Variety‘s Gordon Cox has reported about yesterday’s visit to the Paley Center for Media by Sony honcho Tom Rothman. It contains three sage observations:

Quote #1: “The myth that movies are redeemed in ancillary markets is really not true. If they ignore it in the theater, they’re going to ignore it later. You’re dead, and then you’re deader.”

Quote #2: Rothman noted that “back when he was running production at 20th Century Fox, the ultimate risk inherent in James Cameron’s Avatar wasn’t the 3D or the blue-skinned characters with tails or any of the other things people fretted over. ‘The risk in Avatar was it was original,’ Rothman said. ‘It wasn’t based on anything with a core fan base.'” In other words, it was execution-dependent — said to be easily the most horrific term in the vocabulary of a 21st Century production executive.

Quote #3: “We made a film this fall, one of the films I’m most proud of in my career, a film that Robert Zemeckis made called The Walk. Got incredible reviews, it was incredibly experiential, it opened the New York Film Festival. And nobody alive gave a fuck.” Correction: the easy-lay crowd gave it a mixed-positive pass, but discerning critics thought it mostly sucked…except for the final 25 minutes, which were pretty great.