The Guest Star Strikes Back!

It seems Pixel is still being a lazy bugger about the daily update thing. And so, once more I rip the reigns from his sweating, nervous hands and steer this baby in the direction of an update, loosing several sled dogs in this awkward metaphor.

In case you don’t get it, the ‘sled dogs’ are readers. I’m losing him readers, though probably not in as direct a fashion as smashing them into trees along the path, or anything. Anyway, I’ve met some of his readers, none of you would do any good pulling a sled. You’d be useless at it. It’s not a criticism, just a fact. A highly, highly, critical fact about how useless you’d all be at sled pulling. But anyway, enough of that, we all know you’re horrible at pulling people on sleds across the arctic tundra, let’s not dwell on your specific inadequacies.

So, onto a genuine topic. Pixel may discuss deep philosophical conflicts under the guise of assault and robbery, but as I have no depth I must use what I have. As a nerd without a current sex life I watch a lot of movies (that should go down in the wall of genuinely great introductions). As such I have developed a number of modern Hollywood theories. One of which I will describe today. I call it the “You can get alot of Hookers and Cocaine for $80,000,000” theory.

The modern action movie (this theory does not apply to comedies, where aside from the occasional slapstick stunt, most of the cost is in the stars) is a rollicking rollercoaster of special effects, stuntwork, explosions, insurance for big stars, and (for some) giant costumes of creepy things. That costs alot of money. The first Hellboy movie cost $66 million dollars. That is an enormous amount of money to throw into a project.

I can’t quote my sources (since I can’t remember where I read it, so you’ll have to trust me on this), but I read somewhere that over three quarters or more of the A-list movies made today make a loss on their opening release (nearly all movies make SOME degree of profit over time. Even Waterworld has now made a profit, because of DVD sales). Three quarters of the movies made. Hollywood is kept afloat by the remaining quarter or less, which make enough of a profit to keep the industry going.

So, let’s consider our current facts. Movies cost a crapload of money (which could be spent on hookers, hotel rooms and drugs). A majority of movies fail.

It’s reasonable to conclude from that, that investors want SOME form of guarantee that this is likely to be one of those movies that does well. Easiest form this guarantee can take is the following:

“This movie is based on (X pre-existing successful intellectual property) which has already been successful in the past.”

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you your reason that so many movies nowdays are adaptations from comics/computer games/old TV shows, or remakes of previous movies. If you’ve got $10,000,000 and three options before you, which will you take.

  1. An interesting script with a star lined up about a completely untested intellectual property, with no way to measure if it will generate any buzz or publicity on its own, let alone how the common audience member will react to its setting.
  2. An interesting script with a star lined up about a very well known intellectual property from late 80’s cartoons, with enormous buzz already lining the internet about “Possible (IP) movie coming up!”, and enormous about of pre-existing publicity.
  3. Sam and her/his three friends with a large pile of what I PRESUME is chaulk, in the high rollers room at a Las Vegas hotel.

Granted, I imagine many of you would choose option three, but let’s put you lot aside for a minute while you imagine chaulk inspired rumpy pumpy followed by losing a million bucks on a bad craps roll.

Of options 1 and 2, option 2 has IMMENSELY less risk. When you’re throwing millions of dollars into something, you want it to have a more-then-average-chance-of-success. So that is why so many stupid remakes/adaptations are being made now, ladies and gentlemen.

Now someone go reign Marvel in before they go COMPLETELY insane and make a ‘Squirrel Girl’ movie. But not before they make a Silver Surfer solo movie. Or a Deadpool movie. GOD help you if you stop them before they make a Deadpool movie. I will ride down from the sky upon a mount formed out of my rage and hatred and SMITE you with a weapon forged by my nerdicity. It will be +5 and vorpal.

As another harmful plug, go check my blog for more rants in a similar vein to this. It’s linked to somewhere on the site, I believe. Nerdgasm-Unlimited.