"Saw" Producers Temper Success With Humility

The founders of Twisted Pictures took a big chance in pouring their own money into financing the first Saw movie, a gamble they won, and won big. But unlike other Hollywood speculators who strike it rich by falling ass-backwards into a leprechaun's pot and then claim that their asses are equipped with finely calibrated gold-detectors, they're staying humble about their success:

Today, "Saw" has grossed more than $102 million worldwide, and its sequel, "Saw II," has pulled in $75 million at the box office in less than three weeks. And because they retained the rights to the franchise, Twisted Pictures founders Mark Burg, Oren Koules and Gregg Hoffman have become very rich. Just ask them.


"The best deal we made wasn't financing the movie, it was not selling the movie," Koules said last week as he sprawled in a sagging leather chair at the production and management company's offices in Hollywood. "We make more money than anyone you'll ever interview."

The producer then paused thoughtfully, struck a match, and lit a stack of hundred dollar bills on fire before continuing, "I used to wipe myself with these, but found them too scratchy. And who's gonna see me do it, you know? The platinum bathroom attendant robot doesn't care what I do. But hundreds do smell really nice when they burn. What were we talking about? Oh, I was just going to tell you how every movie we ever make will gross at least fifteen billion dollars. It's a lock. Write that down."