Morning Joe | February 20, 2013
>>> take thurman. he was a professor. those four hands invented touch-screen technology. or io. a librarialibrarian. she invented the search engine. and most importantly, me. after my radio show got famous, i invented social networking . i've got 5 billion pending friend requests. that's how he rolls. he rips off our technology and sells it to the world. he's got deals with everybody. apple, facebook, them google guys . you think humans could build this stuff? i don't think so.
>> that was a scene from the new animated movie "escape from planet earth ." here with us now, one of the executive producers , marvin pierk. good to see you.
>> morning, willie.
>> big business . $21 million at the box office for that movie. were you expecting that kind of success?
>> we weren't and we were at the same time. it exceeded expectations, and we're very happy about the movie.
>> tell us for people who haven't seen it yet, a lot of us around the table have kids. it looks very appealing, but it's got an adult appeal as well.
>> it does. it's about finfinding an inner hero. be strong, be wary, it's about finding the hero in yourself.
>> who's escaping from planet earth ? explain the movie a little bit.
>> earth is this very scary place that aliens don't want to go to. and super nova who is a big hero of planet bob has a mission to go to earth. and everyone's saying, don't go. and his brother, gary, who they just had a falling out with, says, listen. you don't want to do this. earth is a very scary place. when he gets there, he sees all these -- finds all these aliens that have been locked up for years doing all this technology for guys like bill gates , facebook, google and stuuch. and agent chancre played by william shatner is there to keep these guys there forever and keep building out this technology that he can sell.
>> you've got a lot of good voices in there, too, shatner, brendan fraser , jessica alba , sarah jessica parker , sofia vergara , george lopez .
>> how hard is it to pitch an animation movie and the cost of making an animation movie, give me the -- is it more, or is it less than an ordinary movie?
>> typically animation is more. you know, companies like pixar and dreamworks, they make these pictures for 100 million-plus dollars. and harvey weinstein , he has -- he's created this philosophy and this animation company called kaleidoscope which is created to make midtier animation. you see a movie like "escape from planet earth ," which costs about $40 million, it's a fraction of what normal animation films cost, but you can see the quality. it's about great stories, great characters, great voices and just building on a great story. and that's what harvey has done.
>> so normal human beings might judge others by what sport team they support, what music they like. in my family, it's your top three animated movies of all time.
>> so my kids, they keep changing the order, but it would be, you know, right now maybe "despicable me," "monsters versus aliens," seriously underrated, by the way, and "rango."
>> no " toy story "?
>> no. we're beyond that. your top three. of all time.
>> "escape from planet earth ."
>> well played.
>> yes, yes.
>> that is a good one.
>> and i like "rio."
>> let me ask you something. you've also worked in reality television . and there's been lots of predictions of when that, you know, game is going to be over. we seem to keep consuming hour and more of it. i may or may not be a fan of "the real housewives of new york." that aside, what's your long-term outlook on that?
>> reality tv is -- it's real. and i think you've ever gone to your kitchen sink or window, done some dishes, looked out the window, saw what your neighbors were doing and you probably paused and said, you know, what are they up to? that's really what reality tv is, putting a camera in someone's living room and you're fascinating. it's very addicting and hard to get away from.
>> how hard was it for you to climb the ladder to get to where you are today?
>> it was very hard. i started in the music business . and we had what they call the black music division which gave me the opportunity to have a job at a major recording company . so when i got there, without that, i wouldn't have been able to go to and say i love country, i love pop, rock, why not find some artists to do is that? i was thankful they had this division and i was able to grow. because i always wanted to segue into television and film, i had a relationship with queen latifah who i knew from the music business . they said, listen, if you want to make the segue come, work with us, the world is your oyster. do what you want to do. let's just try to do some really great things. and i went and i worked with them. and then we just started climbing and expanding the company and growing. and i'm very thankful to them for the opportunity that they gave me, which gave me a way to look at the business from two different angles where i felt if you're going to be in the movie business, either you need to be on finance or you need to have a relationship with a really big star . i didn't grow up with brad pitt or george clooney , so i said i need to go out and start raising in capital to be a part of some really great projects. and then another friend of mine , david glasser, who was just leaving a film group, was going over to the weinstein company and said hey, you know, why don't you bring some of your investor relationships here. and so we formed a group and started investing in projects, and we partnered with harvey weinstein and the weinstein company on "escape from planet earth ," and that's how it was born.
>> and look where you are now, climbing the box office charts. the only downside to get that high, you've got to work with harvey weinstein , our dear friend, harvey .
>> i consider harvey a really dear friend. three years ago my father got really ill. and he jumped in and got very involved with his health and his care. it wasn't about hey, let me know what's going on. he called my father's doctors. he wanted to know updates by the hour. and thank by the grace of god , he got a heart transplant a few years ago. and via through that, harvey then decided, they came to him and said hey, why don't we partner with you. maybe we can do something for like a new facility in newark. and he was a little reluctant in putting his name on it. let's name it harvey and georgina weinstein transplant center and try to build something. great, let's do it. hopefully the transplant facility will go online in newark and it will be a great facility.
>> we love harvey . we just like messing with him a little bit, too.
>> too bad he doesn't know how to promote his products.
>> my gosh, he's relentless, up to the last minute. on tv tonight, tomorrow, "silver linings playbook," best picture .
>> 2013 .
>> he's going to do it. so good to talk to you. congratulations on the success of the movie. it's "escape from planet earth " in theaters now. go college it out.
>>> up next, a real-life heist that could be taken directly from the script of "goodfellas." remember the lufthansa heist ?
>> jimmy burke .
>> 50 million bucks in diamonds now stolen from an airport in brussels. that story next. you're watching " morning joe " brewed by starbucks. mine was earned