The failure of modern blockbusters

What the hell is going on!?

This year has been a disaster for huge budgeted films that just crash and fail, fail and crash, and leave you with a bad taste in your mouth… but you should’ve seen it coming; I mean, it’s been happening for a very long time.

And I don’t just mean films like the one pictured above (Ben-Hur), which you could tell where going to crash… but films which the general public like and where even considered successful by critics. I’m talking about Avengers films, The Fast & Furious franchise, and the remakes, sequels, and prequels money obsessed producers have been feeding us the last couple of years.

So what exactly is wrong with these “great” films? What makes Avengers, DC, and Fast & Furious films so much worst then the smaller films which most people missed this year? It’s hard to pin point, but I can name a few mistakes:

It all started when:

Avengers was made. All of a sudden, a film which had a $100 million dollar budget was only successful if it was incredibly successful, could be made into a franchise which would lead to other highly profitable projects. This mentality got a lot of producers desperate for money. Then, to top it off, Avengers brought out Thor, which was basically a summer film on October, and since then, Super-hero, high budget blockbusters have been coming out every other month. So how do you keep up with a monster like Disney, who at this point has the most profitable brands in blockbuster films (Lucasarts and Marvel) and is bringing a film every month without fail… Producers got desperate in the last couple of years, and then…

Every big budget movie started trying desperately to be as big as Comic Book Films:

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Producers tend to make decisions according to the market… And the market right now is ruled by Huge Budget, flying city, crazy fighting, army destroying super-hero films. So producers got desperate and started putting every single film they could make a franchise out of into what I call the “legendary super-hero film simulator”…

You don’t believe me? Take a second to think about this:

-Fast & Furious 1, 2, Tokyo Drift, and 4 where all down to earth films, compared to the last few years in which the last few films have gone more and more over the top… At this point the characters have gone from “We’re going to pull a heist to retire” to “we’re gonna defeat an arch-nemesis which great resources” in ridiculous fashion. The last film had Vin Diesel at borderline super power status.

-Universal  have proven how desperate they are in the last few years by making reboots of their classic horror films. Dracula Untold, I, Frankenstein, and Victor Frankenstein which were most recent have tried to make a fresh comic book origin type story for classic characters. Dracula Untold, in fact, went as far as to be titled “Dracula: Year Zero” in some countries releases.

-Dark Horse productions released The Legend of Tarzan about a month ago, which also paints Tarzan as super strengthened hero, basically fighting a villain to protect not just the African Jungle and his family, but in turn, the African Kongo and their tribes. He might as well put on the Black Panther suit at that point.

While I’m not saying a lot of these films have potential and also look great, and in rare occasions are actually really good, there’s another major problem going on behind all of them…

 

It all became so damn repetitive… and predictable… and repetitive… not to mention you have to keep up… and they’re repetitive:

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Sequels have become a part of every major film. If it’s not going to have a sequel, it might bomb or they never planned for it to succeed. Franchises now rule the Hollywood summer market, and it’s easy to see the problem in that. You never get a character that dies on the first movie… He or she always saves the day, and the villain, despite all their power, is never a real threat to the main character… which means that the films become predictable due to the production company’s need to make money. It would be fine if the writers and directors didn’t embrace cliches which we’ve seen every other film now (Group fighting faceless army, bad guy who doesn’t do much, rocks, metal, buildings floating around, team building through fighting, bad guy learning someone’s weakness.)

At the end of the day, Loki was never gonna kill ANY Avengers, the secret society was never going to destroy the Mission Impossible program, and James Bond was going to survive the giant demolition, so the tension of scenes is gone, and you’re just gonna have to hope everything looks visually pleasing and cool enough to make up for the fact that you feel nothing for the characters. Not to mention the bigger problem… every franchise is not gonna please you with every film… but now you can’t just skip films.

If Ant-Man and Winter Soldier is something you wouldn’t want to watch, but Civil War looks great, now you’re at a point where you have to sit and watch other films that lead to Civil War. Otherwise you’re sitting down looking at jokes and references from films you haven’t watched. At this point it’s like watching a predictable TV show where you have to pay for each episode before watching it. And that wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the next problem…

The film makers think we’re dumb:

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I could put up with watching the great spectacle that Marvel has to offer, if they didn’t try to make me forget the last film every time I watch a new one. There are so many damn logical holes from movie to movie that where then repaired by half-assed explanations it makes you wonder how these films can keep the critics satisfied.

I mean, think for a second about Jurassic World’s villain and his motivations. An army general who sees potential in the dinosaurs, wants to train raptors to kill people to strike fear into his enemies, and lose less patriot’s lives in the process…(despite belonging to the army of a country which has Drones, UAVs, long range missiles and nuclear bombs)…through the plot,  first he sees that the man who “controls” and is friendly with the raptors can barely even keep them from eating him, and then he sees that the raptors specifically don’t even like him. Yet later in the film he sees the raptors with their master nowhere to be found, and decides to go for a try at controlling them, releasing them from their cages.

