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 Posted:   Oct 2, 2013 - 8:36 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

Re: Not that it really matters since i didn't invest in it....
in time, with dvd sales and other ancillaries, it'l break even
brm


You're quite the optimist, but "Tree" is not going to sell so many DVDs and Blu-rays that it'll extricate itself from that deep river of red ink. Anyone who invested in "Tree of Life" lost their investment, plain and simple. And, as much as I hated that movie, that gives me no pleasure, because it'll affect investment in other ambitious films in the future, in effect spoiling it for other film. Too bad.


well put Ron.

When you hear stories of Malick doing lots of takes, and editing his pictures for years after they should be done, you realize that this is not a guy who should be given $30 million unless you do not plan on seeing it again.


The movie cost 30 million and grossed about 50 million.

Out of that lost however, it was nominated for dozens of awards and was on over 60 plus YEARS BEST list not three big academy award nominations [Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Cinematography].

Not bad for a 30 million dollar title.


@ The real.

We were talking finance here, not merit of the picture in these threads you replied to. There is no doubt that there have been lots of great films that were total financial failures. The point is that even art film makers have to work within the lines of financial rules unless they have wealthy investors who do not care about ever recouping money.

Grossing 50 on a 30 million picture means you are not only broke, but you have not paid your bills. Once again - a picture needs about 2.5 times production costs to recoup investments in the picture. Therefore this picture was not at all profitable, but left the investors with a negative.

 
 Posted:   Oct 2, 2013 - 8:40 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Very well put, ado!

 
 Posted:   Oct 2, 2013 - 8:55 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Re: This all seems like dodging the issue. What does a film's box office take have to do with its greatness? How well would many of the movies on the Sight & Sound or Arts & Faith "Best Films of All Time" polls fare as blockbuster moneymakers?

Mark: I think we were equating box office with popularity and whether the public embraced Mallick's polarizing film or not, and, of course, box office is usually the barometer that tells us how much the public liked it (or didn't like it). I was guilty myself of jumping on the box office bandwagon, equating that with public non-acceptance of a film I detested.

And may I say that I'm weary of so many respondents quoting entire posts which themselves may contain quotes as well as quotes within quotes, which can sometimes make it confusing what they are quoting and what they are adding themselves -- look at some of the ones above where the entire message is in italics to see what I mean, although I've seen far worse than this elsewhere at this site. A lot of the time I'll simply quote the salient line or paragraph to avoid such confusion and length -- we may see 20 (or more) lines quoted for a one line or one word reply! Anyone else wish we could eliminate some of the long quotes like that? But it would probably be too much work for some people!

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 2, 2013 - 9:20 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

This all seems like dodging the issue. What does a film's box office take have to do with its greatness? How well would many of the movies on the Sight & Sound or Arts & Faith "Best Films of All Time" polls fare as blockbuster moneymakers?

And which other films from 2000 to now along with The Tree of Life should be considered for future best-of-all-time lists and articles? I'm still exploring myself, but I would submit these as examples:



Mark,

Going along with what Ron said, there are lots of very successful films in terms of box office that in many cases were really not very good movies, at least to me, and probably you as well.

Something about these films makes people want to see them, even if they are lacking in many ways. But I think we have to be realistic about the state of popular culture in film and music. We all know that Brahms or Mozart are not top 10 records of the year in popular tastes, and likewise Terrence Malick and some other pretty interesting minds in film are hardly top box office.

These same issues haunted brilliant guys like Orson Welles and Stanley Kubrick. Somehow these directors of integrity managed to make some movies, although really not very many. I doubt that they could make it in our film world today, because it is so dominated by popular tastes and film production is so massively expensive.

A look at a couple in your list:

Mulholland Drive, it made $20 million worldwide
House of Sand and Fog, it made $17 million worldwide

These are not successful pictures in financial terms either, reflecting a tiny portion of the world apparently having any interest in them. I looked up a recent quality picture At Any Price with Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron, it only brought it $380, 000, the budget is not reported on this one, but even if it only cost $10 million, which is a lower guess, this is a massive financial failure.

Does it mean they should not be made, or that they do not have some artistic merit? No, it does not. But the financial failures of these, and films like Tree of Life really mean that studios become even more averse to risking investments in this non-popular film making, at least in the US. I think you are seeing the sustenance of it out of North America in places that are much cheaper to make a film.

The cost of making just an average non-star driven dialogue based picture with some locations has become expensive enough that it needs a pretty significant audience to recoup its cost, and this ratio is probably just unrealistically skewed. But that is the way that it is. The bottom line is that film is an art for some like Malick, but it is first a business and we all know that business and commerce are rarely the best combination.

 
 Posted:   Oct 2, 2013 - 9:53 AM   
 By:   The REAL BJBien   (Member)

@ado

I never said it was PROFITABLE.

I mentioned the accolades the film received.

Now, yes this film did not make money but it did garner awards and nominations which they can slap across the home video release and thus get the attention of film goers to pick it up.

The studio knows certain films won't make money but if they are made cheap and get the studio acclaim they aren't exactly failures.

