To me, the most interesting facet of Fox Filmed Entertainment’s managing pair is why no Hollywood agency has yet tried to bump them off. Today’s New York Times extravagantly dubs them “Fox’s Superheroes.” But I say Jim Gianapoulos and Tom Rothman are better known up and down Wilshire Boulevard as “Fox’s Perkbusters.” Every year, there’s yet another studio outcry over the mountain of ridiculous perks demanded by talent, or rather demanded by agents for their talent, which is one more explanation for insanely soaring movie budgets. But the studios never do anything about it. (I remember when Paramount’s Frank Mancuso bought a NYC apartment for Tom Cruise, like the gazillion-net-worth actor couldn’t afford to buy one on his own.) Now Fox is cracking down. Not just on the ridiculous, like Evian to bathe in, separate private jets for luggage, a 24/7 army of nannies, masseurs and waiting limos with chauffeurs. But I’m told they’re actually saying no to the stars’ demands for exclusive $100,000 stylists, well-known hairdressers, even reknown makeup artists. “What they’re saying to talent is, ‘Do you want more money for perk-type stuff or more for marketing?'” an insider explained to me. “They’re making talent conscious of costs, which are so absurd, so that someone will think twice next time they ask for a private plane they never even use.”
The Fox duo also are refusing to take out so-called “vanity ads” at awards time. (That’s when the trades carry those “For Your Consideration” contractually dictated ads for performances that don’t have a prayer of winning anything but derision.) I’m told that, in fact, the trades in desperation have gone to Gianopoulos and Rothman with charts showing what every studio pays for ads at awards time and complaining how Fox is consistently at the bottom. But the duo don’t care. Which throws out the window the old argument that if you don’t give talent and their agents what they want, then they’ll go to a rival. Maybe once upon a time, but certainly not in this scaled-down entertainment economy when studios are making fewer movies and stars are begging for work.