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Bad Movies - Industry upset your telling friends

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Paul Bartlet, Aug 19, 2003.

  1. Rob Bartlett

    Rob Bartlett Stunt Coordinator

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    Actually, a good move can make money, but it can't rely on that. A lot of box-office success is an accident. It's about the right place at the right time.

    People say good word of mouth is paramount, but look at movies like What Lies Beneath and The General's Daughter . Were the reviews that good. Have they gone down as movie classics? Have even cult audiences developed? Hell, look at the word-of-mouth hit of all time, My Big Fat greek Wedding .
     
  2. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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  3. Jason Harbaugh

    Jason Harbaugh Cinematographer

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    I still telegraph the news about bad movies to my friends. Thank gad that little tech slipped by the MPAA for so many years.

    So are the MPAA and RIAA in a contest with each other to see who can get the most people to hate them the most?
     
  4. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    That was good, Jason!

    I'm still trying to figure out how they nailed down text-messaging. I can only imagine that one of them was at home, discussing a movie, and the kid shows dad/mom the message.

    "See, that movie sucks!"

    No, they suck!!

    Glenn
     
  5. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

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    The internet and its relatives (text messaging) are convenient whipping boys for the MPAA, simple as that.

    Of course, making better movies won't guarantee success either. There are many that fail to connect at the box office while plenty of bad ones rake it in. (Granted, that's subjective but think of how some of the favorite HTF titles--Fight Club and Dark City,for example--slipped out of theaters as less than smash hits.)
     
  6. Jon D

    Jon D Stunt Coordinator

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    Paramount executives blamed the poor sales of the latest Tomb Raider game for sinking the movie. I was laughing so hard......

    It's like the classic exchange between a mother and her chocolate-covered kid:

    "Timmy, did you eat the cookies?"

    "I didn't do it, it was Susie!"
     
  7. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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    One of the many reasons films have big opening day weekends and then sink faster than the Titanic is that even if the film is good, ticket prices are too expensive to warrant repeat showings. Especially when most films come to DVD 2-5 months after the release date. What is the point? Wait a few weeks, and you can own the DVD for $15.

    Out of this entire year, I have only seen three movies more than once in theaters.

    The Matrix Reloaded
    1st showing: 10:00pm on 5/14 ($8.50)
    2nd showing: 3:25pm on 5/16 ($5.50)
    3rd showing: IMAX viewing at Luxor Hotel & Casino ($14.00)
    4th showing: IMAX viewing at Palms Brendan Theaters ($5.50)

    I spent $33.50 to see The Matrix Reloaded four times because I loved the film and could not wait for the DVD release. Hell, when the DVD comes out, I'm sure I'll be able to pick it up for half then what I paid to see it those four times. But in all honesty, it was worth it. Same with a majority of my friends who saw it two times or more in theaters.

    American Wedding
    1st showing: 9:00pm opening night ($8.00)
    2nd showing: 5:25pm on a Sunday the week after ($5.25)

    I only saw this twice cause I really enjoyed the movie (and like the first two Pie films has a great rewatch factor) and because I had to take a friend as she didn't see it yet and neither of us wanted to see Freaky Friday. [​IMG]

    Camp:
    1st showing: Last Saturday at 2:15pm ($0.00 - I snuck in... I'm bad...)
    2nd showing: Last night at 7:40pm ($8.75)

    Camp is the best film I have seen all year (as of now). I loved it so much the first time, I told myself I had to see it a 2nd time and pay for it. Hell, I even got my girlfriend and a few others to go with me due to me running around the city of Las Vegas screaming, "Camp is a great movie!" And all of them thought the movie was great.

    But even if a film has a positive word-of-mouth it isn't going to take in millions of dollars. Camp has had very positive word-of-mouth, but in the end, it'll be lucky to make more then $2 million during it's theatrical run. Hell, look at Almost Famous three years ago. Who didn't like that movie? Yet it barely made $40 million (on a budget of over $60 million).

    It's as my friend Ed says describing a majority of the American movie-going public:

    If a film is excellent, people will go, get confused, tell their friends, and stay away.
    If a film is good, people will go, tell their friends, and go again.
    If a movie is mediocre, people will go, tell their friends, and everybody will stay the hell away from it.

    Is it text messaging that made films like Hulk, Charlie's Angels 2 and Gigli bomb? No, it's because they sucked. If Mr. Ang Lee didn't fuck up Hulk, it would've made over $200 million, maybe $300 million. Audiences we're expecting "Hulk Smash" and what they got was "Hulk Boring." When you don't deliver the goods to the audience, the audience will backlash. Did anybody ask for a Charlie's Angels 2? No. That's why it hasn't made over $100 million. Now Gigli bombed due to all the bad press it gained during the film's production and the American public is fed-up with Affleck and JHo's relationship. Now I love Affleck to death, but I'm sorry, I wouldn't see Gigli even if I was paid to see it.

