Scriptshadow 250 Contest Deadline – 81 days left!

avengerssweded2

It’s a strange Monday in the movie business as we’re looking at one of the PRIME weekend slots of the calendar year, the second weekend in May, having no big flashy releases. This is usually where you’ll see a 250 million dollar titan shake its fists and wiggle its belly as it prepares to gobble up your hard-earned dollars, yet there was nary a big-budget flick to be found as every studio was terrified of Captain Iron Man Hulk’s second weekend.

Those same suits are kicking themselves now as the king of all franchises isn’t doing nearly as well as Mickey would’ve hoped. This could’ve been a prime opportunity to not just take over a vacant weekend, but steal some paper from the biggest studio in town. While Avengers touts a lot of big numbers in its press releases, the reality is, the film’s box office is down 30 million from the last entry’s second weekend. In a world where franchise sequels regularly make more than their opening counterparts, the most underrated box office nose dive of the decade is leaving some to wonder the impossible: Are super hero movies in trouble?

That sounds absurd, and let’s keep in mind that Avengers 2 is making more globally than the last film did (due to ever-expanding markets, but still), but I’ve gotten some strange e-mails this past week stating that Avengers 2’s lackluster domestic performance is the beginning of the end for the oversaturated super hero market. The film had EVERYTHING – literally EVERYTHING – that a moviegoer could want. And yet 45 million dollars worth of people (counting the smaller box office take in the film’s first weekend) have disappeared from the theaters.

From what I’m hearing, the reason for this is superhero-itis. Avengers is the culmination of every super hero movie that came before it. It is the biggest most expensive piece of digital celluloid money can buy. Yet its trailer doesn’t show anybody anything they haven’t seen before. In fact, it looks an awfully lot like the first film. No thanks, says today’s youth, I’d rather spend that money on a video game.

While I’m not ready to announce the death of the superhero film just yet, I do think studios will have to reevaluate the genre. It doesn’t matter how much people love superheroes. If every superhero movie is just a slight variation of the last one, Avengers is the beginning of the end. But if they find new exciting ways into the genre, it’ll have legs. That’s why I’m curious to see how the exceptionally unique Ant-Man does. And an even bigger crisis will occur when Marvel has to reboot all its superheroes after the end of Avengers 3 and 4. Will audiences get on board for all new films that aren’t new at all? Ask Sony and Spider-Man about that.

That’s not the only story this weekend as Warner Brothers put forth the first film in another hot trend, the female-led big-budget comedy. Hot Pursuit sees Hollywood capitalizing on the female comic craze, but if the film is any indicator of what’s to come, this pursuit could end up behind bars. Pursuit barely made 13 million this weekend. I thought the film looked fun and I like both Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara, but the average ticket buyer doesn’t agree with me. Granted, neither of the two are major comedy stars, which had something to do with the less-than-stellar b.o., but the film scored terrible reviews as well (7% on Rotten Tomatoes!) and bad word of mouth can kill any comedy that doesn’t star Will Ferrell.

HotPursuitBar

We’ll have to see if this is a blip on the radar or a real issue when the next female-dominated comedy comes out later this summer, the Paul Feig – Melissa McCarthy collaboration, “Spy.” I’m not going to lie. The movie looks horrible. Massively over-produced and maybe one level up from Paul Blart. Watching the trailers has given me flashbacks to Big Momma’s House. But McCarthy is lovable and on the comedy circuit, lovable actors/actresses are often more important than the quality of the film (see McCarthy’s last offering, the absolutely awful Tammy, which still managed to make 85 million dollars).

Again, the studios are all in on this thing. We have an all-female Ghostbusters film coming. A female version of 21 Jump Street. The Judd Apatow-Amy Schumer collaboration, Trainwreck, and whatever else McCarthy attaches herself too. So people are going to be looking closely at how “Spy” does. If it does badly, expect everyone to freak out and reevaluate the comedy genre, a genre that’s already in trouble due to comedies not fitting into the studios’ new global game plan.

Speaking of female-led movies, I checked out the black comedy, Welcome to Me, this weekend, starring Kristin Wiig. For those who don’t know this, Kristin Wiig is in my top 5 female celebrity crushes. I know that won’t make sense for some but there’s something just… I don’t know, sexy about her. There’s an honesty and rawness there, so I really wanted to like this film. Unfortunately it just… it didn’t work.

Black comedies are a strange beast. They’re the genre most likely to get a new writer noticed, and that’s because they’re the easiest genre to demonstrate a unique voice in. But when you try and turn them into films, the results are less-than-stellar. From The Beaver to Better Living Through Chemistry to Take This Waltz (yeah it was reviewed well but nobody watched that movie), the track record is rarely positive and that’s because the tone required to get these movies right is razor thin. Make it a little too goofy or a little too serious and the whole thing crumbles apart like a stale cupcake, which is why producers hate these scripts unless a proven director (like Spike Jonez) is attached.

Welcome to Me follows Kristin Wiig, who plays a mentally unstable loner who wins the lottery and uses the money to fund her own talk show, which is all about… herself. Comedies about mental illness are particularly tricky to navigate with how sensitive to mental illness the public is these days. With fewer people laughing about the subject matter, it eliminates any opportunity for Welcome To Me to have fun with its premise. And if you can’t have fun with a premise about a woman who buys her way into a talk show about herself, then is there any reason to even write the movie anymore? Comedy is hard enough as it is. If you’re dancing around your premise to placate the P.C. police the whole time, you probably want to move onto a premise less restrictive. After watching this, I’m not sure I’d ever get excited over a mental illness comedy. The genre simply has too many landmines that come with it.

maggie---film-review-135067

Speaking of illness, the last big release of the weekend was the zombie flick, Maggie. For those who’ve been reading the site for awhile, you’ll remember that Maggie was a huge spec script sale from four years back. The project took all four of those years to finally get to the big (and small) screen, coming together when Arnold Schwarzenegger agreed to play the father in the film.

I still think Maggie is a great example of finding a way to sneak a drama through the system. Too many writers try writing straight-forward dramas where some 28 year old good-lucking white guy is trying to make ends meet after his middle class parents cut him off. Boo-hoo. Writer John Scott wrapped his drama inside a marketable genre (zombies), and redefined the genre in the process – creating new rules for the zombie’s incubation period (it takes months, not minutes). If you’re a dramatic writer, this is how you get your script noticed. Hide your heartfelt storyline inside a genre that sells.

