Summer School - Part II

Summer School - Part II

Last week: Lessons learned from a decidedly mixed Summer Movie season. This week: The rest of the curriculum...

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I imagine the reason the Marvel films are spread out to other seasons isn't because of a collapse in the summer blockbuster, but instead it's that, or having one character film per year or bunching them all up in the summer months. Instead, they're going for a quarterly approach, where a film comes out each quarter or so. Their biggest star - Downey Jnr - still got put in the big summer season and Avengers 2 is still proudly proclaiming Summer 2015.

In theory, this quarterly approach keeps audiences engaged in the Marvel cinematic universe while not smothering them with films. The thing is, now 2014 looks pretty barren for Marvel films. You would have thought there would be a more potent build up given their big blockbuster is going to hit 2015, but I have a feeling the length of time between Captain America and Age of Ultron is going to engender a lot of apathy in audiences.

FargoDog:
In theory, this quarterly approach keeps audiences engaged in the Marvel cinematic universe while not smothering them with films. The thing is, now 2014 looks pretty barren for Marvel films. You would have thought there would be a more potent build up given their big blockbuster is going to hit 2015, but I have a feeling the length of time between Captain America and Age of Ultron is going to engender a lot of apathy in audiences.

They also have Agents of SHIELD to keep people's minds on the topic, though. Which I think starts this month and hopefully continues into 2014.

Like last week, I'm gonna break down my feelings on each topic.

This one is a no brainer. If you're hyping a project up through a mystery that has no purpose other than getting asses in the seats, you're not going to build up trust and faith in your audience imo. Especially when you're in charge of one of the biggest sci-fi franchises of all time.

Nice to see horror slowly making a comeback. It's a genre that has its peaks and valleys where its riding high one minute and then goes back into obscurity the next. I'm hoping that horror can find its place while being diverse and not having to milk what is popular (I.E. torture porn, supernatural movies, too hip meta films, etc.).

Another positive change I'd like to see. I would be more grateful to see Hollywood dig deeper into this untapped market without having to call Tyler Perry for another one of his god awful projects.

Will Smith is another example of Hollywood stars slowly losing their luster as time passes. Even worse when his last film was an ego-driven passion project no one wanted to see that tried to catapult his son, who's in an awkward period in his young life, into stardom that hired a director who has fallen on hard times due to his own ego and inability to learn from past mistakes and improve himself as a filmmaker. Not every big name stays on top forever (Johnny Depp, anyone?) and, unless you can reinvent yourself or explore new avenues, the fall from grace is going to be all the more tragic.

The landscape is indeed changing and, right now, Hollywood seems to be playing catch-up as the old models they have used for ages are no longer viable. Whether they can adapt to the ever-evolving times or not has yet to be fully seen (the remake of Robocop is a sign that they still need to learn what not to do). Let's hope the end of 2013 and the years to come will see a greater progression and not just falling back into bad habits.

you know, I think a couple of minor changes could have helped After Earth a little. 1- get rid of the stupid "we messed up Earth and had to leave" prologue. It's the far future and we have space colonies, that can be a thing without us destroying the world. 2- pollution can't make the Earth's atmosphere thinner, especially after something like 1000 years. Instead of crashing on Earth, say the crashed on MARS. You could say that Mars is in the process of being terraformed for a future human colony but it isn't quite ready for human life yet, THAT would explain the thin air and nightly freezing over. That's kind of it, I mean, it wouldn't make the movie really good, but it would get rid of the more head scratching parts.

I say good for Marvel for spreading out their cinematic universe. I don't think there's a law set in stone saying fun, exciting movies have to stay ONLY in the summer, or the ones that don't premiere in the summer have to suck. And hey, today's column didn't have any pointless harping on Man of Steel again! YAY! Wait, Bob's saving that for his next Big Picture, isn't he?

You make it sound like After Earth was ruined because Will Smith. Despite the fact some of the points of the movie seems to be an exercise in ego, the concept could have been executed a lot better if it were for a more talented director than Shyamalan.

