Growing up in the 1990s, there certainly wasn’t a lack of big budget tentpole films. We had movies like Jurassic Park, Terminator 2, Independence Day, Men in Black, The Matrix, and many other classics. Though while we may have had our fair share of blockbusters, they don’t compare to what we have today — in quantity or scale. We not only have well over a dozen of them a year, but they all have budgets that dwarf those from my heyday as a youngster (even when taking inflation into account). You can look at the current superhero boom, and it’s rare to find a film that has a budget under $150 million.
In this crowded ecosystem of superhero movies, 20th Century Fox will be letting not just one, but two films within the past year or so that go against the grain of “bigger and better.” Last year’s Deadpool was made on a paltry budget of less than $60 million, and went on to make $750 million-plus worldwide. This year’s Logan — while still sporting a hefty budget of $127 million — has the look and feel of something much smaller. It looks slow, dark, and meditative.
This was not done by accident. Speaking with our very own Edward Douglas, Logan director James Mangold opened up about his current thoughts regarding today’s age of blockbusters, and how he thinks audiences are responding to these movies:
“The current modern tentpole film is wearing thin. The CG arms race of just going bigger, and going bigger, is not yielding more enthusiasm for the pictures. In fact, people are getting numb. And for me the only way through was to just break out of that arms race and to do it differently.”
There are a few easy examples to point to to see Mangold's point. Batman v Superman was a gargantuan movie that cost over $250 million to make, and when all said and done, most audiences didn’t respond too well to it. In a way, it almost felt like that movie was the tipping point when the studios started to realize that bigger budgets don’t necessarily mean greater box office receipts or greater profits.
In today’s booming, explosive landscape, Mangold felt he had to make something more personal — something that undercut the current trend. This, of course, didn’t come without its risks. Even Fox had some major doubts going into it that audiences would respond, and whether or not they actually will is something that remains to be seen.
Regardless, as film fans, we greatly appreciate the risk that goes with making a movie like Logan, and we hope audiences will show up to theaters in droves to support riskier projects like this..
If you want to see what we thought of the movie, be sure to check back in with us at 4:30 ET tomorrow for our full review!
Logan hits theaters on March 3, 2017!