Unfortunately, when you redefine a genre, you risk alienating fans of that genre, and unlike the zombies themselves, that was always the fear with Maggie. Would people come see a zombie film where zombies weren’t chasing the protagonists? Even the ultra-somber Walking Dead has the occasional blood-curdling zombie attack.

It’s a classic screenplay conundrum. The very thing that makes your idea unique is the thing that handicaps it. But that’s the movie game. You have to gamble a little in order to have a shot at breaking through. Unless you want to compete with the other 5 million people who are all writing the same thing, that is.

“Maggie” endured the purist movie test there is in my household. I only had time for one movie and I needed to make a choice. It came down to it or Welcome to Me. In the end, Maggie looked too depressing. And after a long week, I wanted to enjoy myself. So I went with “Welcome.” That movie ended up depressing me in a different way, but there was no going back. I’d made my choice.

That’s something you want to be thinking about as a writer. You’re creating a product. And someone, somewhere, is going to be sitting in their house watching a trailer for that product, trying to decide if they should pay for it. Are you giving them a product that they’ll be excited about? As complicated as people like to make screenwriting and filmmaking, that’s what it comes down to. If you can be honest with yourself and come up with something that you genuinely believe people will say “Yes” to when asked that question, then you probably have yourself a screenplay. So go write it!

  • Jack Tylers

    Avengers will gross $450m domestic and most likely outgross the 1st overseas… what are you talking about? How is $1.5b middling? Civil War next year will do $1b and Batman vs Superman also has potential to do $1b, as well.

    • carsonreeves1

      If the world’s biggest franchise’s domestic box office is getting smaller from picture to picture instead of bigger, that’s a bad sign.

      Any 200 million dollar advertised film is going to make at least 300 million dollars. Therefore, every million less it makes than expected after that is a big deal. And making 45 million less is a really big deal.

      • MGE3

        You’re spot on. This drop off will have studios asking if the weekend was an anomaly, if the movie just didn’t work or if this is the start of a larger trend – superhero fatigue. They will be keeping a very close eye on Ant-Man and Fantastic Four.

        The majority of financial models use current and recent earnings to project future earnings, revenue, EBIDTA, etc, so a small swing in percentage can have large ramifications for the long-term. This is true for movies as well. Between now and 2020, 29 more superhero movies are scheduled to be released. If studios believe these won’t be the surefire bets they are now, then we might see some changes to that 29 number.

        • S.C.
          • Ninjaneer

            When I first heard about Ant-man I thought it was a joke. Surely it’s just a parody of the super hero craze. It is actually real but is still a joke. The Trailer is not good and that poster looks like a straight to DVD movie.

            I wasn’t a big fan of Ultron but at least the first trailer showed promise. Looked like they stepped up their game. I may have not gone if not for the trailer.

            I’m guessing Ant-Man will do terrible. If you can’t make a good trailer you can’t make a good movie.

            Fantastic 4 will prolly do OK but not awesome. I’ve never been into comics but does anyone think “Cool” when they think Fantastic 4? Seems like the dorksquad to me.

          • S.C.

            Joss Whedon highly rates the ANT-MAN script. I think it might surprise like GUARDIANS did last year.

          • Ninjaneer

            An endorsement by Joss Whedon means very little to me personally though I have great respect for him.

            There is a segment of people out there that love love love his stuff. It’s an incredible feat to create multiple projects that a group, even if small, is passionate about.

            So even though I strongly dislike most of what he’s done and his filmmaking taste I respect him.

            Cabin in the Woods was pretty good and the Avengers was alright. I probably would have felt the same about Avengers regardless of who had made that though.

          • S.C.

            I’m not a huge Whedon fan – particularly his overuse of some comedy tropes. We’ll have to wait to see if he’s correct about the ANT-MAN script (or if it was rewritten too much).

          • Ninjaneer

            I’m open to Ant-man being good, it just doesn’t look like it will be. I was totally wrong about Guardians.

          • Eric

            The ANT-MAN trailer surprised me. It’s got a sense of humor and isn’t taking itself too seriously. The gag at the end with the train had me laughing. If the whole movie can walk that line, I actually think I’ll enjoy it.

      • ChadStuart

        Don’t forget about the hidden box office of these movies, i.e. the merchandising. If that’s still selling well, then the actual box office is less important. Conversely, if the box office is doing well but the merchandise isn’t moving, then the movies can end. Disney didn’t buy “Star Wars” because of how much the movies earn, they bought it because it’s still a billion dollar a year business and there hasn’t been a movie released in ten years.

      • GoIrish

        Do we ever get to a point where the studios say “we’re okay with $45 million less – it’s the international market we’re after”?

      • Frankie Hollywood

        After 10 days it’s $60 million (US) behind the original. $313M vs $373M.
        Showdowns: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/

    • S.C.

      You’re absolutely right, Jack, nobody involved in the making of Avengers is going to have their electricity shut off anytime soon! Still, it’s worth noting the larger-than-expected drop.

      Look at the Bond films: No (official) Bond film has lost money, but some have done better than others.

      The producers always take note of the box office returns AND critic and fan reaction before making decisions on the direction of the next movie.

      In the case of MOONRAKER and DIE ANOTHER DAY, the films actually made MORE money than their predecessors, but the producers still decided to change direction.

      In this case, I think the (slightly, comparatively) disappointing box office for AVENGERS 2 will make the producers wonder what they need to do next. Having not seen the film, I can’t tell you what that it is, although I’m sure some other people can!

      • Man with many ideas….

        Thought I’d jump in and just say about the trailer stuff….it doesn’t come down to you the writer or director sometimes. There are companies that make your trailer, yes, sometimes directors make a trailer but it’s rare. So unless you plan to do it yourslef or are independently making the project form the getgo, you don’t have much a say sadly.
        Which is weird no one talked about it yet. I’ve heard stories about people whom had their movies bomb because they were marketed wrong in trailers.

        Just some things to think about….

  • NajlaAnn

    I’ll just wait till it’s at redbox if it’s a “super hero” movie – unlike Interstellar. That one was worth the price of admission and then some.

  • fragglewriter

    I went to dinner the other night with three other people and commented that the Avengers 2 commercial, including the other Marvel movies, looked like crap and I tried watching the movies and was bored 10 minutes into it, they commented what was wrong with me. Albeit I was talking to comic geeks, so my opinion really didn’t matter. So basically, as long as you have audiences that love comics or video games, these super hero movies will more than likely sell tickets to churn a profit for the studio.

    Hot Pursuit – I didn’t laugh at one joke.

    Welcome to Me – the trailer did intrigue me, so I’ll wait for it at Redbox

    Spy – I laughed at the trailer and I love me some Jason Statham.

