We’re going to need a bigger boa … uh, budget. The term “blockbuster” first appeared in 1942, when Time magazine reported an Allied bombing of fascist Italy using explosives so powerful they could destroy entire blocks. The following year, Time called the film adaptation of Mission to Moscow “extremely bold” and “as explosive as a box office success” and soon the word began to refer to the commercial success of a film rather than artistic ambition . Then, in 1975, a movie permanently solidified the meaning of the word. Steven Spielberg’s smash hit Jaws is generally considered Hollywood’s first true blockbuster. Not only did people literally queue around the block to buy tickets, it became the first movie to make $ 100 million. It also helped set the precedent for such films to open in the summer, now known as the blockbuster season. Why, you ask, does a movie that won three Oscars and was nominated for Best Picture deserve to be included in this list? In its own right, it is not. At least the original summer blockbuster was a critically acclaimed classic, but in Hollywood, the bigger problem is that monkeys see, monkeys do, and most monkeys are far less talented than Spielberg. Today, mass-appeal blockbusters squeeze mid-budget movies while offering little artistic value. Are good? Sure. But for every Independence Day, there is a Wild West, a Pearl Harbor, and, God help us, an Independence Day Resurgence, leading many to support aliens.
9.Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
“Toyetic” refers to the potential for a film to market licensed toys, games and novelties. The term was coined by Kenner Toys executive Bernard Loomis, who used it scornfully when discussing opportunities for 1977’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Loomis felt differently about another sci-fi movie released that year, and would quickly prove be prophetic. Incredibly, “Star Wars” struggled to find a home studio. To give him the green light, George Lucas agreed to waive a director’s salary of $ 500,000; instead, he received the licensing and marketing rights. Nice move, George. Following the film’s release in May 1977, Kenner Toys was so overwhelmed by the surprise success of Star Wars, and the subsequent demand for toys, that they quickly sold out. In fact, they still hadn’t caught up on Christmas, prompting the issuance of an “Early Bird Certificate Package.” That year, under the tree, kids everywhere opened empty boxes with IOUs for action figures that weren’t available until spring (thanks, Santa). At the end of 1978, 40 million were sold. Those empty boxes were a Pandora’s box. Like other entries on this list, an excellent movie had paved the way for films far less worthy of thinking about merchandising first and making quality movies second. Star Wars itself went on to pair worse movies with worse products. Lowlights include a Darth Vader yoga mat, a Yoda Magic 8-Ball, and, for the incontinent Jedi in all of us, Star Wars-branded adult diapers.
It is a bird! It is a plane! It’s … a pretty good movie that set the stage for the wildest genre in the film industry. While movies starring caped crusaders were one thing before its 1978 release, Superman: The Movie was the first big-budget superhero superhero. In fact, at $ 55 million, it was the most expensive movie ever made up to that point, and its makers struggled to get viewers to see Superman as more than just a remnant of a comic book. Two legendary actors, Marlon Brando and Gene Hackman, were cast in supporting roles, lending their seriousness despite little-known star Christopher Reeve, who only became the Man of Steel after superstars Robert Redford and Burt Reynolds declined. . The already sought-after Steven Spielberg, Richard Donner of “Omen” fame was chosen to direct. He had a cheesy script rewritten in a darker, more dramatic curve. It was worth it. Superman earned $ 300 million, earned four stars from influential critic Roger Ebert, and has a 94% favorability rating on Rotten Tomatoes. His success was the worst possible for movie making. Forty years and dozens of cheesy, formulated and plotless comic book adaptations later, superhero movies continue to make money from the tacky masses while limiting the number of interesting and risky movies that Hollywood studios green-light. Sure. But for every Black Panther there are dozens of Ant-Man, Suicide Squads, and Green Lanterns in a genre that has destroyed cinematic creativity like no other.