Batman v Superman was given a 29% on Rotten Tomatoes mostly due to badly written characters and editing… Jurassic World was given a 72% with the mentioned villain written in it. Let that sink in for a bit. Because you know what the biggest problem of great Hollywood blockbusters are?

We keep buying the tickets to those movies, so maybe we are dumb:

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I’m gonna be honest, looking at Independence Day: Resurgence making back half it’s budget still pissed me off despite the flop. The movie was garbage, and we could see it from a mile away, in each trailer shown…However, the movie still managed to snatch One hundred million dollars back from audiences… How the hell!?

Production companies have become comfortable with big names and that’s really what has destroyed summer films. It has become about filling seats for a film rather then quality of the film itself. That’s why you end up horrible re-makes like Clash of The Titants, Ben-Hur, Point Break, Karate Kid, and Conan The Barbarian among others. Rebooting franchises and misleading the audience with great looking flashy trailers is becoming the norm and if week falling for it, it’s only going to get worst.

Let’s face it… For every great, or at least OK reboot or remake (Prometheus, Planet of The Apes, Star Trek) there are 10 horrible, rushed, and indecently made films that also come out. The really sad part is there are so many great film makers and films coming out which could easily make their budget back and deserve so much attention, but they don’t get either because unoriginal content and lack of smarts seems to be the mainstream at the moment.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging if these films caught your attention or even if you liked any… I’ll admit, I fell for some trailers this year, and liked movies I saw plot holes in. However, all I’m saying is

If you took time and money  away to watch:

 Independence Day: Resurgence, Ben-Hur,  The Conjuring 2, TNMT 2, and Ghostbusters

But didn’t sit down in theaters to watch:

The Nice Guys, Midnight Special, The Witch, Hell or High Water, or Green Room

then SHAME ON YOU!!!

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Thanks for reading!! 😀

 

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “The failure of modern blockbusters

  1. I agree with all of this, ESPECIALLY about the Marvel films getting so repetitive (that’s why I really stopped watching after Age of Ultron, they all feel the same and that’s BORING!!!!) I’d like to think that Hollywood will change tactics after so many flops in a single year…but I know they won’t *sighs* Also I think rebooting the Universal classic monsters into a big cinematic universe is dumb.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you on the change not coming. Specially since they’re effectively conning they’re viewers with names and trailers rather then actual quality. I still have love for certain producers as they actually take a lot of risks, but a lot of hollywood studios are starting to give big budget films a bad name.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This Summer has been the worst for years for blockbusters, (i will also stick up for Conjuring 2 made by a director who knows Horror).

    The question comes down to what is easier to sell to the audience who only want to switch their brains off, Fast franchise was dead in the water after 4 and the over the top level has actually saved the franchise. i do agree superhero films are just boring now i have only enjoyed Deadpool but that is my sense of humour and how i feel about the sub-genre.

    Of the films you mentioned The Nice Guys, Midnight Special, The Witch, Hell or High Water, or Green Room (the 4 i have seen i did enjoy so this isn’t against the film in question), how do you sell this to a casual film fan and how were they sold to a casual audience.
    The Nice Guys – Ryan Gosling and Russel Crowe two guys not known for comedy doing the odd couple routine going up against Central Intelligence with Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson. Gosling doesn’t sell tickets, Crowe hasn’t in a while now. Hart and Johnson have great chemistry and go out of their way to prove it. now Nice Guys is the better film but why would someone pay for an unknown?
    Midnight Special – Great film again but again not enough in the film for the lazy casual fan who wants explosions. much like Ex-Machina it will get the following but not for a cinema visit even if it is the best sci-fi film this year.
    The Witch – I personally didn’t like the Witch and i am a huge horror fan it plays into the sub-genre i dislike the most, but again most casual cinema horror fans want gore, jump scares they don’t want a slow builder anymore.
    Green Room – This one falls into what horror fans want and if it isn’t your type of horror why watch it? this was also only really sold more after the tragic death of Anton.

    Sadly the problem is to do with the audience too, you can go back and look at the Oscar nominated films and see their box offices next to flash flash bang explosion films and you answer the problem, Producers need to make big money on a Marvel film a Fast film so they can take chances on the smaller films.

    however much we hate it at the moment but Blumhouse is one of the best profit factories because they make so many horrors for nothing they make big money on one or two they can handle 6-7 flops, the bigger companies are putting too much in one film and failing isn’t helping either sized budget films.

    All my comments are just to open a discussion not to cause any arguments.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you on all counts. My debate is not whether these huge budget films are necessary or not, but why they’re starting to fail just as much as the Nice Guys. The effort to make a great trailer is there, the real problem is the effort to make an actial great film clearly isnt a lot of the time.

      Like

  3. Brilliant article!! I came across this last year, but since I didn’t have the time to read it, I saved the link. Then I completely forgot about it. Today I was just going through past links, I was like “Ah, I never read this”!! Thus I finally read it today.
    I agree with everything you’ve said. I don’t really go to watch these flicks. I got conned into watching Jurassic World, on the Big Screen!! Pathetic!!
    By the way, why isn’t anything new, on your Blog!!
    Hope all’s well!!

    Like

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