    Maggie – looked boring.

    Maybe this is a good time for dramas to sell.

    • Marija ZombiGirl

      I agree with your assessment probably because I’m no super hero fan, I’m not even remotely interested (same thing with Star Wars and Lord of the Rings – doesn’t raise the tiniest blip on my radar but that’s just me :) ). As for the rest of the cinematic landscape, I’m wondering if people even know WHAT they want. I may be completely wrong but today, literally everything is available with one click so why even take the time to search, to take an interest, to take the time to discover and enjoy? There are lots to enjoy starting with quality TV shows… that most people binge watch. Consumerism at its finest. “I want, I get, I consume, I move on.” Scary. And a little sad. So yeah, I’m mostly wondering if the general public even care very much, if they’re not just content to swallow what they’re force fed with no idea of what they would really want if they were given a free choice.

      • brenkilco

        There is something frighteningly ironic going on here. At a time when entertainment choices have never been greater, when virtually every worthwhile movie and television program ever created is available somewhere through some mode of digital delivery, studios have perfected the marketing of a special brand of dreary, disposable, lowest common denominator porridge that can be served over and over with scarcely any variation in the recipe, generating billions. Who wants infinite choice? It’s scary. Searching and learning is work. So much easier to enjoy the guarantee of bright, shiny colors, to be effortlessly spoon fed. Who would have thought that funny, kindly old Stan Lee was actually the antichrist?

        As Carson observes it’s all just product. And perhaps it’s only our good fortune that it took the movie industry so many decades to fully comprehend that essential truth.

      • Randy Williams

        I think they want a sense of community and family. They want a movie that co-workers are talking about at the water cooler. That their kids are talking about and bugging them to buy the toys from at the mall. Have you ever had your child ask you for something you had no idea what it was? Not a good feeling. You’re the adult. You’re supposed to know everything. They want that movie with gravity enough that marketing has saturated the community so they are not caught unawares.

        They want a movie that is referenced on the morning shows. Did you see that? Yes I did. They want a movie that most of the family at the table at IHOP will agree was pretty good, now pass the maple syrup.

        Not so bad.

        • Marija ZombiGirl

          You’re absolutely right :)
          I just can’t help deploring the lack of individuality, the lack of interest for what YOU (in general) may like, not what you THINK that you should like because the studios/your friends/co-workers tell you so. And we’re not huge consumers in my home, we even turn off the sound during commercials so my daughter isn’t used to being spoonfed through the TV. Having a mom like me can be a drag ;)

      • fragglewriter

        Totally agree. Star Wars and Lord of the Rings do nothing for me. I watched “Gone Girl” last night as I only got through about 40 pages of the script. That was the longest movie ever. I was hoping it would end, and then Amy killing? That was so far out there that it made completely no sense at all. The writer was reaching for straws. At least with “Fatal Attraction” we knew there was a possibility of Glenn killing Michael, but with Amy? I was do disappointed in that movie.

        • Marija ZombiGirl

          Yep, me too :) I liked the first part because Fincher and it also felt very Hitchcockian. Then we switch to Amy. And the movie shows/tells us everything that we already know. Not to mention the fact that nothing made sense nor was even remotely believable (Amy pretends that she was raped and backs it up with the security camera footage – one image of her alone is definite proof? The cop just… lets it go? Nick just… stays with his wife who has nothing on him and is no threat to him? And so on). The ending just dragged and dragged, I thought it’d never end.

          • fragglewriter

            Yes. And then Amy killing was way out there. I think the author was pulling for straws. I thought the entire movie wouldn’t end.

    • S.C.

      I quite enjoyed the script for SPY, but knew it needed some more jokes. I think the casting will help.

      http://www.impawards.com/2015/posters/spy_ver6.jpg

      • Frankie Hollywood

        Is that a real poster? If so, Archer’s gonna be pissed (again).

        • Frankie Hollywood

          AND he’s gonna be pissed at James Bond.

          Archer = trend setter.

        • S.C.

          Yes, it was a real poster! Came out only a couple of days after the SPECTRE poster (whether SPY is any good or not, the marketing has been terrific so far).

      • fragglewriter

        That’s cool. I’m sure either by suggestion of Melissa or the studios, that more jokes were added in. Was it a fast read?

  • Buddy

    mish mash thoughts :
    – superhero movies :
    i don’t think it’s the end, but it’s a good indication of the fact that maybe, MAYBE there is too much superhero movies in the pipeline. No surprises if Guardians Of The Galaxy made so much money : it felt “fresh”…

    – video games :
    they seems to be the only last territory where you can make fun original things. The golden TV era seems to be finishing (nothing new really exciting this year, good shows coming to an end (mad men) and more more IP material). Unfortunately I think it’s just a matter of time that the video game industry is imitating the movie industry. A good friend of mine works in one of the biggest Video game company and where they put 2-3 years to create a new game, they ask them to release one EVERY YEAR. Obviously, they can’t make every year a game that has the quality of a game they worked on 2 or 3 years. But people continues to buy them…until they will kill the franchise and create another one, and on, and on…

    – kristen wiig :
    Ahah, same thing for me. Friends goes crazy when I say that because, well, she’s not emily ratajkowski. But I don’t there is this thing that’s super cute about her. Reminds me Elisabeth Shue used to have the same thing on me during the 90’s…

    • S.C.

      Like the new avatar, Buddy! Bye-bye, Batman!

      • Ninjaneer

        I liked the ironic pairing of the Batman avatar with the name Buddy :)

  • Felip Serra

    All this reminds me of a story:

    There was a comedian who wanted to become famous simply by telling funny stories; no swearing, no “filth”, no disrespect, and no crudeness. Night after night he went on stage and delivered his act. And audience after audience gave him jeers, threats, insults, and, above all, no laughter.

    After several performances his optimism was threadbare. He decided to endure one more evening and would let the evening decide the rest. He got on stage and his act, as usual, was going poorly. He came towards the end of his set and, suddenly, as his bowels succumbed to nervousness and stress, he released a tremendous fart!

    He was privately stunned but publicly forgiven; the audience erupted with laughter. So, he continued going through his act and punctuating it the same way. But soon the audiences grew tired and wanted something else. So one night, when pushing an especially devastating finale he felt his bowels rumble with an all too familiar fear. And instead of embarrass himself permanently he shoved the microphone up his ass.

    The audience went wild. And he could only oblige further: So every night the microphone was shoved up his ass. Then two microphones. Then three. As painful the experience became the audience’s enthusiasm was blinding; then it would dwindle and he’d have to up the ante. His final act — Three microphones going up while swallowing a fourth — was going swimmingly until he collapsed from choking. And as he lay there in his final dying moments, as thoroughly humiliated as a human could be, the audience actually stood up in applause.

