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DC Cinematic Universe: Let the Blames Begin


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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Heartofice said:

There might be some power in shared universes, but evidence suggests it’s not much given how many failed shared universes there are. Marvel managed to make it work but mainly because they had created a solid standard for their movies.

I think there are potentially a number of factors at play:

It’s no secret that I’m bearish on capeshit  as a genre. We’ve had nearly a quarter century of rapid burn of this stuff; both in cinemas and live action TV. The point is fast approaching where this genre will be creatively tapped out. It makes sense that the cracks would show with some of the more feeble IP’s. We’re talking years, not decades.

The pandemic contributed to this, as it arrested whatever franchise momentum a lot of these IP’s had and some of the pandemic era stuff wasn’t great. 

Also, I think there’s less interest in the milking of existing film franchises or resurrecting old ones. Speaking for myself, the really interesting stuff seems to be not that. 

Edited by Deadlines? What Deadlines?
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7 minutes ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

I think there are potentially a number of factors at play:

It’s no secret that I’m bearish on capeshit  as a genre. We’ve had nearly a quarter century of rapid burn of this stuff; both in cinemas and live action TV. The point is fast approaching where this genre will be creatively tapped out. It makes sense that the cracks would show with some of the more feeble IP’s. We’re talking years, not decades.

The pandemic contributed to this, as it arrested whatever franchise momentum a lot of these IP’s had and some of the pandemic era stuff wasn’t great. 

Also, I think there’s less interest in the milking of existing film franchises or resurrecting old ones. Speaking for myself, the really interesting stuff seems to be not that. 

How many years of westerns, rom-coms, crime dramas?  Why are capes and tights on a more accelerated decline?  

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10 minutes ago, hauberk said:

How many years of westerns, rom-coms, crime dramas?  Why are capes and tights on a more accelerated decline?  

None of those genres ever had the kind of cultural dominance that CBM’s have. From the 30’s through the end of the’60’s, how many westerns made the box office top ten? How many received any critical praise?  And if CBM viability (box office) falls to the level of a typical rom com or crime drama, they are truly, truly fucked.

in terms of pop culture relevance, a better analogue would be Disco. That collapsed utterly after about 5 years.

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14 minutes ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

None of those genres ever had the kind of cultural dominance that CBM’s have. From the 30’s through the end of the’60’s, how many westerns made the box office top ten? How many received any critical praise?  And if CBM viability (box office) falls to the level of a typical rom com or crime drama, they are truly, truly fucked.

in terms of pop culture relevance, a better analogue would be Disco. That collapsed utterly after about 5 years.

I think we’ll have to agree to disagree.  I’m not seeing box office data pre 1976, so pretty much ignoring decades of well regarded westerns which were the spectacle of the day. High art?  Maybe not but John Wayne wouldn’t have had a career if talent was a requirement. 

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2 hours ago, hauberk said:

I think we’ll have to agree to disagree.  I’m not seeing box office data pre 1976, so pretty much ignoring decades of well regarded westerns which were the spectacle of the day. High art?  Maybe not but John Wayne wouldn’t have had a career if talent was a requirement. 

Wikipedia has box office data going back farther than that. This would be a good place to start.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1930_in_film

Westerns popular era comes from a time when the frontier was still a thing in living memory. That’s not a coincidence.

Some westerns were highly regarded; mostly after the fact. And for every one of those there are probably 10 more that made no impact whatsoever. It’s like, “We have the sets, we have the wardrobe, and tomorrow the horses will be one day closer to the glue factory whether we shoot with them or not. Got a script? Got a few hundred grand? Let’s make a western.”

it’s a bit like why Hollywood churns out half a dozen low budget horror films every year. They’re inexpensive to make and easy to market. The result is that they almost always make money. And when they don’t they don’t lose much. They also tend to be a good place to test new talent. Plenty of actors and directors who have a horror film early in their filmography.

But why do westerns get to define the longevity of a popular film genre? In the ‘80’s we got a tons of Vietnam movies. By the ‘90’s they didn’t make them much any more. There’s no defined time limit in this stuff.

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4 hours ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

But why do westerns get to define the longevity of a popular film genre? In the ‘80’s we got a tons of Vietnam movies. By the ‘90’s they didn’t make them much any more. There’s no defined time limit in this stuff.

