Movie recipes for failure

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  • Movie recipes for failure

    1. Set it in the desert e.g. Cowboys and Aliens. It doesn't even have to be Earth-desert e.g. John Carter. If it's a movie with futuristic elements, choose a decent locale and sets to make it look like the future!

    2. Set it in Iraq2 war. The Kingdom, Stop Loss, Valley of Elah, Green Zone, Grace is Gone, Body of Lies, Redacted (exception: Hurt Locker)

    3. 9/11 backdrop. World Trade Center, Flight 93, Reign Over Me, Remember Me, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

    4. Political movies.

    Someone please explain it to me, especially in light of the fact that countless, less audience anathema stories are just as worthy to be made.
    Last edited by AlexNoa; 03-09-2012, 09:40 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Movie recipes for failure

    Movies with small to massive amounts of Eddie Murphy in them.
    sigpic

    It's ruff bein' me.

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    • #3
      Re: Movie recipes for failure

      Originally posted by Bulldog View Post
      Movies with small to massive amounts of Eddie Murphy in them.
      Sadly, this is getting truer with every movie he makes.

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      • #4
        Re: Movie recipes for failure

        Originally posted by AlexNoa View Post
        2. Set it in Iraq2 war. The Kingdom, Stop Loss, Valley of Elah, Green Zone, Grace is Gone, Body of Lies, Redacted (exception: Hurt Locker)
        THE HURT LOCKER is not an exception. $17M at the box office, even though it was released in the summer to critical praise.

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        • #5
          Re: Movie recipes for failure

          I feel sorry for film makers.

          They are either criticised for making obvious box-office draws at the expense of story, or they get criticised for making films like 'In the Valley of Elah' or 'Hurt Locker' which get awards and acclaim .. but low box office.

          I'm not sure your rules are that strong either - if we take a quick look at films set in the Iraq war:
          • Three Kings : $107 mil in the Box office
          • Green Zone: $97.5 mil at the Box office
          • Body of Lies: $108 mil at the Box office
          And they'll all continually earn income over the next 70 years as VOD, DVD TV etc.

          How much are the TV/VOD etc rights of these worth? I dunno ... but a quick look shows that rights to 'Xena/Hercules' were valued a combined $190 mil a few years ago. Since that is really only late night TV fodder now (sorry fans!) it would seem that there is still a bit of value to be eeked out of the projects.

          Sure .. audiences are a bit sick of this genre, so we won't see many of them come out for a while.

          Mac
          (PS: I'd vote 'Low budget, Indie rom-coms without any famous names'. I have no idea why people make them. If the name of 'Tom Hanks' wasn't mentioned in every interview or publicity article for 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' .. would it have gotten a decent audience?)
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          • #6
            Re: Movie recipes for failure

            Originally posted by Bulldog View Post
            Movies with small to massive amounts of Eddie Murphy in them.
            The dude doesn't care. As he stated in a Rolling Stone interview "These are the gravy years". He collects checks, has multiple kids, and keeps getting invited back because Hollywood still finds him likeable, if no longer $bankable$. And he was smart enough to give his comedy its own stamp. That's part of what's been holding him up.

            5. Films where the main character or sidekick is a pothead.

            Tired. Very, very tired.
            "I ask every producer I meet if they need TV specs they say yeah. They all want a 40 inch display that's 1080p and 120Hz. So, I quit my job at the West Hollywood Best Buy."
            - Screenwriting Friend

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            • #7
              Re: Movie recipes for failure

              Originally posted by Mac H. View Post
              I feel sorry for film makers.

              They are either criticised for making obvious box-office draws at the expense of story, or they get criticised for making films like 'In the Valley of Elah' or 'Hurt Locker' which get awards and acclaim .. but low box office.

              I'm not sure your rules are that strong either - if we take a quick look at films set in the Iraq war:
              • Three Kings : $107 mil in the Box office
              • Green Zone: $97.5 mil at the Box office
              • Body of Lies: $108 mil at the Box office
              And they'll all continually earn income over the next 70 years as VOD, DVD TV etc.

              How much are the TV/VOD etc rights of these worth? I dunno ... but a quick look shows that rights to 'Xena/Hercules' were valued a combined $190 mil a few years ago. Since that is really only late night TV fodder now (sorry fans!) it would seem that there is still a bit of value to be eeked out of the projects.