    The moral of the story is: Find YOUR audience, not THE audience.

    • S.C.

      Great story!

    • carsonreeves1

      But what if he never farted? No one would know him at all. :)

      • Felip Serra

        Sadly, so many show biz bios start the same way…

    • Ninjaneer

      I wish my coworkers were more like that audience. They’d be clapping for me instead of moving father away.

    • IgorWasTaken

       
      Recall the name of the governor in “Blazing Saddles”?
       

  • peisley

    The first Avengers was overpraised. Hot Pursuit looked like a stinker from the get go. Maggie will suffer from fans who want to see gore and violence with their zombies. Superhero movies are the same story told over and over, but I don’t want to see them go, just fewer and better.

    • S.C.

      Fewer and better. Amen.

  • Panos Tsapanidis

    “Would people come see a zombie film where zombies weren’t chasing the protagonists?”
    Actually, the reason I won’t watch Maggie as because of casting Arnie. I always thought of Maggie as the cerebral version of a Zombie movie.

    Unrelated to today’s post, I just have to shout out props to ‘Coherence.’ The most pleasant cinematic surprise I’ve had lately.

    • brenkilco

      Though I think it , um, loses its way before the end and sort of fades out at the fadeout Coherence was far and away the most enjoyable film I’ve seen recently. An interesting sci fi film made for virtually nothing, with nary a special effect. Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that imagination trumps everything.

      • Midnight Luck

        Imagination does trump everything.

    • Linkthis83

      Yes to COHERENCE!

      • Andrew Parker

        Ironic that everyone on Scriptshadow is extolling the virtues of Coherence, a movie purportedly written without a script, only a 12 page treatment.

        I think that goes to show that if your movie has a strong central conceit, it goes a long way towards success.

        • S.C.

          Did someone say treatment? Anyone happen to have it?

          THIS IS SPINAL TAP also only had a treatment but it’s about 60 pages long.

        • Linkthis83

          Yep. I don’t have a romantic/mythical view of scripts. I just want them to get me interested. In the case of Coherence though, I’d want to be working with more than a treatment.

          Here’s a link to an interview with the director (if you are interested):

          https://thedissolve.com/features/emerging/633-how-james-ward-byrkit-constructed-coherence/

  • Darkline

    Lacklustre box office normally means they need to reboot again or add fresh elements to the recipe. Perhaps a bit darker, or a bit lighter, Avengers vs Hannibal Lecter, vs Flipper. Wherever the Zeitgeist is heading. What it doesn’t mean is the end of superhero movies. So the tone of a franchise is altered to suit the changing audience demands every 5 years or so.

    But I think studios reboot so often because at heart we connect more with origin stories. That’s where these films feel the most human. Once we get over that story it’s harder to make sequels with interesting character arcs (Spiderman being seen in last seasons outfit), they rely more on spectacle and a smaller inner journey.

    This is one of the reasons no-body has made a compelling Terminator film since the first 2. The story is done, the character arcs completed. Wherever you take it is far less powerful than what came before. What is there left to say that would have more impact than those first two films?

    That said I was utterly surprised by the first Avengers, it was a recipe for disaster cramming so many heroes into one movie, somehow Whedon made the most entertaining Marvel super-hero movie of all. I think it takes amazing craftsmanship to make that work. You’re juggling and balancing so many lines that it can turn into an exposition-fest and feel wafer thin. Whatever we throw at him, I doubt many could have done a better job.

    So I’m still going to watch Avengers 2 for sure. Terminator Genisys looks so bonkers I have to see it for that alone. So there you go, I’m complaining there’s no real meat in MacDonald’s while buying up the store.

    • Bacon Statham

      I think Terminator still has a couple of stories left in it. People wanna see the future war being played out. Terminator Salvation is an average film that actually did very well at the box office and I think that’s down to the fact it was set in the future war and that’s what people wanted to see. When I first saw it, I loved it, but over time my love for it has done down. I like it more than T3, but I’ll give that one credit where it’s due. It’s worth it for the ending alone and for that I’m glad it was made because it opened the door for the future war to become a bigger focus.

      But now I’m kind of annoyed with Genisys because it’s going back to the formula of the first three films. Time travel chase movie. Having said that, I’m really intrigued by what they’re doing with the story. It could either work really well or not at all. I don’t think we’re gonna get something average. I think it’ll end up being really good or really bad. No middle ground.

      I’ll be honest T2 is the first action movie I ever watched and it’s one of the main reasons why I wanted to become a writer. One of my dream gigs would be getting hired to write a Terminator script.

      • Darkline

        To me Terminator is mostly about the threat of judgement day, the end of the world. The first two are so tense because the stakes are so high.
        Once the nuclear wipe-out has started, you remove one of the most exciting elements and no-one has found a way to up the stakes since.

        The only thing they can do is have a ragtag bunch of survivors up against the machines, but we’ve already gone through the worst of it so it’s not nearly as exciting (probably why they keep rehashing the time-travel element). I found T:Slavation lacking in any emotion and I was thoroughly bored for most of it.

        That’s not to say you can’t make an interesting war script. Cameron did that with Aliens, but he also put us in confined spaces, created a ticking clock and gave us characters we cared about, resurrected Ripley to face her fears and gave the whole film a parental theme. Two mothers fighting to save their children at the end (ring any bells with Terminator?).

        Salvation ended up being about no-one. The franchise needs a radical rethink and the things that made it successful, (starring arnie) are the things holding it back now.

    • Garrett

      That is an interesting conundrum. Even though we know (maybe much of the mass audience for these films) it’s not going to be especially good; honest and new, many of us will still throw our money at it because: “what else are we going to watch?!”

  • tyrabanksy

    Fuck. Welcome to Me was like watching a film version of performance art, or someone without a sense of humor trying to create an extended version of a Tim and Eric sketch. It was pretentious and insufferable, and existed for no other reason than to say “Hey! I’m different and I have something to different to say!” (No, you really don’t). The only reason I kept watching was because Wes Bentley is hot, but the sex scenes left me drier than a sandbox.

  • S.C.

    “The very thing that makes your idea unique is the thing that handicaps it.”

    I’ve made this point before, so I will again: Contained thrillers.

    Spec writers love contained thrillers. So does The Black List. They’re clever – how is the writer going to get away with it.

    But contained thrillers don’t always set the box office alight.

