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Lets not forget the China angle...
#25 | Posted by Pegasus at 2015-08-10 05:32 PM | Reply

Agreed. As studios continue to see drops in ticket sales (5% over the past few years), growth at the Chinese box office has been phenomenal (up 30%). Apple is seeing the same thing with the iPhone. There is tremendous growth potential in the Chinese market for movies.

That being said, any studio that alters the movie's contents to appease the Chinese government so that their movie is allowed to play there is, IMHO, selling out in a major way. Granted, some of the changes are trivial-- would anyone give a hoot if they actually showed the Great Wall being destroyed in PIXELS? Would it make the movie any better at all?

My concern is preserving the story-teller's vision (whether that be the screenwriter or the director). If you're altering the content to appease an audience-- be it the Chinese government, social justice warriors here in the US, or *anyone* for that matter-- you are undermining the artist's work. I say this knowing full-well my own personal work been affected, since I have a movie that has been release in several ME countries where I guaran-damn-tee that the content is NOT okay for that audience. Neither I nor the director and producers could prevent it from happening. Once a studio purchases a movie (in my case it was Universal International), they can do with it what they please.

The best way to fight this-- support indie filmmaking. You won't see ads for our movies. You won't see fancy trailers. Our actors won't be making the rounds on the talk shows. And you won't see any press for our movies (though I did once get mentioned in an article on Variety when one of my films was in the top 10 most downloaded movies of the week... a dubious honor to say the least).

(btw Pegasus-- MI:RN is over $260m worldwide, a good 100m more than its budget... and it's only been out less than 2 weeks... anyone who told you it wouldn't make its money back has no clue what they're talking about)

These same topics come up every time another comic book character movie comes out. I'll cover my own personal feelings briefly-- I'm not into comic book movies (or comic books) at all. I'm a geek/nerd/gamer/whatever, but never got into that part of the culture. That being said, the Avengers movies, Guardians of the Galaxy, and even the Iron Man movies are all pretty damn good. (Anyone blaming the writer's union for movies being bad is an idiot. Learn how movies are made first, then try to mouth off. I'm a WGA union writer. You don't have the first clue as to what you're talking about.)

So when you're wondering why they keep remaking comic books into movies, or why there is sequel after sequel for these same comic book stories, it is because they (usually) perform well. The studio FOX doesn't usually do many comic book movies-- Kingsman (which performed well) and the X-Men franchise (which does really well also). But both of those pale in comparison to the other comic book movie franchises. One might say that FOX is well out of their element here.

I agree with Speak above-- "Many americans are too stupid to appreciate less action and more complex stories, so it's a race to the bottom. Plus, Now so many tickets are sold overseas, that media companies want movies that you can follow without being an english speaker." Yes, I agree-- especially as it concerns the big summer "tent-pole" movies.

But for those of you who feel that there are no good movies being made, I'd love to make some suggestions. 2015, so far, has been a little bit on the disappointing side for me (and I fricking love movies). For big budget action movies, Avengers2 was good, and Mad Max blew me away with it's story telling *through* action. Spy was good for a comedy. But there have also been some good smaller movies this year-- Ex Machina, Mr Holmes.

Behind on your movies from 2014? Got kids? Be sure to check out Guardians of the Galaxy, LEGO movie, Big Hero 6 (even check them out if you DON'T have kids!). Great movies. Like good action, suspense, drama? Gone Girl, Birdman, Nightcrawler, Edge of Tomorrow, Interstellar, Boyhood. Some great writing. (My almost-teen daughter loves the Hunger Games, Insurgent, Pitch Perfect, Fault in our Stars, etc.)

If you don't like the big action movies of the summer, dig around for indie films, check out local revival theaters (the Paramount here in Austin often does a Summer Classics... see Vertigo and Rear Window back to back on the big screen, or all 3 Godfathers on a long Sunday, etc). Search around. Before you lament (or, in the case of some of you, celebrate) the death of the art of cinema, look around a little. There are some great movies being made today.

I love the fact that 90% of the posts here are heralding the death of Hollywood as if it is actually happening. The story-telling medium is changing for sure. We can talk about the effect the economy has on movie-going (it is one of the few industries that actually thrives during a recession/depression), or the impact of piracy (very little evidence has pointed toward piracy negatively affecting a particular movie's success), or simultaneous release models where it arrives On Demand at the same time as a theater, or the alternative models that are offering fantastic feature-length and episodic programming via Netflix, Amazon, Youtube, or even channels like AMC which for 20 years aired only classic movies but now generates an amazing amount of original programming.

The points being brought up both in the posts above (as well as the headlined article) mainly relate to the theater attendance. There is certainly evidence of this. Theater attendance was down for 2014 from 2013 by about 5%. 5%... that's it. Surely not indicative of a medium that is dying a painful death.

While theater attendance is falling slightly, revenues sure aren't.

But this specific article is about R-rated comedies, so I will attempt to stick to that topic if I can... rated-R comedies having a hard time at the box office is nothing new. The biggest rated-R comedy of all-time is still Beverly Hills Cop for crying out loud. Every writer, director, and studio exec knows that a rated-R comedy is going to have a hard time cracking $100m (only 2 did it in 2014). There is a reason why in 2014 only 7 rated-R movies topped $100m. 25 pg/pg13 movies did.

The article can point to "box office analysts" if it wants to, but those analysts aren't the ones doing the gambling on the movie business. And the quote from the actual WB exec says it all right there-- ticket sales have increased for Vacation day-over-day since release (often indicating positive word-of-mouth). So opening at $21m isn't a bad thing (even if it is 35% lower than what some analysts said it "should" be, whatever the hell that means). As they mention in the article, We're The Millers opened to $26m and ended up over $150m; This Is The End opened at $20m and ended over $100m; Tammy and Let's Be Cops both opened less or around Vacation and still ended up over $80m.

The only people claiming that R-rated comedies are "in trouble" seem to be the author of this article, some box office "analysts", and many posters in this thread.

I understand it, I do-- TV and movies aren't for everyone. But to claim "------- Hollywood", or "who still goes to the movies", or that there are no good movies that aren't superhero or romcom, or that "remakes" aren't good, or that you should only see a movie if you respect the actor... all of these arguments in no way further the discussion, and every single one of them can be proven false (though I realize opinions are opinions).

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