From Ultron to Batman, Will 2015's Slate of Movies Mark the Foretold Cinematic Implosion?

The Movies of 2015

Steven Spielberg and George Lucas foresee a year in the future in which there will be something akin to a movie apocalypse -- "an implosion -- or a big meltdown," Spielberg said, in which multiple big budget, Hollywood features tank, marking a turning point in movies. If true, the reasons for such a scenario to take place aren't exactly cut-and-dry. However, looking at the list of films currently slated for release in 2015 it would seem something has to break.

After all, we've only just passed the midway point in 2013 and we're talking about 2015 where upwards of 20 major releases already have release dates as studios jockey for marketing position with several films still waiting in the wings, looking for a date of their own.

Looking over the list it would appear a lot of the film's slated for release are part of an established franchise of some sort. Is it possible for multiple established franchises to falter and what exactly is an "established" franchise?

In 2015 an adaptation of the popular Blizzard videogame WarCraft is expected to hit theaters under the direction of Duncan Jones. Millions play the online role-playing game, but if they don't show up to support the film is it a franchise failure? The same could be asked of the anticipated, Michael Fassbender-led Assassin's Creed adaptation.

Of course, there are obvious established franchises eying release in 2015 including The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Star Wars: Episode VII, the Batman vs. Superman film that was just announced, the Fantastic Four reboot with Chronicle director Josh Trank, Jurassic Park IV, James Bond 24, the reuniting of Ron Howard and Tom Hanks for yet another Dan Brown adaptation in Inferno, Pirates of the Caribbean 5, a new Terminator film, Independence Day 2, the Hunger Games finale The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, Pixar's Finding Nemo sequel Finding Dory and plenty of other animated franchises including Penguins of Madagascar, Hotel Transylvania 2, Kung Fu Panda 3, The Smurfs 3 and Alvin and the Chipmunks 4. What, you thought the list would be short?

The big titles don't stop there as Pixar has Inside Out from Peter Docter (Up), DreamWorks has B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations and an animated Peanuts film is looking to take on both Ant-Man and Bond 24 on November 6, though I expect one or more of those films will be searching for a new date soon enough.

Considering it's only 2013, plenty more will be added to that list, but does the audience have enough money to support all these films? Will they get out of the idea of making feature film-length commercials for toys and start making movies again? Will Avatar 2 be added to the mix? Something has got to give, but is it something that will cause a cinematic implosion? Will the increasingly global cinematic community be enough to support this many titles? Or will it simply be just other year with hits, misses and those in-between?

My assumption is the latter, but I do see this as a sign of an ever-increasing emphasis on big budget features and specifically big budget features with franchise potential. These films are investments in the future and the risk is limited compared to the reward potential, even if that reward is simply bedsheets and lunchboxes.

The Marvel Studios films have shown clear staying power, Batman vs. Superman will be DC and Warner's big attempt at starting a Justice League franchise as big as The Avengers, the newest Star Wars trilogy will just be getting underway, Bond is coming off its highest grossing effort ever, Hunger Games should be an even larger global phenomenon by the time the bloody finale is on screen and the series of animated films will have their hits and misses, but if spread out properly all should find success in some way or another.

What should be interesting is to see what other films show up. This year we have sequels such as Kick-Ass 2 and Red 2, what unexpected sequels will get the green light next? Will The Conjuring 2 be ready by then, how about Alice in Wonderland 2, Grown Ups 3, Step Up 5 or another installment in the Paranormal Activity franchise? How about Magic Mike 2 and Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan's Rocky spin-off, Creed?

What's even more amazing is all of this is primarily looking at what the Hollywood majors are offering. It's often forgotten that while we pay a lot of attention to the films vying to become the next $1 billion earner we forget about everything else in the marketplace. For example, the impressive crop of films just announced for the 2013 Toronto Film Festival and those I just got done raving about out of Cannes this past May.