    Some did very well:

    Flightplan: $223,387,299
    Panic Room: $196,397,415
    Disturbia: $117,760,134
    Phone Booth: $97,837,138
    Red Eye: $95,577,774

    Some did OK:

    When a Stranger Calls: $66,966,987
    Devil: $62,695,489
    Misery: $61,276,872
    127 Hours: $60,738,797
    Open Water: $54,667,954
    Vacancy: $35,300,645
    Buried: $19,152,480

    And some did very little:

    P2: $7,766,240
    Frozen: $3,151,086
    ATM: $1,084,053
    Cube: $501,818

    The budgets aren’t always that high, but you have to say, why are people going to pay good money to see a couple of kids stuck in an ATM?

    So, are contained stories more about the writer showing off and less about entertaining an audience?

    • ChadStuart

      Well, they’re really about contained risk. Since the budgets are so low the prod co doesn’t have to worry about making a profit. Each example you’ve cited more than likely returned something on the initial investment – especially since only the box office totals are listed and doesn’t include ancillary revenue where movies like that can often double their take.

      Yes, compated to “The Avengers” it’s a low yield business, but for small companies a $5 million profit on a $2 million or less investment is pretty good. New Line was built on a similar model in the 80s producing “A Nightmare on Elm Street” for cheap, earning nice profits and then went on to win Oscars for producing “Lord of the Rings” and earning huge profits for their effort.

      But, most important, the exec who purchased “ATM” kept his job. The exec who greenlit “Jupiter Ascending” is quaking in his boots.

    • Scott Strybos

      I just re-watched Phonebooth this weekend. That was a good movie.

      • S.C.

        It just that when I read about a spec sale for a script about, let’s say, a man going over Niagara Falls in a barrel BUT the whole story takes place inside the barrel, I wonder if screenwriters find that more interesting (because of the screenwriting challenges it presents) than the average non-screenwriting punter (who thinks it just sounds boring)?

        http://s.hswstatic.com/gif/niagara-intro.jpg

        Maybe that’s what happened with MAGGIE; a twist on the zombie story has more appeal to Black List readers than audiences who just want to see a zombie get sucked into a jet engine.

        https://latimesherocomplex.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/worldwarzcrash2.jpg

        • Scott Strybos

          It wasn’t the gimmick of being stuck in the phone booth that I liked so much, but rather the emotional journey the protagonist is taken on. He is a liar and a cheat and through the course of the story he is broken down, all his bravado stripped away, an excuciating and painful process for him, until he is left bare. All of this is intensified by the confines of the booth, but it is this character arc that has me appreciating this film.

          • S.C.

            Oh, sure, sure… I’m not dissing any film, simply pointing out that, post PHONE BOOTH, I’m not sure people are as impressed by such stories – contained settings, solo characters, no dialogue – as writers are.

            I mean, we could include CASTAWAY as a (mostly) contained story. That was a huge success. And Hanks did it again with CAPTAIN PHILLIPS. But not all these movies have Tom Hanks in them (or Colin Farrell).

  • Zadora

    Let’s hope the super hero crap is over with!

  • Pooh Bear

    Super Hero movie = Merchandising. That’s where the real money is at.

  • ASAbrams

    Doom and gloom prophecies again?

  • Scott Strybos

    Speaking of Amy Schumer… did anyone catch last weeks episode of Inside Amy Schumer.

    I don’t normally watch the show; I’ll catch a sketch when someone posts it on their blog. And generally they are hit-or-miss, true of every comedian. But last week, by chance, I caught the episode that was airing, 12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer—it was one of the most brilliant 22-minutes of comedy I have seen on television in… I don’t know how long.

    Usually her show is made up of various sketches, but last week, the entire episode was a parody/homage to 12 Angry Men.

    If you haven’t seen it, even if you don’t like Amy Schumer (if it helps she only has about fifteen seconds of screen time), I recommend finding it and watching it.

    • S.C.

      I’ll see if I can find the whole thing.

      • S.C.

        Does this work in your country?

        • Scott Strybos

          No, this wont work for anyone outside the US, and I am a Canuk, but I already watched the episode three times.

      • Scott Strybos

        This is a funny part, but I recommend to anyone who hasn’t see it, watch it from the beginning….

  • mulesandmud

    I saw AGE OF ULTRON this weekend.

    Pretty fascinating how completely weightless this thing felt. I mean that as a criticism, but I suspect that in modern studios terms it counts as a compliment, a ‘job well done’.

    At this point, I go into these things fully expecting them to be big and loud and empty. My expectations are so minimal that anything not terrible should qualify as a win. The bar is so low that it’s basically a speed bump.

    That’s how the studios like it. They want to give you a gigantic meal that leaves you hungry, and then quick sell you on the next buffet that will leave you just as unsatisfied.

    When a popular movie does come along that provides some actual dramatic nourishment, it’s actually a liability for studios. A great movie will live in our memory and stand the test of time, which makes things awkward when it comes times for the obligatory remake/reboot/requel.

    I said earlier this week, and still believe, that Joss Whedon really cares about this material. No matter how generic and obligatory the final product felt, a profound amount of work went into the development of this project.

    Yes, that includes the screenplay. Even though the plot felt schematic in most places and then oddly meandering in others. Even though the dialogue leans too hard on quips and wordplay, papering over the gaps where real character drama might go but can’t because there are simply too many characters to service. Even though at heart the thing is mostly a trailer for future Marvel universe movies; in fact, this makes it almost an impossible screenplay to write, since it demands so much cross-pollination with and foreshadowing of other projects that it hardly has any room left for its own story.

    A reminder that the degree of effort is not directly proportional to the degree of success, or the quality of the work. I probably would have enjoyed AGE OF ULTRON more if I left in the middle. Or after the opening sequence. Or maybe before it.

    The more the Marvel universe takes shape, the more it seems like a big, bloated, badly organized television series. As long-form drama, it’s a mess: they’re constantly reminding us that these stories are all connected, but those connections rarely seem to actually matter, except that everyone makes a cameo at everyone else’s party.

    Actually, these movies are designed more like sitcoms, self-contained and disposable. There are no real consequences to anything; even when things seem to change, there’s still room to hit undo or make a quick story fix that rolls the story back to where it used to be (in comics, they call this a retcon).

    Make one appreciate how thoroughly and intricately realized something like GAME OF THRONES really is, deftly keeping balls in the air while still keeping an eye on the long game.

    As for AGE OF ULTRON’s slight dip in box office compared to the original, I don’t claim to understand the whims of the box office. However, one (relatively minor) lag in sales does not constitute a pattern.

