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This is a comments thread about Blog Post: Franchise Fatigue by Lukas Kendall
 
 Posted:   Jun 11, 2013 - 3:56 PM   
 By:   jpteacher568   (Member)

Lukas, you may have better luck publishing it in Variety or even the New York Times.

 
 Posted:   Jun 11, 2013 - 4:37 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

The films are soulless. These films make tons of money because of nonsensical sound and visual overload. But today's audiences are also quick to boredom.

There is no emotional investment in the story's or players. We cared about the characters in Star Trek (60's), Jaws, Star Wars (70's), Superman (78), Karate Kid (80's).

Does anyone care about the new Karate Kid? Nu Kirk? New Superman? Today's audiences don't. Not really. They quickly look for their next "high". Hollywood is drugging the younger generation. Franchise fatigue for a very good reason.

 
 Posted:   Jun 11, 2013 - 4:57 PM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

Good points, solium.

I cared far, far more about the 1960's Batman than any other film Batman since. Just the sericomic getting rid of a bomb scene from the '60's film, blows any other film out of the water.

As interesting as it was at the time, the Burton one is still forgettable and there's barely any investment in it. And when plastic Bat-nipples and fat Batgirl came along two or three sequels later, pushing this fake "Family" thing like some terrible later-season "Star Trek: Voyager", I cringed.

I saw "Spider-Man [1]" and it was okay, but that was the last of the superhero films I could even stand to see. The trailers and excerpts of later other superhero films, viewed on Youtube, were awful.

 
 Posted:   Jun 11, 2013 - 7:51 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)


I cared far, far more about the 1960's Batman than any other film Batman since. Just the sericomic getting rid of a bomb scene from the '60's film, blows any other film out of the water.


Funny you should mention that! I was thinking of 60's Batman, and that very scene when I wrote my post!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2013 - 5:37 AM   
 By:   Ellen   (Member)

I'm hoping that in the future, "event series" (the fancy new word for miniseries or BBC-style limited-run series) will replace the tedious "six seasons and a movie!" cry for shows with any potential.

 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2013 - 5:57 AM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

The films are soulless. These films make tons of money because of nonsensical sound and visual overload. But today's audiences are also quick to boredom.

There is no emotional investment in the story's or players. We cared about the characters in Star Trek (60's), Jaws, Star Wars (70's), Superman (78), Karate Kid (80's).

Does anyone care about the new Karate Kid? Nu Kirk? New Superman? Today's audiences don't. Not really. They quickly look for their next "high". Hollywood is drugging the younger generation. Franchise fatigue for a very good reason.


You're comparing apples and oranges, I think. Star Trek was a struggling TV program in the 60s. Jaws was a surprise hit, not meant as the start of a franchise. Star Wars was intended as the start of something bigger but also had contingency plans in case it didn't make much. You can compare these to similar things today: Community, maybe, the struggling TV program about whose characters its audience cares very much. There are any number of non-blockbusters and non-franchise flicks with characters to care about -- even in the sci-fi/fantasy/adventure/action arena. If that's what you want, that's where you should look. You're setting yourself up for failure if you go into a summer tentpole hoping for some kind of deep emotional resonance. That said, I think some of you are being pretty harsh in dismissing whole classes of movies. If you haven't seen a superhero movie since 2002, you're not really in a position to judge superhero movies. To claim that, say, Captain America (or The Incredibles, for that matter) was soulless or heartless -- well, I guess some people are seeing different movies than I did.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2013 - 6:06 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

The films are soulless. These films make tons of money because of nonsensical sound and visual overload. But today's audiences are also quick to boredom.

There is no emotional investment in the story's or players. We cared about the characters in Star Trek (60's), Jaws, Star Wars (70's), Superman (78), Karate Kid (80's).

Does anyone care about the new Karate Kid? Nu Kirk? New Superman? Today's audiences don't. Not really. They quickly look for their next "high". Hollywood is drugging the younger generation. Franchise fatigue for a very good reason.