In my eye, the large number of big budget sequels, spin-offs and hopeful franchise starters coming out of Hollywood are merely the films the masses talk about, but it's the gems that don't get all the pre-release attention that will continue to allow the industry to thrive. Few, if any, of the films mentioned above will be competing for the top categories at the Oscars. These aren't the films that headline the major film festivals or the passion projects from your favorite directors.

It's often forgotten how much films like these allow the rest of the industry to thrive and exist. For every Ant-Man Edgar Wright directs how many more collaborations will he be able to afford to do with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost? Without films such as Source Code, Safety Not Guaranteed and Chronicle who would be directing WarCraft, Jurassic Park IV and Fantastic Four?

Yes, there are a lot of bad films every year and the list of bad compared to good can feel like it grows each and every year, but at the same time there are a lot of good films to see and many of them great. Summer 2013 wasn't a great year at the box office and as Variety executive editor Steven Gaydos recently said to The Guardian, "It's unlikely that the studios are going to drastically change course as the result of one bad summer." He does add one caveat, "However, it is imperative they diversify their slate. They're laying down too many big bets without anything else on the agenda. They have to kick their dependency on $300m blockbusters. If they don't, they're going out of business."

That last sentence sounds as dire as Spielberg's proposition above, but I think it's a bit of an overstatement to say the least. You make mistakes in this business and you seem to simply need to learn from them. Studios may need to cut back on the number of comic book franchises they look to create, but they aren't going to stop altogether. On top of that, it's not all on the studios' shoulders.

It's up to the audience to seek the frequently better, smaller movies out as studios are only going to continue to make what they think you are going to go see. As much as you may look at the list of films above and shrug at the number of sequels, they aren't making those because you didn't support the films that came before them.

  • Hudsucker

    I think 2015 will be so overcrowded many movies that wouldn't usually bomb, will bomb. The only sure things are Avengers, Star Wars, Hunger Games, and Superman vs Batman. Paranormal Activity is also safe, since it's impossible for it to loose money.

    • Hudsucker

      oh and Bond is also pretty safe.

    • Nick

      Yeah I'd say based on the reception of the previous film(s) in both franchises, Terminator 5 and Pirates of the Caribbean 5 have the worst chances to succeed, and the former might downright bomb. Among non-franchise titles, Assassin's Creed and WarCraft should also be very careful if they don't want to end up like Prince of Persia.

      Avengers 2 is obviously in the safest place IMO, followed by Mockingjay 2 and Bond 24. Star Wars and Batman vs Superman are slightly less predictable, but I can't imagine either being a financial failure - at worst they will underperform like, say, The Hobbit last year, but still make a profit. Jurassic Park IV should end up in a good shape as long as it presents strong visuals and evokes nostalgia for the original film. And I have to say that Fox was very, very smart when they slated Fantastic Four in March - it occupies the perfect spot between the heavy-hitters of late 2014 (Mockingjay 1, Hobbit 3) and Summer 2015, and will most likely make more money than it would do in the summer simply by virtue of not having that much competition. And especially if Josh Trank delivers a strong reboot, it should exceed expectations.

  • abillington

    Great article, you pose some interesting questions about a future of movies packed with this many franchise movies. "You make mistakes in this business and you seem to simply need to learn from them." If only that were the case. I don't think Hollywood learns anything from mistakes, flops, or anything that isn't successful. They chase the money and that's all they care about. All they learn is that these franchises have lots of money in them, so let's keeping making more of those, even if they won't all hit the $1B mark at least they can make some revenue.

    It really is all about supporting diversity, supporting independent films and up-and-coming filmmakers, and supporting great films no matter what they're about, no matter if they're in a franchise or not, or who is in them. Keep up the intellectual enthusiasm for cinema like you're already doing, and we'll get there one day.

  • Winchester

    2015 is definitely looking like a very very crowded year and I do think domestically there will not be enough money to go around them all. There are sure fire hits in there (The Avengers 2), some question marks (the video game adaptions) and some that will fail probably.

    However, what will probably happen is that international will offset most of the domestic underperformers so only a few will be outright disasters and the money the rest make will absorb it.

    Certainly I won't be seeing all the above in cinemas.