    There’s nothing particularly weird about a sequel grossing slightly less than its predecessor. Especially when its predecessor is one of the biggest movies of all time and the sequel looks identical to the original.

    Add to that, AGE OF ULTRON is unique as a movie marketing event (a film, not so much). A sequel to a team-up that combines three separate franchises, all wrapped in a shared story universe meant to springboard into a dozen new installments and/or spinoffs over the next ten years. There’s not much precedent for this kind of hyper-saturation, and when you factor in that focus is swinging to international markets and that Marvel is actually competing with itself on television (why watch AVENGERS when I can stay home and watch DAREDEVIL?), well…

    Anyone who says they know what a $30M drop off means here is lying, or confused.

  • Scott Strybos

    Couldn’t the lackluster box office performance simply be attributed to, not superhero-fatigue, but that they were the first weekend’s this season of good weather?

  • wlubake

    I think the Marvel Universe thing has to adjust your understanding of where this film sits in the sequel stage. Avengers wasn’t the first film in this franchise – Iron Man was. We’ve had 3 Iron Man movies, 2 Captain America movies, 2 Thor movies and 1 Avengers movie preceding this. You could maybe include The Incredible Hulk, but there is a weaker continuity there. To me, this is more like Pirates 4 than Spiderman 2 or The Dark Knight. We’ve seen these characters for so long, they are done surprising us. I think Captain America: Civil War will do a good job readjusting the public’s familiarity with the characters.

  • Randy Williams

    The reviews for Hot Pursuit have really been brutal which is disappointing because I really dig the two stars.
    One of the more balanced reviews actually made me less likely to see it than the pure slamfests. That review remarked that the characters never seemed to be in any real danger.

    Comedy for me is the flip side of tragedy and I usually need that undertow of unease to laugh. Perhaps female characters can’t be subjected to such punishment in a comedy. Only a man can be held to the fire. I don’t know.
    I think about what made The Odd Couple work so well. A mismatched character comedy like Hot Pursuit, but Oscar and everything in the story was influenced by the spoken and unspoken threat of Felix committing suicide.

    • S.C.

      I listened to an interview with one of the writers of Hot Pursuit. The development of the script was a bit too smooth in my opinion, a bit too much of a love-in (Witherspoon was producer and helped develop the script).

      Maybe not surprised result was a bit tame. Mind you, I laughed a few times at the trailer.

  • Frankie Hollywood

    Give me the same but different, one of Hollywood’s favorites.
    But Avengers 2 seems to be, “Give me the same but kinda, maybe just a little bit different.”

    I actually haven’t seen it yet, but overturned cars in the street, lots of explosions, people running around like idiots, mind control, a villain who makes jokes, Avengers pissed off at Stark, the villain has 100’s if not 1,000’s of minions battling for him, Hulk fighting another Avenger, etc. And that’s what I’ve gathered just from the trailer(s).

    When I saw the first trailer I was blown away by the familiarity of it all. I lost interest, disappointed that it seemed to be weak rehash of ideas from the first one.

    While I do think -$45 million is something the studios are taking very seriously, I think the public’s love affair with superheroes is far from over, or even in decline. Maybe a lot of people were like me, disappointed in the trailer and will just wait for it on Redbox.

    And I’m with fragglewriter as far as Hot Pursuit and Spy go. I thought Hot Pursuit looked stupid (I also didn’t laugh once) — Sofia V. may be be eye-candy, but, man, that woman’s personality is annoying. And I think Spy looks pretty good, and that’s a great cast. Spy will easily pull in over $100 million (in the US).

    • S.C.

      I think Avengers might beat Mad Max. I don’t think the young audience will dig Mad Max.

      Why are the cars dirty? they’ll say.

      Modern audiences are used to clean cars, like FURIOUS 7.

      • Ninjaneer

        How young are you talking? I haven’t run into anybody who doesn’t think Mad Max looks crazy awesome. They did an amazing job on the trailers.

  • jonsanhueza

    IMHO, it didn’t do as well at the B.O. because the word of mouth wasn’t as positive as the first. And it wasn’t as positive because the plot was overly complicated. It was too much setup; setup for the infinity gauntlet, setup for civil war, setup for scarlet witch, quicksilver and the vision… And with all that plotting you don’t even have room for Natalie Portman or Gweneth Paltrow, two of the biggest female actors in the world… Like everyone else I talked to about it said, it was good, just not as good as the first.

  • T Jess

    So last week I ask my teenage son and daughter if they want to see Age of Ultron. Since they are both superhero super freaks, I was shocked at their reply: ” Nah, I’ll pass.”
    Say what!? The two biggest fans Marvel could ever have basically said, “Whatever”.

    Now, with a little prodding I got my daughter to see it with me, but my son couldn’t be bothered.

    When the smoked cleared, and all the screaming stopped, I asked my daughter what she thought. Her reply: “Meh, same junk, different city… And don’t even get me started on the Black Widow disaster.”

    Needless to say, neither of them have any desire to see Tony Stark act like a wise ass, or Hulk Smash, or Captain America act brave and clueless, or Black Widow whine about her screwed up childhood, or some stupid inter dimensional villain who wants to cleanse us from our freedom any more.

    I think Marvel has jumped the shark.

    • Garrett

      Wow that is surprising to hear from your kids. Sounds like they’re in the age demographic, what, 10-15? But it also sounds like your film and writing-smarts have passed on from you to your kiddies. I doubt that is the typical response to such a summer blockbuster!

      • S.C.

        My 15 year-old nephew was more excited to see FURIOUS 7 – which had been out in England for a few weeks – than AVENGERS 2, which had just come out (a week before US). And he LOVED the first film.

        I remember, in the 1990s, being so excited to go and see TERMINATOR 2, LETHAL WEAPONS 3 and 4, DIE HARD 3. There were less sequels then, and when they would appear they would be sufficiently different to the last film to make you want to see them.

        AVENGERS 2 looks just like the last film. I didn’t care for the last film.

  • Eddie Panta

    We should all count on the studios to rape and pillage the Superhero IP’s

    The Studio system will repeat the same mistakes of the past. There won’t be any contrition.

    As with the fast food market, the blockbuster theater chains have been
    gorging on fat and sugar in the form of costumed testosterone.

    The movie audience is bloated. But they’ve developed a high tolerance. It will take more than Age of Ultron to make them sick. But diet is not an option. Force feeding will commence. The studios intend to cannibalize they’re own product

    With the current slate of Marvel Universe films in the pipeline, even if studios recognized dissatisfaction within the herd, the corporate structure and the commitment to these franchises makes it impossible to change course.

