Saw a couple of days back that Deadpool 2 made more money in the Netherlands in its second week than Solo did in its first.
Honestly, I do agree with Steve that the nature of the business probably contributed to a lot of fallout because there is no single voice with the power of Lucas. There is no Emperor.
Kennedy is not Feige in the sense I doubt she has the same sort of relationship to the material that he has had with Marvel, apparently, since he was a kid. The sort of relationship Abrams has with Star Wars, for example. However, even if she did, Star Wars is not Marvel. It’s not really well designed to branch out with a lot of different people doing their own takes on the Iron Man story - I mean, Luke Skywalker story.
If a studio decided to take JRR Tolkein’s Middle Earth and start giving away bits of it to various different creative teams or making up entirely original stories set there, it might work, but chances are such a scattershot approach would alienate more people than it attracts - especially fans of the novels and supplementary material.
However, in the end, everything is a huge risk. Most franchises have failed and even more have been dead on arrival. Just in the past few years, I’ve lost count of the number of movies that were supposed to be the beginning of a hot new series of films in shared universes or were supposed to resurrect interest in some long dormant property.
Having more than one big franchise is amazing, but they are actually quite risky considering the amount of investment and the odds of people losing interest with just one misstep. I think Disney has broke even for what they paid for Lucasfilm - maybe not, though, when all the expenses are tallied - but they still have to pour a lot of money into these projects to sustain them.
We should always remember that Disney is more than movies. Bob Iger didn’t just buy a movie company when he purchased Lucasfilm, he brought IP that sells merchandise, books, comics and even cruise ship holidays;
Soon, there’ll be a whole new theme park.
The movies generate income, but they are part of a much bigger business.
I never said either of those things. I think his ego got in the way of what Star Wars is. Big man on set. He didn’t give a fuck about anything but what he wanted.
Let’s take Taika Watiti as an example of a film maker who gives a shit about fan service and adheres to the franchise but still can put his stamp on it without making a film that’s like marmite. Ragnarok is a film that makes you care more about its characters and therefore the franchise those characters are in. Johnson, with TLJ, quite blatantly and openly tried to defy conventions throughout to serve his own feeling and it wasn’t the time to do it. It was extremely arrogant behaviour from a filmmaker who had one amazing idea and specialized in so-so sci fi ever since. Watiti sat down and didn’t think to pish all over the Marvel universe, he embellished it in a way that was clearly his but still would be something that all the fans would adore. Johnson knew the response he’d get and felt no responsiblity to serve the SW universe in any other way that to fuck what came before over his shoulder like a lightsaber. To be that arrogant blows my mind.
Here’s a good analysis of TLJ:
It still fits into my conspiracy, Steve. The movies are being made to lose so they can operate as a tax write off for all the other properties.
I had some issues with Thor Ragnarok (such as casually killing off established characters like the Warriors Three), but that movie is closer to the feel of the original Lee/Kirby comics than the two Thor films that came before it.
If I were in charge of Lucasfilm (ha!) I would throw The Last Jedi down the memory hole and shoot a new VIII and IX back to back. Either drop it into “Legends” or say it was all a nightmare Finn had in the bacta tank.
The Last Jedi was such a misfire that I don’t think there’s any way to work around it.
Iger, or whoever is in charge, needs to keep Kathleen Kennedy away from the creative decisions.
I was originally on board with her 100% after TFA and RO. I mean, TFA had some problems (like hewing too closely to ANH) but it looked and felt right and seemed like a good springboard to tell a bigger story. RO was sort of unnecessary, but it also looked and felt like a proper Star Wars tale and did no harm to the franchise.
But then she let Rian Johnson come on board, get cute, and, with his bizarre obsession with outsmarting the audience, delivered a movie that was about nothing, trashed every character both new and old, changed the nature of the Force (it gives everyone superpowers now!), and was a wholly unsatisfying experience.
I haven’t seen Solo yet. Not because I’m boycotting it, but because the transmission in my car died before I could go and I’m currently getting it rebuilt. I might go see the movie next weekend or the one after it if it’s still playing in theaters near me. I’ll pick up the blu-ray when it comes out either way.
I really have interest in seeing IX at all unless JJA can salvage some gold from Johnson’s garbage, but I’m doubtful he can do it, or that Kennedy would even let him. I’ll read spoilers first and decide what to do then. And I still haven’t gotten TLJ on blu-ray yet, and won’t unless IX is a grand slam.
I think Abrams hit all the beats of the originally trilogy and set things up for a new generation. I think Johnson threw a lot of the who’s who stuff out the window (where the prequels really got bogged down) and really got to the heart of the Star Wars films.
Actually, Ragnarok is a very good comparison. The Thor in that film isn’t really the one from the Marvel Universe. He’s a remix of a lot of the best elements. Watiti stripped away key pieces to the character, took bits and pieces he liked and rebuilt it into something new.
I think with TLJ Johnson started to build something that could survive the Skywalkers. In ANH, Luke was no one important. He lived on the ass end of the universe in a place that no one gave a shit about. Turns out he could do things not a lot of people could. TLJ also had its fair share of fan service. I’m honestly glad it didn’t get bogged down in answering all the questions that TFA asked and just told a great story.
