The Last Airbender - Grading & Discussion

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Agent Richard07, Jul 1, 2010.

?

Grade the movie...

  1. Excellent

    2.7%
  2. Above Average

    18.9%
  3. Average

    18.9%
  4. Below Average

    18.9%
  5. Poor

    40.5%
  1. Captain Craig

    Captain Craig Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Summer Report Cards are coming in and USA Today ranks Airbender and M.Night with an A- score.

    Last Airbender has finally started rolling out into the bargain, or $2 cinemas, and will likely finish closer to $135m.
    While its still off the mark of its production budget($150) and not liekly to garner a sequel it didn't flop or fail which is what many in this thread wanted for various reasons.
     
  2. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's too bad because it didn't deserve to earn one damn penny.
     
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I think in Hollywood this would be the definition of a flop. Didn't make back its production budget (remember part of that $135 million goes to the theaters) and there isn't going to be a sequel.
     
  4. Captain Craig

    Captain Craig Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^
    No, by definition it isn't. That's already been gone over in this thread. While the films gross vs the studios net is different based on a few factors TLA isn't a flop.

    An underperformer or even dissapointment would be fair to say but not flop.

    Flops are films like Cutthroat Island, Gigli, Battlefield Earth, or Speed Racer.
    Where they not only don't come near their production budget with US domestic gross but not near it after any worldwide totals are added in.
    TLA has made close to its production budget and with worldwide receipts pushes well past. You'll notice its tracking page doesn't resemble those that are actual flops.

    Flop gets tossed out too often and is misapplied in the case of TLA
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Was just looking at that page. :bolian:

    I'll meet you half-way with 'underperformer'. :bolian:

    I still think it may barely break even when all is said and done. There is no information on the actual amount of money spent on advertising, which had to be in the tens of millions based on the wall to wall ads I saw for it.

    Unfortunately, it still wasn't a very good movie.
     
  6. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    I'm still confused how USA Today scored it in the A- section (formidable comeback) when it had an "A" list director and a property that was tailor made (seemingly) for the big screen.
     
  7. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    World wide totals is $250m. It has a $150m production budget, half again of that will add on advertising expenses, and yeah if you take out the money that goes back to theaters this movie is likely only going to break even.
     
  8. Captain Craig

    Captain Craig Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I always love the assumption of 'marketing/advertising' but to be fair it probably was at least $50m. Those #s are hardly ever published.
    So we agree then that break even is not a flop then. :)
     
  9. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    If it breaks even, after money going back to the theaters and after adding in the advertising costs, no, the movie isn't a "flop" but it'd hardly be a success that'll have the studio clamoring for another one.
     
  10. Captain Craig

    Captain Craig Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I'd highly be shocked if a sequel was ordered.
    I mean SALT is going to have done decent and they've(Sony) already said its 50/50 with the hinge being its foreign totals.
     
  11. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    It'll have to do very well in TV/DVD revenue to break even if you think about it...

    $250 million is its worldwide gross.
    Roughly 40% will go to the theaters which is $100 million.
    Which leaves the studio revenue from this film at about $150 million. With a $200 million dollar outlay. So that means the movie has to generate another $50 million in post-theatrical revenue to break even.
     
  12. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Indeed. "Playing generously" I'm syaing the movie will break even when it leaves theaters. But that's being very generous. The movie will have to have a pretty good DVD release and to have done very well in marketing tie-ins (toys, games, etc.) to make the studio "happy."

    But they're not going to be very happy and, again, the movie was blasted by critics. I think a sequel is all-but impossible. For fans of the cartoon, I'd hope that in a couple of years someone tries again with a more faithful adaption.
     
  13. Captain Craig

    Captain Craig Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^
    I am curious to know how it has sold as a toy line now that you bring it up. One of the toy magazines, either Tomarts or Lee's, will often times have a list of the top 10 selling lines. I don't expect TLA to be in there but surely there is a listing online somewhere.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Fidelity wasn't the problem here. The storyline of the film adhered as closely to that of the first season as one could reasonably have hoped. It's just that the script was so bad, the performances disappointing, the charm and humor and depth of the original totally missing. It faithfully adhered to the plot and concepts of the original, it just did so in an inept way.
     
  15. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^^^If it was so faithful, then the likelihood is that the original wasn't as deep as imagined. A cartoon can draw something fundamentally unreal and trying to bring it to life can show how there was never any real life there at all.
     
  16. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Yes. Because it is impossible to bring something "unreal" to life in a live-action movie.

    Oh, wait.
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    To add a thought to my previous post...

    If anything, I think the commitment to faithfulness was one of the film's major problems (at least, from everything I've read about it -- full disclosure, I haven't actually seen it yet). From what I gather, it tried to cram in so much by covering the whole first season (basically) in two hours that everything ended up rushed and cursory. Maybe if it had been less faithful, if it had told a modified story that was inspired by the first season but structured to work better as a single 2-hour piece, it would've been a better movie.

    Too many people assume that an adaptation has to be faithful in order to be good, and that if an adaptation is poor, it must be because it wasn't faithful enough. But that is complete and utter malarkey. The whole point of adaptation is change -- specifically, change in order to become suitable for a new environment, a new context. What works in one format won't necessarily work in another, so you should change it so that the same underlying essence, the core ideas or spirit of the work, can be expressed in a way that suits that new medium. This film, to all indications, got that completely backward -- it was too faithful to the show's structure and thus was horribly structured as a movie, and it dwelled so much on replicating the events of the plot that it lost the essence of the characters, the style, and the spirit. And it should be an object lesson for why literal, "faithful" translation should not be the overriding goal of an adaptation.
     
  18. intrinsical

    intrinsical Commodore Commodore

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    Yes and no. From the moment the movie begins, It just jumped straight into selected events in the first season of the cartoon. However, I felt the main problem was that none of the characters were introduced, neither were their motivations explained clearly.

    To given an example, I'll use Zuko. From the perspective of a new viewer who has never seen the cartoon, Zuko's obviously the bad guy who arrests Aang in one early scene. Suddenly a few scenes later he's the Blue Spirit rescuing Aang. I have seen the cartoon so I understand why Zuko is freeing Aang, but what about the new viewer? The movie just did not do a good job of connecting the dots to form a smooth flowing story.
     
  19. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    Really, I question the wisdom in trying to condense an entire season of a TV series into a movie. To me, that just seems like an amazingly wrong-headed approach. TV-to-film adaptations are usually done as sequels/prequels or reimaginings. Serenity was a sequel to Firefly, though it was built to stand on its own. TLA probably should have done something similar rather than shortchange the story by compressing 10 hours into less than 2.
     
  20. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    If anything, it should have been an epic, 3-hour movie. I can't see the story being told well any other way.