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Richard Boddington

Another Giant Blockbuster Crashes and Burns

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So looks like Mortal Engines is being deemed a disaster. One seriously has to wonder how these CGI spectacles keep getting green-lit, and why there is such a long list of massive budget movies sitting on the film scrap heap of history. I know there is a lot of Chinese money going into these things where they hope to make the lions share of their money back. The tent pole movie business could certainly keep the business class at Harvard busy for weeks of discussions.

 

Fact is these blockbusters need to gross 3X their budget just to break even, when one considers P&A costs and the theatre chain splits. When you do the math on these movies, it's truly quite scary.

 

https://deadline.com/2018/12/spider-man-into-the-spider-verse-mortal-engines-clint-eastwood-the-mule-weekend-box-office-1202520137/

 

R,

 

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The audience suffers as well. All the eggs in one basket results in less variety funded by major studios.

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They definitely haven't skimped on 'in your face' marketing through social media. I've seen more trailers for Mortal Engines in a week than I have any other movie, all year.

 

But the common thread is, 'all spectacle, no real substance'.

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I think the problems were obvious from the trailer. I'm a big fan of that sort of speculative fiction but they managed to turn me off fairly quickly. It was fairly clear what it would be.

 

P

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They definitely haven't skimped on 'in your face' marketing through social media. I've seen more trailers for Mortal Engines in a week than I have any other movie, all year.

Interesting... This is literally the first time I have ever heard of the film. I had to google it to see what Richard was talking about.

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Interesting... This is literally the first time I have ever heard of the film. I had to google it to see what Richard was talking about.

 

 

Lol. I think maybe the algorithm pegged me as a fan because I kept leaving comments (mostly negative).

 

Literally the trailers are 95% 'wow look at this CGI world we've created', and the remainder doesn't even cover anything to do with story or characters. The need to fire whoever edited the trailers for social media.

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Lol. I think maybe the algorithm pegged me as a fan because I kept leaving comments (mostly negative).

 

Literally the trailers are 95% 'wow look at this CGI world we've created', and the remainder doesn't even cover anything to do with story or characters. The need to fire whoever edited the trailers for social media.

The only proven social media marketing methods are a major cast member going insane or dying (real or not).

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For story it looked like a picturebook that might have run to 16 pages of twelve words per page in large print and simple language for early learners. That's fair enough but looked a bit scary for intended audience but I could be wrong. Dr Seuss meets Avatar.

Edited by Jon O'Brien
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I'm sure Phil also found it hilarious that "London" was the bad guy. A rogue city on wheels that goes around destroying other cities. Every trailer featured the line....."we've got to stop London." Must have been a throw back to British Empire days when London literally did order the invasion of other cities.

 

Now, if you guys want to see a movie with a believable plot I would recommend, An Elephant's Journey. It's about a boy who tames an African elephant, and the two of them team up to take down the elephant poachers.

 

R,

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Now, if you guys want to see a movie with a believable plot I would recommend, An Elephant's Journey. It's about a boy who tames an African elephant, and the two of them team up to take down the elephant poachers.

How much product placement? I demand product placement.

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How much product placement? I demand product placement.

 

It's not allowed anymore. Broadcasters will not take movies with product placement.

 

Although, I think we set a new record when I made, The Dogfather. Probably 50+ products.

 

R,

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Although, I think we set a new record when I made, The Dogfather. Probably 50+ products.

 

A record I respectfully intend to break.

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Not sure this was worthy of a thread, especially in this category. I feel bad for Christian Rivers, Peter Jackson's protégé, who was responsible for animatics and storyboards back on LOTR, shot some second unit on The Hobbit. Peter gave him this opportunity as his first film and it might be a while before he gets another gig

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It is unfortunate.

 

At the end of the day it's not really his fault, though. I assume he'd have had almost no real authority as an (almost) first-timer on a film of this scale. He would have known what the situation was going into it; if the film is a hit, he has a career, and if it isn't he may still be able to eke something out of it. His ability to influence that success or failure was probably tiny and doing it is better than not doing it in either case.

 

And he'll have been paid a small fortune to stand by the camera and tell the actors what to do.

 

P

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Phil is bang on the money, don't feel sorry for this director. First off, as Phil points out he would of earned an absolute fortune for this. Also, he'll be back behind the camera very soon. He won't be held accountable for the box office failure, he'll be judged by the industry on the merits of the production itself, and he'll be back as director of another tent pole. Even the director of Pluto Nash (Ron Underwood) went on to direct more um stuff......ok it was all TV after that, but he wasn't wiped out, he has kept working.

 

The reason threads on these crash and burn blockbusters deserve a thread is because in the last five years, this has become a common occurrence, and Hollywood has now decided that the more you spend the more you make.....a theory that has been proven wrong so many times, it's not even funny. And from my perspective, I am constantly being told by the very people that would of green-lit Mortal Engines....sorry Richard, this script just won't be successful. Proving once again, that nobody knows anything. Not that that has ever stopped me.

 

They're reporting Universal will lose 100M. Now I can tell you that Universal Studios gave serious consideration to acquiring An Elephant's Journey, they ultimately passed and it went to Lions Gate. Well....if Universal had acquired An Elephant's Journey, they sure as heck would not have lost 100M!! :huh:

 

R,

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Was it even marketed? Ive never heard of this picture before.

 

G

 

It was an extensive campaign, I saw promo pieces for it everywhere and I am here in the barren North. :)

 

I'm surprised Universal PR hasn't come out with the classic, we will recoup on DVD/VOD, line. Well, good luck, they're gonna need to sell one heck of a lot of DVDs, about 250 million of them.

 

R,

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Another movie I think is heading for disaster is, Welcome to Marwen. I really like Steve Carell as an actor I think he's terrific, but I have a bad feeling about the box office prospects for this movie. Kinda like what I thought when I saw the trailer for, Eddie Murphy's, Meet Dave. I thought uh, oh, this one is heading for an iceberg, and it was.

 

R,

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Mortal Engines was massively promoted, though I wonder if they're becoming quite targeted about advertising. I probably have a YouTube and general Google history that tells them clearly that I'm into science fiction movies with upscale production design. I saw a lot of this as YouTube advertising. To Greg's point, though, I saw very little of it anywhere else.

 

P

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No on air TV spots in the UK Phil?

 

R,

Why would they waste their advertising budget on TV commercials? I thought that was dead outside of Super Bowl spots.

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So looks like Mortal Engines is being deemed a disaster. One seriously has to wonder how these CGI spectacles keep getting green-lit, and why there is such a long list of massive budget movies sitting on the film scrap heap of history. I know there is a lot of Chinese money going into these things where they hope to make the lions share of their money back. The tent pole movie business could certainly keep the business class at Harvard busy for weeks of discussions.

 

Fact is these blockbusters need to gross 3X their budget just to break even, when one considers P&A costs and the theatre chain splits. When you do the math on these movies, it's truly quite scary.

 

The studios are chasing the $1 billion hits and building franchises, and to get those they have to spend at least $100-200 million per film (on production alone). They seem to be okay with the possibility of colossal flops if it means there's a chance they could get that $1 billion film. I guess making more modest profits on many smaller films, each with smaller potential losses if they don't succeed, is less sexy.

Edited by Ravi Kiran

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