Sunday, August 20, 2006

Learn Something New Every Week

Each Sunday, when the estimated ticket sales are finally tallied up and released to the press, studio executives are often quotes as to what they have learned from the information. Today, when the estimated ticket sales for Snakes on a Plane was revealed to be just over $15 million, Brandon Gray of released this pearly nugget of wisdom:

"This tells you that you need to have a compelling story or premise to get an audience for your movie."

Thank you Mr. Gray. Clearly you deserve whatever role it is you serve over at

My problem isn't the blatantly obvious statement, or the fact that Snakes on a Plane only pulled in $15 mil. It's that EVERY single Sunday the press, movie execs, and critics look at this weekend as a monumental lesson, a solid rule of the business to be followed from here on. When Mission Impossible didn't perform as expected it was "The movie has little connection to the show anymore. They've lost their roots." When Superman Returns didn't break every record it was "Superman is an outdated icon for a past time. Batman is the new hero for America." Now with World Trade Center failing to take the number one spot, what do we read? "The audience knows how it ends. There's nothing to captivate them." If that's true how did Titanic manage to rake in billions? Melanie and I probably account for at least a 1/3 of that.

What happens is studio execs force these new found rules on their writers/directors, and then when a new movie with the new rules comes out two - three years later, either 1) they were wrong or 2) the audience has changed. They give a 5 second assessment of what went wrong THIS time and make NEW rules for the future.

How bout these assessments. Mission Impossible III: Tom, we were sick of seeing your face EVERYWHERE in the months leading up to your movie. Cut back on publicity next time. Superman Returns: So you didn't break the records? Big freakin' deal. Not every movie breaks records. You can't plan for it and you can't make it happen. World Trade Center: I don't mind knowing the ending, but I won't spend an afternoon with Nicholas Cage in that stupid mustache. I realize people like Jennifer Aniston and Will Ferrel pull people to the theater. Some people like them so much they're see whatever movie they're in, regardless of it's story. Somehow Hollywood doesn't quite get that Nicholas Cage does not happen to be one of those people.

Let's try some future rules.

Beerfest: Following Mel Gibson's DUI, the mood of the country has shifted from glorifying alcohol.
Ghost Rider: Audiences weren't ready to relive a tragic story paralleling the Ben Roethlisberger accident.
Jackass 2: The teenagers that once flocked to the first film have grown up.
Crossover: The miscasting of the Jan Elkins and Josh Wildman characters destroyed the validity of the story.
The Black Dahlia: People confused the film with the popular video game staring Dennis Hopper and Kevin Vinay.


Anonymous said...

i didn't read anything but i love you

Anonymous said...

sorry i put something else by accident on the side see, but i love you

Anonymous said...

this is from taylor sorry i put those two on ther it was an accident i miss you keeko please come over and see me

kevloc25 said...

You can't account for 1/3 of what "Titanic" made whenever you snuck into the theater most of the time.