“The problem was he hired a bunch of art house executives, and now he’s tired of making money-losing films,” a source told Nikki Finke yesterday about Sidney Kimmel, whose production and distribution company has reigned supreme at the art of losing tens of millions at the box office. A lot of people lose money or have bad luck, but the guys at Sidney Kimmel Entertainment have shown a special gift.
The biggest Sidney Kimmel wipeouts have been Talk To Me (which I knew would be dead meat the moment I heard the synopsis and that Don Cheadle would star), Death At A Funeral (instant small potatoes), Lars And The Real Girl (nobody’s going to pay to see a movie about a pudgy, flannel-shirt-wearing dweeb from the hinterlands who falls for a love doll…forget it!) and The Kite Runner (a respectable, well acted, very decently made film that everyone knew would tank due to the story being set in Afghanistan, which Average Joe moviegoers seem averse to in any way, shape or form).
If Sidney Kimmel had come to me and asked whether he should fund or distribute the films listed above, I almost certainly would have told him, depending on the investment levels and other particulars, to put his money in real estate. I’m not saying I could have found the right scripts or selected guaranteed money-makers for distribution, but I definitely could have saved him from the agonies above.
Anyway, the poor guy is “cutting back, changing his bank terms, and probably allowing his distribution deal with MGM to expire,” Finke reported, but is “not planning on shuttering his film company, Kimmel insists he’ll go to Cannes with Charlie Kaufman‘s Synecdoche, New York (which is in post) and go forward with the Jennifer Aniston starrer Management (which opens in September). And he maintains he won’t be shuttering Sidney Kimmel Entertainment or even changing execs. But he does say he will become more integral in selecting the movies financed though ‘not playing god.'”
He’s staying with the same team? Forget it. Kimmel is done.