We’re surrounded by Studios.

I popped a rights request off to a major movie studio last week . . . for a semi-popular but mostly-forgotten flick that I think has tuner potential.

The response I got from the studio included the news that they were in the process of setting up a stage division for handling the development of their titles.

In other words, I doubt I’ll be getting my hands on that movie anytime soon.

But that’s not what inspired this blog.

What got me a-bloggin’ was something that I think is pretty significant.

With this studio . . . I think it’s now official . . . every single major motion picture studio has its own live theatrical division.

And boy oh boy is that a difference from a decade ago.  Back then, one executive at a studio said to me, “We don’t want a stage division.  One of the reasons we think we’ve been successful so far is because we haven’t had an official department.”

But they do now!  Warner Bros., MGM, Disney (duh), Fox, Universal, RKO, etc.  All of ’em.



Billy Elliot, Hairspray, The Producers  . . . Kinky Boots!  And many more.

What started as a hobby for studios . . . investing their petty cash and letting other folks do the dirty work of putting the shows up, and financing them, is not big fat business.  After all, Universal has gone on the record as saying that Wicked is one of its most profitable properties of all time. That’s right . . . not one of its most profitable Broadway shows . . . one of its most profitable properties, including movies!

What does this mean for Broadway?  And what does this mean for the independent Producer?

Will it be harder for independent producers to get titles?

Will Broadway become more like the movie model where Producers are hired and paid by studios to run their shows?

Will more movie stars come to Broadway because a movie company ties a film contract to a Broadway contract?

Too early to tell . . . but studio influence and money will have a major impact on our industry.  Look at what Disney did.

Now imagine five Disneys.


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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.