You're comparing apples and oranges, I think. Star Trek was a struggling TV program in the 60s. Jaws was a surprise hit, not meant as the start of a franchise. Star Wars was intended as the start of something bigger but also had contingency plans in case it didn't make much. You can compare these to similar things today: Community, maybe, the struggling TV program about whose characters its audience cares very much. There are any number of non-blockbusters and non-franchise flicks with characters to care about -- even in the sci-fi/fantasy/adventure/action arena. If that's what you want, that's where you should look. You're setting yourself up for failure if you go into a summer tentpole hoping for some kind of deep emotional resonance. That said, I think some of you are being pretty harsh in dismissing whole classes of movies. If you haven't seen a superhero movie since 2002, you're not really in a position to judge superhero movies. To claim that, say, Captain America (or The Incredibles, for that matter) was soulless or heartless -- well, I guess some people are seeing different movies than I did.


Captain America is one of the best- under-appreciated and well made 'hero' films of the past 10 years. It is not overproduced, has scenes with characters, nicely nostalgic, good score, good villain, Tommy Lee Jones, has an optimistic tone - well it is really terrific. Totally agree.


Oddly, it was not a big success.

 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2013 - 7:09 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

@ Mastadge - Don't see how I am comparing apples and oranges. Did legions of fans care about Luke Skywalker? Yes. Do ppl care about Sam Witwicky? No. (I bet your thinking, who the heck is Sam Witwicky?) I am not a fan of Pixar, and never saw Cap. America. But thanks for the suggestions.

Lukas made a very good point. They pushed the spectacle and the budgets to the limit. Yes, the films got bigger, they made more money, but they cost more money. Instead of writing thoughtful stories they just pushed the "Wow" factor to the point it's nearly impossible for these films to make a profit anymore. Their saving grace thus far is the exploding foreign market.

 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2013 - 12:20 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

.

Captain America is one of the best- under-appreciated and well made 'hero' films of the past 10 years. It is not overproduced, has scenes with characters, nicely nostalgic, good score, good villain, Tommy Lee Jones, has an optimistic tone - well it is really terrific.


Oddly, it was not a big success.


Totally correct.
As the late Roger Ebert said it's a real movie , not a succession of spectacular action scenes and cgi effects "
bruce

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2013 - 1:24 PM   
 By:   jkannry   (Member)

A couple of things. Not sure where I read it or heard it but overseas ticket sales is why franchise movies have made such a comeback recently. As Lukas said"follow the money".

Star Trek is running out of gas not because its ideas are dated. Its because everyone forgot what made it great. It wasnt character development. The first two seasons of the Old Series as well s the animated series had great scifi. They were frequently not simple allegories or soap boxes with which to preach from. They were well written stories. More importantly some if not many were very good science fiction written by actual scifi writers. Sotires came from books or short stories. They were not all written directly for television. . The third season of TOS was for the msot part poorly written and almost all character driven. TNG had its moments. The best ST TNG Yesterdays Enterprise, Data exploring his humanity, the Best of Both Worlds were good scifi. The Klingon episodes were good scifi/fantasy However, many of the plots were rehash. with characters interactions.

The Old Series had another strength which doesnt date. Optimism about humanitiies future. Audiences want optimism but optimism that seems real. Meaning it has a philosophy and not just everything is and will be great. . Thats why they keep coming back to Superman, the ultimate in optimism. What movies and tveseries forget is the if the characters and scirpts dont beleive in their own preachy optimism, it shows big time. The aliens of ST TNG and the universe in general was a lot angrier and hostile. Yes some of it is changing times but not all of it.

The re imagined series all suffer from the same two diseases. Darker and more pessimistic always taking longer to cover the same ground the older version did. For example, Battlestar Galactica (re imagined) took about 2-4x as long to get to Pegasus plot. And 4x as long to get to nuked out earth plot. They added some new plots and twists but mostly depth and details.

 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2013 - 2:04 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

The law of diminishing returns in the movie business is a very real phenomenon. Ever increasing lack of storyline is proportional to the total number of bums on seats. It's a strange balance. Disenfranchised franchise = more franchise promised on top of franchise = disenfranchised franchise = (more of the same with a little extra added lessness for the forseeable future.)

