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Is Star Wars Too Massive To Fail?

No franchise is too big to fail, though typically a decline–the same logic applies to whether we’re discussing movie franchises or nations– comes before a fall.

And that’s important because if you pay attention to the signs you may be able to delay or even avert a worse-case scenario.

The Last Jedi is taking a bit of a bashing among a large amount of moviegoers–some have gone as far as starting petitions to have it removed from canon–yet despite this apparent animus the movie has earned almost $400 million domestically ($395,627,411) and a similar figure overseas (&396,061,433).

And that former figure is pretty amaxing when you take into account it has only been out eleven days domestically.

Part of its wellspring of profits has to do with–despite the anger it is generating in some quarters–that the same people who are doing the complaining are actually seeing the movie (and in some instances more than once).

Another important detail is that The Last Jedi may be angering some people but it’s doing so for all the right reasons, namely characters that many fans have literally grown up with have begun to change in ways that they don’t necessarily agree with.

But it is change, and proof Lucasfilm isn’t resting on their laurels (which likely had a lot to do with Transformers: The Last Knight underwhelming at the US box office.  After all, there is only so many times you can blow something up before it gets not only boring, but tedious).

Though change is a double-edged sword in that if it’s done too quickly or perceived as too radical–like how Warner Bros treated Superman in Man of Steel (and Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice–you’re going to start with underwhelming box office receipts, which if not addressed have the potential to ruin a franchise.

And as critical as I tend to be of Sony Pictures, they at least saw the writing was on the wall as far as their Spider-Man franchise was concerned, and let Marvel Studios shepherd the character on it’s third reboot, resulting in the most profitable outing for the character yet  (an arguable assertion since Spider-Man 3 came out in 2007 while Spider-Man: Homecoming in 2017 and the value of the American Dollar was likely higher; though the budget of the former was $285 million versus $175 million for Homecoming; on top of It earning just over $10 million less than Spider-Man 3).

So perhaps The Last Jedi isn’t necessarily a good metric to determine if people are growing tired of the Star Wars universe, which is the path to the Dark Side.

That responsibility will likely be carried by the next film in the series–as well as the new trilogy Rian Johnson is working on–because while The Last Jedi has clearly divided audiences, if J.J. Abrams can’t unite them, Johnson may have done more damage than the Sith every could.

The Straw That Broke The Batman’s Back

What?   You thought Bane deserved all the credit?

In the past few months Warner Bros has been on a charm offensive, as far as the movies of their DC Extended Universe go, but I’m not buying it. 

Another thing I’m not buying are those people who claim that what is preported to be a lighter tone for the upcoming Justice League movie was in the cards all along.  

Reason being, Man Of Steel took itself way too seriously.  Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice upped the ante on dourness, if that were even possible–while working with a story so nonsensical that a bit of levity would have made the whole thing that much more palatable–and now I am supposed to believe that all of a sudden Zach Snyder realized that Superman is based on comic books (that were originally meant for children), and not an object of Ayn Rand’s Objectivism?

The more likelier explanation is that Warner Bros executives saw that the DCEU movies with Zach Synder as architect–while not box office failures–were severely underperforming (that you could put three of the most iconic superheroes in the same movie and can’t reach $900 million at the box office, never mind a billion, is the proverbial canary in the coal mine) so something had to be done. 

And what that seems to be is an demotion of sorts for Snyder, in two ways.  The first is that Ben Affleck was appointed as executive producer on the upcoming Justice League, and apparently is very influential over what happens on screen.  And perhaps more importantly, Geoff Johns and Jon Berg were made co-presidents of DC Films, seemingly with a mandate to resort a sense of hope and optimism to movies sorely lacking such virtues.  

My problem is that I am reaching Transformers levels of frustration with the movies of the DCEU (something Suicide Squad by no means changed) so for me it might be a little too late.

And it’s worth mentioning that I have given up on the Transformers, and refuse to see them in theaters.  

Is The Flash Cursed?


Of course the production isn’t (though the headline probably grabbed your attention, if only because it’s so asinine) though it’s shaping up to be a particularly troubled one.

First, Seth Grahame-Smith left due to ‘creative differences’–a term that is so vague that  it could literally mean just about anything–now according to Comicbook.com his replacement, Rick Famuyima, has left the production for the very same reason/non-reason.

If DC Films/Warner Bros and settle on a director that they’re creatively in sync with then most people will forget this game of directorial musical chairs was ever played.

Though if the movie, when the question of whom will direct is settled and it’s released, that is, either tanks or underperforms people are going to point to the defections of Grahame-Smith and Famuyima as early signs of a troubled production and the first cracks in the supposedly director-focused approach of Warner Bros Pictures.

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets – Poster

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Lucy Besson, while a visually sumptuous director, is not a terribly original writer–which may have a little to do with him settling with John Carpenter over his 2012 movie Lockout, which was essentially Escape From New York aboard a space station.

Lucy, directed by Besson in 2014, fared particularly well financially, though many considered the story (about a woman, played by Scarlett Johansson, who though a mysterious drug gains the ability to unlock the unused potential of the human mind and gain god-like powers) as particularly dopey.

He’s back in 2017 with Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets–a title that on its face doesn’t make sense–that’s based on a French comic series by Jean-Claude Méziéres.

I hope it does well mainly because many European comics don’t get nearly the recognition here that they do there, and it would be good for people to expand their knowledge of such things beyond what we see presented by Marvel Studios and DC Films.

Ghost Rider Unleashed on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

As you can tell from the trailer above, one of Marvel Comics’ Ghost Rider’s (there have been at least three or four variations on the character) is making an appearance on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and honestly I am not sure what feel about that.

Reason being, unlike over at DC Films and DC Television (I assume that that’s what their television arm is called), Marvel Studios and Marvel Television have been acting in somewhat of a coordinated fashion, so the groundwork for something like a flaming demon and his hellfire-spewing car doesn’t quite have a precedent (and I get the whole ‘magic is just scionce that’s slightly beyond our understanding’ sort of stuff, though this is a whole ‘nother matter) just yet or until Doctor Strange premieres this November.

Hopefully the series will make things a bit clearer.

The Magnificent Seven – Official Trailer

I think that Warner Bros, possibly with the exception of the upcoming Suicide Squad is terribly mismanaging their DC Films relationship (and Yes, I include the upcoming Wonder Woman in that estimation as well)–like Fox is doing with the X-Men franchise, only less successfully.

But Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven? With Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt?

Money in the bank.

And sure, it has nothing to do with DC Films, but considering how mediocre Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice did, they can use any help they can get

 

 

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