Studio lets four-year-old write blockbuster, makes $115 million loss

Paramount's Monster Trucks isn't set to hit cinemas until next year - but the impending flop is already affecting share prices

Clarisse Loughrey
Monday 26 September 2016 08:44 BST
Monster Trucks Trailer

Everyone loves to make the same gripe about Hollywood screenwriting and its total infantilism meaning it might as well have been written by children.

Well, turns out sometimes it actually is written by children. Paramount made the rather strange decision of simply cutting out the middleman and letting former studio president Adam Goodman's four-year-old son develop the premise for its next major blockbuster; what he came up with was Monster Trucks, a movie which revolves around the conceit that monster trucks actually have real monsters in them.

Sure, Hollywood's adults have come up with plenty of equally bizarre concepts on their own, but Paramount is about to learn a pretty brutal lesson about handing over a multi-million dollar project to a preschooler.

The Wall Street Journal is now reporting Paramount's parent company Viacom has had to revise its earnings-per-share expectations to account for, "a programming impairment charge of $115 million in its filmed entertainment segment in its fiscal fourth quarter related to the expected performance of an unreleased film."

Yes, Monster Trucks hasn't even hit cinemas yet, and the studio is already proclaiming the film an absolute disaster. Slate reports that Goodman has since left Paramount, alongside the head of Paramount Animation Bob Bacon - the division behind Monster Trucks; with the film itself seeing its release date shifted from a prime summer 2015 slot to January next year, essentially the graveyard month for studio films.

Who knows, maybe Monster Trucks - which looks like a cross between Transformers, Sharktopus and Free Willy - will miraculously turn out to be a huge hit; yet, then again, let's stress that this was a concept that came out of the brain of a four-year-old.

Monster Trucks hits UK cinemas 3 February 2017.

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