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I've not seen the movie, but I think it's depressing that there is a trend these days to judge if a movie is worth seeing or not based on its box office numbers.

 

There are a good number of "blockbuster" movies that have huge advertising budgets, draw huge crowds and are not even worth the price of a rental (Van Helsing). Conversely, there are films that don't do well at the box office (not saying that this is one of them, or that that was what you were implying), and are spectacular (Memento comes to mind).

 

Just a thought.

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Around the World in 80 Days. Not looking so good for the mouse. Look at it's take after 2 weekends at the box office. Bad, very bad...especially when you see how much the movie cost.

 

Do please take into account that the noted $110 million production budget was never Disney?s money in the first place. Disney acquired Around the World in 80s as a finished film from independent company Walden Media.

 

This is not to say Disney has not walked away wounded from this by any means, though it's Walden Media who are truly in deeper waters with this one, especially since they maintain the hold the international distribution rights. It won't finish them off, but should The Chronicles of Narnia turn out to be a load of rubbish then as an independent, they'll die a quick death.

 

As ever, at a recent investors conference Eisner continues to carry his attitude of "we've not actually made any genuinely good animated or live action pictures recently, so we're just going to stop trying" as he noted there would be a reduced investment from Disney in films [cutbacks noted by the IMDB which may affect Miramax].

 

80 Days does not seem to have been an especially bad movie, just a muddled one. By all accounts that I can judge, its energy was in the right place, but the contemporary idea of throwing Jackie Chan in there and putting an action spin on the Passepartout role seems to be one of the film's bigger blunders. It almost strikes me as a film that doesn?t quite know what it wants to be and who it wants to appeal to, not to mention the rather lackluster list of cameo performers. Almost every other principal performer in the film, notably Coogan, seems to be coming out fine from the film as far as reviews go, which is great as I?ve been a fan of his for over a decade now and he?s got a couple of good roles in American moivies due next year.

 

 

 

I think it's depressing that there is a trend these days to judge if a movie is worth seeing or not based on its box office numbers.

 

I wholeheartedly agree. It's one thing for the studios to go on and on about box office numbers, but to see such things becoming of increasing importance amongst cinemagoers is deeply frustrating because the actions of the greater public dictate where investment from studios in films and their distribution goes in future.

 

Audiences, of course, are as much to blame for going to see garbage as the studios are for making it, the problem is many come away from seeing a bad movie not liking it, but that doesn't matter to the studio so long as the opening weekend numbers are good and the rest can be recouped on DVD. I wish there was a general slowdown in studio investment in the big studio movies but because the big movies so often make their money back from DVD, we just wont see a change in broader investment whereby money would be put into fewer, but better big budget features, leaving more cash to go around for the smaller films.

 

In the UK, we don?t actually have enough cinema screens to sustain as many frequent releases as seen on the other side of the Atlantic which I believe is a good thing. I remain continuously baffled at the minimum rate of at least one big movie opening almost every week during the summer season in the US and Canada. It?s tedious to watch one movie opening to sixty or seventy million, dropping 60% odd in week two when the next movie opens, which then performs the EXACT same way at the box office, with very few exceptions.

 

 

Daniel

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I tend to look at the movies I want to see like I look at the games I play. I want to be entertained. It's just that simple. The Day After Tomorrow got some really bad reviews. But, I paid my money, bought some popcorn, sat back and enjoyed the ride. It did have some bad points to the movie, but I got exactly what I was looking for out of the experience. Entertainment. No one can please all of the people. Sure, some movies manage to please a good majority of the people judging by the box office numbers raked in, but still, over all, we go to be entertained for those few hours out of our day.

 

Some movies I like more than others. Some I will watch over and over and over. Cannonball Run was not that great of a movie, but it is one of my guilty pleasures that I will watch whenever it's on.

