Nolte: Annapurna Pictures Got Woke and Went Broke

Annapurna Pictures

After only eight years in existence, Annapurna Pictures is facing bankruptcy after audiences stayed as far away as possible from its recent slate of Woke Lectures.

Annapurna launched in 2011 with an interesting slate and was appreciated as one of the few remaining motion picture companies still making films for adults. Movies like Zero Dark Thirty, Her, American Hustle, Joy, The Grandmaster, and even Sausage Party did well enough to offset the occasional prestige pic that that didn’t do so well.

And then Annapurna went the full-woke.

Kathryn Bigelow’s Black Lives Matter-inspired Detroit ($24 million worldwide gross), Barry Jenkins’ Black Lives Matter-inspired If Beale Street Could Talk ($18 million), Adam McKay’s exhausting anti-Dick Cheney screed Vice ($78 million), and Olivia Wilde’s woke-comedy Booksmart ($23 million) all lost a ton of money.

The accepted formula is that the studio (Annapurna markets and distributes) nets about 50 percent of the worldwide gross, so the back-of-the-envelope math tells us, when you include production and estimated marketing costs, that Detroit is probably a $60 million loss, Beale Street is at least $25 million in the red, Vice lost around $50 million, and Booksmart around $15 million.

Of late, everyone was watching Annapurna because everyone knew a boutique studio could not survive all of these flops, and now

Annapurna has burned through much of the $350 million credit facility the company secured in fall 2017. Those sources said Annapurna has either defaulted or is about to default on that debt. A deadline has been set by lenders for this week to come to a solution.

The syndicate of senior lenders is considering putting Annapurna into bankruptcy, sources said. That is the usual course of action when entities like The Weinstein Company or Relativity lost the confidence of banks and don’t have the receivables to pay back them back.

Daddy might save the day, though…

You see, Annapurna was founded by Daughter Warbucks, Megan Ellison, daughter of Larry Ellison, the co-founder of Oracle and one of the top ten richest guys on the planet. Ellison is worth upwards of $70 billion, so the $350 million his daughter squandered on vanity projects, on one woke clunker after another, is pocket change.

But what was Ellison thinking? If Star Wars couldn’t survive its Wokeness, what made her think people would pay money for this crap?


Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.


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