Lisa Schwarzbaum
October 06, 2009 AT 05:21 PM EDT

As we reported earlier, Universal Studios is being reorganized. Those of you waiting for a remake of The Wolfman are in luck; the project is still on. So is a Robin Hood movie starring Russell Crowe, oooh. However, those of you who, like me, prefer to spend your movie ticket-buying allowance on human-scale movies with adult complexity–stuff like Duplicity, State of Play, or Public Enemies — are screwed.

See, according to the Uni bookkeepers, those titles, er, “underperformed” at the box office this year. So did Funny People, in which Judd Apatow and Adam Sandler took creative risks that resulted in a movie different from other movies made by Judd Apatow or starring Adam Sandler. And now, according to a story in The New York Times, NBC Universal honcho Jeff Zucker has declared that “the mandate is to get back to making commercial pictures with a degree of responsibility.” Which I’m guessing means “Wolfman on a budget,” rather than a greater number of interesting, economically produced projects from Duplicity‘s Tony Gilroy and Public Enemies‘ Michael Mann — you know, stuff more likely to interest grown-ups than a remake of a horror pic or the umpteenth take on the merry men of Sherwood Forest.

As a critic, of course, I’ll go see what Universal has decided we all want to see. As a civilian, on the other hand, I’m bummed. If this matters to you — if you think there’s a discrepancy between the Hollywood idea of “commercial pictures” and your idea of a good movie — tell me about it.

Photo Credit: Tracy Bennett

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