 

But, when making movies, it does boil down to the almighty dollar. Do you really think there would be such great movies like X-Men 2 and Spiderman 2 if the first ones had flopped at the box office ? I don't. And hopefully by such success the film makers can get bigger budgets to put in those shiny, ultra cool, special effects we all love so much. Yeah, I admit, I am a FX whore. Put some great car chases in, some spectacular explosions here and there, and my eyes are glued to the screen. :tu:

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Audiences, of course, are as much to blame for going to see garbage as the studios are for making it, the problem is many come away from seeing a bad movie not liking it, but that doesn't matter to the studio so long as the opening weekend numbers are good and the rest can be recouped on DVD.

 

While I definitely agree that audiences are part of the blame, the movie studios are knee-deep in what they call "front loading". That's where you hype the shit out of a coming movie, get your McMarketing deal, make a couple great trailers, and throw your trash movie at an unsuspecting audience but, who cares since you can make up alot of the costs in 1 or 2 good weekends, before all the word of mouth gets around about the piece of shit movie it is. Then there is the DVD.

 

Which, brings up a really strange situation anymore. That's where a lousy movie, that isn't so hot at the box office, does relatively great on the dvd sales. I really don't get that?

 

One of my best friends younger brother, is a gaffer in Hollywood. He even reconfirmed that not so hot sales at the box office isn't that big of a sweat because alot of studios are making up any lack in sales with dvd sales. Then, they can milk even more money out of us retards by making a "deluxe" or, "directors cut" version, a year or 2 later and rake in even more money.

 

It's somewhat harder to have a bonified flop these days if you have great promotion (front loading) and a killer dvd release.

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Which, brings up a really strange situation anymore. That's where a lousy movie, that isn't so hot at the box office, does relatively great on the dvd sales. I really don't get that?

 

Indeed. Charlie?s Angels, the first one, Columbia poured so much into promoting that movie upon its theatrical release that come the end of its run, the feature just barely broke even for the studio. Yet, the DVD sales were strong enough for the sequel to get the greenlight.

 

 

 

One of my best friends younger brother, is a gaffer in Hollywood. He even reconfirmed that not so hot sales at the box office isn't that big of a sweat because alot of studios are making up any lack in sales with dvd sales. Then, they can milk even more money out of us retards by making a "deluxe" or, "directors cut" version, a year or 2 later and rake in even more money.

 

 

It's a worrying trend really. I have to come at this from two points of view, as a cinemagoer and as someone still working to forge their career as a director, so to see the studio/distributor focus shift more toward the home video release than the theatrical release is a reality I am actually very uncomfortable with because I care more about a 35mm print than I do a bloody DVD.

 

So little is being done to ensure the presentation quality at cinemas these days, and nothing is really being done or planned to get people into cinemas and really enjoying their time there in future. Studios are running off so many prints of the big films that quality control on their distribution just can not be ensured, but as cinemagoers we're just not speaking out on issues of quality in both films and their theatrical presentation when we should be. Even a lot of the technical processes used in making films these days like digital intermediates right through to the 'cap code' anti-piracy marks that deface certain reels of films are ultimately damaging to the overall theatrical presentation because the film industry has fallen into a habit now of adopting some techniques that have yet to be perfected (and I happily rank DLP and HD amongst such techniques).

 

We've come to put up with a lot more mediocre products than we should have to put up with, and this is only to be exploited by the studios and distributors really. You can still have really big summer movies that retain some substance (like the X Men releases), and when they come they surprise a lot of audiences because they suddenly remember that movies like that can exist. Big movies like that are certainly not the kind I?ve any intention to make, but I never dismiss the great ones that are still absurd but carry substance and/or are genuinely well written (Indy trilogy, Terminator, classic Star Wars Trilogy, Back to the Future and so on). There?s no excuse to just put up with movies that are loud crash, bang wallop affairs and little else.

