Thursday, December 6, 2018

December 2018 Box Office predictions

I'm not one to predict financial results at the box office. I've never really tried that before.

However, what I am usually good at is predicting what's going to bomb and what's not going to bomb. I sit in the theater and see the trailers and go, 'That's going to be awful!'

That's what happened with Baywatch, Jupiter Ascending, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Ghost in the Shell, the latest version of The Mummy and various others.

I sat there thinking, 'How could anyone think these were good ideas?!'

This is the first time I've voiced my opinions in a published format.

Here goes nothing.

Here are my predictions for some of December's movies:

Prediction: Hit

Like I've already told some of my family members, this is an underwater Thor. This is going to be good for D.C.

While they've has a few issues with some of their other movies, they got this one right the moment they cast Jason Momoa as Aquaman.

He gave the character a much-needed update. The look isn't cartoonish anymore. He looks like a bad-ass!

That's how he was presented in Justice League. He also displayed comedic ability at the same time. I have a hunch it'll be a great blend of action, comedy, drama and special effects.

All the while it will showcase Momoa as a key player in the DCEU.

If they hold onto Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Ezra Miller and Jason Momoa, they could have several successful movies in the future --- solo or ensemble.

Mary Poppins Returns
Prediction: Bomb

It's like Solo: A Star Wars Story. Why would you put an actor in the position of playing an iconic role? Even if the story is good, people will inevitably compare Emily Blunt to Julie Andrews. While she's alright in several movies, there is no winning a comparison battle against Julie Andrews ... especially as Mary Poppins!

I'm not sure why they didn't make Blunt a pupil of Mary Poppins or a daughter or granddaughter or maybe the next in line to have the title. While those are tired ways to continue on a franchise (or develop a franchise), they're more acceptable than casting someone entirely new as a beloved and iconic character.

If Disney wanted to do a sequel, then just bring in Julie Andrews for the entire movie. If she didn't want to do it, that's fine. There are other ways to go about it. They apparently got Dick Van Dyke on board for a cameo. That's a starting off point. Mary's umbrella isn't an actual person. They could incorporate that. Maybe explore just who Mary was and where she came from.

Are there dozens of other cloud-riding nannies out there? Did Mary leave her powers for someone else to take charge of?

It'll probably do well enough at the box office because it's a family movie and the Christmas season is when families go to the movies. It's when schools take field trips to the movies. It'll surely generate some sales with the powerhouse that is Disney promoting the movie on so many mediums.

That being said, it won't do what they're expecting and hoping it to do.

The Mortal Engines
Prediction: Bomb

It's like so many other novels turned movies in the past several years. You can't just up and capture the success of Harry Potter or The Hunger Games.

While this concept is different, it's a little too different. Harry Potter's land of wizards and Katniss Everdeen's teenage death battles are 'out there' concepts too, but they're based in reality more than a movie like this.

It's unique, so I'll give them that, but entire cities doing battle on giant machines like an episode of Robot Wars? I don't see many people clamoring to see it.

As soon as I saw Washington, D.C. rolling around on a giant tank, I knew it wasn't going to be good.

Prediction: Hit

I'm kind of surprised by my prediction. Originally I thought it'd be the nail in the coffin for the Transformers franchise (which I've enjoyed more than not). After seeing the trailer, however, I think it could be a fresh start. They got away from Mark Wahlberg and the original trilogy and are focusing on the main drawing point: the Transformers themselves.

It won't be a big explosion fest, which most people tired of. I think it'll be interesting to see the origin of Bumblebee and some of the other Transformers and Decepticons.

I don't know that John Cena is going to be that impressive with his acting, but the young actress -- Hailee Steinfeld -- seems authentic enough to draw people in. It's not going to be massive, but it'll surpass expectations.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Prediction: Bomb

I don't see this movie having much wide appeal.

Number one: it's a somewhat involved Spider-Man storyline. Most people are familiar with Spider-Man, but not multiple Spider-verses.

Number two: it's an animated movie. It's not Lego Batman and it's not a Pixar guaranteed hit. It's not a regular superhero movie. It's got a niche audience and I don't think it'll be able to compete with the busy December schedule.

The storyline may have worked as a live action movie, but I see it having limited potential as an animated movie.

The Spider-Man universe is cool, so I hope it does do well in a way. I just don't have any faith that it'll happen.

Related Content:
• Will Hollywood outplay its hand on female superheroes?
• Tomb Raider - reviewed.
• Venom - reviewed.
• Ant-Man and The Wasp - reviewed.
• The Avengers: Infinity War - reviewed.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Will Hollywood outplay its hand on female superheroes?

There was a recent article on Deadline that mentioned the wave of female superheroes that aren't only appearing in upcoming movies, but getting lead booking.

It talks about Harley Quinn, Black Widow, Capt. Marvel and, of course, Wonder Woman.

It's an interesting read.

My question, which the article also asked, is: will the supply exceed the demand.

One woman they spoke to said she didn't think so.  She was a biased source because she's currently involved in a female superhero project herself.

My answer is: it depends.  It all depends on how Hollywood handles it.

There's a misconception that the comic book genre is a boys club.  Supergirl, Elektra and Catwoman all got solo movies.  Supergirl came out in the 1980s.

True, the reception to those movies was poor.

The poor reviews and box office for SupergirlElektra and Catwoman were well-deserved.  Those were three of the worst superhero movies of all time.

I think Elektra was a little better than the other two, but not by much.  They should've utilized Ben Affleck for the movie that was essentially a sequel to Daredevil.

That movie, too, earned bad reviews.  Daredevil was leaps and bounds better than Elektra though.  It doesn't have anything to do with women not being a box office draw either.

I think comic book fans are very open to seeing females in a lead role.

We've been asking for a Black Widow movie for years now.  Only after the success of Wonder Woman did Marvel give it real consideration.

That's the mistake Hollywood can't make.  Fans won't accept a female superhero simply because she has female parts.

They need a good story.  They need a good actress.  They need good action sequences (visual and creative).

If Hollywood throws out movie after movie with females directing and leading in the movie just because they are females, it's not going to work.

The product needs to have high quality.

That's what worked with Wonder Woman.  A lot of people are probably eager to cash in on that success, but it'll take more than some rip-offs to make it work.

Supergirl doesn't get better ratings than The Flash because it's not as good of a show.  It's not because she's a female.

Supergirl gets better ratings than Arrow because Arrow has jumped the shark.  It doesn't have anything to do with gender.

I'm excited that we may see a focus on some characters who don't always get a spotlight. 

I'd like to see more of Harley Quinn, some Black Cat and a proper depiction of Rogue, but I'd also be thrilled if Nightcrawler, Beast, Mr. Sinister, Robin and Martian Manhunter had projects centered around them. 
That's because I like those characters.

It's all about the quality of the character and the story.

As long as Hollywood remembers that when making these movies, they'll be fine and the superhero movies will continue to profit.

They've definitely got to be careful on timing.  You don't want Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel movies coming out in the same month, just as you wouldn't want Thor and Superman movies coming out at the same time.

I just hope they focus on telling good stories.  As soon as they start trying to specifically cater to one audience and focus on that alone, it'll be a very fast downward spiral.