              Sure .. audiences are a bit sick of this genre, so we won't see many of them come out for a while.

              Mac
              (PS: I'd vote 'Low budget, Indie rom-coms without any famous names'. I have no idea why people make them. If the name of 'Tom Hanks' wasn't mentioned in every interview or publicity article for 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' .. would it have gotten a decent audience?)
              Green Zone's budget was a 100m.
              Body of Lies was 70m.
              Three Kings was 48m. Factoring advertising, it qualifies as the only hit of the three.

              For Hurt Locker, it felt like a bigger hit because of the Oscars and probably would've been bigger if it wasn't for the massive pirating

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              • #8
                Re: Movie recipes for failure

                5. Marketing where the premise is unclear.

                John Carter is a good example of this. Judging by the trailers, it's about a gladiator who is really good at fighting giant apes thanks to his superpower of giant leaps, and therefore is chosen to lead a war on some desert planet. Or something.

                If the premise is unclear in marketing, the movie almost always disappoints at the B.O. It's important to not to confuse this with movies that have mysterious trailers which show very little of the actual film - That kind of approach can often communicate the premise very effectively. Everyone knew what Signs was about, even if the trailers barely showed anything at all.

                With John Carter, Disney had two challenges: Looking at past examples, audiences have trouble accepting period pieces and scifi in the same package (Cowboys & Aliens, Wild Wild West, Sky Captain, etc). So Disney chose to not reveal the civil war angle and Burroughs backstory in the trailers, which meant that they had no way of conveying the premise accurately. Another problem was that modern people know that there is no life in Mars. So they had to hide which planet Carter enters in the story.

                Personally I think they shouldn't have chosen this strategy, but I can see why they had a problem in the marketing.
                Last edited by tuukka; 03-10-2012, 01:31 AM.

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                • #9
                  Re: Movie recipes for failure

                  cast Eric Balfour. (this also works on tv)

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                  • #10
                    Re: Movie recipes for failure

                    Bad script?
                    "I was dreamin' when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray." - Prince

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                    • #11
                      Re: Movie recipes for failure

                      Any movie that uses "Bad to the Bone" or "Born to be Wild" in the trailer.
                      "Forget it, Jake. It's Hollywood."

                      My YouTube channel.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Movie recipes for failure

                        "Starring" Ted Mcginley
                        I heard the starting gun


                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Re: Movie recipes for failure

                          Originally posted by roscoegino View Post
                          The dude doesn't care. As he stated in a Rolling Stone interview "These are the gravy years". He collects checks, has multiple kids, and keeps getting invited back because Hollywood still finds him likeable, if no longer $bankable$. And he was smart enough to give his comedy its own stamp. That's part of what's been holding him up.
                          Came across this . Now only if he can see it.
                          sigpic

                          It's ruff bein' me.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Movie recipes for failure

                            Originally posted by sasqits
                            The failure of Cowboys and Aliens is a mystery to me. Perhaps the title is too revealing.
                            The film opened at #1 in a really crowded weekend - SMURFS opened against it, and was the big family film. But CAPTAIN AMERICA was only a week old, and had done better than expected and had good word of mouth (so people who didn't see it first weekend were seeing it 2nd weekend) and HARRY POTTER was in it's 3rd weekend. So, against those films opening at #1 was pretty good.

                            The problem was, 2nd weekend nose-dive. That's usually what happens with *bad* word of mouth - people who saw the film told their friends to skip it.

                            Oh, and the western thing.

                            - Bill
                            Free Script Tips:
                            http://www.scriptsecrets.net

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                            • #15
                              Re: Movie recipes for failure

                              Originally posted by Furious Anjel View Post
                              Bad script?
                              Ha! That's funny...I mean you HAVE seen many of today's blockbusters, correct? To most of the big studios, script quality is secondary to special effects and marketing. Tis sad, but true.

                              Anyway to add to the list...

                              * Putting anybody who was a box office draw 10-15 years ago in a leading role as if they're still relevant today (i.e. Julia Roberts, Sara Jessica Parker, Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hanks, Hugh Grant, etc). Even worse, putting more than one in the same film.

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