If this isn’t reason enough not to renew Bob Shaye’s contract set to expire in 2008, I don’t know what is. (Well, come to think of it, I can think of a lot more reasons… like how he’s being an asshole to Peter Jackson.) I’m told that the tracking for the New Line chairman’s directorial effort, The Last Mimzy, is zero. That’s right, zero. (That’s almost as good a number as Shaye’s last directing effort, 1990’s The Book Of Love, which tanked big-time.) The 68-year-old studio mogul shouldn’t be directing anything in the first place since New Line’s product is doing so stinko. (Jim Carrey’s The Number 23 just went splat, continuing a long streak of flops.) Shaye also picked a horrible weekend to open his film: March 23, alongside the Mark Wahlberg starrer Shooter, The Hills Have Eyes 2, the remake of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (from sister studio Warner Bros; great irony there since Shaye had New Line in its early days bank on the TMNT phenom), The Pride (this Liongate genre does well), and Rain Over Me. And let’s not forget that Shaye isn’t alone in this apparent debacle: Toby Emmerich, New Line’s embattled head of production, co-wrote the sci-fi fantasy based on a short story about two sisters who find a mysterious box filled with mysterious toys. (Of course, the arrogant Shaye didn’t want the pic to play as mere kiddie fare — even though that’s what it is.) So how is Shaye going to counter this? By more than just sneaks. I’m told by having his studio plan on spending “like crazy” in the last two weeks prior to the pic’s release in the hapless hope of driving Mimzy‘s opening weekend to $20 mil. To do that, marketing gurus tell me New Line would have to spend between $30 mil and $40 mil to have a prayer of making that box office. All in all, this was a stupid decision by Shaye to make this movie, much less direct it. He should be bounced. After all, Time Warner is a public company, his New Line is no longer a private fiefdom, and he’s pissing away the stockholders’ money.
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