The Sixth Sense. Unbreakable. Signs. The Village. These are the films of M. Night Shyamalan, the man who seemingly shares some of Rod Serling's DNA. What else do all these films have in common? Disney
But, as one comes to expect from the world of Shyamalan, assumptions are made only to be proven incorrect, since nothing is ever what it would appear to be.
Word has come that another media conglomerate will deal with Shyamalan's next project. Disney's loss will turn out to be Time Warner's
The first thing that comes to the mind of a Disney shareholder is the question of whether this is a good thing or a bad thing for the studio segment. After all, although Shyamalan didn't necessarily hit every ball out of the park each time he swung at the pitch, he represented as decent a risk/reward scenario as they come. It therefore comes as no surprise that I've read a few posts on the Internet that expressed concern over this event.
Honestly, this just isn't a big deal. I agree, it would be nice if Shyamalan could be involved in potentially adding some value to the studios, but the fact that he's batting for the other team (for now, at least) won't make much of a difference. Disney's movie slate will continue on, and I hope it will do well; it's so hard to predict the future of any project or set of projects that a departure can never be fully quantified anyway, so there's no use in worrying about it. Lady In The Water may be a huge hit or a huge flop; we'll just have to wait and see.
The bigger concern to me is in the underlying science driving the economic models of moviemaking. The profit-return scenario regarding celluloid has been a hot topic in Hollywood for a long time now; I hope that someday it isn't, because it will mean that the conundrum has finally been solved. It really is strange that an industry that rakes in so many millions of dollars in a multiple set of ancillary channels cannot structure deals that return most of the take back to shareholders. We'll get there someday (fingers, as always, crossed).
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Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of Disney.