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2013 - 4:54 PM   
 By:   riotengine   (Member)

A couple of things. Not sure where I read it or heard it but overseas ticket sales is why franchise movies have made such a comeback recently. As Lukas said"follow the money".

Just saw Lynda Obst on a news show recently talking about it and yeah, the money is overseas. People can (and will stick their heads in the sand) but it's been trending this way for a few years, and now it's the new paradigm. 3D isn't doing that well stateside, but it sure helped make the Ice Age series a billion dollar franchise overseas. People need to get out of the domestic gross mindset. It's a global market. I'd also read from Obst that comedies and rom-coms are taking a hit as they're a harder sell overseas.

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=iceage4.htm

This was from David Edelstein's review of Man Of Steel on Vulture.com

"Watching the unprecedented spectacle of this Superman picture, I thought of the producer Lynda Obst’s new book, Sleepless in Hollywood, in which Obst explains why studios are making so many action-heavy, 3-D, IMAX monstrosities in lieu of anything else: This is what plays in the rest of the world, especially China, from which an astounding 80 percent of studios’ profits now come, according to Obst. The greed on display extends to the product placements. Amid the explosions and flying debris, the Sears, 7 Eleven, and IHOP logos are visible from all angles. Critics and even the American public might be cool to this War of the World take on Superman, but if Asian markets are onboard it’s pop-the-cork and green-light-the-sequel time: truth, justice, and the Chinese way."

Since I work as a movie theater manager, I have an interest, so I try to stay informed on this stuff.

Greg Espinoza


BTW, this is where Star Trek Into Darkness stands worldwide:

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=startrek12.htm

What Iron Man Three did overseas;

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=ironman3.htm

And...what Captain America did worldwide:

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=captainamerica.htm

 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2013 - 6:13 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

BTW, this is where Star Trek Into Darkness stands worldwide:
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=startrek12.htm


Add marketing, and it may have a profit of 80 or 100 million. Now split that money among all the entities that get their grubby hands on the booty. Not very spectacular.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2013 - 6:19 PM   
 By:   riotengine   (Member)

BTW, this is where Star Trek Into Darkness stands worldwide:
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=startrek12.htm


Add marketing, and it may have a profit of 80 or 100 million. Now split that money among all the entities that get their grubby hands on the booty. Not very spectacular.


Well, it's not done making money. And there are other revenue streams to tap like home video. A chunk of the budget for this movie was probably covered before it hit theaters from licensing, too.

It'll do well enough to guarantee a sequel.

Greg Espinoza

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2013 - 6:20 PM   
 By:   riotengine   (Member)

Hey, I thought these guys were part of the problem at one time. wink

"Steven Spielberg Predicts 'Implosion' of Film Industry"

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/print/567604

Greg Espinoza

 
 Posted:   Jun 13, 2013 - 3:08 AM   
 By:   MaurizioCaschetto   (Member)

I agree with everything Lukas wrote up here. It's a very clear, precise, no-nonsense analysis.

Curiously, Spielberg expressed very similar thoughts recently:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/steven-spielberg-predicts-implosion-film-567604

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 13, 2013 - 4:35 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

BTW, this is where Star Trek Into Darkness stands worldwide:
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=startrek12.htm


Add marketing, and it may have a profit of 80 or 100 million. Now split that money among all the entities that get their grubby hands on the booty. Not very spectacular.


Well, it's not done making money. And there are other revenue streams to tap like home video. A chunk of the budget for this movie was probably covered before it hit theaters from licensing, too.

It'll do well enough to guarantee a sequel.

Greg Espinoza


It is not at all likely that it would make a profit that large. They are still significantly short of recouping the investment even without including marketing costs. Fortunately for Star Trek fans there will be more Star Trek pictures because Paramount takes a very long view with this property or they would have killed the entire thing after Nemesis was such a commercial failure (I like it). And this is not the only big picture barely skating into profit, Man of Steel has to do spectacularly well to make a dime.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 13, 2013 - 4:47 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

A couple of things. Not sure where I read it or heard it but overseas ticket sales is why franchise movies have made such a comeback recently. As Lukas said"follow the money".