7.Halloween II & Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
The second installments of what became slasher movie franchises were by no means the first major sequels. But while Jaws 2, Rocky 2, and The Godfather Part 2 were fairly well-received follow-ups of the Academy Award-winning classics, Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees were deservedly criticized for exactly what they were: slapped-in sequels without a hint of their appeal. of its predecessors. Released in 1978, the original Halloween was filmed in just 20 days. His $ 300,000 budget was low even for horror, and most of the costumes and accessories were handmade or bought from thrift stores. Regardless, the movie made nearly $ 70 million in part because, out of sheer necessity, it reduced the plot to a simple but suspenseful one of loose stabs. The movie has an incredible 96% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The second installment did less with more. Despite a more liberating $ 2.5 million budget, it managed, according to Roger Ebert, to suffer “a fall from greatness” that “does not even attempt to do justice to the original.” Its 32% Rotten Tomatoes rating, 64% lower than the original, agrees. Friday the 13th reflects this money-hogging sophomoritis. After the original garnered critical acclaim and $ 60 million loot from a $ 550,000 budget, the sequel, despite turning to the now-iconic Jason Vorhees, earns a putrid 28% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Admittedly that’s the “critics” rating of egregious fake news the media loves to push, but still …) Unfortunately, enough people still came through that the two franchises set the blueprint for low-end horror sequels. budget and low effort that accomplish little except stacking bodies.
6.Toy Story (1995)
Toy Story was another exceptional movie that started an unfortunate trend. While it delivered on its promise to take viewers “to infinity and beyond,” the 1995 PIXAR classic did the exact opposite for traditional animated films. Let’s be clear: Toy Story is a tremendous movie. An excellent cast (even Tim Allen was tolerable!) And an endearing premise (toys competing for their owner’s love) helped make it the rare children’s movie that also appealed to adults. The result was $ 375 million in ticket sales. Just as important, Toy Story became one of the few films to have a 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the critical consensus of which reads: “Entertaining as an innovator, Toy Story reinvigorated animation while heralding the arrival of Pixar as a family force to be reckoned with. ”And therein lies the problem: the reckoning. Toy Story’s revolutionary use of three-dimensional computer graphics started a slow death for mainstream hand-drawn animated films (except in Japan). like Shrek, Ice Age, and the Incredibles pushed the shift from pencil to pixel. While traditional animation hasn’t completely disappeared, today even conventional cartoon-like movies are typically complemented by computer graphics; Frozen is an example. A highlight of this hybrid approach, it’s truly a whole new world since 1992’s Aladdin.
5.Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Wow, two in a row for Tom Hanks, but again: it’s not his fault. In fact, it’s no one’s fault. Saving Private Ryan is one of the best war movies of all time. It was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won five, including Steven Spielberg for Best Director, but it was Spielberg’s brilliance in the film’s epic opening scene, an incredibly realistic 20-minute rendering of the D-Day invasion of Normandy. Beach, which shook things up, first for the better, and then decidedly for the worse. To mimic the disorientation of battle, Spielberg employed a device previously associated with low-budget horror films: a shaking camera. And of course it worked so well that much less talented filmmakers making much less valuable films decided to change it themselves. Some, like the next entry on this list, did quite well. But most of the time, shaking cameras are used to a) make a fight scene appear more dramatic than it is while disorienting the audience (Bourne films are good examples); or b) giving seedy action or sci-fi movies with false seriousness (SEE: Godzilla 2014, Horrible).
4.The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Josh? JOOOOOOSH?!? Oh Lord. Where are you. Josh ?! You’re scaring the whole world… ”And what’s worse, you’re convincing all college film students that they can do a box office freak with a handheld camera. The Blair Witch Project was an experimental mockumentary horror documentary released in 1999. The mock-buff film told the story of three college filmmakers, Heather Donahue, Michael Williams, and (of course) Joshua Leonard, who walk through the woods of Maryland to discover the secret of a local legend, the Blair Witch. The cast was listed as “missing” or “deceased” in the lead-up to launch. The film, the ads said, included the images found on his recovered video camera. Although this was easily discredited, millions of people entered theaters believing they were witnessing the last days of three missing young adults. Both the marketing strategy and the movie itself just worked. The disorienting camera angles, rustling leaves running, and panicky hyperventilation were convincingly realistic as the cast descended deeper into the eerie, enveloping desert. With a budget of less than $ 500,000, the night’s hit grossed nearly $ 250 million at the box office, a 500-fold profit that ranks among the highest in movie history. Unfortunately, by proving that low budgets can make a lot of money, The Blair Witch Project revived the “found footage” genre at a time when equipment was becoming affordable, giving amateur filmmakers the undue confidence to make movies every time. more unbearable. Thanks a lot, Josh.
