addition to owning a sizable film library spanning the earliest decades of cinema to more contemporary works, it also owns a sizable collection of TV shows through its subsidiary NBC Universal Television Distribution. It also acquired rights to several prominent filmmakers' works originally released by other studios through its subsidiaries over the years.

Its production studios are at 100 Universal City Plaza Drive in Universal City, California. Distribution and other corporate offices are in New York City. Universal Pictures is the second-longest-lived Hollywood studio; Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures is the oldest by a month




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Source: Movieline
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Foxpaw - 11/3/2011, 9:31 AM
hey! hey! shut up! you don't have bears coming out of the woods admitting to having a s.hit. don't waste your time.
RunDTC - 11/3/2011, 9:41 AM
someone's getting fired
MovieTheaterLad - 11/3/2011, 9:54 AM
Scott Pilgrim was easily one of the best CBM's of the past 5 years.
RorMachine - 11/3/2011, 9:55 AM
Agree with every single word he said, the frackin balls on this guy too. Pilgrim was very good, the rest, arse.
Orphix - 11/3/2011, 9:58 AM
Woah!

Cast for The Wolfman was all wrong?

Hopkins? Blunt? De Toro??

I think most of the problems with that film was because the original director jumped ship very late on because of too much studio interference!
DarthTesla - 11/3/2011, 9:59 AM
Scott Pilgrim is a great movie.

Wolfman was awesome too, people just love to hate it. And Ron Meyer is a douche for saying Del Toro "stunk".

On the topic of Land of the Lost, it was pretty funny. Obviously it's a stupid movie, but it had it's moments. I don't think anyone involved in that movie was taking it seriously. People were just mad because they thought it was something they could take their stupid kids to see, and were upset/surprised by it's inappropriate humor.
13echo - 11/3/2011, 10:02 AM
Everyone I talk to about Scott Pilgrim VS. The world says they loved it....when it came to cable. To bad it didn't turn a profit, but maybe it'll become a cult classic.
GUNSMITH - 11/3/2011, 10:03 AM
HE NEEDS TO SHUT UP, WHAT A RETARD, THIS MOVIE THAT MOVIE CRAP CRAP..IF YOU WERE OK BEFORE MAKING IT AND ALLOWING IT TO HAPPEN YOUR THE CRAP YOU STUPID IDIOT.
NerdyGeek - 11/3/2011, 10:03 AM
This guy is a [frick]ing tool!
DarthTesla - 11/3/2011, 10:04 AM
Yeah, he's being a real Negative Nancy.
VictorHugo - 11/3/2011, 10:06 AM
Don´t do interviews when you´re high on ..anything.
lilej2 - 11/3/2011, 10:07 AM
@Foxpaw so you rather have him lie and make up excuses to why some of those movies did horribly? You're a complete retard. You know that right? You're worst than imbecile
brittaniethekid - 11/3/2011, 10:09 AM
I don't get all the love for Scott Pilgrim. It wasn't a bad movie but it wasn't great either. I was bored.
write33 - 11/3/2011, 10:10 AM
@CaptainDusty

did you just call him a Negative Nancy? LOL. that's awesome. and accurate
lilej2 - 11/3/2011, 10:11 AM
Some of you guys are being dumb as hell. If he made an excuse for why those movies did bad or of he stuck behind them you would be saying "NO, THEY SUCKED ASS!"

GUNSMITH, TheIrishAvenger, You're a bunch of hypocritical assholes
jjmeylar - 11/3/2011, 10:12 AM
I loved "The Wolfman"! Benicio could have done better in it, but even so. "Cowboys and Aliens" was good, too. He thinks too much into stuff.
BackwardGalaxy - 11/3/2011, 10:12 AM
He's certainly not afraid to speak his mind.
SuperDan89 - 11/3/2011, 10:14 AM
I like how candid this guy is, makes a change from all the are licking in Hollywood.
ultimatefan1974 - 11/3/2011, 10:15 AM
Wow, it´s rare to see studio execs be this blatantly honest about their movies being crappy. Now I would buy the honesty a lot more if they gave the ticket money - as small an audience as there was, people still paid hard-earned cash to see crap like LOTL - back in some way, like donating it to charity or something...
SuperDan89 - 11/3/2011, 10:15 AM
*arse lol edit button for the site redesign? Yes please!
AC1 - 11/3/2011, 10:17 AM
I agree with him about Scott Pilgrim and Land of the Lost, but to extremes. I loved Scott Pilgrim, I thought it was amazing and remains one of my favourite movies to this day. Land of the Lost, on the other hand, is the worst film I've ever had the displeasure of watching (and I've seen Batman & Robin), and remains to this day the only film that has made me walk out of the cinema before the end. So yeah, agree with him on that.