    Like Wall Street, they are blind to the writing on the wall.
    This will need to implode before there is any restructuring.

    But absent of some new cultural phenomenon for which to reflect on, the studios might not have any choice…
    Without a viable physical threat facing the country, the Superhero franchises have been forced to look inward to create plot and theme around an evil entity.

    Terrorist groups are no longer fertile ground. As a result, films like LUCY, IRON MAN 3, TRANSCENDENCE, & AGE of ULTRON, explore the threat of modern technology, But this is already too self referential and repetitive. The audience can sense it. The studios can’t be expected to embrace the dense mythology present in the comic book world. It’s too complex. Something from the outside must inform these characters in order for them to be relatable.

    The good news is that we can count on the Studio system to be blind and glutinous.The dung they are producing now will eventually fertilize the scorched earth for a new crop of filmmakers.

    • Felip Serra

      Well said!

    • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

      Dude, you should run for office–I’d vote for ya!

      • Eddie Panta

        Ha… Thanks

    • Eddie Panta

      “the Age of N.S.A.”

      Looking back at films from previous decades it easy to see how they were shaped by the political events of their time. It’s not immediately clear when you first experience them, at least not if done well.

      Richard Brody New Yorker blog piece ( link below) ” The New Avengers is Really About The N.S.A.” does a good job at pointing out Whedon’s influences in the script and the necessity of these summertime blockbusters to be conscious of what he calls the “political zeitgeist”.

      Fears, real daily fears, whether it’s nuclear warfare, communism, or meteor strike is what motivates us to see movies, we can confront them, deal with them symbolically. And perhaps even relieve ourselves of them.

      Brody’s article echoes both Carson’s criticism of the “quibby” lines as well as mulesandmud’s gushing comment on the work ethic necessary to pull off one these blockbusters.

      In the first “Avengers,” the enemy came from space—a September 11th
      allegory. Now the allegory involves an enemy created within, a kind of
      superintelligence that, becoming independent of human oversight and
      control, turns on those it’s meant to protect. That’s the politics of
      “Avengers: Age of Ultron”: the wars that we’re now fighting are against
      our own defenses run amok. It’s more like “Age of N.S.A.,” extending the
      concept of the universal data-scoop to define all humans as enemies of
      the total-security mechanism.

      http://www.newyorker.com/culture/richard-brody/the-new-avengers-is-really-about-the-n-s-a

    • Jeffrey

      Your examples make no sense. Transcendence? That film was an embarrassing flop. Iron Man 3 in no way explores the threat of modern technology. They turned the 10 Rings into a microcosm for Osama Bin Laden. Lucy is not really about technology at all so you completely lost me there.

  • brenkilco

    As H. L. Menken observed, Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public. I’d like to think you’re right but there’s a lot of evidence against you. First question. Who is the audience? The audience that made something like True Detective a hit is discerning enough. But is that the presumed movie audience? Or is the presumed audience for most studio product the average worldwide thirteen year old. and the thirteen year old in all of us? I can’t imagine writing anything that one didn’t hope a smart adult would appreciate. But a lot of dreck not only gets written. It gets made. And sometimes it makes a lot of money.

    • S.C.

      It’s an obvious statement, but worth repeating: films like AVENGERS 2 help to pay for smaller Paramount films like RINGS and CAPTIVE.

  • Midnight Luck

    I believe I am having a premonition that last week I had a premonition that the spandex world would implode on the ProdCo’s and Hollywood, and people called me crazy.
    And what do you know, today everyone is talking about just that.
    yet it won’t actually be visible to the world for a while. People will go for a long time and wonder why they aren’t feeling excited or happy like they were before, never guessing it’s that the movies are the culprit and that they might actually be lazy boring overblown versions of themselves.

    P.s. Reese is a hilarious actress. If you don’t recall, the movie which made her Uber famous was a hugely successful comedy called Legally Blonde. She can do comedy, really well.
    I haven’t seen the flick, however, and boy did it look bad from the preview.

    • andyjaxfl

      Funny enough, I saw Legally Blonde for the first time over the weekend (thank you, streaming Netflix!). It’s an excellent movie and Witherspoon kills it every time she’s on screen. Elle is a great character and I loved how the filmmakers dialed up her virtue and downplayed that tired ditzy-blonde act.

      • Midnight Luck

        Yes I thought it was funny and she was great.
        I also am so happy they downplayed or even played against the ditzy blonde type act.

    • S.C.

      I thought that any dip below 53% (which is what AVENGERS 1 dipped on second weekend) would indicate SOME audience dissatisfaction with AVENGERS 2.

      AVENGERS 2 fell 60%, not perfect, but not a disaster. Certainly not an implosion… yet.

      Next big test will be FANTASTIC FOUR, which I predict will not make $100 million domestic.

      Also DEADPOOL and SUICIDE SQUAD next year – DEADPOOL flops, SUICIDE SQUAD leaves people confused (like WATCHMEN).

      THEN the studios may have to rethink their spandex (or black rubber) movie schedule.

      P.S. HOT PURSUIT will probably do better on home video. Or whatever it’s called now.

      • Midnight Luck

        I have no idea what will happen with all the spandex movies, and I don’t much care, as I believe most will somehow, magically, do huge business. (People have very low expectations and taste and all)
        EXCEPT for ANTMAN, which will fail HUGE!
        Mainly because I want to see it;)

  • S.C.

    I think most people can tell the difference between a stinker and what you might call a non-thinker.

    Nobody goes to see AVENGERS 2 or FURIOUS 7 expecting it to be a cinematic masterpiece.

    And MAGGIE proves (maybe) that trying to turn a popular genre into art doesn’t always result in success.

  • klmn

    If superhero movies are still viable, someone should do a big-budget remake of RAT PFINK A BOO BOO.

    Some Clips: https://youtu.be/nPnIsifeE70

  • ChadStuart

    The fight was scheduled long after Disney picked their date. Mother’s Day, on the other hand…

  • andyjaxfl

    Box office is down but I don’t think that’s indicative of audience response. Nearly everyone in my office has seen the movie and flipped for it, which explains the A Cinema Score. Hell, most of those same people illegally download/stream movies for the most part anyway, so maybe that’s taking a huge chunk of revenue off Ultron’s profits. But really who knows why the box office is down. Not everyone analyzes like the awesome folks on this site, and to them, Ultron is the best comic book movie to date.

    With the slew of comic book movies in the last five years and the dozens coming in the next five, it’s time for another deconstruction of the genre a la Watchmen and Tonight, He comes (the spec script that became Hancock).

