Hollywood on the Hill: Studios Sell Out

Hollywood on the Hill: Studios Sell Out

Josh Glick

Today, Hollywood is more obsessed with superheroes and unoriginal children’s films (think the new Alice in Wonder­land or the new Yogi Bear) than first-year guys are with Nichol’s and Beal. Super­hero and kids’ films are instant box office gold. Why? Today, the number of teenag­ers and families that are willing to spend $12 on a ticket to a movie determines a film’s box of­fice success. That is why the next Transformers or Iron Man will always make more money than a Best Picture winner. Kids do not want to see Jesse Eisenberg portray Mark Zuckerberg, they want to see explosions or their fa­vorite childhood characters in a new adventure. Michael Bay made more money than anyone in Hollywood, and Transformers Two was ter­rible! The critics killed Alice in Wonderland and it made a billion dollars. That, my friends, is frankly egregious!

Studios know that it is hard to make a good movie today that is not R-rated, as it simply would be unrealistic and phony. An R rating will kill a studio’s box-office receipt, as it cuts down its audience sig­nificantly. Couples and college students are not attending movies like they used to. They are, instead, just doing dinner and skipping the $40 movie date ($24 for two tickets, $6 for a large popcorn, $10 for two medium Diet Cokes). However, parents are still willing to send their kids to movies in order to keep them satisfied and safe. With this in mind this summer, studios tried to make movies that should have been R into PG-13, with hopes that it would in­crease the box office sales as kids could go see their films. All this did was result in a bad movie (like Knight and Day). Now, of course, every once in a while you get a film like Inception or The Hangover that will defy the odds and be a blockbuster and a great film, but more times than not, we see great films opening with weekends of less than $25 million.

Unfortunately, this trend will not end. In the upcoming year we have over ten superhero movies coming out. They are: Captain America, Thor, Superman, Batman 3 (which I am not complaining about), The Avengers, X-men First Class, Transform­ers 3, The Green Hornet, The Green Lantern and Wolverine. Let us not forget we also have the following unoriginal kid films and sequels coming out: Pirates of the Ca­ribbean 4, The Hangover 2 (there is no way it is half as good) Yogi Bear, GI Joe 2, Sher­lock Holmes 2, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One & Two (no complaint on these either) and Cars 2. All the previously mentioned films will be opening sporadically, thus ensuring that they dominate their box office competi­tion for weeks. Studios know this, and thus have to ask themselves if it is even worth producing an actu­ally good movie knowing Wolverine 2 will hammer it.

So, what does this mean? It means that actors that are willing to star in films for adults will have to take large pay cuts in order for the studios to produce their films. For example, Hugh Jackman will get paid $20 million to be in the next undoubtedly terrible Wolverine 2. He will be getting paid around $1.5 million in his next R-rated film (if he even decides to do one). For evi­dence of the fact that Hollywood has sold out, look no farther than Pixar. The most coveted animation studio in the business is only producing sequels (more Toy Story’s are on the way as is the previously men­tioned Cars 2). Grow up soon Hollywood, nobody needs Yogi Bear becoming the next big movie franchise.