Monster Trucks, the live-action/cg-hybrid debut of Ice Age director Chris Wedge, doesn’t open in theaters until next week, but Paramount has already written off the movie as one big disaster. A $115 million disaster to be exact, which to put into perspective, is almost 80% of the budget that the United States government spends annually on ALL artists in this country of 325 million people.
Viacom-owned Paramount took a write-down on the movie last fall, citing “a programming impairment charge…related to the expected performance of an unreleased film.” The film is reported to have cost $125 million to produce.
Losing money on a film is nothing new for Hollywood studios, but announcing the impairment charge months in advance of a film’s release requires absolute confidence of failure. Paramount’s conviction that they’ve made a bad film should be believed because they know bad filmmaking better than anybody; the studio has been last place in market share among the American majors for five years running.