The bigger the better? The Bullshit Thinking of some Hollywood Studios.

I just read the post on Slashfilm about the studio’s intervention of the production of Fanboys which is ‘surprising’ and logic at the same time. The studio not only recut the movie many time and wanted to add silly shit, they also removed the core of the story: cancer.

And the reason is as simply as the blue of the skies:

“What they were trying to do was take my movie, our movie, and give it the biggest possible release, and find the biggest possible audience they could.”

Am I the only one who’s fed up with this kind of thinking?

It doesn’t matter if Fanboys is a good movie or not. What matters is the core of the problem here: how many times did you watch a movie after which you thought “so much potential if they went full force”, especially those (sometimes nasty) big budget blockbuster flicks? At least for me, I lost count. A movie has to find its audiene, that’s okay but I hate this kind of thinking of not letting oneself limit the possible size of an audience from the start. The result of such thinking – as proved – is to make a movie as “family friendly” as possible, whatever that means. Be it toned down stories, cut elements or drama, or the addition of idiotic one liners of spoof elements. Think of The Transformers if you like. Or the recut edition of Fanboys.

As the quote at the beginning proves, this is the current modus operandi of Hollywood: the bigger the audience the better – scrap the story and everything else, appeal to everyone. I start to believe that the daily outburst of sequelitis we witness is the result of such thinking. In the eyes of a production company a sequel, reboot or remake is the best thing that can happen because they can not only target the already big audience but might even increase the possible size even further by adding the fans of old which might not go to the cinema very often. The bigger the audience the better.

Then they use the old material to spice it up with effects, a hot babe, one-liners and other idiotic stuff. Of course they cut every possible deep story to not avoid the youngsters who drag their parents with them. The bigger the audience the better.

The bigger the audience the better? Don’t give me this bullshit. Something that appeals to everyone appeals to no one.

At the moment Hollywood can use its assumption of “the bigger the better” to make tons of money. But I believe that this phase soon will be over. Why? Because those kinds of movies have to use generic (story) elements to no end, they cannot use new ideas, twists or other stuff because it could limit the audience size. Therefore, soon the audience cannot bear it anymore and stay away in droves.

In the worst case some studios even might go bankrupt.

If they want to save themselves from certain doom there’s only one way possible: they have to give up caring about everyone.

They have to get the balls to risk something and even snub some of the possible audience. Be it liberals, conservatives, soccer moms, poker dads, gays, believer, atheists, other nations, the own nation, political correct people and so on.

In the case of Fanboys, Weinstein not only should have let the director and storywriter have it their way, but even insisted on increasing the drama. Again, if you look at some good eastern animation you’ll see that they are not feared of adding very serious plot points to the story.

Production studios need to get their act together fast and need to stop with their “the bigger the better”. If they achieve it, good. If not, rest in peace.


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