Recently, it was announced that Warner Brothers only had enough money to release two movies this year, black adam and don’t worry darling. That, along with HBO Max’s recent movie and show cancellation moves, has led to some questions about Warner’s state as a studio, in general.
However, they’re not the only studio that has ever placed its destiny in a successful film because, since the beginning of the film industry, many studios have found themselves betting on a film to save them.
42nd Street (1933) – Warner Brothers
Warner Brothers has had periods of financial difficulty in its past, and during the Great Depression it felt it. However, they were able to get away with it out of this hole with a string of hit musicals that started with 42nd street. The behind-the-scenes musical starred Ruby Keller, Ginger Rogers and Dick Powell.
Warner had thought that musicals were out of fashion at this point, but he ended up being wrong when 42nd street became one of the most popular films of the year. Additionally, it gave them the screen pairing of Keller and Powell, who would go on to star in many musicals of the time.
It Happened One Night (1934) – Columbia Pictures
Before It happened one nightColumbia was a poor man’s studio, making many low-budget, forgettable films, until Frank Capra started making more money. After a critical hit in lady for a dayCapra was able to convince the studio to give him a big budget, resulting in one of the most famous films of the 1930s.
Columbia would have died without Caprahowever, it was his vision that made them greater than they could have ever imagined. lady for a day proved that he could be great, and It happened one night proved to be great. Columbia has been around ever since.
Ben Hur (1959) – MGM
By 1959 the studio system was mostly dead and MGM no longer had the power they had over the previous 40 years. When Ben Hurthe the most expensive film ever made at that time, was released, it was decisive. The film ended up making a profit of 20 million, keeping the studio afloat for the time being.
MGM was facing financial ruin, so if this movie that invested so much in it bombed, then the roaring lion would have to be put down. Instead, the film won numerous awards, including Best Picture at the Oscars, and remains a visual treat to watch more than half a century after its release.
She Hurt Him (1933) – Paramount
Another movie that helped save a movie studio during the depression was Paramount She hurt him. Based on darling lilia controversial piece that Mae West had written a few years prior, the film was a huge hit with its risque humor and instantly gave the studio two new West stars and a young Cary Grant.
West and Grant starred in another movie after that before they were separated, where they would both become Paramount’s biggest stars. Like with 42nd street, these types of entertaining films were huge hits for an ever-struggling nation. People wanted to be entertained.
Cinderella (1950) – Disney
Disney has invested a lot of money in Cinderellawith over $2 million goes to the movie. After the Second World War, the studio was a bit dry, and a bit like with White as snow more than a decade ago, Disney decided to get into this moviea decision that turned out to be very fruitful.
There’s a reason Disney always hails Cinderella as a masterpiece because, without it, it would be absolutely far from the juggernaut it is today. Interestingly, Disney has had films many times that have saved their animation department, like The little Mermaidbut that’s the one time it may have saved the studio, in general.
Shrek (2001) – Dream Works Animation
Before ShrekDreamWorks has had some success in animation, with films like The Prince of Egypt and Chicken coop, but not enough to the point that they would become one of the biggest animation studios in the world. After Shrekall their money went into CGI movies, because the movie was so popularthey decided not to even try other 2D movies.
DreamWorks Animation split from the original studio a few years ago and is now owned by Universal. But whenever they need a few bucks fast, Shrek is still there. A runaway success, it ended up setting the tone for animated films to follow and became a great achievement of a movie stuck in development hell.
Three Clever Girls (1936) – Universal
When Universal suffered financial ruin in the mid-1930s, the studio’s founders, the Laemmle family, were forced out and replaced by a new board of directors. One of their first films, Three smart girlsbecame a huge success, putting the studio in a good financial position and introducing a new star for the studio, Deanna Durbin.
Unlike other entries, Three smart girls is almost completely forgotten, however, it received two sequels in the 1930s. Durbin would become the teenage singing star for the studio, similar to Shirley Temple or Judy Garland for other studios. The studio has continued to thrive on this film, however, and that’s as important as anything.
Toy Story (1995) – Pixar
Pixar was constantly losing money to Steve Jobs in the mid-90s, and he was looking to sell the company to someone else before that. toy story release.
However, toy story earned over $300 million and sent Pixar stock through the roof. Jobs chose to stay with the studio and continued to work with Disney to make films.
Pixar ended up being sold to Disney in the mid-2000s for $7.4 billion, far more than Jobs could have imagined. toy story pushed technological boundaries and also told a good story. Pixar has been at the top of the animation industry ever since.
Godzilla (1954) – Toho
The whole Japanese film industry collapsed after World War II and Toho did not find itself in the top spots in the following years. However, 1954 turned out to be a game changerwith both Godzilla and The Seven Samari released in Japan. Two huge successes, Godzilla later got an Americanized version which started the western world’s love affair with the creature.
Godzilla has always been a good way for Toho to get out of financial trouble, licensing the character worldwide for over half a century. The original film is still the highest-rated Godzilla film on Metacritic, showing its enduring appeal. Now, with not only Godzilla but an endless library of Studio Ghibli films and Kurosawa films, the studio seems to be in good shape at the moment.
All Shirley Temples – Fox Movies
Shirley Temple didn’t just save Fox and led to their merger with 20th century studios, but it may also have saved Hollywood in general. With the Hays code firmly in place, Temple was the star of the day. After movies like shining eyes became huge, she became one of the biggest stars of the 1930s and a household name to this day.
Temple was so popular that she was recognized and thanked by President Roosevelt. His movies are still released on DVD, with commercials running on TV for years into the mid-2000s. If “Animal Crackers In My Soup” gets boring, remember that’s part of the reason why the film industry survives.
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