Motion Picture Box Office 2013: Will Hollywood Learn To Love Big Budget
Despite the latest claims of another record summer
at movie theaters and even drive-in theaters for 2013, it is obvious that it
was not a great summer by any means for those paying to see feature length
motion pictures. As has been the case
for the last 20 years, there have been few surprises, nothing very exciting and
adding to the glut of sequels, remakes and sequels to remakes, this summer saw
movies labeled as new franchises simply copying played out films.
Most of the CGI animated feature did well, but more
than ever opened, so some underperformed no matter if they were good or
not. The larger hits came early on at
the box office like Iron Man 3, Fast & Furious 6, Man Of Steel, Star Trek: Into Darkness, The Heat
and even World War Z. But then
came the bombs like White House Down, After Earth, Percy
Jackson: Sea Of Monsters, Kick-Ass 2 and
especially The Lone Ranger, which did not have its reviews written 8
months before its release despite what the makers might claim.
So what happened?
Too many played-out franchises, too many package deals made without
hardly any thought on what the competition would be, if there was an audience
for a given release and the hope that a combination of foreign box-office and
tie-in items (like toys and other promos) would make up any lack of North
American box office in case those “ungrateful” domestic viewers would not be
suckered into paying for just any movie to see as if people only had a few
choices on what to do with their time.
In extremely cynical cases, in case those suckers do not cough up enough
money to pay for our mistakes and admissions that we should not be making
movies at all.
Guillermo del Toro's Pacific
Rim dodged what troubles it could by Warner. Bros and Legendary Pictures
changing the ad campaign in the last week, but this turned it into a mere
disappointment instead of an outright bomb, but audiences in most other
countries found the film and we might get a sequel that makes sense. The back story is that Legendary and Warner
were at the end of their extremely long, prosperous and immensely profitable
relationship with Legendary leaving the studio and signing with Universal.
However, that was one of the only films that got
such serious consideration in the midst of the disasters. Next summer will likely repeat the pattern
since the condescending approach of making two-hour ads for toys is too easy
for the increasing number of studio executives who know zero about moviemaking
to go in and make more pointless, soulless product. It's going to take some very creative people
who care and know the basics of commercial genres (horror, action, adventure,
science fiction. etc.) to change this situation. Until them, audiences will not be singing
“well meet again” as often and the record summers will come to a halt until
audiences stop letting themselves be used to pay for garbage.
It was not always like this and along with media hacks who recommend everything with a big budget, even when
they know it is lame, ticket buyers need to weed these people out and start
ignoring them. Only then will those
customers (not just disposable consumers, as they are too often being treated
as) will get their money's worth because the scripts are decent, the casts
doing fun work and behind the scenes talent working at their best instead out
of entitlement and arrogance.