In what can only be described as a shocking instance of candidness, Universal chief Ron Meyer spoke to a crowd at the Savannah Film Festival and skewered several of the studio's most recent big-budget flops, as well as discussing why those films just didn't work.
As he explained it: "We make a lot of sh---y movies. Every one of them breaks my heart."
During his talk at the festival, Meyer opened up about a number of recent Universal titles. Movieline was there and asked him specifically about the critically and financially underwhelming comic book adaptation "Cowboys & Aliens" and the poorly-received "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World."
"'Cowboys & Aliens' wasn't good enough. Forget all the smart people involved in it, it wasn't good enough," Meyer explained. "All those little creatures bouncing around were crappy. I think it was a mediocre movie, and we all did a mediocre job with it."
Meyer expanded on the point saying that even though the people behind the film—without naming any names—were smart, the end result was nothing more than a misfire.
"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," Meyer said.
Meyer then turned his attention to Edgar Wright's "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World," and that film's failure to succeed at the box office, despite rabid support from comic book fans.
"'Cowboys & Aliens' didn’t deserve better," said Meyer. "'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."
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