    And that whole "Films five years ago were just as bad and they made more money," is simply bullshit. Look at Armageddon. People (myself included) enjoyed that as campy b-movie popcorn action fare. That's how it made $200 million. As I said, if you deliver the goods, people will come. Heck, they might come again.

    But even if a film makes a boatload of money, Rob said it best, do most films that make tons of money are still remembered today? I don't see anybody talking about What Lies Beneath now.
     
  8. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    I, too, am an advocate for lowering ticket prices. From talking with one man who has worked in the movie theatre business for nearly 20 years, he says that the only way they make money is by selling overpriced junk food. It is mainly because of the film industry's taking 90% of income that the theatres must charge so much. And property taxes do not help things.

    The distributors should be more lenient with exhibitors in terms of revenue. A 50/50 deal would allow the exhibitors to charge less for admission, thereby making it more attractive for more people to go to the movies. With more potential revenue coming in, both sides would benefit.

    They also need to show fiscal discipline by limiting film costs (star salaries seem to take up the most cash). They also cannot continue pandering to spoiled actors and directors at such a level with ridiculous demands. This, as well as inflation, is why a movie that perhaps would have cost no more than $15-20 million in the 1980s now costs well over $50 million. Read the book "Final Cut" by Steven Bach, on the making of "Heaven's Gate," for an extreme example of this excess; an egotistical director nearly quadrupling the budget of the picture, yet, unlike some films, one cannot see where the money went in the final product.

    Of course, the cost of necessary resources has gone up with inflation, which the studios obviously cannot control. I imagine the cost-of-living situation (taxes, etc.) in California has something to do with it, too.

    Filming outside of California might be a good idea. When Disney built its studio in Orlando, FL, it was said that film production costs would be about 1/3 of what it costs in Hollywood. But transportation and lodging for actors, some say, would even out the costs.

    I would have gone to see how bad "Gigli" was if tickets were less than they are.
     
  9. Eric Howell

    Eric Howell Stunt Coordinator

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    Of course it will be difficult to “ban” text messaging, but I think a better thing to do would be to monitor all text messages and filter out anything that might jeopardize a new release’s box office gross. Here’s hoping our national entertainment industry won’t be brought to its knees by this new dastardly foe.
     
  10. Blu

    Blu Screenwriter

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    I have a theory that this is a Onion style article, it is just satire. It has to be!
    The MPAA just rates movies. it doesn't have anything to do with the profit margin a movie makes so I don't know how a text message ban would have anything to do with anything.
    Word of mouth can develop legs for a movie OR the lack of legs!
     
  11. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

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    As someone who went back and read the link to The Independent article and just realized I incorrectly read the initial post, the newspaper article makes no mention of the MPAA trying to ban text messaging (which sounded ludicrous to me on face value). The mention of a ban is a sarcastic comment by someone posting on slashdot.

    I think the article is legit. The implication that the MPAA would work to ban messaging was a snide remark on a message board, but some of us :b ended up combining the two. I can't imagine why anyone would expect the worst from the MPAA. [​IMG]

    It's funny how the justification for diminishing returns on post-opening weekends is laid on the consumers and technology. The studios are the ones who have frontloaded releases and essentially have worked to knock out a movie's "legs". I mean, come on, does anyone really believe text messaging is costing them thousands of ticket sales? Please...
     
  12. Julian Lalor

    Julian Lalor Supporting Actor

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    Sounds like a bunch of execs trying for any old excuse to save their jobs. Most will be gone by next summer.
     
  13. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Once again, I have to say that if these terms are hurting the exhibitors so badly, they should not accept them. If all theaters were to join together in refusing to accept such terms, the distributors would have no choice except to make the terms more reasonable (unless they're willing to forego all theatrical revenue and go straight to video).

    The fact that theaters continue to do nothing about the terms of film rentals, and the fact that new multi-plexes keep popping out of the ground, I don't think the financial situation in theatrical exhibition is that dire.
     
  14. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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  15. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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  16. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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  17. david stark

    david stark Second Unit

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    I can see a point where mobiles phones are worse for the industry. When you leave a cinema the first thing most people do (or should be doing) is turn on thier mobile phone (except the few including myself who don't have one). If the movie stinks you are more likely to text your friend than go to a phone box and ring him. By the time you next see a friend you may have forgotten about the film and not mention it.

    Its partly convenience, the phone is in your hand plust you don't have to insert any money (at that point anyway) and you know you aren't going to disturb your friend if it's late.
     

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