2017/10/26

The Final Curtain

curtains

Film industry sources are reporting that major studios have resorted to pulling underperforming movies from theaters in what continues to be the worst year at the box office in decades.
It’s a bizarre season in Hollywood. Almost nothing is “working,” and the studios can’t afford to waste any more money hoping things will turn around. They’re pulling flops from theaters earlier than usual.
This weekend, for example, Warner Bros. is putting out a white flag on “Blade Runner” after three tough weeks. They’ve cut the number of theaters showing Denis Villeneuve’s beautiful film by 855. So far, “Blade Runner” has made just $66 million.  Audiences have not clamored to it. And now, week by week, Warners will quietly take it away.
Warner’s isn’t alone. Universal is pulling Tom Cruise’s  “American Made” from 539 locations after a month in release. The Doug Liman directed thriller has made just $43 million. Good reviews haven’t helped push Cruise fans to theaters. One problem was lack of promotion since Cruise wasn’t available. Also, audiences may have just soured on him after “The Mummy” and other flops. With both studios, it wasn’t for lack of trying.
The biggest decease (de-crease, but pun intended here) is for the revived “Flatliners.” With just $16 million in the till, Sony would be better off paying people to see this turkey. They’re retreating from 1,433 theaters this weekend, leaving “Flatliners” to breathe on its own. It will be completely dead by Sunday.
At this point it's hard to say whether Hollywood's woes are due to changing media consumption trends like cord cutting and streaming, the general decline in storytelling afflicting more and more films, or a preference cascade away from Tinseltown as normal people make the healthy decision not to give any more money to people who openly hate them.

Honestly, I don't care. I'm just enjoying watching the hollowed-out skinsuit-wearing psychopaths that long ago took over Hollywood twitch and sizzle in their final agony.

Case in point:
PS Here’s an irony: The Weinstein Company’s “Wind River” is at $33 million. It cost around $15 million. Taylor Sheridan’s directing debut might have been an awards contender if certain things hadn’t happened.
The writer of that piece needs a dictionary. "Irony" is when a someone fleeing a burning house is killed by a blast from a fire hose. "Coincidence" is when a fugitive from a house fire is torched with a flamethrower. But when an arsonist is immolated in the inferno that he himself set, that's called "cosmic justice".

Hollywood has one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. The only question now is "what comes next?" The forces of Western Civilization have a rare chance to take back ground from the barbarians, but they'll need new IPs that can go toe-to-toe with Hollywood for entertainment value and financial backers in their corner.

Never let it be said that I'm unwilling to do what I ask of others. My mind-blowing, lecture-free space opera/horror novel Nethereal is on sale for just $0.99, this week only!

Nethereal - Brian Niemeier

12 comments:

  1. My fear is that the dead will rise to fill the void after a few years have passed UNLESS other people get there first - sort of like how pretty much the same people who were in charge of Japan before WWII ended up in charge of Japan after WWII, once MacArthur left (if I'm remembering the story right - no guarantee on that!)

    The solution here may be the decline in cost of making a movie, parallel to how the drop in cost of publishing a book or song has hammered those industries. As long as the cost is high, smart money is going to want people with a track record of getting the job done - like it or not, that's Hollywood at the moment (even with the current flops, the overall historic industry has been very profitable. Total losers would be out, but creeps who've made a hit or two? Right back at it.).

    But if somebody with a couple hundred grand could take, for example, Nethereal, get a cast/crew that will work for wages + piece of action, find some up and coming CGI talent willing to do the same, guerilla market that thing like crazy - it could work.

    Don't know how Oats Studios is funded, but it looks a bit like what they're doing. The overall visual/acting quality of their SciFi stuff is very, very good, and I seriously doubt they're spending millions.

    Anyway, got to find a way to put a stake through Hollywood's heart as soon as it's boxed and ready to bury, is all I'm saying.

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    1. "My fear is that the dead will rise to fill the void after a few years have passed UNLESS other people get there first..."

      That's definitely a concern, especially since conservative money men are thus far uninterested in filling the void. They question has rightly been asked why it's not the Koch brothers funding a startup anti-SJW comic enterprise, and why Peter Thiel doesn't buy Twitter.

      Luckily, the cost of making movies has dropped precipitously. The days when a couple of college roommates would have to max out their credit cards and take out title loans on their cars to produce a grainy black and white indie film on 16mm are over. I have buddies who've rented RED cams for a week and turned out studio quality movies for the cost of a used Honda.

      Meanwhile, in Glasgow, an independent director has made a professional-looking drama for £3,000.

      The problem remains distribution. My film maker friends lament that while making a quality picture is now relatively cheap and easy, getting it shown anywhere is fiendishly difficult. There's a vicious cycle in which film makers must give away review copies of their films and arrange festival showings to interest distributors, but investors won't allow the film to be released in any form until it lands a distribution deal for fear of piracy.

      It was an alternate distribution service (Amazon) that broke the back of trad publishing and set indie authors free. Indie film makers need something similar.

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    2. Brian,

      Here's an apropos post via the digital reader. It's an interview with Smashbook's marketing director:
      http://articles.ibpa-online.org/article/ins-outs-e-book-distribution/

      xavier

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    3. Brian is right here again. Conservatives and right wingers need to stop sinking their money solely into feel good virtue signalling movies about Jesus, and start making wide spread entrances into entertainment. A well made space opera or adventure flick would do far more take back culture, and spread christian values than a Shawn Hanity funded Kevin Sorbo film about Jesus.

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  2. My wife and I stopped going to movies mostly because the quality didn't justify the expense and the experience of having to sit in a big room with people who would rather fiddle with their cellphones, blather, and generally fail to recognize that they're in a public theater and not in their own living room.

    That said, we actually did almost see Blade Runner on Columbus Day but my wife got sick that day and then they yanked all the matinee showings (we will not pay the higher evening prices), so we'll catch up to it when it comes to Redbox or something.

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    1. Thanks for the testimonial. It's anecdotal, of course, but still a useful data point.

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    2. Brian

      Excellent comments. The biggest reason that conservative investorss are apathetic is due to a curious mix of anti intellectualism with vulgar Gramscianism.
      Some conservatives are proud to be ignoramuses while others eant to earn money.
      They've never understood that culture stays while business changes.
      Bradford is very perceptive with his cry for fork and replace.
      In fact we're return to the medieval habit of individual/ voluntary collectivism ( o.e. fraternity, society,company,etc) to get things done because the powers that be are indifferen5 or

      xavier

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  3. Axanar might get there. If the studio can get the same level of talent they originally signed, there's not a lot to stop them. Yes, they need distribution, but they have enough fans that won't stay a problem.

    The real question is, are they looking for other properties to work with?

    Of course, we don't know who Nick Cole and Jason Anspach have met with yet, or the results of those meetings. Just saying.

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    1. "Of course, we don't know who Nick Cole and Jason Anspach have met with yet, or the results of those meetings. Just saying."

      I've said it before, and I'll say it again. If Paramount execs had brain cell one between them, they'd give Nick Cole carte blanche to steer Star Trek in any direction he wanted. As of yesterday.

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    2. Brian,

      You know. I wonder if the rampant sinning in Hollywood (says the just as sinful guy) that there's a darkening of the intellect.
      Thus the hatred of good, beauty and truth. And the inability for the execs and powers that be in Hollywood to delegate to those with better talent or skills that would reinvigorate culture.
      xavier

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  4. Considering what they've done with STD, I'm going to say that they are all brain dead at Paramount. Trying to turn Star Trek into Ron Moore BSG shows they have no idea what Star Trek is. But hey, it's dark and "edgy" so it's all good.

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