• You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community, you will have access to additional post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), view blogs, respond to polls, upload content, and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free, so please join our community today! Just click here to register. You should turn your Ad Blocker off for this site or certain features may not work properly. If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us by clicking here.

The Ingredients for Success in a Film Release

Totenkindly

@.~*virinaĉo*~.@
Joined
Apr 19, 2007
Messages
47,349
MBTI Type
BELF
Enneagram
594
Instinctual Variant
sx/sp
Not sure what question I am asking, but we've just seen a lot of former franchises bottom out this year. (Terminator; Doctor Sleep; Dark Phoenix; Hellboy; plus a bunch of one-shot films that disappeared without a trace.)

Thoughts were triggered by this detailed breakdown of the recent Charlie's Angels collapse.
How ‘Charlie’s Angels’ Fell From Grace At The Box Office With An $8M+ Opening

My thought is that it was the reboot no one asked for, honestly. (The property is pretty old -- 70-80's TV -- and the action films weren't really tailored at that crowd anyway, although they did okay at the time even if I never saw either of them.)

The film itself wasn't horrible -- it was middle-of-the-road, and I haven't heard anyone complain about Kristen Stewart. In fact this article seems more sympathetic, saying she was actually pretty funny in this film, and it's not her fault that they expected her to carry this kind of film when her last popular success was years ago with Twilight and since then she's been working in pretty much foreign/indie films and earning a lot of acting kudos in that genre.

I didn't even know who Naomi Scott was until I happened to watch Aladdin last week. (Naomi Scott was easily the best actor in the film and has screen presence.) It kind of relays that they didn't really have name actors to draw a crowd, which means they'd have to nail it in other ways; but the advertising was pretty bland and unpersuasive.

I am figuring Frozen II will survive (it has a built-in demographic, it's Disney, and it's, well, Frozen II.... it pretty much just has to not fall on its face to make money). Not sure about Cats. And obviously Star Wars sold more tickets in the first day than the first day of The Last Jedi did, despite all the outrage of the last two years with additional fuel from the last-season debacle of GoT. Toy Story 4 at least stuck the landing and did okay. Some franchises might be too big to fail. Others are more vulnerable.

typically problems seem to happen when someone owns a property without having a reason to tell a new story? So they are basically just trying to grab money rather than having a compelling reason to put together a film.

Kind of just thinking about what could keep a franchise viable. (Mission Impossible clawed its way back from a disastrous sequel and seems pretty stable now.) How does one determine a viable risk versus just throwing money into the wind?
 

Edgar

Nerd King Usurper
Joined
Oct 25, 2008
Messages
4,266
MBTI Type
INTJ
Instinctual Variant
sx
They bomb because they are cynically produced trash tailored to a non existent fanbase.
 

Doctor Cringelord

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2013
Messages
19,708
Toy Story will do alright as long as they space the sequels out at least 5 years apart. And there will definitely be a part 5 at some point. Even if 3 was the perfect end to the saga.
 

Doctor Cringelord

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2013
Messages
19,708
I don’t expect the upcoming “all male” ghostbusters will do any better than the “all female” one did, regardless of the Reitmans’ involvement. The ship for a good ghostbusters 3 sailed years ago
 

Jaguar

Active member
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
20,647
Ford v Ferrari (aka - David v Goliath) is beating the snot out of everyone at the box office. Surprising? Not really.


Rooting for the underdog is good for the soul. ;)
 

The Cat

I'm from Outer Space...Dont Overthink it.
Staff member
Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
17,976
nepotism in entertainment is sometimes just another word for fandom
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

Darth Strigidae
Joined
Jul 24, 2008
Messages
17,394
MBTI Type
INTP
Enneagram
5w6
Instinctual Variant
sp/so
I think studios assume that using a known IP is a license to print money just because things like Star Wars and Marvel are still so popular decades later. But that's not necessarily the case.

I mean, Star Wars fans would always threaten to boycott the next prequel and then buy tickets to see it in theaters anyway. I'm not surprised that things are shaking out in a similar way with TLJ. So, Marvel and Star Wars both have a built in audience, but not everything has that amount of staying power, but studios churn out stuff based on existing IPs as though they assume it does.

