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1 Ace-o-aces  May 6, 2015 12:43:13pm

Of topic a little, but from the article linked:

5. The Green Hornet, 2011: Do you remember this? Probably not! A rather telling review in The Guardian described the picture like so: “Almost everything about the film is disappointing.” Star Seth Rogen has since written off the endeavor as “a fucking nightmare.”

Am I the only one who liked this movie?

2 KingKenrod  May 6, 2015 2:04:40pm

TP seems to be giving context to the email that isn’t there - it’s something of a Rorschach test where people see what they want to see. It’s a little naive to think that this subject isn’t going to come up when studios are deciding whether to spend over $100 million on a project. CEO’s don’t get paid for sticking their fingers in the their ears and going LA-LA-LA (well maybe some do).

If I had my guess, the discussion was about the surprise box-office success of “Lucy” (which starred Scarlett Johansson) last summer and prospects for a Black Widow movie in the MCU. The critics didn’t like “Lucy”, but it made a lot of money.

3 EiMitch  May 6, 2015 5:59:09pm

re: #1 Ace-o-aces

The Green Hornet was supposed to be a funny superhero movie, but it felt like it was going through the motions. It used a few cliches which it would’ve done better without.

re: #2 KingKenrod

It’s a little naive to think that this subject isn’t going to come up when studios are deciding whether to spend over $100 million on a project. CEO’s don’t get paid for sticking their fingers in the their ears and going LA-LA-LA (well maybe some do).

Its a good thing you included that caveat, because Hollywood CEOs tend to do exactly that. Movie studios are obsessed with marketing tracking (which is about as accurate as a magic 8 ball) and opening day sales. (despite being a tiny fraction of a film’s actual profit) They care more about prestige than profits.

Not to mention, how prejudiced must one be to consider “appealing to roughly half of the human race” as financially risky? I mean, come on! Supergirl and Catwoman didn’t flop because women aren’t into superhero movies, nor because women aren’t good superheroes. They flopped because the filmmakers sucked.

But hey, this is the kind of convoluted “logic” we get when marketers, who don’t know nor care about what makes a movie good so long as they can dupe people into seeing it on day one, make all the big decisions. They just blindly follow the leader, even if it’s themselves. Just saturate the public with more & more & more of the same until they become legit sick of it, and then move on to another industry fad.

4 First As Tragedy, Then As Farce  May 7, 2015 7:07:46am

I’m going to take exception to the characterization of this email, and then everyone can tell me how terrible I am if that’s your bag.

This is the entirety of the “leaked” email:

Michael,
As we discussed on the phone, below are just a few examples. There are more.

Thanks,

Ike

1. Electra (Marvel) - Very bad idea and the end result was very, very bad. boxofficemojo.com

2. Catwoman (WB/DC) - Catwoman was one of the most important female character within the Batman franchise. This film was a disaster. boxofficemojo.com

3. Supergirl - (DC) Supergirl was one of the most important female super hero in Superman franchise. This Movie came out in 1984 and did $14 million total domestic with opening weekend of $5.5 million. Again, another disaster.

There is no context whatsoever for the commentary. “As we discussed on the phone, below are just a few examples”. Examples of what? Shitty movies that should have embarrassed everyone involved before release? Do we know what they talked about on the phone? Thankfully, we don’t. There is no way to derive from that email that anyone involved thinks women “can’t” be superheroes in movies or any other media. There’s nothing factually incorrect in the email. Those movies sucked artistically, and they sucked financially.

The linked article smells like outrage mining, and it’s the kind of thing I would expect from a Gawker Media site, not from Think Progress. With no idea of the actual context of the exchange, TP has decided that the people emailing back and forth are convinced that “women superheroes are a bad business move”. It’s pure conjecture.

5 EiMitch  May 7, 2015 9:09:20am

re: #4 First As Tragedy, Then As Farce

I’m not going to disagree that it was a bit unprofessional for TP to jump to conclusions. But I do sympathize with them. Or rather, I find it a bit difficult to harshly judge TP over it, considering how long Marvel (and the rest of Hollywood for that matter) have been dragging their feet at releasing movies with lead roles cast with someone other than “White Dude #1374.”

Despite changing demographics here in the US of A, and Hollywood’s eye on becoming more competitive internationally, films with women and POC in the central role are still the exception. Marvel’s comic universe has plenty of ethnic and gender diversity to choose from, yet Marvel’s movie universe has stuck with the “safe bet” white dude leads because that’s Hollywood’s default. Even the obstinately diverse cast of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” aka “that talking Racoon movie,” made Chris Pratt’s “Starlord” the group’s leader.

When you take that context into account, along with the industry’s notoriously bass ackwards priorities I’ve brought-up in my previous comment, it’s pretty hard not to jump to conclusions regarding that email.

6 danarchy  May 7, 2015 10:50:43am

re: #5 EiMitch

I
yet Marvel’s movie universe has stuck with the “safe bet” white dude leads because that’s Hollywood’s default. Even the obstinately diverse cast of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” aka “that talking Racoon movie,” made Chris Pratt’s “Starlord” the group’s leader.

Is it a matter of going with the safe bet white dude or going with the safe bet as in Marvel’s flagship properties? Avengers, X-men, Fantastic Four, Spiderman basically are Marvel, can you make a decent movie mining some of the second tier characters, sure, Blade was apparently successful enough to make a couple of bad sequels Ghost rider on the other hand…

When you are laying out up to quarter of billion dollars to produce a superhero movie taking chances can be really expensive.

As for making Starlord the team leader, he was the team leader in the comics, so if Hollywood changed that they would be messing with Marvel canon which would piss off the fanboys.

7 EiMitch  May 7, 2015 2:48:34pm

re: #6 danarchy

Avengers, X-men, Fantastic Four, Spiderman basically are Marvel, can you make a decent movie mining some of the second tier characters, sure, Blade was apparently successful enough to make a couple of bad sequels Ghost rider on the other hand…

Aside from the Avengers, all of those franchises had their movie rights sold to other companies before Disney bought Marvel. But Disney/Marvel had a ton of different characters and franchises left to choose from. The Avengers, Iron Man, Thor, Cap. America were all big gambles when they were made. And The Hulk had been adapted (into a spectacular bomb) not too long before The Incredible Hulk. In other words, these movies were all huge risks. The cross-genre cinematic universe continuity idea was untested and unproven. The Avengers in particular was an incredibly expensive gamble. If that movie hadn’t broken box office records, it would’ve struggled to break even.

The only “safe bet” in that whole set-up was “white male leads.” And that’s the part where they should “play it safe,” because… Um…

As for making Starlord the team leader, he was the team leader in the comics, so if Hollywood changed that…

You beat the snot out of a strawman. Great job! **facepalm**

Seriously, did you really think that was my point? When I was hammering home how every Marvel movie starred caucasian dudes? And how they could’ve gone with just about any franchise they wanted? Despite all of that being laid on thick, you assumed I was saying “they should’ve changed GotG’s cast”?


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