  • Mark

    My guess is half of these will get delayed. No way all that in one year.

  • Django

    That is a stellar looking lineup. I remember people saying that 2012 was big! But yeah, a few of these are bound to underperform.

  • CJohn

    How is Ant-Man there but Finding Dory isn't? That makes no sense.

    • Brad Brevet

      I'm not sure what your comment means.

      • Newbourne

        He's referring to the collage at the top of the page.

      • DArtagnan

        Good comment?

      • JN Films

        4,373 comments, Brad you're the master!

  • maja

    It's a moot point but I have a feeling that at least 25% of these films will be moved to 2016. At the moment there is a rush to get the 2015 films on the board but it will be like a game of chicken and I feel that there will be alot of last minute movers. The studios aren't stupid and they surely know that there aren't enough dollars to go around to support all of these in one year. Also, I thought that Jurassic Park 4 has been abandoned.

    I think of the above the risky ones are the video game adaptations - always a very risky genre. Superman/Batman, Bond, Avengers 2 are gauranteed summer hits and I can't see any of those being moved and Hunger Games has clevely positioned itself in November to stay awake from other blockbuster competition like it's predecessors and the Twilight films. Star Wars will be the interesting's a huge movie for Disney and will they want to position it in the summer?

    • B. Smith

      I agree about the movies being moved to 2016. There's no way they can have all of these movies come out in one year and expect to do well. Most people will only see movies like The Avengers 2 or Mockingjay. Or, we may see some of the movies pushed up to 2014.

  • andyluvsfilms

    William Goldman's famous quote was "Nobody Knows Anything", The Loan Ranger could of easily been a smash hit just as Man Of Steel could have tanked but there does seem to be something in the air to suggest things are more fragile than they have been for many a year.

    Personally i think the marketplace is flooded with too many sequels, remakes and reboots and this undoubtedly will have an effect somehow on the general cinema audiences but it will take more than a weak summer before anything is likely to change, in fact its hard to believe than anything ever will.

    One beacon of hope is the popularity of Kickstarter and the increase of films released on demand, it'll be interesting to see where the industry is in five years time and how the big studios adapt to this new era of independent filmmaking and filmwatching

  • BishopSummers

    Maybe Hollywood will start releasing some of those big budget movies in months normally reserved for Oscar movies and small budget movies. September, January and February come to mind. It seems like these tentpole movies could start to overshadow small budget movies even more. And I definitely think there won't be enough money to go around. It's not like our economy is booming. But you could also see fanboys going to the same movie less and less. The money could get spread around more to other movies. So you may never see another movie make as much as Avengers did ever again. There will just be more movies for me to rent since I can't afford to see all the movies I'd like, now more than ever.

  • navaneethks

    If the implosion is inevitable, yes it is more likely to happen in 2015. People who love movies like us may go watch a movie per weekend. But the general population is not going to spend that much money to go watch all the movies in succession. It would be wise for some of those franchises to switch to 2016.

  • Gordon Elgart

    It's important to note that the only movies that get "announced" are the kinds of movies that have been announced. Other movies just get made and released, and then become our favorites, to which the sequel gets announced.

  • Kessler

    2015 is still two years away. Some of these have to be delayed into 2016 or scrapped altogether. In all honesty, I think it'll end up like every other year. Some will bomb, some will succeed, and some will fall right in the middle. The Avengers, Superman vs. Batman, The Hunger Games, Bond, and Pixar are pretty much safe bets. I don't see Inferno getting made before The Lost Symbol. Both seemed like knee-jerk reactions to the books' successes anyway. Independence Day 2 will suffer without Will Smith's involvement, and I don't see audiences rushing out for Pirates 5 either. I think audiences will start turning against Johnny Depp after The Lone Ranger. The video game adaptations, I assume, will bomb. Only because they rarely make big money and I can't name single one that was ever got a positive reception. The fact that studios keep green-lighting them is something I'll never understand. I guess only time will tell us which films succeed and which ones will bite the dust.

