As I’m wont to do, I tend to keep abreast of the entertainment news, specifically film. One thing I’ve been hearing quite a lot in the wake of the Avengers film is talk of it making over a billion dollars. And I listen to the fervor and sense of ownership all these writers and pod-casters are going on with about this financial mark. And I have to ask ‘Why’?
I mean I enjoy the Avengers movie, as much as anyone, arguably more than most people will in 6 months. By that I mean it’s an interesting hive mind approach that occurs in popular films as well as other things, where people’s steadfast belief in whether a movie is good and bad fluctuates with the slightest derision or the popular opinion of the day.
AVENGERS was and is a great movie full stop. Pacing wise, action, wise, story wise. But now barely two weeks into its release you hear a few people say, “oh well the first half was slow”, and people I heard broadcast not even a week ago how great the film was, begin to backpedal and parrot “Oh well the beginning was a little slow”. We live in a monopolized society where the individual is so scared to have an unpopular opinion, to the point that a lot of their opinions generally are not worth the breath they take to say it, or the paper they take to write it.
They have the spineless nature of slugs.
Same change of opinion (but to both a lesser and greater degree) happened to the Bryan Singer film SUPERMAN RETURNS. First week, people came out raving and loving that film. The Airplane scene, the bullet to the eye. It was a solid very good movie. But less than a week later, people began picking up the mantra of ‘why’s the kid there’ and ‘lex again’ and ‘Lois’. And you could see the ship of public opinion so to speak, turn. And people who initially were overjoyed about the film, started backpedaling, “Well, yeah I didn’t really say it was good.”. Until now a few years later people routinely call that movie awful and one of the worst.
It’s something I’ve noticed, Something that is not just American, because I’ve listened to enough British pod-casters do the same thing. So many are seemingly so afraid to hold an opinion derided or frowned upon or be seen cherishing something not embraced by their ‘friends’ or even their ‘enemies’.
It’s a lack of conviction, to anything you believe. Obvious symptoms of a propagandized population, so used to embracing any lie, that will keep it from having to alone, look at uncomfortable truths.
So yeah, when I say I enjoy the AVENGERS more than most people will in 6 months, that’s not me having you on, it’s just a fact. I’m not swayed by the mob.
I thought SUPERMAN RETURNS was a fun, solid B movie when I first saw it, and I still think so. I think AVENGERS is a brilliant, surprisingly so, Grade A movie today, and will think the same thing 5 years from today, when most of you have been pushed far afield of any opinion you may have had on the film.
I mean there’s nothing wrong with changing your opinion, if it’s your change, your growth, your adaptation. But that’s not what’s happening. What’s happening is a propagandized population taught by the media to have no constants, no ideals, no values, that will not be torn down; have learned to make their opinions on shifting sands, always ready to be remade at the slightest rise of the tide.
Superman Returns [Blu-ray] 2008 Remastered Version
Which brings us back to the original concern. Why are you celebrating or in any manner cheering the AVENGERS making over a Billion dollars?
Beyond just financial interest, I could care less if the movie breaks even, does 400 million, or does a billion. Honestly I don’t really have a stake in it if it loses money.
Of course liking the film, it’s nice if it doesn’t bomb, for the simple fact it would be nice to see more films by a competent director like Joss Whedon.
But it’s not a passion, I don’t have a dog in this fight. If I’m the studio, or someone with a percentage share in the film, hell yeah I’m celebrating every dime it makes. Or in the days when people from your neighborhood actually owned movie theaters and that blockbuster money actually cycled locally, rather than just getting funneled out of the community to make fat cats fatter, I might be happy.
But none of that is the case. I don’t personally know a single person who is in any way going to profit, by making a monopolized studio and theatrical system a billion dollars richer. All this did is take a billion dollars from a lot of little pockets, and put it into a very few big pockets.
Now I’m not making a deal on that. I went to see the movie like everyone else, but you can be damn sure I’m not celebrating this state of affairs either.
AVENGERS makes a billion dollars, okay. I accept it as a fact. But honestly, until such time as those funds and profits get distributed to real theaters and real people (a billion dollars, hell you can afford to hire real projectionists, pay the ushers, and ticket takers a real wage, get real popcorn and healthy drinks, etc, etc…but you’ll drop dead waiting for that money to trickle down. In fact all the studios can talk about is reducing costs at the local level and maximizing profits by digitizing everything), I have no interest in celebrating billionaires becoming bigger billionaires.
Beyond a movie breaking even to keep a good director or actor I like viable, that’s where my interest in what a film makes or does not make… ends. Some people were complaining because TRANSFORMERS:DARK OF THE MOON was a box office success. Who cares? I personally don’t get the Michael Bay hate, but as we’ve established I don’t follow the crowd.
Michael Bay is a talented director who puts bodies in seats. Some films of his I like, some I don’t. I loved his first film BAD BOYS, and loved his last film DARK OF THE MOON (which the end of the AVENGERS was more than a little like) and in-between like any other director he has been hit and miss. But even the movies I don’t like I don’t wish them ill at the box-office. What sense does that make?
If you don’t like a movie, does that mean everyone has to wish it ill and hate it as well? Does that mean you have to begrudge it its success?
I personally hated Nolan’s first Batman movie, and thought his DARK KNIGHT while better, was still flawed and over-hyped. So not really a Nolan fan, but I don’t begrudge his films their success. As stated, what Billionaires do or don’t make.. not concerned.
When some of that tremendous profit begins cycling back into the communities, well then that will be something to feel pride and ownership of.
As usual, you make perfect sense. I remember when THE DARK KNIGHT had it’s theatrical runs and on dozens of message boards and forums there were Batman fans exhorting each other to go see the movie multiple times and pay full price to see it. Why? So that it could make more money than TITANIC.
Like you, I am only interested in good superhero movies making a lot of money so that studios will be encouraged to keep on making good superhero movies and that’s it. It does not put any money in my pocket or change the quality of my life significantly if AVENGERS or THE DARK KNIGHT RISES or whatever becomes the highest grossing movie of all time.
Comic books geeks, listen to me because I pass this way but once: the war is over and you’ve won. Geek culture is now mainstream culture.
Big D, I’ve got to tell you I dig when you leave comments. They are always informed and informative.
Hey I meant to ask you… the tribe that’s in your book The Adventures of Fortune McCall (highly recommended pulp novel for any reading this who haven’t tried it yet. Strongly recommended!)… the Otwani, will you be doing more on them?
I really liked that little bit you hinted at of their mythology and their gods, with the feasting table of Bren and the Black Mountain. I sense a sword and sorcery short story in that. 🙂 .
Monarchs of Mayhem:Derrick Ferguson
The Otwani will indeed be playing a larger role in THE RETURN OF FORTUNE McCALL which I’ll be starting work on in another two or three months with an eye to it being published in November/December.
Good news! I’ll keep an eye out for it.