And by the 90s, the ROM COMS HAD COME FOR YOUR SOUL. :D

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Posted (edited)

The other things that hastens lower box office for films people will watch but aren’t fussed about seeing on a big screen are:

the fast turnaround from cinema to streaming/dvd. A couple of months badically. Hell, for the price of a couple of cinema tickets Incould have watched the last Batman film through Prime while it was still in the cinema. So why go, pay a lot of money, and risk covid for stuff I can see in a couple months anyway? Big tentpole films, yea, the other stuff, no. Spiderman yes, Ant-man no.

2: The prevalance of large 4K screens. No longer am I facing the choice between watching a film in the cinema or waiting a year to rent thr VHS and watch it on a shitty TV.

So interest in superhero films doesn’t need to wane that much to prematurely kill its longevity. People will still watchc Ant-man, but through Disney+ if they have it. Which is a problem because streaming probably can’t provide the same level of returns needed to make these films profitable

Edited by Derfel Cadarn
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5 hours ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

Wikipedia has box office data going back farther than that. This would be a good place to start.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1930_in_film

Westerns popular era comes from a time when the frontier was still a thing in living memory. That’s not a coincidence.

Some westerns were highly regarded; mostly after the fact. And for every one of those there are probably 10 more that made no impact whatsoever. It’s like, “We have the sets, we have the wardrobe, and tomorrow the horses will be one day closer to the glue factory whether we shoot with them or not. Got a script? Got a few hundred grand? Let’s make a western.”

it’s a bit like why Hollywood churns out half a dozen low budget horror films every year. They’re inexpensive to make and easy to market. The result is that they almost always make money. And when they don’t they don’t lose much. They also tend to be a good place to test new talent. Plenty of actors and directors who have a horror film early in their filmography.

But why do westerns get to define the longevity of a popular film genre? In the ‘80’s we got a tons of Vietnam movies. By the ‘90’s they didn’t make them much any more. There’s no defined time limit in this stuff.

I managed to find more data - went to Box Office Mojo first and that’s where it cut off, the same search took me to a Wikipedia article with the same cutoff. 
 

You make my point with Westerns when you say that some were highly regarded, though I may question “after the fact,” and then go on to talk about the number making no impact. The crux is the number of years that that volume of movies was being churned out and the number of screens available - which correlates to the number of offerings.  I very specifically remember seeing quite a few westerns as a child in the early 70s and there was still a presence on TV with Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Kung Fu and that most saccharine of all Little House on the Prairie. 
 

I didn’t start by suggesting that superhero movies were necessarily good movies, just questioning the assertion that they were a dead genre when other genres have, pretty clearly, had much longer lifespans. 
 

For me, Vietnam movies are a bit more sub genre of war movies. The shelf life is pretty clear at least in part to it being the first televised war and there are pretty clear strata even there. During the war, they were propaganda with things like The Green Berets. Then came that period when we didn’t want to talk about it followed by the period of introspection ( The Deer Hunter, Bots of Co. C, Apocalypse Now).  I’d argue that First Blood changed that by turning the vet outsider into the action hero.  From there it was a matter of who was spending money on movies (vets and the kids of vets).  
 

I think that it also needs to take into consideration that that same period ushered in home video and aligns with the multiplex.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

The other things that hastens lower box office for films people will watch but aren’t fussed about seeing on a big screen are:

the fast turnaround from cinema to streaming/dvd. A couple of months badically. Hell, for the price of a couple of cinema tickets Incould have watched the last Batman film through Prime while it was still in the cinema. So why go, pay a lot of money, and risk covid for stuff I can see in a couple months anyway? Big tentpole films, yea, the other stuff, no. Spiderman yes, Ant-man no.

2: The prevalance of large 4K screens. No longer am I facing the choice between watching a film in the cinema or waiting a year to rent thr VHS and watch it on a shitty TV.

So interest in superhero films doesn’t need to wane that much to prematurely kill its longevity. People will still watchc Ant-man, but through Disney+ if they have it. Which is a problem because streaming probably can’t provide the same level of returns needed to make these films profitable

Yeah I think the landscape for cinema going has really changed over the last 5 years and Covid accelerated the trend. Right now for a movie to do well in theatres it really needs to feel like 'an event', well certainly at the higher budget side of things. If you can only create a modicum of buzz about a movie it's going to die. Studios were already becoming more and more risk averse when it came to what movies they would create but I'm sure they are crippled by fear right now. 

