After news broke that billionaire heiress Megan Ellison’s movie studio Annapurna Pictures was in a state of upheaval, her father, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, has now taken the reins to scale back her control.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Larry Ellison has now deployed a trusted executive to oversee the studio’s operations while it refrains from greenlighting projects. An inside source reportedly told THR that the Oracle co-founder is displeased that his daughter “wasn’t running a financially responsible organization” and wants Annapurna to “be run in a more responsible way.”
Though Annapurna disputes the charge, the source claimed that the studio will not be greenlighting any film projects for up to a year. The freeze follows Annapurna abruptly dropping its slated movie about Fox News founder Roger Ailes.
Last year, Annapurna suffered a major financial loss with the release of Kathryn Bigelow’s “Detroit.” Released in August, the film cost $40 million-plus marketing but made only $16 million at the box office.
Coming in December, Annapurna will be releasing the Christian Bale star vehicle “Vice,” in which Bale plays former Vice President Dick Cheney opposite Sam Rockwell playing President Bush. The film is reported to have cost a “bloated $60 million to produce” when it should have cost only half that. Factor in marketing costs and the film hasn’t got a prayer. THR noted that this is “representative of Annapurna’s problems.”
“It’s not that she has bad taste,” another source told THR. “She was just making movies that appeal to her. But you can only do that for so long with someone else’s money.”