I guess an interesting case study would be to look at Marvel and DC and look at why when is a juggernaut while the other one flounders, notwithstanding individual successes like Joker and Wonder Woman. I would hazard to guess that part of it would be that the pendulum of people wanting "grittiness vs. optimism" is swinging in the other direction (towards optimism), and that the DC films are trying grittiness in cases when people don't want it and it doesn't really work.

I'm not really sure how that explains Charlie's Angel's or that stupid Tom Cruise Mummy movie, though.
 

Doctor Cringelord

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2013
Messages
19,708
The 70s nostalgia craze passed a while ago, and we're currently in the midst of the 80s/90s nostalgia wave. Without the public hunger for 70s nostalgia, something like Charlie's Angels will fail. It was never a property meant to be taken too seriously, so it's funny that the director Elizabeth Banks thought this property would suddenly be taken seriously; double LOL at her for blaming sexism for a product that no one really wanted or asked for anyway. It was always a fantasy showcasing three hotties and it was schmaltzy and campy even by the standards of the 70s and early 80s--at least the previous remake, shitty as it was, was self aware enough to know it was campy nostalgia. Also, Kristen Stewart looks like she's cosplaying Ace Ventura Pet Detective.


I think this is similar to problems with the Craig period Bond films. James Bond was never meant to be taken too seriously, even during the tenures of Connery and Dalton. It was always silly and campy fantasy action, showcasing fridge logic and visual gags. The reboots with Craig tried to get the series "back to its roots", only the series was never there in the first place. Silly camp and complete suspension of audience's disbelief was integral to that series from the very earliest Connery films, contrary to some arguments that that only began with the Moore period.

You can't take something that was never intended to be taken too seriously and suddenly change people's impressions of it. I mean it can be done, but it's not easy. Granted, the Craig films have done alright, but I think 007's relevance passed years ago.
 

Totenkindly

@.~*virinaĉo*~.@
Joined
Apr 19, 2007
Messages
47,349
MBTI Type
BELF
Enneagram
594
Instinctual Variant
sx/sp
The 70s nostalgia craze passed a while ago, and we're currently in the midst of the 80s/90s nostalgia wave. Without the public hunger for 70s nostalgia, something like Charlie's Angels will fail. It was never a property meant to be taken too seriously, so it's funny that the director Elizabeth Banks thought this property would suddenly be taken seriously; double LOL at her for blaming sexism for a product that no one really wanted or asked for anyway.

Yeah, I thought it was a really stupid set of comments by her. It's really too bad because my opinion of her had been becoming gradually more positive in the last year or two, but that was really off the mark.

I think this is similar to problems with the Craig period Bond films. James Bond was never meant to be taken too seriously, even during the tenures of Connery and Dalton. It was always silly and campy fantasy action, showcasing fridge logic and visual gags. The reboots with Craig tried to get the series "back to its roots", only the series was never there in the first place. Silly camp and complete suspension of audience's disbelief was integral to that series from the very earliest Connery films, contrary to some arguments that that only began with the Moore period.

Well, you're assuming that the films are all just derived from the films, so deviating from the films that built the film audience is a mistake. Maybe the film franchise was a little over the top / campy. The books were very genre (as much one as pulp fiction detective novels) but had a serious tone to them. I don't recall Fleming ever making Bond into a joke or tongue-in-cheek. That was an invention of the cinematic adaptations. I guess you can fault the Craig films for actually going back to their SOURCE material for their interpretation since the film expectations might have been different, but you just pull in a different audience. And Casino Royal and Skyfall are actually beloved from my perception, it's just that Quantum of Solace felt kind of irrelevant (can you even recall any plot details from it?) and Spectre was just a disappointment in its retelling of Blofield. I'm interested in seeing what happens with the next one, when the film has to stand on its own merits and interest rather than failing because it bobbled the franchise's primary villain and had a storyline no one cared for.