Knowing something is going to be on Disney+ in a few months really quells the appetite for seeing it in theatres, especially if reviews are bad and I don't especially give much of a shit about something. I might have still gone to see Quantumania before, but with D+ I can switch it on and turn it off if I think it's bad (and I did)

Anyway, I think Superheroes can still survive but it feels like almost every angle has been covered now. They did the clever thing of doing all the other genres, but with superheroes, but it's hard to see what else there is to do. They have subverted the tropes, subverted the subversions and it's all being wrung out for any drop left. 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

So interest in superhero films doesn’t need to wane that much to prematurely kill its longevity.

Exactly.

8 hours ago, hauberk said:

You make my point with Westerns when you say that some were highly regarded, though I may question “after the fact,” and then go on to talk about the number making no impact. The crux is the number of years that that volume of movies was being churned out and the number of screens available - which correlates to the number of offerings.  I very specifically remember seeing quite a few westerns as a child in the early 70s and there was still a presence on TV with Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Kung Fu and that most saccharine of all Little House on the Prairie. 

Check out the Western offerings on Tubi. There’s page after page of shit I’ve never heard of.

If you want to talk about live action, episodic TV, it isn’t even close. Between Arrowverse and adjacent shows, Netflix, MCU D+, The Boys on Amazon, Hollywood has managed to pump out well over 1,000 hours (probably closer to 1500) of superhero content in just the last decade. 

Quote

I didn’t start by suggesting that superhero movies were necessarily good movies, just questioning the assertion that they were a dead genre when other genres have, pretty clearly, had much longer lifespans. 

Sure, some have longer lifespans. Some do not. Tastes change. Sometimes, rapidly.

I never said it was a dead genre. I distinctly remember saying it still has “years” left in it. 

ETA: OK I might not have said it here but I’ve said it elsewhere. At any rate, it isn’t done yet. Obviously.

Edited by Deadlines? What Deadlines?
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5 hours ago, Heartofice said:

Anyway, I think Superheroes can still survive but it feels like almost every angle has been covered now. They did the clever thing of doing all the other genres, but with superheroes, but it's hard to see what else there is to do. They have subverted the tropes, subverted the subversions and it's all being wrung out for any drop left. 

Yeah definitely this. And the most interesting stuff out there either subverts the genre or is animated.

If DC had stayed on track and The Flash had come out when it was supposed to, it would have been the first live-action movie to exploit the “multiverse” concept in a real way. It doesn’t have the novelty of that anymore. 

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James Gunn did say today on Michael Rosenbaum's podcast that Blue Beetle is the first movie of the new DCU.

Edited by SpaceChampion
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4 hours ago, SpaceChampion said:

James Gunn did say today on Michael Rosenbaum's podcast that Blue Beetle is the first movie of the new DCU.

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Character, not movie. Whatever the fuck that means. ‘Character’ doesn’t mean much, he could be a character who just never shows up again. 

My guess is Gunn has standing orders not to rule out these things and tank their box office.

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Started the MCU with Ironman... so why not start the New DCU with Ironman (but blue... and mixed with Moon Knight)?

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Just saw The Flash, think we’re gonna need a separate thread to unpick what the fuck’s going on moving forward. I enjoyed it though, gets a bit bogged down in the third act but probably my favourite DCEU movie.

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Non-detailed spoiler request: Does the movie end/wrap up Snyderverse or does it effectively reboot into the new DCU?

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35 minutes ago, Myrddin said:

Non-detailed spoiler request: Does the movie end/wrap up Snyderverse or does it effectively reboot into the new DCU?

It’s much messier than it needs to be. Hard to explain without spoiling. Something I was 90% sure was about to happen at the end then doesn’t happen. And I’ve seen multiple people who saw it early say that in the cut they saw, it did happen. Why on Earth they changed it I don’t know. 

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Oh, and the CGI look decent enough for the action scenes but then looks god awful when they do a human face. Which they decide to do a LOT. Bafflingly, there’s scenes where two Ezra Miller’s aren’t even on screen, and they still CG his face as if it was one Miller and one stunt double. Like they couldn’t be assed to film it again with Miller or something.

Edited by DaveSumm
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