With South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone are in the unique position of being able to basically do whatever the hell they want (as famously documented in 6 Days to Air). While this near-total creative freedom produces a stinker of an episode once every three or four shows or so (taking chances on jokes that might not work is what makes it so good), it’s also allowed South Park to become the overall and most consistently comedically relevant show of the last 15 years. Having made a crapload of money on virtually everything they’ve touched, the last thing they need is notes from some studio exec who’ll probably be fired in the next six months. They have enough F-You money now that they could burn it just to keep the rest of their money warm, so it only makes sense for them to start their own studio and continue doing whatever the hell they want. And that’s exactly what they’re doing. These men are goddamned heroes and I will fight you if you disagree.
The new company is to be called Important Studios and hopes to be just that. With an estimated value of $300 million built on revenue from “South Park,” now in its 16th season on Comedy Central, and the Broadway megahit “The Book of Mormon,” the studio will have the power and money to approve television, movie and theater projects, including a big-screen version of “The Book of Mormon.”
On Friday, Mr. Parker and Mr. Stone were putting together the final news release to announce their studio. They settled on this quip: “Having worked with several different studios over the years, we came to realize that our favorite people in the world are ourselves.”
Important Studios will incorporate revenue from “South Park” and “The Book of Mormon,” as well as revenue from future projects. “The Book of Mormon,” one of the highest-grossing Broadway musicals in recent years, received nine Tony Awards in 2011 and has grossed more than $200 million.
That amount continues to grow because the New York production makes $1.6 million a week, according to the producers. A touring version of the show makes about $1.6 million a week, and another production in Chicago grosses $1.5 million a week. And the show is about to go into production in London.
Mr. Stone and Mr. Parker, who created the musical, are the largest shareholders in “The Book of Mormon,” followed by the film producer Scott Rudin and others. Among the first projects that Important Studios is likely to develop is a movie version of the musical. [NY Times]
These guys have been able to work outside Hollywood for basically their entire career, doing it their way and kicking ass pretty much the entire time. I most humbly hope for more of the same.
Though if they really want to make some money, the first order of business should be hiring Awesome-o. Have you heard his pitches? That robot’s a hit machine! He’s like a robot Tyler Perry, only more talented.