This mean-mail from Arnon Milchan to his New Regency staff was all over the Twentieth Century Fox lot 2 weeks ago. (I received it, thought it was ridiculous, and can’t believe others are touting it — so here it is…) Fox film execs at the time explained it to me thusly: “When things tend to slow down at his company, Arnon gets bored. New Regency is refocusing under a new regime, and Arnon is upset there’s nothing in the pipeline after Alvin & The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, In Time, and What’s Your Number. There’s just a Russell Crowe movie that’s a negative pickup. This is a message from Arnon to Brad Weston and Carla Hacken to step it up. It’s like Arnon is saying, ‘See how serious I am? I’m beating them into shape.’ But it’s well-known by the New Regency staff to ‘Beware if Arnon focuses on you’ when he’s jetting between houses and has a little wine.”
From: Arnon Milchan
Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 3:46 PM
To: * Group -Internal ALL NRP Only (Bldg.12)
Cc: Chase Carey; Tom Rothman; Jim Gianopulos; Oren Aviv
Subject: New Regency
I’ve committed $300M in fees which translates to $5 billon in movies and TV over the next 10 years, which forces me to have sleepless nights. I’d like to know what the 3-5 best connections you have in the movie industry, that can move the needle and create added value beyond what Fox does. I’d like to be reassured that if I don’t sleep, you don’t sleep. I can afford not to – you cannot. I’m contemplating a major decision, and before I do that, I need your feedback.
As a reminder, the world is heading into a huge financial crisis. I have only one request – be honest. I expect caring, pro-activity, creativity and thinking outside the box with tangible results. We’re not here to continue the old regime creatively, but to create a new world. If this is not within your reach, please be honest with me. I’ve done it for the last 35 years and built a great company – I do not feel I deserve to have it evaporate. I need a timeline for Regency to become the home of great TV and movie makers.
I expect you to improve on a conscious basis with our friends at NewsCorp and Fox. They’re our friends. I need accountability and responsibility. Anything less doesn’t work for me. This is not pep talk – this is serious. I’m just now finishing my day job at 2am, which are my regular working hours because of the time difference. I expect resolutions by the end of next week.