But yes, it was a fail on everyone who put money into it thinking they would have their money back... who ever these people are is beyond me because casting Sean Penn [who doesn't promote films] and backing a film by Terrence Malik [who doesn't do ANYTHING but make the picture] and leaving only Brad Pitt and Jessica Casthaine to go and market a film that's IMPOSSIBLE to plug in a 30 second clip on late night shows seems like a poor choice from the get go.

And how the hell did this lose BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY?

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 2, 2013 - 10:07 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

@ado

I never said it was PROFITABLE.


But yes, it was a fail on everyone who put money into it thinking they would have their money back... who ever these people are is beyond me because casting Sean Penn [who doesn't promote films] and backing a film by Terrence Malik [who doesn't do ANYTHING but make the picture] and leaving only Brad Pitt and Jessica Casthaine to go and market a film that's IMPOSSIBLE to plug in a 30 second clip on late night shows seems like a poor choice from the get go.

And how the hell did this lose BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY?


Okay, then.

Well, Hugo won best Cinematography because it was rapturously gorgeous, nuanced, atmospheric and utterly beautiful, showing large scale and intimate too.

Better question is why did The Artist win best picture? Totally Wierd. It was like, The Academy Loves France year. I mean every picture except one was a better choice for Best Picture. I would not include Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, otherwise they were all great pictures. But The Artist. Huh?

The Descendants" Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers
"Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" Scott Rudin, Producer
"The Help" Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers
"Hugo" Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers
"Midnight in Paris" Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers
"Moneyball" Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers
"The Tree of Life" Sarah Green, Bill Pohlad, Dede Gardner and Grant Hill, Producers
"War Horse" Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

Which also furthers a point to address your comment about accolades and awards to market Tree of Life. Frankly I do not think it matters or works on the vast majority of the film watching public. They simply do not care. We are in times now where people care less about film critics and awards then they ever have. You can blame bloggers and the internet, the loss of newspapers, and shifts in popular tastes I suppose. But people really do not care about critical praise or awards.

Finally, if I were a film backer I would never front a film that I thought would fail, it does not help me, and it really does not help the film maker either. Backing bad scripts, or great scripts with costs that are too high is a bad practice. I can fairly say that Malick is thought of as an inspired artist that is very hard to work with that makes pictures that never make any money. I am not sure about him but I would not want that reputation.

 
 Posted:   Oct 2, 2013 - 11:46 AM   
 By:   Mark R. Y.   (Member)

Ado: I remain optimistic that challenging and artistic films will continue to get made. I think there will always be studios/indie producers who will want to back prestigious movies.

The BP list for 2011 is interesting because it's one of the very few (only?) years in which my top picks of the year almost match Oscar's. Seven of their choices (the exceptions being The Help and Midnight in Paris) also made my top ten. Of course the next year my top two films, The Master and Moonrise Kingdom, which I thought were shoo-ins to get nominated, didn't make the BP list.

Getting back to Malick, he has a couple of films in both production and post-production. One of them is about the music scene in Austin starring Christian Bale and Rooney Mara. I wonder if that will be in his "visual poem" style, or will have a more "conventional" narrative. In some ways he's taken his signature "poetic" style about as far as it can go in his recent films, especially masterful in The Tree of Life.

 
 Posted:   Oct 2, 2013 - 12:25 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

ado:

Re: These are not successful pictures in financial terms either, reflecting a tiny portion of the world apparently having any interest in them. I looked up a recent quality picture At Any Price with Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron, it only brought it $380, 000, the budget is not reported on this one, but even if it only cost $10 million, which is a lower guess, this is a massive financial failure.

It probably didn't help that once "At Any Price" got away from Zefron the very impulsive race car driver, the bulk of the story is about his father's seedy (forgive the pun) seed business and whether or not he has illegally re-used patented genetically enhanced seeds after having them painstakingly "cleaned." The movie turned quite dull for me, and, apparently, for many others. It was not my favorite Zac Efron movie from the past couple of years. That would go to "The Lucky One," which I liked enough to buy on Blu-ray, even though I had watched it quite enough on HD cable. But I think that having an effective story, rather than stars, is the most important thing to most movie-goers these days, and I hate it when lousy movies with bankable stars have astronomical opening weekends and go on to clean up at the box office worldwide despite their obvious shortcomings. Go figure.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 2, 2013 - 12:32 PM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

ado:

Re: These are not successful pictures in financial terms either, reflecting a tiny portion of the world apparently having any interest in them. I looked up a recent quality picture At Any Price with Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron, it only brought it $380, 000, the budget is not reported on this one, but even if it only cost $10 million, which is a lower guess, this is a massive financial failure.

It probably didn't help that once they got away from Zefron the rather impulsive race car driver, the bulk of the story is about his father's seedy (forgive the pun) seed business and whether or not he has illegally re-used seeds after having them painstakingly "cleaned." The movie turned quite dull for me, and, apparently, for many others. It was not my favorite Zac Efron movie from the past couple of years. That would go to "The Lucky One," which I liked enough to buy on Blu-ray, even though I had watched it quite enough on HD cable. But I think that having an effective story, rather than stars, is the most important thing to most movie-goers these days, and I hate it when lousy movies with bankable stars have astronomical opening weekends and go on to clean up at the box office worldwide. Go figure.


