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Richard Boddington

Another Giant Blockbuster Crashes and Burns

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Evidently not enough millions for Mortal Engines.

 

R,

I think we both know there's nothing harder than starting an original $$$$$ franchise. It wasn't hard for Twilight, Marvel, or Harry Potter to rake in millions cause the books did all the promotional work.

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Mortal Engines was a 7 (I think) book series too.. I think its the same old story.. just not enough character development in the scripts .. simple as that.. you dont care about the characters .. so then they did a lot of whizz bang CGI.. but seems not even that's saved this one.. I think there is room for the tent pole Saturday night at the flicks .. but there has to be a some sort of decent script..

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Mortal Engines was a 7 (I think) book series too..

Well the others titles I mentioned I had heard of before a screen adaptation. Familiarity is the only thing that's guaranteed to sell anymore.

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Well the others titles I mentioned I had heard of before a screen adaptation. Familiarity is the only thing that's guaranteed to sell anymore.

 

 

Yes looks that way.. funny if you look back at the first Harry Potter.. its very "tame" and followed the book almost word for word as they were really worried about deviating from the plot by even an inch.. but Star Wars really fell off the rails from the second one.. when the merchandising became more important that the script.. eg dancing Ewok party scene that probably cost $1m to shoot..

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I think we both know there's nothing harder than starting an original $$$$$ franchise. It wasn't hard for Twilight, Marvel, or Harry Potter to rake in millions cause the books did all the promotional work.

 

Interestingly enough the most successful film franchise of all time, Star Wars, was an original for the big screen. It was never a series of books before becoming a film.

 

Quite the lesson in that for the studio bosses, how many future Star Wars have they tossed into the rubbish bin because it was not based on known IP (intellectual property).

 

And when one looks at the history of Star Wars, multiple studios passed before FOX decided to give it a go, and then FOX only opened it on 30 screens, assuming they had a massive flop on their hands.

 

If the opportunity ever came to me to direct a tent pole IP movie, and it won't, but let's say it did. I would be saying yes purely for the large pay cheque. Because at the end of the day, it's not my story, it's someone else's. Harry Potter is JK Rowling's story, no one remembers or can name any of the directors that worked on those movies. Peter Jackson may be associated with Lord of the Rings, but it belongs to JRR Tolkien.

 

Star Wars...is unique, it belongs entirely to George Lucas, he came up with it, he wrote it, he made it great. And that puts him a special class all his own.

 

R,

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Said another guy in 1985. Said another guy in 1955. And so on.

Yea, but in my lifetime, I've seen it change dramatically. The reason why we see such incredible ticket sales is NOT from the United States, it's from emerging countries which until very recently, haven't had access to this type of content.

 

I don't like the movies coming out right now either but we might have to come to grips with our tastes having fallen out of the target market. Millions of people are still going out to these films and loving them.

I mean people have become accustomed to the crap we make because it's the only thing available. If you only had art house movies available, people would be use to those as well. That may sound high brow of me, but honestly if we keep down the road we're on now, this industry will implode on itself. We need a renaissance of sorts to keep it going.

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I mean people have become accustomed to the crap we make because it's the only thing available.

When you say "people" do you mean the guys in emerging countries? Or Americans too? Americans have access to all of your favorite films thanks to the internet and Best Buy.

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When you say "people" do you mean the guys in emerging countries? Or Americans too? Americans have access to all of your favorite films thanks to the internet and Best Buy.

Generally speaking, people follow trends and want to be included in discussions around those trends, so that leads them to basically be lemmings and do what everyone else does. This is how advertising works.

 

In countries with consumerism, anyone can really get a hold of their favorite content, but if they go to the office the next day and talk about a 20 year old movie, nobody is going to care. The problem with entertainment in general is that if you don't have someone to talk about said entertainment with, it gets kinda boring.

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Well I predicted disaster for Welcome to Marwen, sorry to say I was right. How on earth did this get green-lit? 1 million from 1, 911 locations? Ouch, big time....ouch.

 

Welcome to Marwen is an out-and-out dud after getting skewered by critics and earning a B- CinemaScore. It earned less than $1 million on Friday from 1,911 locations for a projected debut of $2.7 million.

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WOW that movie looks horrible. I've never heard of it and I'm shocked it was only a $39M budget. It was a risk and it will be a loss for the studio.

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Downsizing is another movie in this category, although I'm sure it had a bigger budget than Welcome to Marwen. I saw the trailers for Downsizing and thought, oh boy. Then I saw it on Netflix, so glad I did not pay the 12.00 bucks at the theatre.

 

Welcome to Marwen suffered from a classic 21st Century filmmaking trap...oh we can make these dolls come to life because we have CGI, therefore, we should use it. Classic mistake.

 

Of course, many people write the same things about my movies on line, so who am I to criticize? Well I don't spend tens of millions, so there is that.