 

The whole DVD thing has really hit absurd proportions now, especially from studios like Columbia and Universal who are trying to thrive off their constant re-issues, generally because their actual catalogues are so small that they leave themselves no choice. I do feel this is ultimately going to backfire on them eventually, and I do hope it does. Some may have read that recent Sam Rami interview where he said there will be a typical two disc Spider-Man 2 DVD this winter, then later down the line some form of extended deluxe release (you can bet Sony will throw in a Superbit in there too, and then a Blu Ray). Again this is a trend we?re putting up with more than we should have to, but I believe it is the trend the consumers will turn on sooner than they turn on the general quality of movies and their theatrical presentation.

 

It?s almost like desperation on the studios part really, or a fear that that they really don?t have much else in the works that they are truly proud of, so they exploit their existing catalogue on home video in the knowledge they will make money from it. They almost don?t know when to quite really, and they?ll always go for the guaranteed sale, it?s just their way, but it?s all getting progressively worse year after year now and to a degree, it?s enough to put me off enjoying new films altogether really.

 

Sorry for taking us off topic, but in a way it's all rather relative and an issue I am rather passionate about. I mean, if we're to continue talking Disney we could always bring up the issue of their vile straight to video animated sequels to their classics in terms of their mass-marketing explotation schemes. I may be in danger of breaking something when talking about those straight to video sequels, but still.... :D

 

Daniel

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What Dan Said, basically.

 

Its now at the point where, unless its something really interesting, I rarely bother with the cinema release because my chance of getting a good presentation is better at home. However, curiously there is one new development that might help here. Warners were so paranoid about cammed pirates of the latest Potter getting out that they paid for ushers to be present wearing night-vision goggles to watch for camcorders. As a side effect, they were also around to see any focus, framing or sound problems, and kept the annoying teenagers from ruining the film for the little kids with swearing and other noise.

 

It was great! This is one Big Brother copyright measure I heartily approve of, particularly if it means we can do without those stupid watermark dots that were so distracting when I saw the Alien re-release. Why that, of all films, had them I'll never know; any pirate would surely use the nice clean transfer on the Double-Dipper DVD release anyway.

 

The question of multiple DVD releases is really annoying generally, though. I've deliberately passed on a number of films recently, having realised how many discs I own that were replaced by second releases before I'd even got around to watching them more than once (Hello Lawrence Of Arabia)

 

Elsewhere, I'm actually looking forward to this film, as both Coogan and Chan look to be on form in the trailer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

And the bad news train just keeps a rollin' on for Disney. I'd say that a total 5-day take of only $23.5 million for King Arthur isn't going to turn things around for the House that Walt Built, especially with a budget and marketing cost of $170 million. It's amazing Eisner has been able to keep his job this long.

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:shock:

 

WOW!

 

3rd accident since Sept.???

 

WOW!

 

:shock:

 

Man that really makes me stop and think about the rides at Disney World. What happened to the QA????

 

Disney has been going downhill for a while now. How long before they hit bottom and have to start over again?

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WOW!

 

3rd accident since Sept.???

 

WOW!

 

 

It's quite incredible really. The latest incident was a repeat of the last (only this time with people on board). A returning train slammed into the back of one still sat in the station where a young boy, and I believe his parents too, suffered neck and back pains. They were able to leave hospital that night.

 

My greatest fear is that Big Thunder will suffer the current Disney mentality of "well we're not doing this right, so let's just stop doing it" and no investment will be made in securing the safety of the ride and it will close for good. The Disney parks always had a great track record in safety, not flawless (it's simply impossible), but certainly very good. So stubborn are they however that they will find excuses as they've done with everything else rather than blame it on their own negligence and cost cutting.

 

Nothing is right in the house of Mouse any more and it makes me very sad, as I am a long time fan of all things Disney and never miss out on visiting the parks if I am near any whilst in America. Ride faults, cost cuts on the plans for the 50th Anniversary at Anaheim, the problems at Disney Paris, California Adventure, animation department closures and lay offs... It is becoming a seemingly endless list that must truly have Walt looking down on his empire and shaking his head.

