Movie Article

Hitless Savoy Makes a Quick Exit

Savoy leaves the spotlight — The studio surrenders after the production of 14 failed films

Pssst! Wanna buy a movie? After only three years and a string of duds (including Serial Mom, No Escape, Exit to Eden, and Steal Big, Steal Little), studio wannabe Savoy, started with $500 million raised on Wall Street, is apparently exiting the film business and peddling 14 projects — some finished, some not — to potential buyers. ''It's a firehouse sale,'' says one producer of Phil Joanou's Heaven's Prisoners, starring Alec Baldwin, which may never see a theatrical release. ''You can dump the films somewhere.''

Other Savoy orphans include the Tom Arnold comedy The Stupids; Paul Mazursky's Faithful, starring Cher; and Getting Away With Murder, starring Dan Aykroyd and Jack Lemmon. Savoy's desire to sell all 14 films as a unit found no takers, but Paramount is reportedly eyeing Pinocchio (with Jonathan Taylor Thomas) and Martin Lawrence's The Thin Line Between Love and Hate, plus future films Without Remorse, a Tom Clancy thriller set to star Gary Sinise, and John Dahl's A Simple Plan, which may star Nicolas Cage. Paramount sources call talk of the sale ''premature'' and say they have no need of additional films for 1996. Savoy sources insist there is heated bidding but admit the studio's tent folding is ''like an earthquake.'' The biggest victims: new movie division chief Rob Fried and ex-Disney marketing head Bob Levin, hired before Savoy tossed in the towel — and assured by bosses Victor Kaufman and Lewis Korman that everything was just fine.

Originally posted Nov 10, 1995 Published in issue #300 Nov 10, 1995 Order article reprints