  • The Movie Guru

    If you break down the list, I think that there are at least six sure-fire hits:

    The Avengers: Age of Ultron
    Batman vs. Superman
    Bond 24
    Finding Dory
    Star Wars: Episode VII
    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 2

    Those movies are going to do big, no matter what. Now, with all the animated success this summer, you would think that animated films are going to make $200 million no matter what.

    I'm telling you, that's not going to happen. Alvin and the Chipmunks 4 is going to be a flop (the third one only made $133 million domestically). Kung Fu Panda 3 is going to underperform. So is The Smurfs 3. Hotel Translyvania 2 will do good business. Penguins of Madagascar will be a hit. And the original films from Dreamworks and Pixar will do fine too.

    Now, if you look at the live-action films, there are a few that stand out to me as flop bait:

    Assassin's Creed
    Jurassic Park
    Independence Day 2

    Those are three movies that I can guarantee you, if not good, will flop. Nobody cares about Independence Day. Nobody cares about Jurassic Park. And while Assassin's Creed could break out, video game franchises are flop bait.

    Now, there are a few movies that I think could be big hits. Not as big as the first few I listed, but still big:

    Mission: Impossible 5
    Fantastic Four

    All of those have some reason why they will succeed. I don't want to list them all, but I don't think that many will flop.

    The problem is that the studios are afraid of releasing big movies outside of the summer and late fall months. We need to get over that fear. Assuming that all of these movie get released, here is what I think that the schedule should look like:

    Fantastic Four- March 6
    Cinderella- March 13
    The Penguins of Madagascar- March 27
    Jurassic Park 4/reboot- April 3
    WarCraft- April 17
    Creed- April 24
    The Avengers: Age of Ultron- May 1
    Star Wars- Episode VII- May 22
    B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations- June 5
    Assassin's Creed- June 12
    Inside Out- June 19
    Independence Day 2- July 3
    Pirates of the Caribbean 5- July 10
    Batman vs. Superman- July 24
    The Smurfs 3- July 31
    Terminator Reboot- August 7
    Hotel Transylvania 2- September 25
    Ant-Man- October 23
    Bond 24- November 6
    Peanuts- November 13
    The Hunger Games-Mockingjay-Part 2- November 20
    Finding Dory- November 25
    Inferno- December 18

    Sorry for all the rambling but I think that Hollywood needs to learn that most of the general public doesn't have the money to see a movie every week. While my schedule doesn't really help, I think that April, March, August, September and October need to become blockbuster months in order for this whole system to survive.

    • Austin Gorski

      Pirates needs to move because that's most likely around where Batman vs. Superman will be released (probably the 17th, though). I don't see Jurassic Park taking an April date, but then again, they did have success with Fast Five in that month. I wouldn't be surprised if they tried to release it Memorial Day weekend. So, I'd either move Pirates to April or August at this point.

      Also, if Ant-Man wants to succeed, it has to move. I'd say release it mid-October and give more than a week before Bond 24, despite the fact that not many big-budget movies release in October. Terminator would probably do really good in August, I like that choice. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if Star Wars waits until December or even summer 2016 if it doesn't get the Memorial Day weekend slot.

      • The Movie Guru

        I think that you really need to give the BIG movies (Bond 24, Avengers, Batman vs. Superman, Mockingjay) room to breathe. That's what the studios need to realize. I think that Star Wars will end up getting that Memorial Day spot, because The Avengers likely would have calmed down by that time.

        Batman vs. Superman is going to be tricky. I think that Warner Bros. is going to have to take a gamble on how big they really think that the Pirates franchise is in America. The last one was a disappointment, but it still made money. Anyways, I think that Disney should just scrap that film all together.

        I just wanted to point out the films that Movie Insider has as TBA for 2015. There's a lot:

        Jurassic Park IV
        Avatar 2
        Star Wars Episode VII
        Batman Vs. Superman
        Prometheus 2
        Mission Impossible 5
        Snow White and the Huntsman 2
        Pitch Perfect 2
        Ratchet and Clank

        That's a lot of stuff. Some of it won't get off the ground, some of it will. All in all, it's going to make for one hell of a year.