 

Did anyone here buy all the Disney Treasure DVDs released thus far? I love the 'Disneyland' and 'Tomorrowland' sets especially, along with 'Behind the Scenes at the Walt Disney Studio'. The visions the creative teams had for the company back then are a stark contrast to those that exist today... One can?t help but watch everything on those discs and wonder just what the hell has happened and why!

 

Dan

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Originally posted by Robot Monkey@Jul 12 2004, 02:52 PM

For anyone still uncertain, King Arthur is at least as bad as it looks. Maybe worse.

Really? I'm going to have to get my film-picking functions checked; I thought this looked almost as much fun as Around The World In 80 Days looked. But then, I like Clive Owen and Keira Knightley.

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Originally posted by iainl@Jul 13 2004, 04:13 AM

But then, I like Clive Owen and Keira Knightley.

I still like them. I also like Ioan Gruffudd (you might remember him from such films as the Horatio Hornblower series), but ... jeez what a stinker. And no, they don't save/elevate the movie.

 

-j

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Originally posted by Daniel Brecher@Jul 12 2004, 04:56 PM

Did anyone here buy all the Disney Treasure DVDs released thus far? I love the 'Disneyland' and 'Tomorrowland' sets especially, along with 'Behind the Scenes at the Walt Disney Studio'. The visions the creative teams had for the company back then are a stark contrast to those that exist today... One can?t help but watch everything on those discs and wonder just what the hell has happened and why!

 

 

Know exactly how you feel. The above mentioned DVDs are wonderful - as was the "Vault Disney" show on the Disney Channel. They would show all the old Disneyland shows, etc. It was on at two in the morning and I Tivoed it religiously. They pulled it for Lizzy McGuire reruns (or something like that). I emailed them and they sent me back a form letter stating they are changing their focus and emphasizing childrens programming. Yeah there are a lot of preteens watching at 2 am....

 

They seem to have just completely lost touch with the people and even their own divisions.

 

I don't remember where I read it (more than likely a Disney message board) but someone was talking with someone at Radio Disney and they were practically proud that they didn't do anything to commemorate Walts 100th. Also they don't play Disney music on Radio Disney. I was looking forward to listening to it when I got XM but the XM Kids station plays MUCH more Disney and has more family friendly programming.

 

They used to have everything connected so well. Something was going on in the parks and they would have a TV special on it and people would want to go see it. On the flip side if there was a new movie the parks would reflect it. Now there is no mention of the parks on TV (except for the odd special on the Travel Channel) and when a new movie opens they stick a small pre-float in front of the parades.

 

Its very interesting to look at the chronological listing of Disney movies to see the sudden changes from one movie every few years to every year and then to multiple "movies" a year.

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I remember when Beauty and the Beast came out. Did great at the boxoffice and, I think it was nominated for an academy award of some sort? Then, Aladdin came out and kicked MAJOR ass! Disney was riding high. Remember people saying that there would be no way to top that one. It was too good.

 

Then Disney unleashed the megahit, The Lion King, destroying all animated box office records in film history. It's still an awesome movie. The Disney magic was dripping out of the film. Disney could do no wrong.

 

Sure been a downhill ride since then. Sad to see, even though I'm not a huge fan, but still sad to see.

 

Hopefully they can turn this around, focus on what they do best, and give us more unforgettable classics.

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Disney did like most companies in their position would do: they played greedy.

 

They started trying to produce more movies per annum, as mentioned, and they started shovelling out a lot of weak DTV sequels that were pale shadows of the original in terms of storytelling and animation.

 

Instead of focusing on a single perfect product, they ladelled out heaping bowlfuls of mediocrity and people stopped seeing Disney as a sure-thing studio. They also started to play very fast and loose with the stories they were adapting. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is very much a poor adaptation and I think this is really the point where you start to go "Oh, they're looking for stuff they can make into toys" when you see the characters, rather than the characters themselves.

