The Internet is abuzz over comments made by Disney Animation chief technical officer Andy Hendrickson at the Siggraph business conference last week. His matter-of-fact assessment of movie business priorities confirmed what Hollywood's most cynical observers have always suspected: story doesn't matter and they don't care if you know it, because all they care about is getting your money.
"A tentpole film is one where you can seed the desire to see the film to everyone in every distribution channel," Hendrickson said. "It's the only kind of film you can spend $100 million marketing. People say, 'It's all about the story.' When you're making tentpole films, bulls**t." Referring to 'Alice in Wonderland,' which grossed $334 million for his studio, he observed,"The story isn't very good, but visual spectacle brought people in droves. And Johnny Depp didn't hurt."
Hendrickson may be taking a beating for that comment from film lovers, pop-culture junkies and media reporters, but here's the real issue: he's absolutely right. And he's right because you've proven him right, paying to see those movies over and over again.