Washington Square News

It’s Your Fault Blockbusters Are Flopping

By Thomas Price, Contributing Writer

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In a summer of reboots, sequels and unoriginal content, we have seen both critics and audiences alike angry and disappointed with what they have been given. People have droned on about their never ending disgust at the assembly line of installments in multimillion dollar franchises and overall superhero fatigue. Yet, despite each and every complaint, our patronage of those films tells the real story, with the hundreds of millions of dollars each one takes home in box office revenue.

It is both arrogant and entirely ignorant to blame the studios for producing aggressively average big budget blockbusters when we continue to see them bring in record profits. “Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice” — which is essentially the film equivalent of being slowly suffocated by a beige pillow — grossed over $330 million at the box office. The abysmal collision of soundtrack and screenplay that is “Suicide Squad” grossed nearly the same. And how could we forget the triumph of modern cinema, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” which nearly doubled its budget in worldwide box office. And while we may curse the studios for sending these demigods of dissatisfaction our way, it is us who truly created this problem, not them. Studios are solely interested in the profits they make, and until we stop rewarding them for their subpar efforts, they have no reason to stop making them.

This is especially true when the original films being released have been massive box office disappointments. The witty and engaging ode to buddy cop films, “Nice Guys,” barely made back its own budget and ended up being deemed a failure despite its critical acclaim. The Lonely Island’s entertaining spoof, “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping,” also bombed at the box office while garnering good reviews. Worst of all, the stop motion picture, “Kubo and the Two Strings” — which has been described by some critics as “close-to-flawless,” and whose glowing reviews grow by the day — has been flatly ignored by the average moviegoer. It’s quite honestly shameful. We have become a mass conglomerate of hypocrites too blinded by anger to see that we are perpetuating the very problem that we wish to destroy.

It is our responsibility — or rather, our duty — to spend our dollars at the movies more carefully. We must reward and celebrate the fresh ideas and the bold risks in film that do more than merely hold our attention us for a simple hour and a half. We must turn our cheeks to the colossal car wrecks that have been filling our theaters in ever rising numbers. So, for the sake of our summer nights and our holiday weekends, choose your tickets wisely.

Opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them.

Email Thomas Price at [email protected]

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1 Comment

One Response to “It’s Your Fault Blockbusters Are Flopping”

  1. Ryan Town on September 9th, 2016 4:31 pm

    While I can’t agree more that these blockbuster films are gaining too much money for their lack of quality (and that the general public is only insinuating these studios to make more bad films because of this), I must disagree on your point that people aren’t paying to see originality. In fact, Don’t Breathe, which critics and fans are calling wholly original and groundbreaking, is going into it’s third weekend as the top grossing film. This is also more impressive once one realizes it is going up against the likes of Warner Brothers’ Suicide Squad, Disney’s Pete’s Dragon, and Sony’s Sausage Party. This trend hasn’t only come this weekend however, consider Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014. The film was praised for its originality and redefining of the superhero genre, and it ruled the box office despite its late summer release. One may argue that they had the backing of the marketing giant, Walt Disney Studios, but remember that Disney has been responsible for some of the largest box office flops of the decade (Mars Needs Moms, John Carter, The BFG). One may even argue that Marvel secured their box office payout, but don’t forget box office bombs such as Fant4stic (*shudders), Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (*double shudders), and The Wolverine.

    I do think that people need to better their viewing palettes though, and I agree with what you are saying. In the entire year, only 6 films that aren’t sequels or part of a franchise have been the highest grossing over a weekend. This is just unacceptable. People need to take a step back and realize that their dollar bills are ruining creativity and true talent. By settling for something mediocre, the world sacrifices its next Don’t Breathe or Guardians of the Galaxy.

    That being said, I can’t wait to see Justice League.

    Thank you Mr. Price for listening to my very long comment and I greatly appreciate your article. Please keep writing.

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