following essay was produced as part of my 2013 effort for the
November National Novel Writing Month effort. As such, please
understand that while I did give it a quick review, it has not
gone through the same proofreading and editing I normally try
to give all of the material posted on this site.
always make some mistakes. There are errors to be found throughout
this web site, and many exist despite dozens of attempts to correct
problems. That said, ask that you approach this material in the
spirit intended – a basic thought, slightly worked out and very
informally researched, delivered in the hopes of writing more
than 50,000 words by the end of November.
~ ~ ~
have a confession to make.
didn’t hate The Lone Ranger.
don’t go viewing that as a solid endorsement of the film. I didn’t
love it, and I had several problems with it… in fact, I could
write a fairly lengthy list of problems if that happened to be
the intent of this essay (which it isn’t). I agree with those
that say it wasn’t good.
I don’t believe it was the most brutally awful and hideous movie
ever released to cinemas. Edit out a few things and trim the length
down about thirty minutes (which would still place it roughly
around two hours long), and there might be a completely different
flow to it. A flow that allows it to work as a so-so, average
but still not really solid film.
the thing though… did you watch as the media just killed the film?
I mean… they were destroying it before it was even released. Articles
about production delays… postings referencing budget concerns…
and on and on, only getting worse when the reviews began.
years ago, on my web site, I made a joke about Tomb Raider:
The Cradle of Life. As I recall, when the numbers began rolling
in during opening weekend, the heads of the studio immediately
began blaming poor box office returns on an underwhelming video
game that had been released a few weeks ahead of the film. The
joke was based on the idea that it was quite possible (and, in
my mind, far more likely) that more of the problem with ticket
sales for Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life was that the
film was pretty bad.
let you do some of the research, but here are a few tidbits to
get you started. The video game in question from the Tomb
Raider series was Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness.
It was not designed to directly tie in to the movie, by theme
or content. However, Lara was there, and it was released in June
with the movie out in late July. And it was, if I have the details
right, the first Tomb Raider game for PlayStation 2.
So there is a bit of potential marketing overlap, some excitement
that would generate a bit of extra attention, and the game certainly
didn’t do any favors for the movie. The trouble is… if you do
the research… you’ll find that many people actually enjoyed the
film better than the first one. Don’t believe it. The second film
was pretty bad. And the real story is basically this… blame it
on the video game? This wasn’t exactly an earth-shattering release
for the game. Sure… it did alter the direction of the franchise
(and, rumor has it, was the basis for the cancellation of at least
one video game project). Still… depending on what platforms you
want to use, it was about the ninth title in the Tomb Raider
video game efforts. And… wow… man, you had Angelina Jolie, in
a prime run of her acting in films, in a role many felt was simply
perfectly cast, and apparently you feel comfortable saying that
the big reason people stayed away was because you couldn’t work
your publicity for the film around a video game release. Wow.
Just -- Wow. Anyway…)
reason I find all of this so amazing… and, regardless of the quality
of the film, do have to show a tremendous amount of sympathy for
the actors, directors, writers and so on when they claim their
film was quashed by outside forces… comes in the form or the seventh
Star Wars film.
whether Tomb Raider the Second or The Lone Ranger
Reborn or whatever other accepted-as-an-underperformer you
wish to consider, the reality is simple…
general terms, it likely doesn’t matter.
you’ve heard all sorts of stories about how numbers are crunched
and adjusted and revisited and so many other amazing things in
an effort to reduce what ends up being the final dollar number.
Or, in shorter terms, studios… since they may have to pay a bonus…
do not like to show profits.
as such, we’ll hear all sorts of things that make it look like
even the greatest money makers barely broke even.
that certainly didn’t stop the news I started seeing this summer.
still years away from its release… in 2015. But back in July,
there were box office predictions being made. No… honestly…
Moviefone source: Episode 7 should
hit $1.2 billion.
supposedly independent on-line source: Yup,
again, $1.2 billion for Star Wars: Episode 7.
Blend: Analysts prediction for Episode
7 is that it will cross the $1 billion mark and bring in
well over $700 million in profit.
has anyone else noticed that -- with exception of the rumors surrounding
Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford… and the likely inclusion
of R2-D2 and C-3PO that seem so obvious and safe to predict --
not a single actor has officially been cast for this movie yet?
anyone recall that -- while sure, no questions, I’ll accept it
as a general statement they were wildly profitable -- the second
trilogy sold significantly less tickets and has a much lower box
office when adjusted for inflation than the original trilogy?
anyone else -- I remember the reaction for the second trilogy
was at times so bad that most of the Star Wars fans that
had been cheering passionately for the announced return of the
universe with Episode 1 were, by the time Episode
3 was released, hoping the third trilogy might never get
I want to see the next Star Wars film. I admit it… a
reunion of the original cast, even if only to be cameos and side
notes in a brand new adventure being kicked off, sounds great.
And I will fall prey to the teasers and rumors and hype and plan
on going to the cinema.
hold on for just one second…
about two years or so away from the release, and there it is,
estimated at clearing $1 billion dollars.
is that possible?
no finished script… with no production schedule finalized… with
no actors on board… and yet, toss it out there during a year already
brimming with potential huge releases (Ant-Man and Avengers:
Age of Ultron are just two from Disney alone, with the Mouse
running this Star Wars machine now as well) and we get
a $700+ million in profit estimate.
a totally different reason… offered again, in a it kind of leaves
me speechless way -- Wow.
Star Wars: Episode 7 might very well clear a billion
in box office dollars. Shouldn’t be a surprise if it does. And,
I think there is a very good chance the first film will be a solid
piece that a new run of films can be based upon.
problem is the 2013 box office estimate for a 2015 movie. And,
judging by the way everyone is circulating the numbers, we are
talking about a total the industry seems fairly comfortable with.
that what’s happening now? We don’t even need to release a film
in order to declare it dead?