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While Christopher Nolan, Jason Voorhees and Eric Cartman may seem like three disparate icons of pop culture, they all definitely have at least one thing in common: they’re cash cows. And while Regular Joes like you or me may never have to make a business decisions based around the director or the two fictional characters, Warner Bros. recently did - and they’re remaining firmly in Nolan’s camp.
Back in January, Warner Bros. and Paramount made an unlikely tag team when they joined up to co-produce Nolan’s upcoming space epic Interstellar, and while details on the deal were scarce at the time, The Hollywood Reporter has revealed the sacrifices WB had to make to be a part of the project. They signed over their rights to co-finance another Friday the 13th movie – which would probably be a sequel to the awful 2009 reboot from Platinum Dunes – as well as its role in producing a future South Park movie. For the third stipulation, Warner agreed to allow Paramount a co-financing position for a future high-profile Warner Bros. project.
The only catch is that Paramount will only own the rights for the next five years, during which they’ll need to get projects based on the properties made. Considering how cheap and easy it is to make a Friday the 13th movie, Paramount can probably squeeze at least three out before 2018 and make half a billion dollars in the process. Trey Parker and Matt Stone are much more in tune with quality control, so there’s no fear of over-saturation there. They would just have to get the ball rolling.
This is quite a gamble for Warner Bros., even given Nolan’s consistent box office track record. Without his name attached I wonder how many people would go watch a 2014 Matthew McConaughey science fiction movie.