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Does every movie seem to "flop" these days

  • 03-03-2020 10:03am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 10,773 ✭✭✭✭ B.A._Baracus


    Or at least according to online news articles.
    Just seen this on twitter news feed:
    Disney‘s Jack London adaptation The Call of the Wild, starring Harrison Ford, is predicted to make a loss of $50m (£39m) after a disappointing box office opening.

    Any time a new movie is released you see nothing but "XXX is a flop" videos on youtube from the likes of the Looper channel etc etc. Is this all BS? :pac: or are movie box office returns really suffering these days? :p


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,141 ✭✭✭✭ is_that_so


    It's all the extra marketing costs they fail to cover, that and a poor concept to start with. Too many films these days are colour by numbers templates.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,832 ✭✭✭✭ gmisk


    Or at leastaccording to online news articles.
    Just seen this on twitter:



    Any time a new movie is released you see nothing but "XXX is a flop" videos on youtube from the likes of the Looper channel etc etc. Is this all BS? :pac: or are movies box office returns really suffering these days? :p
    People seem to just like headlines like that.
    The majority of films seem to make money given enough time.
    The 2.5 rule is a good indicator


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,007 ✭✭✭ Skylar Scruffy Weekday


    Or at least according to online news articles.
    Just seen this on twitter news feed:



    Any time a new movie is released you see nothing but "XXX is a flop" videos on youtube from the likes of the Looper channel etc etc. Is this all BS? :pac: or are movie box office returns really suffering these days? :p
    XXX made a profit of almost 190 million, despite bad reviews.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,323 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus


    Yes, most films lose money.

    Gmisk's point that "the majority of films seem to make money given enough time" doesn't really change things. There's a time-cost to money; If I spend $50 million on making a film and, after 10 years, it has earned 50 million taking account of the royalties I get from Netflix every time someone views it, I'm still seriously in the red, because I've been paying interest on the 50 million I borrowed to make the film in the first place (or, if I had the 50 million sitting around, I have lost the interest that I would have earned, if I hadn't blown in on that damn film). If a film doesn't earn enough money, early enough, it's in the red permanently. And this is the fate of the majority of films that are made.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,832 ✭✭✭✭ gmisk


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    Yes, most films lose money.

    Gmisk's point that "the majority of films seem to make money given enough time" doesn't really change things. There's a time-cost to money; If I spend $50 million on making a film and, after 10 years, it has earned 50 million taking account of the royalties I get from Netflix every time someone views it, I'm still seriously in the red, because I've been paying interest on the 50 million I borrowed to make the film in the first place (or, if I had the 50 million sitting around, I have lost the interest that I would have earned, if I hadn't blown in on that damn film). If a film doesn't earn enough money, early enough, it's in the red permanently. And this is the fate of the majority of films that are made.
    I suppose in that case it would depend how it was funded.
    Blumhouse seem to have an amazing track record for films making back massive multiples of their budgets.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,881 ✭✭✭ Unearthly


    Just seen the budget was from $125 million to $150 million not including marketing costs which seems crazy for a film that's not a super hero film, a banker of a director (Christopher Nolan) or a modern box office draw (Dwayne Johnson)

    It was always going to flop imo


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,323 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus


    gmisk wrote: »
    I suppose in that case it would depend how it was funded.
    Not really. Just on how much it costs.
    gmisk wrote: »
    Blumhouse seem to have an amazing track record for films making back massive multiples of their budgets.
    All (solvent) film production companies produce some films that make back massive multiples of their budgets; that's how they sustain all the films that don't, without becoming insolvent. For most production companies, that's still a minority of the films they produce. What matters is not the number of films that make back more than they cost, but the ratio of those films to the films that don't.

    Probably worth pointing out that I think in movie accounting there is a distinction between the "budget" - what it costs to make the film - and the production cost, which is the budget plus the cost of financing, distributing, promoting, etc the film. The production cost can be a multiple of the budget several times over, and the film is not in the black until revenues have exceeded the production cost.

    And the other point worth making is that production companies sometimes have a perverse incentive to prevent films from being profitable. This is because some of the investors/participants in the film are repaid with a percentage share of the profits. The more you inflate the costs, the lower the profits, the less has to be paid to these people. So there are all kinds of dark accounting tricks to keep films in the red.

    Tl;dr: never ever ever invest in film production.


