$300 movies with big stars and expensive special effects have been the cash cow of the big studios, but they have been flailing this summer. The Lone Ranger, AFter Earth, and others have been disappointments this year. Studios need big money out when they put big money in.
Cheaper-to-make movies can make money at the box office, but they do not have toys and other merchandise profits.
I think you can get fans of a franchise to come in once, but you need well-made movies--a good story, good acting, and good dialogue--to bring in people who are not already fans of characters that were already established.
I do hope that the new series of Star Trek with Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock continues. And, I'm glad to see there are plans for a Fantastic Four 3. I wonder if the actors will be a new set?
I mostly go out to movies either because Ruby wants to go out, or because something like The Avengers or Star Trek require theater size and sound. Ohterwise, the cheapness and convenience of TV or DVD is good enough.
What do you think?
The Hunger Games is an example of how to make a movie which makes a profit.
1 Choose a book - or series of books - which have a huge fan base.
2 Choose actors who are good at acting but not normally big earners and tie them in to all the movies in the series if it gets completed.
3 Choose a director who will work with the author to film something worth watching which doesn't annoy the fan base too much.
4 Market the film in an original way - social media, a single advert in the middle of the superbowl, an interactive website which appeals to the target audience and tease it out to build excitement.
5 Make sure your rating matches your fan base's age group making sure if necessary that you take out all the violence that would give you a higher rating.
6 Make sure your total budget is only about $90m for everything including your SFX
7 Ensure that your trailers look exciting without giving the game away to the people who have not read the story.
8 Ensure product placement and tie-ins with merchandising to extend the opportunities for making the biggest profit possible.
9 This should all lead to a profit of roughly 10x the cost of making the picture, even without the DVD sales etc.
Hmmmm. My thoughts that characters, plot, and dialogue are important don't get explicit mention on MM's list.
I heard a reviewer on the radio say, of several of the low-earning blockbusters, "They sucked." (i.e. they were badly done).
One of the key features of a good movie is, that it presents the characters and portrays what the fans love in their characteristic dialogue.
Some might remember how the first Star Trek movie was badly done. It did not focus on the characters, or have many plot developments, or demonstrate the humor of the series. While the series often moved quickly to get a story told in less than an hour, the movie stretched out special effects scenes (showing the ship, and the V'ger scape, over too long a period of time).
You can certainly take characters that were well-written, earlier, and hold them back with bad writing in the screen play.
Thanks goodness there's more to life than Star Trek.
Of course.....now....Dr. Who........