‘Batman’ Helped Prince Get Out Of Debt

June 24, 2019

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Batman to the rescue!

In today’s world hiring a pop artist to do the soundtrack for the latest Batman movie sounds like a terrible idea. But crazy ideas really do pay off, especially for Prince. 

Prince's former manager Albert Magnoli told Variety, the purple one accumulated a tremendous amount of debt after his film “Under the Cherry Moon,” flopped at the box-office and he spent tons of cash on extravagant set pieces for his tour. 

“When he did ‘Purple Rain’ and the tour, he had spent a tremendous amount of cash and he was now at a place where his management, to their credit, were attempting to leverage future earnings in order to pay for past and present debt.”

Magnoli was originally a film director, who had worked with Prince on several music videos, he was then asked to manage him. When Warner Bros. to approached him about doing the soundtrack for 'Batman' he and Prince accepted. 

“I immediately did a forensic kind of financial search as to what was really going on, and it was more horrible than anybody thought. So the plan was about trying to bring revenue into the operation without overextending him to the point where no one would be interested in getting involved in anything he wanted to do, and the ‘Batman’ album came into being when I was contacted by ‘Batman’ producer Mark Canton, and I went to Prince and said, ‘This will help us bring revenue into the system without having to expose you to another album.’”

The way Magnoli explained it was that this was going to be a Batman album and not a Prince album. 

“Prince was at a crossroads. “The ‘Batman’ album afforded us the opportunity to do art and commerce and allow the artist Prince to forge on. This was a perfect opportunity and a perfect vehicle in which he could express himself creatively.”

The Batman soundtrack went on to become a multiplatinum-selling album and spawned three big hits for Prince, “Batdance,” “Partyman” and “Scandalous.” According to Magnoli the profits from ‘Batman’ significantly helped Prince.

“The revenue from ‘Batman’ and severe cost-cutting — we went from a $10 million per year nut to $2 million — allowed him to continue on without concern and without changing his lifestyle.”