Studios see costs coming down despite big-budget summer films

May 30, 1991|By Los Angeles Dailey News

LOS ANGELES $$HC B — LOS ANGELES -- Four months ago a handful of studio chiefs complained that movies cost too much and promised to institute cost-containment.

Warner Bros.' Robert Daly said that his studio would play hardball in negotiations with directors and lesser-known stars.

Then-Paramount Pictures Chairman Frank Mancuso indicated that he would put fewer scripts into development.

And Walt Disney's Jeffrey Katzenberg issued a 28-page memo that called for the studio to return to basics -- "a good story, well-executed."

Now, the summer movie season is starting and here's some of the lineup: "Terminator 2" costing about $100 million; "Hudson Hawk" $48 million; "Robin Hood" $41 million; and "What About Bob" $35 million.

Considering that they made "Star Wars" for just $9.5 million in 1977, is all this cost-cutting stuff just so much Hollywood hype?

Not really. No less than 50 films are scheduled through Labor Day. Not only is that up from 37 last year, it includes a fair share of kindler, gentler romances and comedies made in the $20-million range.

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