  • John W. Creasy

    It cracks me up that RoS posts many articles bemoaning money-machine franchises and sequels (Money be damned, we want quality films!), and yet also maintains the box office challenge (Let's nitpick over tenths to analyze the money and see who came out on top!), while a site like AICN gets slobberingly ecstatic over a slate like 2015, yet rarely pays much attention to box office.

    As far as the Implosion Theory, it does seem odd that in a time of overall financial collapse, Hollywood is going bigger bigger BIGGER. With the US shrinking economically, though, it does make sense that movie studios would hitch their wagons to movies with global appeal -- which usually means dumbed-down, FX-driven, LCD fare. (As well as noticeable additions of characters from big foreign markets, a la` Pacific Rim and The Wolverine.)

    And no, I'm not insinuating foreign audiences aren't sophisticated (I'm sure they'd line up to say the opposite), but if you are a studio exec and you want literally every culture with a movie theater on earth to see your movie, you can't allow the writers or director to let anything important get lost in translation. You'd lean toward simplicity, not complexity.

    • Brad Brevet

      Maybe if you read a little closer you'd notice there is zero "bemoaning" going on in this article. In fact the fourth to last paragraph talks about how films like this help support smaller films and filmmakers.

      • John W. Creasy

        Sorry for the term "bemoaning". It's just that, I did read the article, and, aside from the 4th to last paragraph mention, wouldn't you agree that there is a less-than-positive tone with comments about big budget movies being considered little more than feature-length commercials for toys; the gems that don't get pre-release attention because of said big budget movies; the frequently better, smaller movies; and the chiding tone to the final sentence?

        I've been a fan of the site for years, and have no ill will, and I'm kinda surprised that you take offense to my noting the frequent disdain you have for the industry's focus on the big budget franchises, which overshadows smaller movies.

        • Brad Brevet

          I wouldn't say it's taking offense, I just felt your comment was a mischaracterization of the article.

          I don't think there is any doubt big budget films are largely developed with merchandise in mind and I firmly believe at the end of most every year it's not the big budget films with all the pre-release hype that we're talking about, but the smaller films that sneak up on us or simply didn't carry the same marketing budgets.

          Big films are big spectacles and they can be a lot of fun, but in the end they are largely forgotten. In my mind, and I'm open to disagreement, I'm calling big budget studio blockbusters exactly what they are while at the same time accepting the fact there is a need for them to a certain extent. I even say I don't expect 2015, as bloated as it is with big budget movies, to be no different than most any year with its share of hits, misses and everything in-between.

          And you're absolutely right, I do have an overall disdain for a lot of these movies, because the studios hamfist them into production and the end result is frequently at or below average, little more. Obviously, this is just my opinion and I apologize for the brusk nature of my first reply... Guess I was just a little cranky.

  • Josh McLaughlin

    I'm hoping that there's some good films among all these blockbusters, but I think I'll mainly be looking to the smaller movies to satisfy me in-between most of the big guns in 2015. I'm only interested in some of the blockbusters ("Avengers: AoU," "Star Wars Episode VII," "Bond 24," slightly curious about "Batman vs. Superman" or "World's Finest" or whatever they'll call it), but other than those, I could care less about the rest of the big tentpoles for 2015.

  • Yaz

    I don't know about an implosion... However if this slate remains intact, then we could definitely be looking at some blockbusters that come in 'below expectations'. Which I think, is great.

    As I mentioned with The Wolverine this weekend, studios can keep on belting out these superhero flicks all they want. But if they're rushing them at the expense of quality and substance, then they deserve to bomb... Or rather, not do as well as one would hope.

    I would take 2-3, solid, well-put-together superhero flicks a year, over the abundance of underwhelming ones that are being put out these days. Studios need to realize that it should be about quality, not quantity.

    I'm a huge fan of comicbooks, and at the end of the day I'm happy to see those transition to the screen... But if it's going to be something that is rushed for the sake of a buck, then I'd rather not see it at all.

