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Box Office Mojo


#978

Nor should they, Paddington rocks!

Yes “It” really did outperform all expectations. Knowing Hollywood they won’t ignore that and we may see some more mid-range budget horror, based on King and other acclaimed writers.


#979

I know Pet Semetery is being fast tracked, some friends of mine are desperate to get in it.

A lot of King adaptations are shit adaptations of good books. If Hollywood is looking to do them over then I welcome it.


#980

I think JL’s failure and WW’s success. Pull the ambition back from huge combo team films and work on solid solo movies that don’t cost as much.


#981

Horror has probably replaced rom-come as the safe date night movie choice du jour, and I think the conjuring series and paranormal activity both showed that a while back. I’m surprised it’s taken Hollywood this long to catch up.


#983

Wonder Woman’s disproportionate success in the US is another oddity. I think it just caught the right moment after the 2016 election when women were pissed off and feeling beaten down and hungry to see a powerful, positive woman kick some ass.


#984

It’ll be interesting if Black Panther has the same effect with black audiences (although the demographic is smaller).

I saw a funny video the other day with a bunch of guys stood looking at the poster in a cinema foyer and saying ‘this is what white people get to feel all the time’.


#985

The franchises that died is the big take away for me in 2017. Pirates, Power Rangers, Kingsman, Lego, Apes, Cars, Transformers, Aliens, Blade Runner and The Mummy all underperformed. Add to that audiences general unwillingness to try something new and different like King Arthur, The Great Wall, Ghost in the Shell, Valerian and Dark Tower.

Above all it’s clear that audiences aren’t fooled by marketing or casting or themes anymore. The biggest movies are all pretty good (mostly) and the bomb movies are all pretty terrible. Audiences clearly are only showing up to well reviewed movies. More than anything it seems the quality of the story is the most important thing.

I’d argue they also only go and see the familiar - there’s nothing new in the top ten. I reckon it’s going to be impossible to get $150 million for a brand new concept movie with a somewhat shaky script. Should have always been that way, but 2017 doesn’t seem to have rewarded anything half baked. I think as our entertainment options continue to expand we’re becoming so selective that you can’t get some easy money just by rolling out a new big budget movie.

Honestly I think if you have a new property your best home might just be Amazon or Netflix. Clever Millar.


#986

They are the future.

Not that cinema will die off completely, but its become a special treat for many, something they do occasionally. It’s different experience and they will pay for it.

But not for every film that interests them.

It’s a hassle and it’s money and it’s time and a disappointing film just undercuts all of that and puts them off the next one.

I’ve said this before but, cinemas keep adding “more” to the experience, better seating, table service, alcohol etc. but I think that what people really want is lower prices. Then they’ll take a risk on more movies.


#987

I don’t think it’s the price. I don’t care if a movie is $5 or $10. It’s the hassle to go to the movies. It was ok when there was nothing else to do. These days there’s so much to do you’re selective with your time. And there’s nothing worse than wasting an evening on some shite. It’s like going to a nice restaurant and having a terrible meal. Puts you right off. So you tend to order the stuff you know you’ll like, and eat st places that you’ve heard good things about.

I just watched Bright on Netflix. I really enjoyed it. If I’d watched it at the cinema I wouldn’t have enjoyed it anywhere near as much. I’d have been annoyed I lost an evening on one of the few chances I get to go to the cinema and didn’t see something great. Instead I lay on the couch while baby watching and passed an enjoyable couple of hours watching something better than normal. This is another advantage streaming will have - they can get away with lower quality as it’s not the same commitment.


#988

Aye. Even the cheapest theater in Brooklyn still takes about an hour commute to travel to for me. So being able to just stream a flick without the hassle does help a lot. Especially with genre flicks such as Bright that might have not held much against a larger quotient of expected competition.


#989

This is something that’s been bothering me for a while now.

Is it really that difficult to make good “franchise” material.

