Despite separating from Paramount just six months ago, CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves is looking to start a movie studio of his own.
Speaking at PricewaterhouseCoopers’ media outlook conference, Moonves acknowledged that he was exploring launching a studio "in a small way" that would produce between six and eight "modest sized" pictures. "We won’t look to do Superman or $125 million films," Moonves said. The operation would instead focus on modest-sized pictures with budgets between $25 million and $50 million.
Moonves says he believes that CBS could produce movies relatively efficiently.
The company owns pay movie network Showtime, which licenses movies for an average of $3 million each.
Plus, CBS has an array of outlets – networks, radio stations, and billboards – that could be used to substantially reduce a picture’s advertising costs.
Moonves said he was in the early exploration stages, but you know where he’s going when he characterized a small movie venture as "literally risk-free."