  • Ian

    The real story here is in the last part of the article...the fact that most of these big budget tentpoles are just $200 million toy commercials that people see just because they're put in front of them, while the real quality is in the smaller films from filmmakers that are actually trying to tell interesting, relevant stories with compelling characters. This year has been a turning point of sorts for me, such that I can't see myself getting excited over this big budget junk anymore, even on an escapist level. Sure there have been great, thoughtful, big budget films in the past, but Hollywood is moving away from that straight in the direction of studio mandated safe projects with a dozen writers and a director for hire who just does what the studio mouthpieces tell him (notice the him, not him/her. That was intentional). The thing is, the current scenario is going to make more visionary directors less likely to take a chance on a big studio film, because they know they'll have no control. More thoughts on the alleged 2015 slate later.

  • Criterion10

    All I can say is that I sincerely hope all of these blockbuster films bomb. I certainly won't be contributing to their success, as I won't be seeing them, and that's the advice that I also offer to the general public.

  • Ryguy815

    Despite the large number of tentpoles being released in 2015, I highly doubt it will be unlike any other year at the box office.

  • Movie Fan

    Eventually all good things must come to an end maybe it's 2015 or not but it will see whether you can or can't have an overload of blockbusters, but I am pretty excited for 2015

  • Movie Fan

    Eventually all foul things come forth

  • Ian

    As far as the movies specifically, it's pretty much guaranteed that some of them won't make 2015 dates. As far as summer goes, pretty much all that's left is June and late July, and Batman/Superman will take one of those spots. Pretty much everyone is expecting Star Wars to target Memorial Day (May 22), as all six previous movies opened in May. I have my doubts given that it doesn't even have a finished script, let alone a cast and it will be so CGI heavy that it'll need a year of post production. If it does make that date though that will be the ultimate test of the Disney ego. You know they're hoping for the highest grossing month in history where 80-90% of the money came from their movies, two $200 million opening weekends in the same month, etc. Thing is, it's highly unlikely things will play out that way and more likely that Star Wars will disappoint at least compared to the ridiculous expectations placed on it by the man-children / fanboys and Disney. Someone mentioned The Hobbit and I think that's a somewhat apt comparison. There's no reason for another movie to be made, and unlike with The Hobbit, the previous entries in the franchise are largely reviled.

    As for some of the others...ID2 has bomb written all over it, and Pirates is wearing very thin it seems, at least domestically. If Batman/Superman goes for the July Batman date as opposed to the June Superman date (my bet is on July), Pirates will get obliterated. In fact, Pirates is a likely contender to move to 2016. Same for Finding Dory...Pixar has scheduled two films per year each of the last two years (Cars 2 and Brave originally for 2011, then Brave and Monsters originally for 2012) and hasn't pulled it off yet. I'd almost guarantee Finding Dory is the 2016 Pixar film. I honestly don't care about the animated entries much at all...the last animated movie I saw in theatres was Toy Story 3. I agree with several others above that the video game adaptations are most likely to bomb. The Christmas releases should be fine for the most part, and aside from Inferno there isn't a big movie set for December yet so Ant Man could easily be shifted there.

    JP4 is just rumored for 2015 at this point and is running out of options if they want a summer release, so I'm betting it ends up in April or moved later. The Avatar sequels are complete enigmas...they're the only projects listed here that are completely in control of the moviemaker and not the studios. Since he hasn't finished the scripts yet and it will probably take a year to shoot them both, plus at least a year of post production on each (maybe more), and probably close to a year of pre-production means there's pretty much no way Avatar 2 makes 2015. I honestly am not expecting those 'til around the end of the decade. Cameron certainly doesn't need to money and Fox doesn't exactly have any leverage to rush him.

    All this is to say that while 2015 will likely be a huge year, maybe a record-setter, it will be just that: a massive year in terms of dollars. But 2012 is the current record year and does anyone remember it for its quality? Not really. I think 2010 and 2007 will be far more remembered among recent years, because of their quality and the unique films they offered. And 2010 was a low grossing year compared to others.

