Spielberg's TINTIN Has Money Woes

The mocap film trilogy Tintin, from Steven Spielberg & Peter Jackson, has lost its studio support.
Cinema legends Steven Spielberg & Peter Jackson need a financial backer for their passion project, the motion-capture film Tintin, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Universal Pictures and Paramount Pictures each were supportive of the proposed trilogy about a young reporter and his dog who travel the world, but both studios balked at the final budget of $130 million. While the original Belgian comic strip Tintin, written by Georges Remi (aka Herge') from 1929 to 1976, is extremely popular in Europe, it has little recognition in the U.S.

According to insiders, the first film, to be made in digital 3-D animation using performance capture technology, would have to earn more than $425 million worldwide for the studio to recoup any money, while Spielberg and Jackson would together get 30 percent of the studio's total gross revenue from box office, DVD, TV and other sales--more than $100 million before the studios would make a profit. Motion capture films The Polar Express, Beowulf and Monster House have all performed well below the $425 million gross benchmark Tintin would need to break even.

Spielberg optioned the rights to Tintin in 1983 at his Universal-based production company Amblin Entertainment. He plans to direct the first film, and hopes to begin shooting next month if the financing comes together. Jackson would helm the second installment. The third film's director has not been announced.
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