Tartikoff charts new course for Paramount

October 31, 1991|By Bernard Weinraub | Bernard Weinraub,Evening Sun Staff

LOS ANGELES - Brandon Tartikoff, chairman of Paramount Pictures Corp., said Wednesday that the dismal financial showing of the studio's latest releases, "Frankie and Johnny" and "The Butcher's Wife," has led to a fundamental reassessment of the kinds of the films he will make as he solidifies control of one of Hollywood's most powerful studios.

Instead of movies intended for an older audience, Tartikoff said he planned to make films that appeal to younger audiences, who comprise the bulk of moviegoers today.

He cited movies with music, like "Saturday Night Fever" and "Footloose," which were major success that drew huge young audiences.

"Paramount has a successful tradition of being the studio known for the modern-day musical," he said in a surprisingly frank telephone interview. "You can almost call 'Top Gun' a musical, too. It had a wall-to-wall soundtrack of music and action. Paramount owns the modern-day musical crowd, just as Disney owns the animation crowd."

"While there is a place for the adult film, or for pictures that don't necessarily have to be made for the most frequent moviegoers -- 25 and under -- you don't want an abundance of pictures clearly tilted to viewers 25 and up," Tartikoff said.

He cited recent Paramount films including "Regarding Henry" and "Soapdish," as well as "The Butcher's Wife" and "Frankie and Johnny," that were made before he took over Paramount and that appealed to a limited audience.

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