Google+ Cinema Viewfinder: UPDATED: A Random Email thread on the Current State of Cinema

Monday, July 6, 2009

UPDATED: A Random Email thread on the Current State of Cinema

From: Lissette Decos
To: Tony Dayoub
Sent: Friday, July 3, 2009 8:52:21 AM
Subject: isn't this interesting?

From: Tony Dayoub
Date: Fri, 3 Jul 2009 06:28:11 -0700 (PDT)
To: Lissette Decos
Subject: Re: isn't this interesting?

I'm glad you sent me the article, because I had wondered why it went into turnaround. Similar thing happened to Chris Pine's next film, his first star vehicle, Unstoppable, which was to costar Denzel Washington and be directed by Tony Scott. For an up-and-coming actor it must be frustrating, since that is what they work toward. Star Trek was a concept piece with an ensemble cast, but it helped him break out. Meanwhile Scott's latest with Washington, The Taking of Pelham 123 has been a failure. In essence, each of these films has proven that Unstoppable (and Moneyball) were risky propositions. Pelham failed to attract an audience because arguably Travolta and Washington (expensive stars), and Scott (expensive director) have fallen out of favor with moviegoers. Star Trek put its money upon the screen, paying the actors relatively little to boost the visual effects and the concept, helping usher in its success, and making it less dependent on who the stars are (all unknowns). So studios are rethinking whether it pays to have celebrity driven (whether behind or in front of the camera) vehicles instead of concept-fueled pictures. Not exactly as good news as it sounds either. You would think this would make them look for new and fascinating stories. Instead, those are deemed risky for not being well-known and smaller, leading to expensive blockbusters that can be pre-sold based on their reputations, i.e. Transformer [sic]: Revenge of the Fallen, Star Trek, and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Those are ironically viewed as the least risky crapshoots, because even if they suck, fanboys will buy them up on DVD and Blu-ray for their extended cuts, etc.

Tony Dayoub
Cinema Viewfinder

UPDATE: Here's a link to another article on this subject appearing in BusinessWeek.

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