3.Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
“We must ruin Star Wars.”
Add movie making too, Master Yoda. According to the personality of the online reviews, Mr. Plinkett, “Star Wars Episode II is the worst thing humans have done, except for bagpipes.” First, it ruined the franchise forever. While his predecessor, 1999 Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, was a shitty show in itself, the second prequel finds Anakin coming of age, and events now shape his dark fate. The dialogue, including a widely mocked monologue about the annoyances of the arena, was awkward, the acting stiff, and Yoda said, “Judge me by my size, right?” -It was reduced to a little green muppet flipping back who can’t get past a lesser opponent because … you guessed it, his reach wasn’t long enough. Did we really need to see THIS (clip above), Mr. Lucas? But the broader damage inflicted by Episode II was its full incorporation of computer-generated imagery (CGI). Almost EVERYTHING in the movie is fraudulent, and it shows. For example, actors clearly filmed in front of small green screens sit or walk slowly, and then juxtapose in open spaces such as fields, palaces, and the cavernous Jedi Temple. technology can ruin a movie. Of course, the commercial success of the film (because hey, it was a Star Wars movie) gave the filmmakers the green light to forgo expensive real-life sets instead of profitable green screen studios.
It started out quite promising for Michael Bay. Beginning in 1995, he followed a three-film winning streak by directing Bad Boys (1995), The Rock (1996), and Armageddon (1998). While they are by no means cinematic masterpieces, they were all hilarious action movies that no one would point to as a threat to the future of cinema. And while Bay’s Pearl Harbor in 2001 was (literally) a bombshell, most thought it would bounce back with other entertainment … Wait, is that Optimus Prime? he could descend by replacing a functional story with special effects. Find Michael Bay perfecting the art of “deception through glare” of distracting viewers from big plot holes and lack of character development by simply blowing things up. Worse still, Transformers was REWARDED for their total abandonment of storytelling. The movie grossed over $ 700 million and, amazingly, was nominated for THREE ACADEMY AWARDS: Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects (note that none of those categories address actual film quality. ). “While credible characters are hard to come by,” reads the Rotten Tomatoes critical consensus, “the effects are staggering and the action exhilarating.” The message was clear: special effects could replace narration. Four gruesome Transformers sequels and countless visual but empty action movies later on, the action genre is an inexplosable shell of what it was before.
1.Ghostbusters (the reboot) (2016)
Hollywood’s latest ruinous trend is the notion that political correctness and inclusion are more important in film than, well, making a good movie. The most obvious of these are films directed by force-fed women; Oxymoronically, Hollywood seems to be intent on proving that girls can do anything boys can do … by making hideous reboots of classic movies that replace male characters with female actors (The Purposes of Hollywood Virtue Signaling). We can’t explore this trend without mentioning the artificial and flashy marketing of “The Force Is Female” that preceded the 2015 release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Audiences were more than willing to embrace a female lead … but not the colorless, invincible-without-even-training that Disney gave us (there’s actually a controversial term for such a trope: a Mary Sue). Female Facepalm was the 2016 reboot of the Ghostbusters franchise, replacing beloved Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson with Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, Kristen Wiig, and Kate McKinnon. it was not the problem; the plot was. J.R. PopMatters’ Kinnard put it best noting that the movie “feels like a safe, tasteless recipe made with gourmet ingredients.” He basically replaced men with meh, hitting Girl Power’s foot along the way. Two years later, all-female Ocean’s 8 would be equally disappointed. Tackling sexism (real or imagined) by making terrible movies doesn’t seem like the right path to “equality.” Just say’.