mogul Brett Ratner wants to make as many movies
as we can in Australia -
6th November 2015
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Ratner Hollywood mogul, head of Ratpac Entertainment
pictured at his Crown Tower's hotel room in Macau.
Picture: Jonathan Ng
is a match made in Hollywood heaven. He is a US film
mogul, and she is Australias most powerful woman.
this is no script for a Hollywood movie romance. Rather,
it is a budding business relationship between LA uber-producer,
RatPac Entertainment boss Brett Ratner, and our own
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
the pairing could lure billions of dollars to Australia.
an exclusive interview, Ratner tells me he is working
with Bishop to champion a push for Hollywood to make
as many movies as we can Down Under.
now hear that Bishop is looking at permanently boosting
film tax incentives to allow Australian-made US blockbusters
to become regular events.
combination of the incentives and the low Aussie dollar
could be fantastic for Australia, Ratner says.
power pair met several times in LA last month: at
RatPacs head office, a fashion show and, finally,
joining forces to sell movie-making in Australia to
Hollywoods most powerful studio boss, Warner
Brothers Kevin Tsujihara.
Ratner and Miranda Kerr at the Cannes Film Festival.
with Julie Bishop and actress Rebel Wilson. Source:
The Australian Consulate-General, Los Angeles Facebook
fantastic, Ratner says. I introduced her
to (Kevin) and shes working on helping the government
come up with a better tax incentive so we can bring
big motion pictures (to Australia). I want to get
says it was crucial for Bishop to talk to Tsujihara,
because Warner Bros makes more movies than any
other studio in the business.
meetings end, Bishop and Tsujihara had hit
has big influence at Warner. Under a deal running
until 2017, RatPac finances a quarter of every Warner
film. Money-spinning blockbusters that have resulted
include Gravity, American Sniper and The Lego Movie.
month, Bishop announced the government had attracted
two films to Australia with government subsidies:
Ridley Scotts Prometheus sequel for Fox, and
Marvel Studios Thor: Ragnarok, starring Chris
Aussie connection through James Packers half-ownership
of RatPac has driven Ratner to go in hard with Bishop
to lure more US movies: Were half an Australian
company, even though were not based there, and
James is a total Australian.
says the low dollar is a huge boost in
the bid to lure Hollywood to Australia.
is already a big destination for RatPac. Packer has
counselled Ratner (who introduced him to current love
Mariah Carey) about the huge potential of movie-making
in China, and they have already been making movies
told me two years ago: Brett, focus on China,
thats where the future is! And now the
box office in China is surpassing the US Box office.
will finance and develop many, many local Chinese
movies after last year starting a content fund
worth hundreds of millions with Warner Bros and Chinas
powerful Shanghai Media Group.
is even remaking Bruce Lee classic Enter The Dragon
and developing a theatrical version for
the stage, after Packers casino partner Lawrence
Ho told him Lee remained a phenomenon
in Asia. So we have a show that could be travelling
around Asia (and beyond), Ratner says.
are also expanding for RatPac through growing avenues
available to content makers via technology. On top
of traditional media like cinema, DVD and free TV,
other outlets are greedy for content: internet players
like Netflix and US pay-TV content makers like HBO.
says the key is taking shots and diversifying
risk. If there are 10 movies, three to four
will bomb, three to four will break even, and two
will be mega-hits. Gravity, for instance, cost $US100
million and made $US650 million. So you get a lot
of shots. Netflix is changing the game
by taking out risk for producers, he says.
a movies cost $30 million, theyll give
you $40 million. Youre just making a huge profit
upfront and you dont have to worry. Its
good and its bad. Well, I wouldnt say
its bad but if a movie could do $100 million
at the box office, then maybe youre losing some
The Audition starring Martin Scorsese, Leonardo
DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Brad Pitt, which premiered
last week to promote Packers Studio City casino
in Macau is the worlds most expensive
short film, reputedly costing $100 million, mostly
due to the stars rumoured eight-figure deals.
He says of the films set: It was really
cool. Marty had done eight movies with De Niro (and)
five with Leo but he had never worked with the two
of them together. And Brad had never worked with Marty.
sees The Audition as a trailblazer in brand promotion.
Its where art meets commerce, he
says. Brands will align themselves with filmmakers.
Thats where the future is.