    • Buddy

      I agree. I think that’s maybe why LUCY was such a big hit : it felt fresh just because it wasn’t from an IP. It had this french-asian touch giving US’s audience the illusion of seeing something different.

  • Bob Bradley

    Is anyone writing an intellectually challenging and psychologically expansive and emotionally relevant script?
    Or what do you think will take the place of the mega-movie?

    • S.C.

      First question: no. Writing something fun instead.

      Second question: mega-movies will remain but may become more grounded – less CGI, more practical effects, less comic book heroes, perhaps more literary heroes or even war movies.

    • Magga

      I’d settle for an unfolding story at this point, a movie where I didn’t know ten minutes in what I was getting.

    • Midnight Luck

      I believe I am. But that is for others to decide.

      I think everyone was doomed the minute JAWS went big over the summer.
      Hollywood officially had a formula. And it will follow it until it can squeeze every last cent out of every willing participant, and lord how everyone has been willing to be squeezed and played to. I don’t believe it is going away, I think it is still getting bigger. Once there isn’t a single small release to come out and once people stop going to the movies because all they are showing is a bunch of Mega-movies no one cares to see; then it will die, but at that point movies have already died, so, what’s the difference?
      Oh, and we are basically there already. (Minus the “no one going to the movies” part. )

  • jw

    Carson, there’s this thing called Google. Try to use it before writing a review and the “shitty” assumption you gave to SPY would be quickly countered by its 100% on Rotten Tomatoes with already some of what would be its harshest critics coming out swinging for it. Come on, bud! Don’t mind if you write it, but for fuck’s sake, know what the hell you’re writing. Jesus.

    • S.C.

      Shit, those are some good reviews! I actually quite liked the script, felt it had potential. Now I might see the movie!

      • shewrites

        S.C., Would you kindly send me the Spy script at o.hodge at outlook dot com? Thank you!

  • S.C.

    Age of Ultron looked too similar to the first movie, which may explain why SLIGHTLY fewer people went to see it, though I agree the release date of the film might not have been optimal given that half of its target audience – surprising, but true – are over 25. And 60% male.

    If FANTASTIC FOUR does less than $100 million domestic, you might see some future superhero movies scrapped. Fewer but better as one commentator said here today.

  • Magga

    I tend to think the general audience gets what they deserve. Studio heads repeat formulas as long as audiences reward it, so while your kids sound more discerning, popular movies, books and music are a direct reflection of the artistic curiosity of each generation.

  • Midnight Luck

    Though in Portland shelf space for micro is about 50-50 or even 60-40 at the market. They even have markets that only carry the craft brew.
    But that’s Portland. (And Park City)

  • Scott Chamberlain

    OT: (sorta, ’cause there’s a lot of hate for the studios but no money where the mouth is…)

    Wanna make and sell a feature film?

    I’m Chair of the ACT Screen Industry Association, the screen industry body in Canberra, Australia’s National Capital.

    We are piloting an independent film development process (Canberra Virtual Studios) that we hope will lead to a sustainable 4-8 feature films per year in our town. It is a structured process for getting film concepts to the point where they have everything necessary to raise private equity, get made, and *at least* recoup investor’s money.

    Details are here. http://www.screenact.com.au/pages/fundingandinitiatives/development/accelerator.html

    In summary:

    ELIGIBILITY: It is open to aspiring writers, producers and directors. No previous credits required. You don’t need to be from Canberra, or Australia, but you do need to be present for the Workshops and the film has to have a Canberra connection (post production, for example)

    PROCESS: Story Workshop > Film Concept > Development Team (Producer + Writer + Director) > Pitch > Accelerator >Investor Ready Film Project

    GENRES: It is for genre films – Sci-fi, thriller, horror, or family, because we get international sales agents involved at the very start to help to select and guide the development of those kinds of films they know they can sell.

    LOW BUDGET: It is for films with a budget of $.8 – $1.4 mill because budgets larger than this require too much private money and are unlikely to fully recoup.

    SCRIPT UNNECESSARY: You don’t need a script, just the ability to develop concepts. in fact, no script is preferable because we don’t want people irrationally attached to ideas that just don’t work. It is a program for “stories that sell” not “stories that must be told”.

    TEAM UNNECESSARY: You don’t need a team because the Workshops are structured to create teams and match writers with producers and directors.

    PRIVATE FUNDING: Successful pitches become part of an Accelerator Program, which is the really exciting part. Those teams will receive $25k from private investors to commercialise their concept and make it investor ready. That $25K funds:

    * Legals – a corporate vehicle to produce the film, investor share structure;, and all necessary producer documentation for cast, crew and location releases etc

    * Executive Producer: an experienced Producer to help guide the production process;

    * Line Producer to prepare detailed budgets etc that investors and Screen Australia will have confidence in;

    * Marketing strategy to begin building audience immediately;

    * Market attachment: a distributor/sales agent committed to selling the finished film because they have been involved in the process of selecting the film for development;

    * Bond Guarantor – a body that will step in and fund the completion of the film if you lose the plot (necessary to get investors and the Producer Offset (tax rebate)).

    RESULT: With all of these things on board we hope to make it as easy as possible for the film to attract private investment because we have done everything we can to minimise risk.

    Jump on and have a look. it’s something we are tremendously excited about.

  • Jeffrey

    Snobby writers are always ready to call the death knell of comic book and superhero films. This was hardly some sort of Batman & Robin offense.

    Marvel has gotten through bigger disappointments than this before. Case in point, Incredible Hulk in 2008. Didn’t even make more than the first film worldwide. Even Dark Knight Rises made less than the Dark Knight and wasn’t as well reviewed. It happens.

    The Avengers was such a well received and beloved film, it was unrealistic to see a sequel surpass that. Spider-Man 3 had similar problems. Franchise started pretty good with Spider-Man, peaked with Spider-Man 2 and declined with Spider-Man 3. As disappointing as Amazing Spider-Man films were, that didn’t sink the franchise, they are simply bringing it into the MCU which is what everyone wants.

    This is the same studio that turned Guardians of the Galaxy into a huge franchise, and that was less than a year ago. A lot of my friends said it looked stupid and that the NEED FOR SPEED movie was going to make more.

    Ultimately, this genre will go through peaks and valleys. There will be misfires and bombs, and then there will be success stories like The Winter Solider or Guardians of the Galaxy. And then there will be other success stories on the small screen like Daredevil. These things aren’t going away. Like it or not, many of these characters are ingrained in adults as beloved characters, and now they are being ingrained as kids as beloved characters as well. That never really goes away.