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,141 ✭✭✭✭ is_that_so




    OK just had a look at the trailer for this- God it's terrible. That's a better explanation for its failure. Whatever happened to Disney's ability to trot out family films?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,007 ✭✭✭ Skylar Scruffy Weekday


    is_that_so wrote: »


    OK just had a look at the trailer for this- God it's terrible. That's a better explanation for its failure. Whatever happened to Disney's ability to trot out family films?
    Unless you count Star Wars movies, I can't think of a non-animated Disney film that was not terrible.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,832 ✭✭✭✭ gmisk


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    Not really. Just on how much it costs.


    All (solvent) film production companies produce some films that make back massive multiples of their budgets; that's how they sustain all the films that don't, without becoming insolvent. For most production companies, that's still a minority of the films they produce. What matters is not the number of films that make back more than they cost, but the ratio of those films to the films that don't.

    Probably worth pointing out that I think in movie accounting there is a distinction between the "budget" - what it costs to make the film - and the production cost, which is the budget plus the cost of financing, distributing, promoting, etc the film. The production cost can be a multiple of the budget several times over, and the film is not in the black until revenues have exceeded the production cost.

    And the other point worth making is that production companies sometimes have a perverse incentive to prevent films from being profitable. This is because some of the investors/participants in the film are repaid with a percentage share of the profits. The more you inflate the costs, the lower the profits, the less has to be paid to these people. So there are all kinds of dark accounting tricks to keep films in the red.

    Tl;dr: never ever ever invest in film production.
    Don't worry I wouldn't.
    Yes is that not the 2.5 rule?
    A film has to make 2.5 times it's budget to likely break even


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  • Registered Users Posts: 27,832 ✭✭✭✭ gmisk


    Unless you count Star Wars movies, I can't think of a non-animated Disney film that was not terrible.
    I will stand up for enchanted!


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,775 ✭✭✭ Effects


    Doesn't look that bad. I wouldn't go see it though. Maybe if I had kids.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,861 ✭✭✭ OptimusTractor


    Unless you count Star Wars movies, I can't think of a non-animated Disney film that was not terrible.

    But the Star Wars movies are terrible it's just they have the fandom to make a profit hence not a flop.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,281 ✭✭✭ CrankyHaus


    While it may not be as relevant to The Call of the Wild the loss of the Chinese Box Office as a result of Coronavirus is a big problem for a lot of recent releases like Birds of Prey.

    Also accounting to show a loss on films for tax avoidance is known to happen, again I doubt it applies to films on the budget of Call of The Wild though.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 40,086 ✭✭✭✭ Harry Palmr


    1 in 10 films (be it a Star Wars/Transformers or an IT/Get Out) pay for the other 9. It was always thus.

    There has been narrowing of the product base due to a preponderance of very expensive or very cheap films with a squeezed middle budget cohort (which used to be the studio's bread and butter).

    I see Sonic the Hedgehog is doing quite well so all isn't lost! :p


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 456 ✭✭ Tired Gardener


    Given the budget that a lot of these big films have, it seems that they are destined to fail from the get go.

    That is before we add in marketing, that just compounds the issue.

    I remember reading somewhere, that unless a film makes back 150% of its budget, it is deemed a flop. Films are essentially a gamble investment, sometimes they do well and pay out a lot of money, mostly they don't.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,007 ✭✭✭ Skylar Scruffy Weekday


    Looking at a list of the biggest flops, apparently Dark Phoenix made a loss of about 100 million. That's mad. I thought it was good and preferred it greatly to Avengers Endgame and Infinity War.


  • Registered Users Posts: 826 ✭✭✭ El Duda


    In one of Kermode's books he says that there used to be formula;

    Take a known historical event or a known property + A budget so big that it is a headline in itself + a bankable movie star = profit

    This fell apart years ago. Look at films like The Mummy as proof.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 27,723 Mod ✭✭✭✭ pixelburp


    "Call of the Wild" had a budget of $135 million??? Good god. For what was, in effect, a "one man and his dog" movie, an ancient genre. That's an insane budget for what presumably went into the needless CGI on the dog itself. Feels like this was someone's vanity project that so much money was spent on something more easily done with a couple of real dogs & their handlers. That film was always destined to fail with those numbers, when if it was produced with more sanity could have done just fine.

    Hollywood economics are a basket-case these days anyway. Their laws of scale seem out of step with any other major industry, operating with a weird mentality that one throws more money at a problem, rather than less. Blockbusters in particular suffer from these out of control budgets; any production that needs to make a minimum of $1 billion is ludicrous.

