2017 is turning out to be quite the interesting year in film. Despite the fact that we have more blockbusters hitting theaters than ever, things are still coming up shorter than they did last year in terms of box office dollars. There are undoubtedly numerous reasons for that. First of all, just because we have more blockbusters, doesn’t mean audiences will come out in droves. All it means is that they’ll be more selective over what they see, meaning that critical reception and word of mouth become increasingly important.
Last week saw the release of two big films: Baywatch and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. The former flopped hardcore, and the latter fell short of expectations (though it’ll likely still make money, when all said and done). Neither of these films were very well received by critics, and according to a new report from Deadline, insiders close to both films blame Rotten Tomatoes.
Here’s what the report states directly:
"The critic aggregation site increasingly is slowing down the potential business of popcorn movies. Pirates 5 and Baywatch aren’t built for critics but rather general audiences, and once upon a time these types of films — a family adventure and a raunchy R-rated comedy — were critic-proof. Many of those in the industry severely question how Rotten Tomatoes computes the its ratings, and the fact that these scores run on Fandango (which owns RT) is an even bigger problem.”
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To be honest, they’re not completely wrong there. As stated above, in today’s saturated market of big budget blockbusters, folks need to be selective about what they see. And if a film isn’t up to snuff with critics, they won’t need to waste their time. But the real misconception here is that critics are somehow different from normal people. Sure, maybe a few decades ago, there was a huge divide between what most people wanted and what critics wanted, but today's critics grew up on big blockbusters, and are just has hungry for fun spectacle as normal moviegoers.
The difference now is that studios are now being held accountable for when they make crappy movies. While no one goes into a movie trying to make a bad one, it does add an extra buffer to help save the moviegoing audience money on duds. This is not sitting well with some folks, and some studio insiders are reportedly in favor of either holding off screenings until opening day, or canceling the altogether.
Yeah, that’s not something that’ll backfire. Make that decision, and you only delay an audience’s willingness to see a movie. What’s worse, you may even end up with an increase in piracy in the early days of the release, with some audiences not wanting to waste money on an unknown entity.
This whole deal is just a symptom to a larger problem, and that problem is an oversaturation of big budget movies. When that happens, audiences are bound to grow jaded and more selective of their films, and will only spend their money on the cream of the crop.
Sorry, studios. Deal with it.
What do you make of all this? Do you agree with the studio insiders? Let us know down below!
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