In today's LAT Business section, Claudia Eller checks the progress of Phil Anschutz' crusade to remake Hollywood. Around the World in 80 Days bombed in June, apparently to the boss's surprise:
According to associates, Anschutz was deeply disappointed by the film's poor showing. They said he was convinced that families would flock to the good-natured entertainment...
Now, Hollywood executives are looking ahead, somewhat skeptically, to Anschutz's next test — Sahara.
His operation is also behind Ray, the upcoming film about Ray Charles. The Anschutz companies have participated in a dozen feature films now, with mixed results, but his Regal Entertainment Group is making a profit. The bottom line:
"Phil Anschutz is an extraordinary businessman and financier, but we've yet to see him demonstrate that he has a full understanding of the complexities and risks of the motion picture industry," said Christopher Dixon, a managing partner at investment firm Gabelli Group Capital Partners.