What do the Lone Ranger and John Carter have in common? (Besides the power of the almighty mouse behind it.)
Both movies cost a fortune to make and both flopped harder than almost anything before it. The last few years, the Disney Company has produced some high-risk big budget movies for the chance of a high-reward situation. Each movie cost in the $250 million range (not including advertising and distribution costs) which even by today’s movie making standards is a ridiculous amount of money to invest in one film.
However, Disney is not the only film studio to make films with ludicrous budgets. In fact, it has become the industry standard to give films the biggest budget possible in order to get people into the theaters.
In 2013 alone, we have seen mega-productions produce big flops like Jack the Giant Slayer, White House Down, RIPD and After Earth. Most of the big budget Hollywood summer movies are failing to connect with audiences and it’s becoming very concerning with studio executives. Sure there are some big hits like Man of Steel, but it seems like every movie is failing in the eyes of the general public over the course of the past few years.
If you take away the massive successes of The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-man, the summer of 2012 was a pretty disappointing one at the box office. It was even worse in 2011 with the extreme bomb of Green Lantern, among others.
Usually the studios are able to counter these losses by getting a huge hit either a little later due to another film being released. However, with this new system of making super budget films, studios don’t have enough money to make other movies. They bank on one or two films to make mega profits for the year. In theory, this could work, however, there is a major problem with execution. Hollywood doesn’t like taking risks, especially with big budgets, so they usually spend the money on very safe movies that audiences aren’t interested in seeing.
Does anybody really want to see a Lone Ranger movie or another M. Night Shyamalan film?
I am sure some people wanted to see these and other film bombs, but they didn’t look like anything interesting. It seems like people want some better entertainment when they go the movies. Social media is influencing whether or not movies are successful, since the audience has a louder critical output to display their true feelings for a movie. If a friend thinks that a movie is mediocre and you didn’t really have an interest in seeing the movie, then you probably won’t go see the movie. A movie needs to gain your interest in some way, whether the concept is interesting, the actor is likable, the director is good, or the trailers look great. These films really lack a lot of the compelling things that people are looking for when they are choosing which film to watch on any given night.
Quite simply, Hollywood is not making entertaining films. Movies are an escape and they were created to entertain audiences. Whether it’s through stories or through explosions, we all go to see a movie just to enjoy a spectacle. So when movie after movie is basically the same kind of movie, we get tired of it. Look at it like this, Transformers was a big hit but Battleship wasn’t. Sure I don’t really like the Transformers movies but I understand that it was a new kind of Hollywood picture. Not big on brain, but big on entertainment through its very impressive action sequences. However we don’t want to see Transformers every weekend. Sometimes, there needs to be the slightest of risks just to make a movie a bit different. Different may not equal good or successful, but at least it means there was more effort to create something that people haven’t seen. The flops of this year have the problem that they just look like other better movies.
Why would you pay money to go watch a movie that looks like a movie you have already seen?
These 200 million dollar budget movies are hurting studios more than they are helping. People don’t care if a movie is more or less expensive than another movie. What they care about is going to watch something that lets them escape for a little bit while watching a story unfold. Its all about being entertained, so when a movie fails, like After Earth, it’s really because it just wasn’t an entertaining film, so I ask again…
What’s the point?
We want to see more higher quality movies not higher budgeted movies in theaters. If we don’t get that, than maybe an industry might crumble.