Yes, that was not the picture I thought it was either. And I think that Quaid character could be more complex in terms of not such a bad guy, or a totally good guy either. He is a pretty good actor. Efron has been rather good for what appeared to just be a pretty face at first, I have not seen Lucky One though.

I agree with you on story over stars. The good thing, at least for us, is that this year had some big star movies not do that well. Although Robert Downey Jr apparently was paid $50 million dollars to do Iron Man 3, and that picture was very successful.



 
 Posted:   Oct 2, 2013 - 12:37 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

ado:

I'll pass on "Ironman"!!!!! But look into the Zac Efron movie "The Lucky One." It's worthwhile.

As for Downey Jr., I'm not a big fan of his, and boy has he cleaned up (at the bank) after all his troubles with drugs! It sure pays to stay on the wagon!

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 2, 2013 - 12:43 PM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

ado:

I'll pass on "Ironman"!!!!! But look into the Zac Efron movie "The Lucky One." It's worthwhile.

As for Downey Jr., I'm not a big fan of his, and boy has he cleaned up (at the bank) after all his troubles with drugs! It sure pays to stay on the wagon!


Oh, I was not endorsing IM3 at all, I did see it, not that great. Bizarre though, that much money. Amazing really.

Okay on your recommendation Lucky One, I am afraid it might make me cry though?

 
 Posted:   Oct 2, 2013 - 12:48 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

This all seems like dodging the issue. What does a film's box office take have to do with its greatness? How well would many of the movies on the Sight & Sound or Arts & Faith "Best Films of All Time" polls fare as blockbuster moneymakers?

And which other films from 2000 to now along with The Tree of Life should be considered for future best-of-all-time lists and articles? I'm still exploring myself, but I would submit these as examples:


The Master



You meant "worst films of all-time"
right
wink
bruce

 
 Posted:   Oct 2, 2013 - 12:53 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

This all seems like dodging the issue. What does a film's box office take have to do with its greatness? How well would many of the movies on the Sight & Sound or Arts & Faith "Best Films of All Time" polls fare as blockbuster moneymakers?

And which other films from 2000 to now along with The Tree of Life should be considered for future best-of-all-time lists and articles? I'm still exploring myself, but I would submit these as examples:





The cost of making just an average non-star driven dialogue based picture with some locations has become expensive enough that it needs a pretty significant audience to recoup its cost....


One downside of this as that filmmakers are going to states that promise all sorts of "rebates"
Not that every film shopuld be set in NY or LA but i am really getting sick of seing so many films and tv shows set in places like Atlanta (sse FLIGHT)
brm

 
 Posted:   Oct 2, 2013 - 12:54 PM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

For what it's worth, I love Tarkovsky and I love pretty much everything of Malick's up through the extended cut of The New World, but Tree of Life didn't speak to me at all, despite, yes, a couple great performances and marvelous sequences. I may revisit it someday and see if a second impression changes things.

 
 Posted:   Oct 2, 2013 - 12:56 PM   
 By:   Mark R. Y.   (Member)

The Master


You meant "worst films of all-time"
right
wink
bruce

Nope. I find it to be an endlessly fascinating movie. Already a stone cold classic for me just a year after its release. smile

 
 Posted:   Oct 2, 2013 - 12:58 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

The Master


You meant "worst films of all-time"
right
wink
bruce


Nope. I find it to be an endlessly fascinating movie. Already a stone cold classic for me just a year after its release. smile

Oh c'mon!
stop it - yer killing me
smile
bruce

 
 Posted:   Oct 2, 2013 - 1:03 PM   
 By:   Mark R. Y.   (Member)

The Master


You meant "worst films of all-time"
right
wink
bruce


Nope. I find it to be an endlessly fascinating movie. Already a stone cold classic for me just a year after its release. smile


Oh c'mon!
stop it - yer killing me
smile
bruce

"Silly animal." - Lancaster Dodd. wink

 
 Posted:   Oct 6, 2013 - 2:12 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Enough about The Master, which WAS one of the worst movies ever!

 
 Posted:   Oct 6, 2013 - 2:55 PM   
 By:   Mark R. Y.   (Member)

Enough about The Master, which WAS one of the worst movies ever!

Gee, Ron, should I haul out my "fast food and cheap music" theory again? wink big grin

 
 Posted:   Oct 7, 2013 - 8:35 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Re: Enough about The Master, which WAS one of the worst movies ever!

Gee, Ron, should I haul out my "fast food and cheap music" theory again? wink big grin


No, Mark. Spare yourself the effort. This just makes the point that some of us have made about how some films seem to polarize audiences, with some absolutely hating them while others count them among their favorites. We're back to different strokes for different folks. And I try to go out of my way to not castigate nor belittle anyone for having different tastes than mine, just as I would like others to do the same (which is a lost cause, since there seems to be a select number of fans here who make it their their life's work to rip others apart for having differing tastes). But I will try to stop ripping "The Master" apart, or, for that matter, "Tree of Life," since they seem to be sacred cows for many here.

 
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