To say that Hollywood is having a bad summer would be an understatement. The Liberal Intelligentsia, in all of their pompous glory, incorrectly assumed that Americans would pay our hard-earned money to go see anything they put out on a movie screen, schlock or not.
Once again, the “smartest people in the room” turned out to be the dumbest.
The costliest failure so far has been The Lone Ranger, starring Johnny Depp, which cost $250 million (£165 million) to make, and had a huge marketing budget. It was savaged by critics as a “bloated, unfunny, sometimes downright bizarre train wreck” amid a “summer of garbage blockbusters.”
Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer in The Lone Ranger (Rex Features)
Disney may have to write off up to $150 million losses on the movie, which was largely ignored by cinemagoers despite being released over the July 4 holiday weekend. It took in just $29 million that weekend in North America, losing out heavily to the animated comedy Despicable Me 2.
Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum in White House Down (Rex Features)
White House Down, starring Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum, took just $25 million on the June 28 weekend, while Pacific Rim, a story of alien monsters, while praised by many critics, still brought in only $38 million over the July 11 weekend. More people went to see the Adam Sandler comedy Grown Ups 2.
R.I.P.D, a $130 million science fiction film about police officers fighting villains in the afterlife, is predicted to take in only around $20 million this weekend.
To be considered successful, blockbusters aim to take in about half their budget over the first weekend.
The movie is being released at the same time as Red 2, a tale of retired hitmen starring Bruce Willis and Dame Helen Mirren, which is expected to split the audience.
The series of big budget disappointments has come just a month after Steven Spielberg warned that Hollywood was facing a “meltdown” because of its over-reliance on blockbusters.
Speaking at the University of Southern California in June, Spielberg predicted “an implosion where three or four, or maybe even a half dozen, mega-budget movies are going to go crashing into the ground.”
Analysts said the failures were partly a result of competing studios trying to release too many big movies at the same time. There are more than 20 films with a budget of more than $100 million being released this summer, six more than last year.
The studios have ploughed resources in to so-called “tent pole” films, which are accompanied by costly marketing, and are expected to make large profits. But, to do so, they all need to arrive in cinemas over the summer months.
Until late June, Hollywood had been on course for a record summer, following the success of early hits including Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness. and Fast & Furious 6.
However, as fatigue set in with audiences the movie industry entered what has been labelled the “dud zone,” in which big releases have fared less impressively than lower budget productions. A slew of expensive films remain to be released in late July and August.
One exasperated studio head told The Hollywood Reporter: “You had too many $100 million-plus movies, not to mention $200 million-plus movies, jammed on top of each other. There isn’t enough play time, and the result has been more movies that wipe out.”
I believe that there are other reasons for the horrible summer movie receipts.
First, Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck. Why should we blow $50 dollars at the movies, when we can stay at home, and watch our cable or satellite television programs, or watch a movie on DVD or Blu Ray? There are other downsides, to going out to watch a movie besides the outrageous cost: The idiots you have to sit next to.
When my bride and I went to see Iron man 3, earlier this summer, I was seated next to a woman who played and talked on her cellphone, sighed loudly, and talked to her friends during the movie, all in an effort to make us move somewhere else in the crowded theater. My crime? Do the words “creepy a@@ cracka” ring a bell?
The other problem that these summer movies have, is simple: They aren’t worth seeing.
Hollywood has been losing their collective mind for a while now. While our soldiers were fighting and dying in Iraq, they were releasing films that criticized our brave military and our country. Those movies bombed spectacularly as a result.
Earlier this summer, There was a movie about Liberace and his young protegé/confidant/lover Scotty Thorson, featuring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, in those roles. The studio released it to Europe first, where the heathens over there, gave it rave reviews. It was never released to American theaters, because American capitalists refused to distribute it. They knew that Americans would not pay their hard-earned money to watch a movie denigrating an American Icon, like the legendary, beloved showman, Lee Liberace.
One of the movies expected to be a blockbuster this summer, “The Lone Ranger, cast Johnny Depp as Tonto, and rewrote the legend to center around him, instead of the title character.
The audience simply did not buy Captain Jack Sparrow as Tonto.
When we envision the crime fighting duo of the old west, Americans see Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels. Two outstanding gentlemen, both on and off the television screen.
The last point I want to make, is the total disconnect of “Hollyweird” from the average American’s belief system of ethics, values, and faith. All the great movies and television shows my generation watched growing up, reinforced those values.
We knew that the Ranger and Tonto would beat the snot out of the bad guys, and rescue the rancher’s daughter. We knew that James Bond would defeat SPECTRE and get the beautiful Bond Girl.
We smiled when we heard that Superman fought for “truth, justice, and the American Way”. We threw our rubber tomahawks at the trees in our front yards, just like “Daniel Boone”. We knew that John Wayne would rescue Dean Martin in “Rio Bravo”.
And, all the guys wanted a red Gran Torino with a white stripe down the side, like “Starsky and Hutch” drove.
You want to know why the Sherlock Holmes movies, the Iron Man movies, and the Star Trek movies have all done so well? It’s simple.
They are throwbacks. They are entertaining. They are not dirty or vulgar. There is plenty of action with a great story line wrapped around it, and GOOD TRIUMPHS OVER EVIL.
Americans have to deal with enough ugliness trying to survive under the harsh reality of America under Obama.
We go to movies to be entertained, not to be lectured to by a bunch of snotty-nosed, America-hating, relative morality and situational ethics-loving Liberals.
Average Americans are more perceptive than Liberals think we are.
This summer’s movie failures have proved it.
Until He Comes,