    • Ian

      I should say the most recent Star Wars entries are largely reviled. Obviously the original trilogy is still praised, though I'm not much of a fan anymore.

  • H-B-P

    I really look forward The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2.

  • DArtagnan

    I don't think most of these won't flop but they may underperform. I think people will have to choose what they are seeing for financial reasons, and will end up not seeing something they otherwise would have.

    • DArtagnan

      I meant "I think most of these won't flop..."

  • cynthia dower

    To many franchise films and not enough diversity in the content. These days i find myself more interested in live broadcasts from the National. The Globe and other theatres as they provide some of innovative drama we no longer see on the big screen. Otherwise i shall just work my way through my list from films listed previewed at Cannes and other festivals

  • topyxyz

    I don't really see a huge change. Films might be more frontloaded than ever by 2015, but ticket sales will remain the same I think,.

  • The Jackal

    Boy, did I arrive late to the comment party. I'm looking forward to 2015. New films from some of my favorite franchises (Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Superman, James Bond) rarely make me worry about the future of cinema. If there is an implosion, then Hollywood will adjust and we'lll all get used to the new cinematic landscape. In the 1960s, people thought tv would kill cinema; it survived. Cinema will survive (not that your post implied that it will die in 2015, Brad), of that I'm confident.

    Thems the facts

  • rvastar

    Sorry, but I think this just a bunch of talk.

    Every year, there's a slew of big-budget, spectacle "blockbusters" that are aimed at everyone. 1 or 2 will live up to the hype and make $500M-$1B...some others will do well enough to make a little profit...most will barely break even or lose some money...the rest will flop.

    Every year, there's a slew of medium-budget, star-driven movies that are aimed at certain demographics. 1 or 2 will have better legs than expected and make $200M-$300M...most others will do well enough to make a little profit or break even...the rest will lose some money or flop.

    And every year, there's a slew of low-budget indie "films" that are aimed at cinephiles. 1 or 2 will burst through into the broader culture and make $100M-$200M...some others will do well enough to make a little profit or break even...and most will lose money or flop.

    How is this any different than what has been the standard since at least the 70s?

    At the end of the day, if it's a good blockbuster, everyone will see it...a good star-driven movie, a whole lot of people will see it...a good indie film, a lot of people will see it.

    If it's not any good...people will stay away.

    Rinse, repeat.

    • Brad Brevet

      You may be exactly right, I would be curious to see numbers though regarding the amount of money spent on these films and how, based on inflation, they compare to past years.

      • Winchester

        I think rvastar pretty much is correct.

        Because the major studios now are almost all part of larger corporations and entities these days movie divisions can absorb greater financial blows than in decades past where something like 'Heaven's Gate' can change an entire movie-making dynamic.

        From what I've seen on Box Office Mojo and what was reported about budgets in the 1980s they were mostly reasonable then and thus probably adjust reasonably as well but the 1990s is where I think it all kicks off into the crazy league when compared to the grosses.

        If you spend a wee while looking at the late 1990s and some of the big effects films of the years (1997 is a good one to browse through actually, lots of very high budgets and low grosses - see Starship Troopers and Speed 2 especially) then I think they in some cases must easily adjust to the equivalent of the $150-200 million range that seems normal today and they grossed nowhere near enough at the box office to make any money. Yet none of the majors were sunk. They all had bad years and changes at the top and didn't sail through unscathed. But none of them went under.

        And I do believe that will continue for the forseable future. Because the ones that perform as expected and the ones that overperform will balance out the underperformers and handful of bombs you get every year.

        • Winchester

          Using Box Offfice Mojo as a guide, I may add.

  • Cordia

    Very interesting article Brad

  • Kai Sacco

    Perhaps studios will begin to break out of the confines of the "summer calendar" and start releasing their big movies throughout the entirety of the year. I just don't see any other way for the sheer amount of these massive films to coexist in such tight quarters.

  • SohoDriver

    What blockbusters are releasing in 2014?

  • Chris K

    Oh man I can't wait to pirate all these movies so I won't go broke