The Call Sheet sifts through the day's glut of Hollywood news to find the stories even non-industry types care about. Today: Disney has made a lot but not that much, Justin Timberlake scores a film, and so does Rupert Everett.
With The Avengers raging in theaters to the tune of $1.2 billion and counting, you'd think Disney, which bought Marvel Studios three years ago, would be sitting pretty. They certainly are sitting well. Analysts are predicting that when all is said and done, Disney is likely looking at $3.7 billion in revenue from Avengers mania — from ticket sales, video sales, toys and other products, etc. — for a cool $1.29 billion in pure profit. But, those same analysts tut-tut, because Disney paid $4.2 billion for Marvel, so this doesn't exactly mean they're firmly in the black. Reports Deadline:
Pre-Avengers, Disney had to release two Marvel films a year with each grossing an average of $517M worldwide just to make the acquisition break even, [analyst Todd] Juenger figures. That was an ambitious goal considering that Marvel releases have averaged $417M over the last five years. But The Avengers changes the math: Now each Marvel release has to gross $437M.
So Disney is doing well on the deal, but not terrifically. Not yet, anyway. It's easy to forget how expensive it is just to produce these big-boffo movies; often times a film has to make twice its budget just to break even. Still, that's not to suggest that there aren't cigars and champagne galore at Disney HQ right now. There most likely are. While, across town, heads at Universal get ready to roll. [Deadline]
Struggling actor Justin Timberlake will be writing the soundtrack and music supervising his ladyfriend/fiance Jessica Biel's next film, the sappy-sounding drama The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. The movie, which just officially got funding at Cannes, is about a guy (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) who, while grieving his wife (Biel), decides to help build a raft so "a wisecracking young girl" (Chloe Moretz) can use it to cross the Atlantic ocean for some reason. So it's one of those movies, a "smart alec-y but sage kid saves a sad dude from himself" tale. Ick. And Timberlake will be composing some sort of sad/triumphant score for it? Or just picking songs? It's unclear. What we do know is that the movie is going to be directed by the fittingly named Bill Purple. Purple indeed. [The Hollywood Reporter]
The View's resident pineapple that an old shaman made talk using a wicked spell, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, has made a big agency switch. The animate Zagnut bar will now be represented by William Morris Endeavor's Jim Ornstein, who recently had Kelly Ripa jump ship on him. So from a bewigged, jaw-clacking skeleton to a bewigged, jaw-clacking dishwashing wand. Well done, Ornstein! In a related story, Barbara Walters has fired her agent after recently finding out that he's been dead for 26 years. [Deadline]
Well, look at that. Remember Rupert Everett? The long-lost actor (who's, uh, currently in a movie) has announced that he will be directing and starring in an Oscar Wilde biopic that he himself wrote. The Happy Prince will feature Everett as the celebrated wit, while Colin Firth plays his longtime friend Reggie Turner and Emily Watson and Tom Wilkinson play other roles. The movie is supposedly a comedy, even though it involves Wilde on his deathbed remembering his life. (Rupert Everett in The Evening Star 2: Aurora's Revenge.) So isn't that nice for Everett? Always complaining about not getting work, so he's made some work for himself. We're happy for him. But don't fear, we're sure he'll soon enough do some interview that will make us not happy for him all over again. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Some good television news as we approach the mostly bleak summer TV season: AMC's very great show Breaking Bad will officially be returning for the eight-episode first half of its final season on July 15th. Yay! That is exciting. Less exciting? The concluding eight episodes won't air until summer 2013. Which is nonsense. Though, ultimately it's probably better to prolong this thing. Carry on, drugheads. [The Washington Post]
Saturday Night Live was too busy playing "Lazy Sunday 2" and bidding goodbye to Kristen Wiig in oddly indulgent fashion (Wiig was great and deserved a sendoff, but the whole thing felt a bit much) this weekend to air another installment of their pre-taped segment "Kings of Catchphrase Comedy." But now they've put it on the internet so you can see what you missed. It's mostly the same old "beef jelly" and whatever else stuff, but there were a couple new things, most notably a brief but funny appearance by new and underused cast member Kate McKinnon as a Janeane Garofalo-esque comic, complete with notebook. Plus, of course, there's Fur Coat Rhonda, because she's Fur Coat Rhonda.