Thursday, 1 August 2013

Hollywood Babble On & On #1052: Franchise Fricassee?

Mike Fleming at Deadline: Hollywood has an interesting rant on how Hollywood can't seem to successfully launch franchises that aren't based on something that's already successful, thus creating a parade of comic book adaptations, and remakes, reboots, rehashes, and regurgitations.

He blames two big problems for this...

1. The prohibitive costs of making and releasing summer franchise movies. (I agree)

There is no reason for this picture.
2. How the media pays too much attention to actually inaccurate tracking services that measure the pre-release "buzz" films get. Those tracking numbers are always skewed towards movies from already recognizable franchises and under-appreciate interest in new original work. This means that new original work get's dismissed out of hand by the media, and don't get the coverage they deserve. (I also agree)

However, I think Mr. Fleming is missing one thing, probably because he's inside Hollywood and hasn't seen the phenomena that I've seen first-hand.


Or to be more specific the lack of trust.

The audience is losing their sense of trust that Hollywood will entertain them if it isn't already something they know is entertaining.

They can't trust the critics to help them either, since they see big names as either shameless quote whores, effete film snobs, or judging everything along some sort of political/social agenda that doesn't involve the quality or enjoyment of the movie in question.

Couple that with the hassle and expense that goes with going to a movie theatre, and the audience will only go out if they trust that the film will be worth that hassle and expense. They might as well stay home and watch TV because that seems to be where all the good stories are these days.

I've seen this happen in Canada. English Canadian cinema lost the trust of the audience that would entertain them, and you couldn't sell tickets to an English Canadian movie if it was showing in the only bunker during a nuclear holocaust.

French Canadian cinema in Quebec is very different. The audience trusts their filmmakers, and the filmmakers work very hard to earn and keep that trust. That's how they can have a costume drama about an unhappy marriage in the 1840s outsell the latest big budget blockbuster featuring giant robots beating the snot out of each other at the Quebec box office.

Once that trust is lost it is extremely hard to get back. So Hollywood better do something pretty drastic, or they may end up having that meltdown that even the insiders are predicting.

1 comment:

  1. I finally got out of the movie reviewing trade because there was nothing I really wanted to write about anymore. Which makes me just another dad who needs to entertain his family. So what have I seen this summer? Well, Monsters University ($256,425,170 box office as of the end of July, production budget unknown) and Despicable Me 2 ($311,818,160 on a production budget of $76 million.) Might see Planes 2. No interest in anything else, really, until Rush and Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa come out in the fall. And I used to see two or three films a week. I don't even rent anymore.