 

R,

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Downsizing is another movie in this category, although I'm sure it had a bigger budget than Welcome to Marwen. I saw the trailers for Downsizing and thought, oh boy.

I saw the trailer for Downsizing and thought it was one of those parody trailers at the start of Tropic Thunder

Edited by Macks Fiiod

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Well I predicted disaster for Welcome to Marwen, sorry to say I was right. How on earth did this get green-lit? 1 million from 1, 911 locations? Ouch, big time....ouch.

 

Welcome to Marwen is an out-and-out dud after getting skewered by critics and earning a B- CinemaScore. It earned less than $1 million on Friday from 1,911 locations for a projected debut of $2.7 million.

 

It only cost 39 million. But yeah, I've really dug the trailers but it just smelled like a bomb especially with the market being saturated with Aquaman (which is fantastic), Mary Poppins Returns, Bumblebee, Spidey-Verse, etc

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Good grief, Aquaman is good? I'm not usually a fan of superhero movies and it seemed a particularly overwrought and try-hard attempt.

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Why does it sound so surprising? James Wan is a strong director. The VFX work is astounding, we haven't seen this onscreen so far, it's a ton of fun, the third act is jaw dropping with some of the best action set pieces you'll ever see. If you're not a fan of superhero films though, I doubt this one will convince you if you're going in with your mind made up.

 

No one will make fun of Aquaman again after this film. Oh and it's already going to be hitting 500 M WW by this weekend.

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I'm sure Aquaman is an acquired taste. I would of taken the directing job on that movie, but they would not let me use real fish or real water. Just guys standing in a studio in front of a green screen, yaaawn.

 

We need a separate thread on the impact of the Chinese market on the US movie industry. Have we now seen the death of the truly American motion picture, now that each mega budget movie has so much Chinese money in it, and must pander to Chinese tastes?

 

In the 70s and 80s, no one sat around the Hollywood offices saying....yes but how will this play in China?

 

When I saw that Independence Day sequel I was surprised to see all the Chinese actors and even a display of a giant Chinese flag in the movie (symbol of an oppressive communist state.) No American flag fyi.

 

We're entering an era when China will be indirectly programming what the US studios make. The only real hope for the future of cinema will be independent filmmakers who are not pandering to the Chinese market. Especially since the Chinese market is hardly a free market and the Chinese government still controls 100% of what the Chinese people can see and not see. My last movie, will not be shown in China, it's about the elephant poaching crisis and the ivory trade. China remains the number one market for ivory, and therefore the largest single contributor to the wiping out of the African elephant. Imagine if I was reliant on US studio money to get a movie made, the movie might never have been made when a studio executive decided the movie would be offensive to the Chinese.

 

R,

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Not to stoke the fires of the Boddington narrative here, but I'm not quite sure why people are so desperate to "make it" as directors in LA anymore.

 

It's completely inaccessible unless you're someone's mate and the money comes with massive strings attached.

 

The fantasy situation in which you get to make your own movie to your own tastes barely exists anywhere, but it certainly doesn't in the current big movie studio system.

 

P

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It's completely inaccessible unless you're someone's mate and the money comes with massive strings attached.

 

Oh I agree entirely, you have a group of "executives" calling the shots, unless you're Spielberg of course. Then again it took him 10 years to get Lincoln made, no idea why he didn't just pay for it himself the way Lucas does.

 

The director of The Odd Life of Timothy Green had to make a short film starring the boy he thought should play Timothy Green, so that the Disney executives could watch it first, and then they would decide. Crazy.

 

A bit different from my approach to An Elephant's Journey, I met with one boy for the lead and cast him. Done.

 

R,

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Then again it took him 10 years to get Lincoln made, no idea why he didn't just pay for it himself the way Lucas does.

What's the number 1 rule of filmmaking again? Never spend your own money?

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What's the number 1 rule of filmmaking again? Never spend your own money?

 

Well too late for me, that's for darn sure. I'm forking over money left and right at this very moment as I develop a new project. If there is an alternative, I'd sure like to know what it is?

 

R,

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Well too late for me, that's for darn sure. I'm forking over money left and right at this very moment as I develop a new project. If there is an alternative, I'd sure like to know what it is?

 

R,

 

Netflix?

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Well too late for me, that's for darn sure. I'm forking over money left and right at this very moment as I develop a new project. If there is an alternative, I'd sure like to know what it is?

 

R,

Find guys with way too much money who wish to creatively find themselves by attaching their names to big projects.

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Netflix?

 

I have the email for the head of acquisitions, her position is always the same....we'll look at it when it's done. Gee really? That is so helpful, you mean un-like the other 50 buyers in LA?

 

R,

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Find guys with way too much money who wish to creatively find themselves by attaching their names to big projects.

 

That's a much tougher game than it sounds, and really not one I want to play.

 

R,

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