Summer Box Office: Can Terminator: Genisys Take The Heat?

I fully admit that the success of Jurassic World caught me by surprise.  I didn’t necessarily think that it would fail, though if anyone had told me that it would be breaking records made by 2014’s The Avengers I would have laughed at such a ridiculous notion.

That being said, what’s in its way even more interesting is that Inside Out is performing strongly, despite the presence of Universal’s cinematic dinosaur feature.

Though this trend of everyone doing awesome despite the competition isn’t one that can continue, by which I mean that one of these tentpoles is going to flatline–big time.

Which leads to the question:  Which of the upcoming summer movies is going to bite it (and I don’t mean in a Jurassic World kind of way)?

And if I had to guess, I’d say Terminator: Genisys.  Reason being, the last movie in the series, Terminator: Salvation wasn’t well received by movie-goers.  And by “wasn’t well-received” I mean ‘box office failure,’ having earned just over $371 million on a $200 million budget.

Then there’s the trailer that gives away a MAJOR plot-point, which is never a good idea.

Now neither of those things is a deal breaker by any means, but the thing is, when you’re talking about a crowded field filled with potential blockbusters they can make all the difference in the world.

And I think the producers know it, which probably has a lot to do with them enlisting the services of the consiglieri of the Terminator franchise, James Cameron, to give the movie his seal of approval.

Now keep in mind that Cameron has nothing to do with Genisys, though he did direct Terminator and Terminator 2, the two best received movies in the series so you can look at it as either genius (if the movie succeeds, or desperation if it fails).

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Jurassic World Superbowl Trailer

And “everything we’ve got” includes trained Veloceraptors, I assume?

I don’t claim to speak for anyone else, but I have a huge issue with Jurassic World–sight unseen.  That issue is that from what I have read, the entire premise revolves around the engineering of a new dinosaur, Indominous Rex, an animal that–it goes without saying–will be stronger, faster and smarter than any other creature that proceeded it.

Can anyone else see how such an idea could go horribly wrong?

Look at all the carnage caused by “regular” dinosaurs  in the prior Jurassic Park movies, and those were dinosaurs scientists were relatively sure about!

Do they honestly think that the outcome of what they’re doing isn’t somehow preordained to bite them in the ass (literally!)?

The movie sounds like a cautionary tale, which is the modus operandi of Michael Crichton (writer of the original Jurassic Park, who as far as I know has nothing to do with Jurassic World), where the entire movie revolves around people doing stuff any saner person would know is just going to screw up.

Typically, it’s just a matter of when.

‘Jurassic World’ Official Trailer

The full trailer for Jurassic World was released a few hours ago, and the first thing I noticed was that it’s produced with Legendary Pictures, which was unexpected.

What was also a bit unusual was that lots of people being literally eaten by exhibits in the last two films didn’t seem to faze the backers this time around, because they not only come up with an even grander dinosaur-based theme park, but they have cooked up a dinosaur that has no precedent in Nature.

Yeah, let’s create a new type of dinosaur that’s undoubtably faster, stronger and more intelligent that the dumber dinosaurs that turned people to kibble in the last movies.

What could possibly go wrong?

And you thought that GMO‘s (genetically modified organisms) were problematic.

The Strangest Of Species: A Warranted Remake

A very rare bird.  Think of a coelacanth (which were discovered alive a few decades ago, though despite being such a remarkable, unusual creature it may be endangered) or a Tasmanian Tiger (none discovered alive, though rumors persist).

It’s that unusual. What makes it such a great idea is that the original – a precursor of James Cameron’s “Terminator” – came out in 1973, and while it wasn’t terrible, it was limited somewhat by the technology available at the time.

What’s also good is that it’s (probably) not a sacred horse to too many people, and its main theme – technology running amok – is a common one, though the way the film goes about illustrating it is novel (essentially “Jurassic Park – also written by Michael Crichton! – with robots) which means that it should be relatively easy to bring it forward into current time.

J.J. Abrams is one of the parties behind the remake, and while I am not a huge fan of either his television series or movies, I don’t hate them either.  There’s also the added bonus of it appearing on HBO, which means that there will (hopefully) be the violence and nudity only implied in the original film.

As long as it doesn’t make a mockery of the original film or series, like the AMC 2009 reboot of “The Prisoner,” then it should at least be worth watching.

Beware Of ‘Area 407′

The small, almost micro-budgeted, film, when successful, can bring new creativity (and profits) to the box office.  For instance, the whole found-footage trend came into its own with the three “Paranomal Activity” films, which combined cost just over $8 million to produce and earned almost $600 million worldwide.

That being said, there are times when a bigger budget works for the benefit of all concerned.  For instance, the first “Jurassic Park” had a $63 million dollar budget (which is cheap when you think how remarkable the dinosaurs looked) but they could not have featured so many different types of saurians otherwise.

I mention it because “Area 407″ covers similar territory as “Jurassic Park” (mixed with a liberal dose of “Lost”) except that it (clearly) lacks the budget of “Jurassic Park,” which works to the film’s detriment.  Like “Paranormal Activity,” it involves found-footage–a trend that appears to be quickly wearing out its welcome–of a crashed aircraft that ends up somewhere it’s not supposed to be.

The worse thing, beyond the aforementioned lack of resources, and the occasional shrill and irritating child, is that it’s not badly acted.

‘Jurassic Park’ Live

Rememeber the idea behind 1993’s “Jurassic Park?’  The film, based upon a novel by Michael Crichton, directed by Steven Spielberg, revolves around an island where dinosaurs are brought back to life from the DNA of mosquitoes caught in amber.

Our technology hasn’t quite advanced that far, though we’re getting close, yet I am willing to bet that these people at an Australian museum don’t mind the difference.

Though these dinosaurs will never have the have the problems of their Jurassic Park brethren, there’s always “Westworld” to worry about.

The State of Special Effects

Above is a video of a partial animatronic (a covered skeletal armature that use various methods to mimic the motion of a human, animal, or imaginary being) test for the movie “I Am Legend” from Steve Johnson FX.  It was not used in the final film, though considering the designs that were, is disappointing.

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