Just saw Lynda Obst on a news show recently talking about it and yeah, the money is overseas. People can (and will stick their heads in the sand) but it's been trending this way for a few years, and now it's the new paradigm. 3D isn't doing that well stateside, but it sure helped make the Ice Age series a billion dollar franchise overseas. People need to get out of the domestic gross mindset. It's a global market. I'd also read from Obst that comedies and rom-coms are taking a hit as they're a harder sell overseas.

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=iceage4.htm

This was from David Edelstein's review of Man Of Steel on Vulture.com

"Watching the unprecedented spectacle of this Superman picture, I thought of the producer Lynda Obst’s new book, Sleepless in Hollywood, in which Obst explains why studios are making so many action-heavy, 3-D, IMAX monstrosities in lieu of anything else: This is what plays in the rest of the world, especially China, from which an astounding 80 percent of studios’ profits now come, according to Obst. The greed on display extends to the product placements. Amid the explosions and flying debris, the Sears, 7 Eleven, and IHOP logos are visible from all angles. Critics and even the American public might be cool to this War of the World take on Superman, but if Asian markets are onboard it’s pop-the-cork and green-light-the-sequel time: truth, justice, and the Chinese way."

Since I work as a movie theater manager, I have an interest, so I try to stay informed on this stuff.

Greg Espinoza


BTW, this is where Star Trek Into Darkness stands worldwide:

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=startrek12.htm

What Iron Man Three did overseas;

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=ironman3.htm

And...what Captain America did worldwide:

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=captainamerica.htm



Overseas might save some pictures, but really not that many. These pictures are just too expensive to re-coup the money.

 
 Posted:   Jun 13, 2013 - 7:16 AM   
 By:   Shaun Rutherford   (Member)

I'm hoping that in the future, "event series" (the fancy new word for miniseries or BBC-style limited-run series) will replace the tedious "six seasons and a movie!" cry for shows with any potential.

Well, the "six seasons and a movie" thing was originally a joke on The Cape by Community (I thought it was either NBC or the creator of the short-lived stinkbomb The Cape who said it first, but I couldn't find the answer quickly), and then it became a rallying cry for that show in particular.

 
 Posted:   Jun 13, 2013 - 9:26 AM   
 By:   Scott M (Oldsmith)   (Member)

but other aspects have dated horribly. The show is 19th century colonialism in space, uncomfortably translating white Americans to the Starfleet heroes, with blacks/Jews/Asians/everyone else cast as the aliens.

Uhura, Sulu and Chekov make that untrue. Shatner and Nimoy are Jewish. How many evil Asians were on Star Trek? Or blacks? Or Jews? You know all this, am I missing your point? Or were just cranky?

And everybody speaks English—not really, thanks to the “universal translator,” but is that bullshit or what?

What sci-fi TV show has everyone speaking in a dozen alien tongues throughout? Not Babylon 5, Andromeda, Earth Final Conflict, V, Falling Skies, Blakes 7, Dr. Who, Space:1999 or any others. Because if you have to have the characters relate to each other. Take Farscape; it established everyone speaking non-English and made a story point of fixing that in the first 10 minutes. Star Trek actually made an attempt to explain it when dozens of other shows ignore it. The need to have audiences understand characters in no way dates Star Trek.

The only thing that really dates Star Trek, other than technology, are the social attitudes. That stuff dates every show as time goes on.

In Star Trek’s best-ever episode, Kirk (married to his ship, not a woman) has to sacrifice his lover in “The City on the Edge of Forever” to restore the timeline, but he’s fine again next week.

Okay, the episodic nature of 60's TV is another way, granted, but you can't bash a 45 year old TV series for not having arcs. It wasn't a serial.

Honestly, the ingredients that made Star Trek are the same ingredients that eventually killed it. Its time has come and gone. Who even needs allegorical sci-fi anymore? Nothing is sacred, there are no taboos, everything can be discussed out in the open on TV. We don't need "Martians and zap guns" to hide behind. This is one of the reasons recent Twilight Zone remakes fail; there's no need for a message, it was all about the twist ending. Star Trek as it was is no longer relevant or necessary. All they can do is try to make it fun.

This age of the bloated blockbuster will eventually end. Then we'll bitch about what comes next.

 
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