I realize that a lot of people like The Last Jedi, but I thought that almost every story decision in it was wrong.

nuTrek has been limping along with underwhelming villains with personal vendettas. All three of the movies used the plot device of a guy with a grudge against Starfleet. I realize everyone loved Wrath of Khan, but c’mon…

Kingdom of the Crystal Skull… it took two decades to put together a new Indiana Jones movie and that was the best they could do? Flying saucers and Shia LaBeouf?

Prometheus and Alien Covenant were terrible. It’s like Ridley Scott didn’t understand what made Alien so awesome and terrifying in the first place.

X-Files has been limping around since its sixth season. I Want to Believe and last year’s “event series” were both forgettable at best, terrible at worst.

Moffat’s Doctor Who was, more often than not a let-down. Lots of interesting ideas that never paid off (Pandorica, River Song, The Silence, Trenzalore, The Great Intelligence, “Welcome to Heaven.”). Some brilliant episodes, but the big arcs generally fizzled in the end.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them wasn’t bad, but sort of underwhelming, like it could have used a rewrite to tighten up the plot and punch up the dialog.

Loved The Lord of the Rings movies, but the Hobbit movies were bloated messes.

…and then there are the Star Wars prequels…

Oddly enough, I find myself enjoying Star Trek Discovery. Not perfect, but it’s so far been enjoyable, and takes chances that don’t insult the fans or the mythology of the series. (Though I often find myself thinking it would be better to have put it post-TNG with all of the cyborgs, holograms, and spore drives.)

But is it really that hard to make good franchise material? Some of these, like Alien Covenant or Crystal Skull are such critically flawed concepts that I don’t know how they got padt the script stages. And who thought it was a good idea to relaunch X-Files with the inane I Want to Believe? It’s almost like they’re passive-aggressively trying to sabotage these things.

Strange thing is that often these awful sequels (SW prequels, Covenant, Hobbit, Crystal Skull, X-Files) are made by the original creators.


#990

Well, at least in the case of X-Files it’s not all that strange given that the original show turned really, really bad towards the end.


#991

I had no idea that Wolf Warrior 2 had made that much money. I knew that it was a big deal in China and saw a couple of screenings near where I lived, but making more than Guardians 2 was worldwide!? That’s just crazy.


#992

It made almost all but $10m of it in China, the rest in places with fairly high ethnic Chinese populations like Australia and SE Asia.


#993

I think the ability of a fan to discern between good and bad material is greatly exaggerated. If enough people like something right off the bat, it’s considered good. If enough people don’t, it’s considered bad. But if the number of people who liked something is small enough, it can become a cult favorite. But none of that means something is actually good or bad. All it means is that a reputation has been accepted. I’m pretty convinced that if Empire didn’t have that twist ending, no one would call it the best Star Wars ever. Impossible to prove, but that’s what I think. And even some stuff that’s been wildly popular for ages (Superman 2), seems to lose favor after a while, like a TV show people love for one season but then decide they hate the next season.


#994

Indeed. Not that I necessarily have faith that the remakes will be much better, but I still welcome the attempts. I’m kind of surprised that The Stand movie has fallen by the wayside. That seemed like it was almost ready to go a while back with Josh Boone set to direct…then I guess he left to make New Mutants and that’s the last I heard about The Stand. Figured with the success of IT the studio would have been more keen to fast track it.


#995

I disagree with your assessment of a lot of several of these movies but I think the main hangup is that a lot of these franchises are a product of their time.

Star Trek is obviously very 60s, full of hippie values with echoes of the space race and cold war.

Star Wars is very 70s, the dawn of the blockbuster.

X-Files is extremely 90s, from a purely visual perspective, an early canary in the coal mine for prestige TV (along with Twin Peaks), and also post-Reagan paranoia that our government is hiding shit.

Alien is very 70s; the first film combines both Jaws and Star Wars, then the most successful movies ever and still fresh, and works in the feminist movement. The sequel is very 80s, all macho and spartan in a way that movies just aren’t now.