Never seen Cowboys & Aliens so cant comment, never seen Wolfman either but I know a lot of people who have and said it was actually pretty good.
MarkJulian - 11/3/2011, 10:18 AM
Agreed. Loved the [frick] out of Scott Pilgrim.
NerdyGeek - 11/3/2011, 10:21 AM
lilej2: I'm sorry what!? This guy is only hurting Universal by pretty much insulting all the people who worked for years on these films(especially Scott Pilgrim).
JackBauer - 11/3/2011, 10:21 AM
Come on Ron. Tell us how you really feel.

I haven't seen any of the films he mentioned, but I love the honesty from this guy.
imnotwearinghockeypants - 11/3/2011, 10:21 AM
Del Toro's Wolfman casting was just so epically awful I still can't believe it.
HeyVanity - 11/3/2011, 10:22 AM
I have to admire his honesty, but he took it a bit too far when talking about Wolfman. Talking shit about your director and cast isn't real smart. Admit it was a bad movie and mistakes were made, and then move on.
RorMachine - 11/3/2011, 10:22 AM
Neither Wolfman or Cowboys & Aliens were terrible, just mediocre verging on pretty bad. And considering they were movies about Werewolves, cowboys and [frick]ing aliens they were BORING! Both should have been infinitely better in pretty much every respect. That's just my take anyway.
SGA - 11/3/2011, 10:24 AM
He knows where the studio went wrong, so now he can fix the problems. Which is a good thing.

Now.....if only Fox would follow suit >_>
ejkousc - 11/3/2011, 10:24 AM
This interview was awesome. Wish more execs were not only this honest but this honest this soon after their movies are released. Awesome. Hilarious.
MarkJulian - 11/3/2011, 10:26 AM
^^^^What RorMachine said. Plus he has positive things to say about Scott Pilgrim. Only that not enough people went to see it.
DarthTesla - 11/3/2011, 10:28 AM
@Write33: Lol yep. Calls 'em like I sees 'em.
krooklyndodger - 11/3/2011, 10:33 AM
Wow. Blatantly honest. I hated The Wolfman [had so much potential, given it's history and legacy of the character], Cowboys and Aliens was meh [just plain boring, not a horrible movie, but just boring] and Scott Pilgrim was fun to watch[just plain fun and I watch it again and again]
marvel72 - 11/3/2011, 10:36 AM
scott pilgrim vs the world wasn't shit,it just did shit at the box office.
arekusandora - 11/3/2011, 10:40 AM
Scott Pilgrim was freaking awesome! Don't mess with my movie.
RorMachine - 11/3/2011, 10:45 AM
^^^, yes, that is what Producers do. He funded the movie, it's up to the "talent" to make the thing.
VitMagic - 11/3/2011, 10:45 AM
i understand a lot of people on here liking his blatant honesty. but i dont see how calling out the actor and directors of these films so harshly will make other actors, directors and such be jumping at the chance to work with them. im not saying he should lie and say they were great, but simply acknowledge the fact they didnt go as theyd hoped and move on as some others have said on here before me. Will it actually stop talented actors and directors from working with them, yes, no, maybe, i cant say for sure. but it definatily could make them think twice about wanting to. i guess we'll just have to wait and see how this plays out in the long run for them.
kriswone - 11/3/2011, 10:50 AM
del toro was good, the directing was bad.
kriswone - 11/3/2011, 10:51 AM
Universal is on my "do not watch" list now.
MarkJulian - 11/3/2011, 10:52 AM
Hey, how about they make a good movie. Then the Boss wont talk bad and heart their feelings.
MarkJulian - 11/3/2011, 10:54 AM
*hurt
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