If two major companies in the film industry approach you to sign a long-term deal, with one offering around $500 million.
While the other offers $250 million, the one offering more money, would be preferred. This was the dilemma JJ Abrams the filmmaker was faced with.
With WarnerMedia and Apple competing for JJ’s signature choosing between either was a major dilemma as the latter company offered a lot more money, but Abrams preferred to sign with the former.
THE ONLY FACTOR AT PLAY?
Knowing the director and producer, money was surely not the only factor under consideration. If it were, Abrams would have blindly opted for those offering him more money. How about analysing the terms involved and then comparing both offers? With Abrams accepting WarnerMedia’s terms and conditions, the production company basically became his new banner for the next five years, and there is no doubt that he will continue to deliver results. What’s more, the contract ensures that he remains busy working on both television shows and blockbuster films, with this deal being the first time all his work will be under one corporate roof.
Few are aware that Abrams has his own production company named Bad Robot, with his co-CEO being Katie McGrath, his wife. According to new deal by Abrams, Bad Robot partners with WarnerMedia on several exclusive projects, ensuring a win-win situation for the filmmaker. The deal also brings Katie McGrath on board. About the $250 million, too much shouldn’t be read into the figure as it is only the starting point for Abrams, with the producer-director and his production company making billions by the time their five-year deal with WarnerMedia ends. The contract permits JJ Abrams and Bad Robot to retain the back-end points accruing from profits for all the work done for the production company. With Abrams opting to maximise his time with WarnerMedia, he will try to create insanely successful content so as to rake in billions, from the profits.
BACK-END POINTS DO MATTER
To review the context, let us consider Robert Downey Jr’s case. For Marvel’s blockbuster Avengers: Endgame, Robert earned only $20 million. Luckily for the actor, he was also entitled to about 8% in back-end points for the movie, and as the profits were about $700 million, he was paid an additional $55 million! A $75 million pay check for a single movie!
The same story now possibly unfolds for JJ Abrams, but on a much larger scale. Five years seems like a very long time for someone with his obvious talents, as he has flexed his film-making muscle with blockbusters such as Star Wars and Mission: Impossible. As on date, his movies have collected $6,050,898,077, and that excludes television shows. Abrams had worked with Tom Cruise on the Mission: Impossible franchise and this back-end points issue was one of the major reason why Abrams chose the WarnerMedia offer. It is reported that the $500 million Apple offer to Abrams was a one-off payment, with the renowned film-maker not able to make any more money. Further, Abrams chose to go with Warner as they would also permit him to keep working with various other production companies. If the filmmaker would have signed with Apple and not WarnerMedia, he would be hog-tied for five years.