With the closure of Digital Domain Florida it seems the experiment of creating their own IP has ended for now. DD is continuing with it’s co-production deal with Ender’s Game:
We also used the visual effects business to launch a coproduction business, where we’re now a 37.5% owner of the significant film property — really, originally a book property called Ender’s Game.
Are co-productions the answer for VFX companies? Well this isn’t the first time a VFX company has engaged in a co-production deal. Rhythm did it with Yogi Bear and Cafe FX did it with Pan’s Labyrinth.
Former DD CEO John Textor was asked to handicap the numbers for Enders:
If the film does $60 million at the domestic box office, dare I say a number that low, that is beyond abject failure for a film anticipated like this, we would have total proceeds, that when combined with our initial outlay of $18 million, we’d lose about $6.8 million.
If the film does domestic box office of $80 million, we’d have total proceeds that would come in from these various sources of an amount that is just less than that $18 million, and so we’d lose about $1 million. Now an $80 million domestic box office still, in my opinion, for a property as powerful as this still falls into the category of abject failure.
If it does $115 million domestic box office — still pretty disappointed. We’d make about $9.5 million. At $150 million of domestic box office – disappointed, but healthy– we’d make about $22.5 million. At $200 million of domestic box office, we’d make $36 million. At $250 million we’d make $43 million. Both of those numbers I wouldn’t say are on the high-end like this, but obviously we’d be very happy.