 

It's a shame because I'm a biiiig animation fan, mostly of 2D, and Disney did put out some extremely well-done movies. I even like Atlantis, which was not a big hit but is an excellent summer movie.

 

I do not care for the 3D animation frenzy right now, personally, because 2D looks great and still has a place. I hope that new studio can prove that and show Eisner that the problem wasn't the animation, it was the heart behind it.

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I remember when Beauty and the Beast came out. Did great at the boxoffice and, I think it was nominated for an academy award of some sort?

 

Indeed it was. Not only did it win the much-deserved award for Best Song ("Beauty and the Beast"), it also stands as the only animated film ever to be nominated for Best Picture.

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It's a shame because I'm a biiiig animation fan, mostly of 2D, and Disney did put out some extremely well-done movies. I even like Atlantis, which was not a big hit but is an excellent summer movie.

 

I quite like Atlantis too. My favourite of the more recent Disney films since 2000 has actually been The Emperor's New Groove which I was just delighted with. A lot of people tell me Lilo & Stitch is great, but I never saw it (I'll buy the forthcoming special edition DVD though). Tarzan was great save for the Rosie O'Donnell factor.

 

Treasure Planet makes me want to break things however.

 

Dan

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The problem, at least aesthetically, for me is the mixture of 3D and 2D techniques. However, Disney are not alone in this offense. I had a chance to catch Sinbad from Dreamworks, and that thing was visual barf. 3D-rendered backgrounds and objects interacting with cell-shaded 2D characters and objects...in a bad way.

 

It was hard to watch. The goofy sexual innuendos and dialog were also pretty bad. It's like everyone is trying to push that whole "adults can enjoy it, too!" angle so hard that they forget to make a compelling movie with a decent storyline.

 

The formula has been crystallized and no one, aside from Pixar (so far, at least), seem willing to break free of it.

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The problem, at least aesthetically, for me is the mixture of 3D and 2D techniques. However, Disney are not alone in this offense. I had a chance to catch Sinbad from Dreamworks, and that thing was visual barf. 3D-rendered backgrounds and objects interacting with cell-shaded 2D characters and objects...in a bad way.

 

Absolutely. It's an alleged "seamless" blend I find to be anything but more often than not.

 

How does everyone feel about cell animated work being coloured digitally these days too? I find it looks remarkably flat and lifeless be it comparing recent animated features to old school stuff, or even old hand painted Simpsons seasons versus digitally coloured episodes of recent years.

 

Quality just gets replaced by convenience. Sometimes it?s a good thing when certain aspects of a production can take a relatively long time to do, and I believe it to be especially true in varying art forms out there.

 

Look at say, the art in Roger Rabbit compared to Looney Tunes Back in Action. The computer colouring and shading is something I just don?t find attractive at all.

 

I don?t find myself liking old techniques simply for the sake of it, I just genuinely believe certain things, especially in filmmaking and animation, were still done best the old ways and that the amazing stuff digital technology can bring is all too frequently exploited because they can use it, never really thinking about whether they should use it.

 

Dan

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Originally posted by Daniel Brecher@Jul 15 2004, 12:07 PM

... the amazing stuff digital technology can bring is all too frequently exploited because they can use it, never really thinking about whether they should use it.

I, too, find that some digital animation looks surprisingly flat or lifeless when compared to some of the hand-drawn stuff of yore, but you missed an important addition to "can use it" and "should use it" questions -- need to use it.

 

There is both a time and a cost associated with doing things by hand. Wouldn't we agree that there are projects that would not see the light of day without digital tools because of time or money reasons?

 

-j

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Wouldn't we agree that there are projects that would not see the light of day without digital tools because of time or money reasons?

 

You mean projects like; Pocahontas II, Lion King II, Lion King 1.5, Little Mermaid II, Lady and the Tramp II, Return to Neverland, Hunchback of Notre Dame II, Jungle Book II and 101 Dalmatians II?

 

:green: ;) :green:

 

Dan

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