Monday, 25 May 2009

Hollywood Babble On & On #290: Terminated By Greed?

Sorry for the late posting, life does get in the way sometimes, but here I am.


Terminator: Salvation opened in second, to what many consider a lukewarm opening. Those many are already branding the film a failure. It might end up failing, it was very expensive to make, and it really needed a killer opening weekend to put it over the hump.

Their second mistake was opening it against a big budget family
oriented fantasy sequel like Night At The Museum: Battle of the Gift Shop. They should have aimed for a weekend with less overt competition, even if it meant sacrificing a 3 day weekend take.

But their first mistake was in screwing up the franchise big time.

To get that precious opening weekend for a sci-fi/fantasy franchise the franchise has win over the geeks, the hard core sf fans who line up down the block to buy tickets, and who then see the film several more times if they like it.

But in order to attract the geeks, the franchise has to have some value to it, and it has to at least make a little bit, a scintilla, if you will, of sense.

You see
Terminator 3 played around with the continuity established by T2. Some folks forgave them for that, because T2 did the same to T1, and sci-fi fans can accept some playing around with time travel. But then came the Sarah Connor Chronicles, which screwed the continuity up so much you don't know what the hell happens to John Connor, and you just stop caring.

That's what happened to me when I realized that they were doing a
Terminator TV series, as well as a new planned trilogy of feature films. It struck me as a desperate attempt to milk a franchise that new owners probably paid too much for to begin with. You knew that there will never be a final victory in the war between man and machine, because some executive will then hire some scribbler to come up with a cheap excuse to start it all over again. Sure, time travel creates some pretty convoluted plots, but there's a line, and when you cross that line, you've screwed your story into the ground, and I don't think it will get out.

The geeks may not be able to express it, but they smell that desperation, and despite Bale's charisma as an action star, which is what I think brought in the $50 million, I just got the feeling that they just couldn't forgive the new owners for what they did to the

1 comment:

  1. In many ways I was hoping that T4 would go the ST route and just do a complete reboot. They tried to have it both ways as the movie is tied tightly to T1 but the events of T2 or 3 are barely acknowledged if present at all. (in fact, it makes more sense just to ignore those and go from T1 to T4)

    I went in asking for 3 things: Christian Bale kicking ass, Man fighting machines, and lots of explosions. I was not disappointed. Which is why some reviews of the film leave me baffled (why were reviewers expecting more?). Me thinks nostalgia has elevated T1 & 2 to more than they really are.

    As for the opening, what is up with studios and screwing up movie release times? (Yes Disney, I still haven't forgiven you for what you did to Prince Caspian.) T4 would have been perfect for late summer (where it's too hot to do anything but go see a movie) or in the fall slump where there's no much competition.

    At the very least, they ended the movie wisely. There are openings for a sequel, but if this is the last film then it's a far better coda to the franchise than T3. (though the altered ending really did screw up the impact IMHO)

    As for how everything fits together, I think they've just admitted that SCC (aka TTV) is an alternate reality from the movies, who might also have their own reality lines.

    Now if you want a real headache, try to figure out of Terminator: Salvation was supposed to be a prequel to T1 or not...