But perhaps the biggest lesson of Summer 2013 could end up being that the notion of the unique Summer Movie Season might be on the way out in and of itself. The whole enterprise is premised on a business model wherein American families and teenagers are the "golden" demographics and have the most time and money to spend in the Summer months, but lately the crowded schedule has moved more and more conventionally Summer-style movies to the Spring and Fall - where they've been making money.

You get this impression from modern culture over the past two decades, and it seems to me like a relic of the baby boomer era. Like the WWII generation had all those kids, and when the capitalists figured out how well you could market to all those teenagers it became like a gold rush. That impression got imprinted in our cultural mindset, but in the most recent decades people aren't having big massive families so teenagers are no longer this massive demographic.

I wish gaming would learn from this as well.

Releasing almost EVERY AAA release during the fall is horrid, and has ALWAYS BEEN horrid, for gamers.

Am I the only one who wants Marvel to take one more crack at a Hulk movie? Especially after watching him steal every scene he has in The Avengers? If things are looking lean on the way to 2015, maybe they could throw something green into the ol' Hollywood machine.

FargoDog:
The thing is, now 2014 looks pretty barren for Marvel films. You would have thought there would be a more potent build up given their big blockbuster is going to hit 2015, but I have a feeling the length of time between Captain America and Age of Ultron is going to engender a lot of apathy in audiences.

Guardians of the Galaxy is Marvel's mid/late 2014 release, though there will still be a big gap before Avengers 2.

EnglishBlues:
Am I the only one who wants Marvel to take one more crack at a Hulk movie? Especially after watching him steal every scene he has in The Avengers? If things are looking lean on the way to 2015, maybe they could throw something green into the ol' Hollywood machine.

They actually are, another Hulk film is currently planned for 'phase three,' along with Ant-Man.

I've never really liked horror films, so I'm not exactly doing cartwheels at their resurgence, but I do hope Bob is right and that we get more films with specific audiences rather than stuff aimed at the masses. There's nothing wrong with a broad appeal, but I think there's room for things that are more divisive.

I enjoyed Star Trek, but I do agree about the mystery box thing. I think there are two ways they should have gone. If they'd played it straight and just said who he was, that would have been fine and you could still have a great story with that character re-imagined. Or they could have had John Harrison be a new character, perhaps one that discovered the SS Botany Bay instead of Kirk and handled things very differently. That might have appealed to Trekkies who are aware of the original, but may have gone over the head of regular people.

Wait wait wait you're going to use Django and the butler as an indicator of how many black people go to the movies?

Django is a Tarantino movie. Tarantino has many fans who will see anything the guy puts out.

As for the Butler, it looked interesting to me and I'm white AND I've gotten sick of "watch someone triumph against racism, inspired by a true story" films.

So ... you got any facts about the racial make up of the moviegoers? Maybe statistics or something Bob?

I really enjoyed Star trek and man of steel. Frankly into darkness and its previous Trek film helped revive star trek, a franchise that was clinically dead. The sad whining of a few losers aside, the success of the Abrahams films might actually get people looking seriously at Trek again. We might even get NEW FANS coming to TREK. Something that hasn't happened with the Franchise in over ten years.

Into Darkness was absolutely brilliant, the best film I went to see this year so far (note; not the best film I've seen, but the best film I WENT to see at the movies) and Bob you really should let it go and stop complaining about a film that a small minority didn't approve of.

Can't wait for JJ's Star Wars

I think the greatest thing to come out of the Summer Movie season for me is that 3-D ticket sales are down. 3-D movies had less than 25% of tickets sales on actual 3-D screenings. Down from 60%. I hated 3-D.

Baldr:
I think the greatest thing to come out of the Summer Movie season for me is that 3-D ticket sales are down. 3-D movies had less than 25% of tickets sales on actual 3-D screenings. Down from 60%. I hated 3-D.

Indeed. I've noticed 3D screenings are becoming less and less frequent, with them fading out usually after release week. I haven't seen a 3D movie this year apart from "Pacific rim" come to think of it (And that actually had great 3D). Overall i think audiences are just tired of the gimmick and the added inconvenience/ cost. The 3D fad did do one thing for us though; it FINALLY got many theaters to upgrade their projection, screens and sound.

 

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