    You'd think studios would aim for more Jumanjis or Jokers: small ~$50 million budget productions that have huge profit margins, precisely because the budgets were sensible, and the creatives given enough wriggle room to make the movie they want (good publicity also helps mind, the former from good word of mouth, the latter too, albeit hysterical "Ban this filth" kind of mentality)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,623 ✭✭✭ Homelander


    gmisk wrote: »
    Blumhouse seem to have an amazing track record for films making back massive multiples of their budgets.

    It's smart choices. Most of their films are very "low budget" in the context of cinema releases and relatively simple premises with good market appeal without having to spend hugely on overly lavish productions/marketing/stars.

    They usally tend to easily cover themselves at the box office if not turn a very decent profit, and then probably clean up on streaming/media sales.

    I mean Upgrade, Happy Death Day and The Invisible Man only cost something like €15m to make between all 3....all great cinema experiences too.

    Considering almost all their films make a healthy profit on average, and their low cost to begin with, the fact they land major box office hits with fair frequency that make 20x their budget means they could sustain the model forever really.

    It's similar to how that production company The Asylum makes those god-awful, completely unwatchable rip-off movies of the big blockbusters.

    Like, you'd have a €200m movie like Transformers, and they'd make a €500K copy called 'Transmorphers" - literally 1/400th the budget with the same premise.

    You can imagine what the results are like, but up until very recently they'd always turned a healthy profit on each load-of-crap. And they're not just 'bad' movies, they're literally completely unwatchable and beyond cringe.

    They've got a few good 'so bad it's good' ones though you'd watch with friends, like Sharknado...but 98% of them are utter garbage.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 826 ✭✭✭ El Duda


    I thought it was good and preferred it greatly to Avengers Endgame and Infinity War.


    Now THAT'S mad.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,207 ✭✭✭ PsychoPete


    pixelburp wrote: »
    "Call of the Wild" had a budget of $135 million??? Good god. For what was, in effect, a "one man and his dog" movie, an ancient genre.

    90% of the budget probably went to Harrison Ford


  • Registered Users Posts: 826 ✭✭✭ El Duda


    With a budget of $135M, they could've funded loads of up and coming filmmakers to make 45 $3M budgeted films instead.

    But no. The world needed a terrible looking CGI dog film apparently.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,241 ✭✭✭ the_pen_turner


    A lot of it is down to them all being repeats of films done already.
    Make a new film with a new story and people will want to see it


  • Registered Users Posts: 894 ✭✭✭ cian68


    A lot of it is down to them all being repeats of films done already.
    Make a new film with a new story and people will want to see it

    Lion King and Beauty and the Beast made about a gajilllion dollars. That's why they make remakes because they make money


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,090 ✭✭✭ jill_valentine


    I do have to wonder if some of it is down to the effect of Youtube etc on how entertainment headlines are written.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,335 ✭✭✭✭ Zeek12


    PsychoPete wrote: »
    90% of the budget probably went to Harrison Ford

    Speaking of Mr. Ford, I read recently Blade Runner 2049 was considered a real flop too. Apparently lost the studio about $80 million.

    You could say it's a real spiritual follow up to the original so - which also "bombed" at the box office in 1982.
    Though years later it came close to breaking even with DVD/Blu-ray and it's growing cult following.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,456 ✭✭✭✭ CastorTroy


    I watched Kubo and the 2 Strings recently and while looking up how it did at the cinema, I see Laika films don't do well. surprised they're still going. They make great movies, in my opinion.
    Although I still need to watch The Missing Link, I was happy to see them win the Golden Globe and get nominated for an Oscar at least.
    The Missing Link had a budget of $100 million, according to Wikipedia and had box office of only $26.2 million


  • Registered Users Posts: 626 ✭✭✭ Wedwood


    Haven’t seen Call of the Wild yet, but from the trailers it looks more like a $50m movie. They were asking for trouble spending that sort of money on basically a Lassie movie.

    On those online video reviews, I don’t take any of them seriously. They spend most of their time in angry troll mode, lecturing about everything that’s wrong about every aspect of the movie.

    How can you give serious consideration to a movie review by some middle aged bloke sitting in his bedroom with his toys on display behind him?


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,181 ✭✭✭ CinemaGuy45


    is_that_so wrote: »


    OK just had a look at the trailer for this- God it's terrible. That's a better explanation for its failure. Whatever happened to Disney's ability to trot out family films?

    Jesus bad CGI.

    This is not a dragon or a dinosaur we all know what a dog should look like.


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