Crap Wins Again
This past weekend at the box office again just underlines that Hollywood doesn't have to make good movies to make money. So why should they?
The number 1 movie in the country is "Doom", which (if Ebert and Roeper are to be believed) is the worst movie of the year. Still, it made $15 million in its first three days. It'll go on to make some more here, lots more overseas, and then I'm sure Blockbuster will order 50 copies for each of its stores.
No one is going to get fired for this. Even if it is the worst movie of the year.
Though overall, according to Rotten Tomatoes, "The Fog" got worse reviews. Still, it was number 1 last weekend, and has done a fairly solid $21 million in its first ten days, for a movie with no stars that is supposed to be dumb, dumb, dumb.
Meanwhile, solid adult-skewing movies like "History of Violence", "In Her Shoes" and "North Country" (which I saw, good acting, worth seeing) are going to struggle to reach $30 million each, even though they are good of their type. Not great movies, but very good ones.
And that's the problem. You're setting out to make a movie. Which do you make -- the one based on the video game/TV show/remake of an old movie, which tend to do solid business even if (when) they stink? Or take a shot at doing a prestige movie like "North Country", where if it had gotten terrible reviews would have made about $5 million, instead of the $30 million it might stumble along to?
And that's Hollywood. Where low risk and low quality is more important than high risk and high quality.
So kudos to eBay billionaire Jeff Skoll, whose Participant Productions is geared to making social-minded films, from "North Country" to "Goodnight and Good Luck", to the upcoming "Syriana", which looks like it is going to be great -- movies that, if they sucked, wouldn't make a dime. That takes the kind of courage that Hollywood has less and less of nowadays.
And shame on audiences that go see crap like "Doom" and "The Fog", which just confirms to Hollywood that quality doesn't matter.