It’s bad enough when a studio has to take a write down on a film that doesn’t perform as well as expected. But Viacom this morning took a $115 million charge on a film that isn’t due out until January: Monster Trucks.
The live-action/computer-animated film with a $125 million price tag from Paramount Animation, had been a pet project of former Paramount Pictures President Adam Goodman, and had been rescheduled three times: Originally planned for summer 2015, it was moved to Christmas 2015, the March 2016, and then its latest release date.
But Viacom apparently believes that the film, which began production in 2014, will not find the broad audience it anticipated.
The writedown was yet another piece of bad news in a year when MoffettNathanson Research’s Michael Nathanson says anything that could go wrong, did. Every growth driver at the company “declined massively worse than expected.”
Credit Suisse’s Omar Sheikh notes that a year ago he expected Paramount to generate more than $200 million in operating income in the fiscal year that ends this month. Now he forecasts nearly $500 million in losses, with a $270 million loss in store for 2017, and “only breakeven in 2018.”