Lord of the Rings is very early-00s, along with Matrix the first movies to really nail the potential of CGI to invent and reimagine worlds. There is probably some post-9/11 fear of the other and mistrust of those in power as well.

Apes is a product of the civil rights era and cold war/nuclear paranoia.

Indy is of an era when the people in their 30s and 40s remember the serials on which they’re based, and it was a modern update of that.

Dr. Who is of a few different eras, the 60s through early 80s. I don’t know if it fits my theory here but it does strike me as a specific product of an era when a certain resourcefulness was required to bring sci-fi to life. I’ve never warmed to the show in the big-budget, prestige TV era.

I think the challenge with franchise is making them relevant outside of the era that birthed them. You almost can’t help but make them either lazy pastiches of what’s come before or break them by trying to make them into something that they aren’t. There have been successes but for the most part it’s lose-lose.


#996

I would add that it’s possible that some franchises simply have a limited life at a specific times. They may have only a couple of good movies in them. Pushing beyond that breaks it.

Alien, Predator, and Terminator are franchises that only had two films tops that are considered great but diminishing returns quickly set in after that.

It appears fatigue has finally set in with Transformers. The Bumblebee spin-off will be the gauge for the future of the franchise.

Star Trek simply works better as a TV series. ST 2-4 were the best movies and those were in the 1980s.

I really wonder if in most cases, three films is the lifespan of most franchises.


#997

I disagree that the age of the franchise matters. Batman is 70 years old. Sherlock Holmes is 130 years old. Characters and properties can last. It’s hard to create something, so when a creation resonates at the scale of some of these properties there’s life for decades in them. Generations to come to fall in love with the soul of the characters. Stories have always lasted for centuries, and always will, even in this pop culture saturated age.

Yes it is. It’s really hard to know what fans want, and it’s also really hard to know when you’re creating something that won’t work, particularly after you’ve created something that did work.

Millar talked a few times about Kingsman 2 while it was in development, some of the ideas that were floating around and what was going to be put in the script. Having the ear to know what won’t work on screen is super tough, and it was clear from the end result that some of what ended up in Kingsman 2 should never have gotten off the ideas desk (pretty much everything after the opening act). But Matthew and Jane only put in what they thought were great ideas. No-one would question MV’s ability to direct, and pretty much everyone liked the first Kingsman movie which was mostly their adaption. So they had the credentials, maybe better than anyone, to make the sequel. And yet they made a mess of the second movie. So much so that they maybe killed the franchise.

Putting it another way, how many musical artists have several great albums in them? How many can get more than a couple of hit songs? Creating is super hard. Amateur writers think it’s easy and they all feel they have a great idea, but it’s a bit like being able to strum on a guitar and thinking you can write Sweet Child of Mine.

If you look at the truly great franchises they change it up from one movie to the next. They don’t give you what you want, they give you what you didn’t know you wanted. Empire gave us a huge expanded universe and a downer ending after A New Hope. Godfather 2 gave us a history story rather than focus too much on Michael. Back to the Future went to the future, then an alternate reality. Temple of Doom dumped the biblical and went to India. Aliens dumped the haunted house model and went full action. T2 dumped the Halloween model and also went full action. The problem with many sequels these days is the pressure is to do just the same as the last movie, but that’s not what audiences will respond to. the Statesmen should have been the answer for Kingsman 2, but instead they essentially got rid of them as quickly as they introduced them.


#998

I think it probably doesn’t fit. I’ve enjoyed the recent episodes but understand others haven’t (although even Jason says he liked individual ones a lot if not the general arcs). The concept is so incredibly malleable though it really is down to execution. It can be set at any time, with any actor (of any gender we now know) covering pretty much any subject matter.

It is a creation of the 60s but the most popular eras ratings wise have been in the late 1970s and late 2000s (the Tom Baker and David Tennant runs).