It should be no mystery to us that a lot of movies aren’t made to be good. As a broad generalization, many of the films put out are intended to simply make money. To really hammer this point home I like to point towards Cars 2.
Cars 2 was a Pixar milestone, and the first of their films to beat its predecessor, Cars, in a particular category. It was the movie that garnered a 38% on Rotten Tomatoes, an abysmal score significantly lower than the first movie’s 74%.
As someone who’s seen every film the studio has ever done, I was disgusted by the fact that they would create a sequel to what was ultimately my least favourite of the bunch, but then I understood-
Money money money. $10 billion dollars of Cars toys, bed sheets, clothing, toothbrushes, the list goes on. So clearly sometimes ratings can be down, if profits are up. But what about when this isn’t the case?
The original Spider-Man, the Tobey Maguire one, made about $820 million in the box office. Ten years later, and even with the rising cost of movie prices, The Amazing Spider-Man only came up with $752 million. It’s good, but it’s not great. Sequels [and more Spidey flicks in general] are understandable though, largely because if Sony doesn’t keep making them, the rights will revert to Marvel Studios.
But two more sequels? Before The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has even hit theatres?
Yesterday Sony revealed that we would be getting two more Spider-Man films, on June 10, 2016 and May 4, 2018. This is without knowing how well ASM2, which is slated to come out next year, will do in ratings or in the box office.
That may not be big news, but how about this:
Yes, Man of Steel, that Superman movie that came out just last Friday. Apparently they made enough money to convince Warner Bros. that the Last Son of Krypton is worth a few more films. This is without a screenplay, without having started filming, without any real preparation.
In addition to that, the Wall Street Journal [link above] also mentioned that a Justice League film could be in theatres as of 2015. If Zack Snyder, who directed Man of Steel and will be directing its sequel as well, is attached to the film this will mean three movies back to back for the man. I’m no expert on film making, but that sounds both exhausting and unrealistic.
Marvel has also continued to make their own film announcements, but they have a plan. They began leading to The Avengers four years before they even came out with Iron Man; they knew what they were doing. Heck, their Captain America and Thor films didn’t even do that great, but they stuck with them because they had a goal in mind.
The Amazing Spider-Man may have a future in mind building up to the Sinister Six, half a dozen of the wallcrawler’s most dangerous foes. But Superman? When have the words “fast track” joining a conversation relating to film making ever resulted in something worth watching?
I’m asking a lot of questions, but my opinion is fairly clear. You can’t rush things and expect quality. You can try making sacrifices and hope it pays off in the long run [again, The Avengers] but going in blindly just seems foolhardy. I don’t mind sequels, but I want them to have more of a reason to exist than money, or holding onto film rights, or “just because.” I want film making to be more than seeing that something works and then repeating that formula ad nauseam, because it really is a shame when it happens.