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Old May 31 2013, 01:55 PM   #1503
Re: STID "tracking" for $85-90 million opening [U.S. box office]

VHS came out in the mid-1970s. There was piracy then - every VHS tape (film or episode) came equipped with a warning against this practice. Movies today can earn their money over months - look at Avatar.

When I read about Hollywood today, the word I keep seeing is "safe". The corporations want a product that is safe, doesn't offend major investors, and is easily translatable for any audience member. Corporations will fund focus groups to see what they want and what they don't want. I feel there is an expectation placed on the directors, producers, and writers to respect what the focus groups and investors demand, and to make every effort to meet these demands.

One of the reasons I have been reading for the greater emphasis on international markets is that the sale of physical copies of the movies is declining, as people are increasingly relying on online streaming. This paradigm is occurring as well in the music and video game industries.

Some franchises work better than others in this new world. Comic book movies are an exceptionally good case of a successful model. Comic book movies aren't required to change their fundamental nature to work in this new world. Characters like Iron Man and Superman are the main draw to these movies. For other franchises, like Star Trek, they have to fundamentally change their nature. Focus groups see this franchise as a science heavy talky where people wear outlandish costumes and speak in meaningless gibberish. Star Trek was about characters being philosophical and exploring the human condition, using science that was credible - a criteria established by Roddenberry at the onset of the franchise, and solving issues through diplomacy and negotiation, and occasionally, with weapons. This doesn't translate well. (I think it's possible to create a film that does all three. For the film to be successful, well, I think that will require an exceptionally good director and talented screen writers.) So, what we see on the screen is what Paramount believes will be interpreted by overseas audiences favorably, and, in the process, the film alienated some of the hardcore fans. So, the franchise is struggling.

I see the situation here as this. There is a girl. Some adore this girl near and far, and will accept her flaws without questioning. They are in love with her. Others look at this girl, and think she's homely, and wonder what her adorers see in her. Admiral Buzzkill I place in the former, and I place myself in the latter. There is no middle ground.

I want and desire for people to be happy, and I think having this film be successful - to attain at least $380 million - will make Admiral Buzzill happy. So, I'm rooting for him and others like him.

(Why $380 million? The writer describes it as a rule of thumb.)
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