Mission Impossible is another old franchise (it's based on a 50-year-old TV show), yet it's managed to be revitalized over the last 2-3 outings and is considered a strong franchise... although I think once Cruise walks away, it's done. Also, they've kind of resolved the character exploration of Ethan in the last two films, I'm really not sure where it goes from here in terms of adding substance.

i'm not really sure who Banks thought the audience for this iteration of CA was. These kinds of films don't traditionally draw female audiences even when the leads are female, and it seems like the male audience who might be into it are mostly non-theater-goers at their age. Probably the best you COULD get would be the pop-action variation we got back in the 2000's -- like, it's less about Charlie's Angels as characters and simply a crazy fun popcorn flick meant to grab summer entertainment ticket money and not really live past that.
 

Totenkindly

@.~*virinaĉo*~.@
Joined
Apr 19, 2007
Messages
47,349
MBTI Type
BELF
Enneagram
594
Instinctual Variant
sx/sp
Still, we've seen quite a number of bombs, where people bought book properties (especially YA earlier this decade) and tried to translate this into film success with dubious outcomes. Or try to resurrect certain film/TV properties.

How do they know what properties to even purchase nowadays? There's so many factors involved -- the property, the production itself, the billing and acting, the tone and angle taken. Nothing's really a clear winner.

I think sometimes it's just about name but not how well the product conforms to name but whether it manages to milk out just the most money it could.

Like the resurrection of Jumanji. The first remake two years back is not high art. It's not really related to the original film either, right? (That seemed more like an "eyes of wonder" approach.) This was simply supposed to be funny/unexpected casting, characters stuck in bodies that did not reflect them, and action sequences that are nothing special on their own, and to simply leave a pleasant feeling afterwards. The film doesn't linger, it was just a fun throwaway to spend a Sat afternoon and sell tickets, and it manages to do that without being awful.

Interested in seeing if the second iteration does better or worse.
 

Jaguar

Active member
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
20,647
Some people were discussing the lack of sales for the latest Star Wars film compared to its predecessors. I never watched any of them but I think the success question is easily an issue with being bombarded with more viewing options than ever before, as well as the number of methods of delivery for all those viewing options. Do I really want to go see Star Wars or do I want to see one of 100 other things I can watch? The significance of a film can become diluted.
 

The Cat

I'm from Outer Space...Dont Overthink it.
Staff member
Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
17,976
Do not be a Fantastic Four movie. That is key. :shrug:
 

Doctor Cringelord

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2013
Messages
19,708
Or a compelling science fiction series with serious long term potential like Firefly, Terra Nova, or Amazon Prime's The Tick @_@ (I know it's tv, It had to be said)

You think they’ll ever revive Firefly? I could see a service like Hulu running it. There really needs to be a streaming service exclusively devoted to science fiction
 

The Cat

I'm from Outer Space...Dont Overthink it.
Staff member
Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
17,976
You think they’ll ever revive Firefly? I could see a service like Hulu running it. There really needs to be a streaming service exclusively devoted to science fiction

Honestly? No. I'd like to be wrong though
 

Doctor Cringelord

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2013
Messages
19,708
Some people were discussing the lack of sales for the latest Star Wars film compared to its predecessors. I never watched any of them but I think the success question is easily an issue with being bombarded with more viewing options than ever before, as well as the number of methods of delivery for all those viewing options. Do I really want to go see Star Wars or do I want to see one of 100 other things I can watch? The significance of a film can become diluted.

This really. Looking at cinema in 1977 and even by 1983, there really weren’t a lot of huge spectacle fx films that could appeal to all ages. People didn’t have a million superhero and fantasy films to choose from, so Star Wars was an easy choice, especially for a family looking for something each member could enjoy. Whereas now there’s always at least a few playing at any given time of the year.
 

anticlimatic

Permabanned
Joined
Oct 17, 2013
Messages
3,299
MBTI Type
INTP
Characters that are characters.
Plot that's a plot.
Story arcs that are story arcs.


Youd think it was fucking rocket science for how much Hollywood struggles with those three simple things.
 
Top