This is why this moment is so important for Disney. Star Wars is billions per year even without movies. Between it and Marvel it’s what they have for boys. They can’t see it fall out of fashion like DC has. And I firmly believe Disney have the smartest people in the business - something like TLJ wasn’t the vision of just one director or one producer (likewise I roll my eyes at the Feige disciples). They’ve just lost the pulse of the market in a way they didn’t with Rogue One - a $200 million movie with no big actors at all that broke a billion easily. They have to figure out what the market wants, they clearly know with Marvel, but they clearly don’t know with Star Wars. And I’ve yet to hear a single solid idea on how they dig out of this hole.
Putting the whether the tale itself was good or not to one side for a moment, it’s the attitude I find the main problem. I can get behind story elements I feel may be weak or fix plot holes in my head. It has a lot that is enjoyable. My issue here is that Johnson decided to buck convention of what came one movie before in pretty a blase and arrogant fashion.
Here’s another sequel example of where I think someone had a clear idea of building on everything that came before - Die Hard With A Vengeance. It doesn’t do what Die Harder did and copy the framwork of the first movie, it bucks that convention. It bucks the convention of what you expect a Die Hard movie to be. Like TLJ it has a so-so third act. Die Hard isn’t a marmite film for John McClean fans though. That’s because even when it shits on how we left McClean in the last movie, it does it in ways which fit that character. It does it in ways that mean no one has turned round and said that failed as a Die Hard Movie. And we know that happened with 4. By the end of 4, why would we care about 5. If you are making a Star Wars movie and half the audience don’t feel that it’s a Star Wars movie - and you specifically went in accepting that was a probable outcome - then you probably shouldn’t have been writing and directing one in the first place. It’s a case of professionalism as much as anything else. The saddest thing is that if he hadve paid solid attention to just one or two of those threads from Force Awakens the convention bucking of some of what came before would have worked for everyone. It’s the adamant nature of someone not caring at all to even try and solve some mysteries or join dots.
Die Hard 3 is the second best Die Hard anyway.
It is. Even though the end is pretty crap.
That’s a disservice to Die Hard 3. There was nothing as bad as “LOVE” in Die Hard 3. What’s your issue with the end?
Not to single you out or anything, but this is exactly the reaction Star Wars is playing against, this sort of wild distortion of what the prequels were, even in this age where there is now this tepid defense of them: “At least they did something different!”
The biggest problem is that the fans have a million reasons why the prequels didn’t work, but the only one that really matters is that their greatest sin is that Star Wars had been replaced as the cool franchise. That’s it. End of story. The Matrix proved in 1999 that something could energize fans as much as Star Wars, for the first time since Star Wars, and really it was the curse of bringing Star Wars back. It put fans in the mentality of being open again. Now, I realize Matrix didn’t make as much money as Phantom Menace, and that its sequels were considered as terrible as the prequels (and likewise told stories other than what fans had wanted, which ironically at that point in time was a prequel to the first one, before Star Wars soured the idea of prequels in general). But again, even The Matrix had been replaced by then, because it made it okay to embrace new things. So X-Men was the first big non-DC hit superhero movie (not incoincidentally featuring the same general leather look). And then the perfect fantasy storm of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, the latter of which was so popular it actually eclipsed the former in the zeitgeist, at least at the movies, until it finished. The way you people are talking about DCEU, about Disney Star Wars, that’s really Harry Potter movies. Those things ought to have made buckets more than they did. And now with the Fantastic Beasts movies, they’re settling in an even lower bracket. It’s ridiculous, but that’s how these things go.
And the MCU benefited from the same general trend. It’s not even that they’re doing something completely different (the unexpected course of the Fast and Furious franchise is a far more sensational story), but that they took over as the general franchise of choice on record, and have at this point proven they can do anything and fans just won’t care. In fact, the less they care the more fans love it! They’re completely bulletproof.
Until, of course, the hot new thing finally shows up. At which point no matter what MCU does it’s going to seem, finally, as if it, too, can do nothing…right.
So that’s what’s happening.
No Christmas music.
I’m still not convinced the hole is as deep as people are making it out to be. Don’t get me wrong, it very well may be. But I think TFA was more a nostalgic anomaly than anything else that ended up over inflating expectations for what Star Wars movies would make going forward. And I said back in December that I expected Solo to be the first legitimate Star Wars bomb at the box office. I’ll admit that it’s bombing even harder than I expected, but I think it’s just a movie with a troubled production that no one wanted and Disney didn’t bother trying to convince people otherwise. That’s a problem, but it’s not quite the same problem as assuming that people are giving up on Star Wars altogether.
That said, we’ll find out in a year and half just how bad things are. If Episode IX drastically under performs what TLJ did then yeah, Disney is in trouble with regards to Star Wars.
But again, I’m still fully of the mind that Disney is mishandling the IP by green lighting movies like Solo. They seem to have mistook that fact that people were excited to see Harrison Ford reprise a role they thought he’d never return to for them giving two shits about the character in general.
It’s an Ant Man situation. Lord and Miller might have had a really great pitch and their success garnered them lots of confidence. Then things didn’t work out and Disney were saddled with a movie they suddenly didn’t really want. No director wants to wear another directors underwear, it typically ends badly. So I don’t think Solo was a bad idea, but once you give in to a director you need to go the distance. Ant Man was the same, I’m sure the change in director cost them a couple of hundred million. Marvel since just lets directors do their thing, which is often (but not always) the right thing to do.
Yeah, and with Ant-Man we ended up with what was likely a better movie.
The prequels were similar to the original series in that they were nothing like the other movies coming out at the time and children were the biggest fans of the prequel universe.
If a Star Wars movie can’t get every 12 year old in the world to drag his family to see it, then it deserves full reactor ignition.