As if you couldn’t tell, we are right smack in the middle of the summer movie season. (While it’s strange that we have to include May as part of the Summer movie season, Hollywood does…so deal.)
Summer movie seasons usually means movies that we WANT to have fun while watching it. Not saying it’s leave your brain at the doors kind of movies, but movies that do what most films were intended to do….entertain the living hell out of us.
This is the time to just kick back, enjoy the ride, and enjoy the crowds. Yes, I did say enjoy the crowds. I love being in an audience full of people who are LOVING the film they are watching. Part of the reason I saw The Avengers in theaters so much was that it was an amazing audience film. Every time I saw it, the audience ate it up. It’s a great feeling to see a film that you can FEEL the whole theater getting into.
The Avengers was that rare box office phenomenon that Hollywood keeps trying to grab. A movie that nearly everyone loved, but also a movie that EVERYONE felt they had to see, just on the excitement that people had with it.
You can’t have that every year, so in cases like that, it always means that the next summer movie season would always feel underwhelming in terms of the films coming out. Good movies do come out, but nothing as huge as the previous years.
But, this year feels quiet different. I might even dare say that this year is….
The majority of the big summer releases ; Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness, Man of Steel, and The Lone Ranger have all had mixed reactions from the audience. Don’t get me wrong, each film has it’s fair share of people who love it just as much as the people who hate it, but I don’t recall a summer movie season that has THIS MANY movies that the audiences feel THAT split on.
It’s actually quiet fascinating to me. Granted, the box office on Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness and Man of Steel are totally fine (Iron Man 3 breaking money making records left and right), though poor Lone Ranger is being left in the dust, but how much they are making is NOT what I want to discuss.
What I can’t help but notice with these films is how the audiences are pretty split on their feelings for these movies. I’ve read reactions on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr and it becomes clear that most audiences don’t agree on these four films. Granted, some movies this summer ARE working for people, and some of them are quiet happy with the film they got (Fast and Furious 6 seems to have no real haters as it seemingly pleased the audience that wanted to see it.) but THESE FOUR all seem to share the same kind of mixed reactions from the audience.
So whats going on? Well…I have a tiny theory.
One of the big things that could kill your reaction to a film is expectations, and I think each of those films carries a heavy load of expectations* that did not fulfill the a good chunk of the audience that went to see them.
(Once again, I want to be clear, I know that many of you DID love these movies, so I’m not knocking quality or taste if you did love any of these films. Ok, just figured I should say that again.)
The one major thing I couldn’t help notice about each of these films is that they are all connected to a very established franchise or source material. Because they are, they AUTOMATICALLY bring with them an audience that knows a version of that franchise. This means, that no matter what, they will be judging these films based on what THEY remember and want out of this franchise. And you know what, that’s kind of unfair to any of these movies.
These films should be judged as films by their own merit. They shouldn’t JUST be “how does this represent the franchise and the characters and how does it secure it’s place in the future.” but also…”is it a good movie?”
For these franchises, they NEED to be both. Now, it can work, and it can be done right, and for MANY people, these movies DID succeed in doing both. BUT, I can’t help but notice that these movies didn’t work for a good amount of the audience.
Maybe it’s the combination of A.) “How does this represent the franchise and the characters and how does it secure it’s place in the future.” AND B.) “Is it a good movie?” that makes giving these films a harder time for the audience who didn’t like them to let the movie go. If it was ONLY because they didn’t like the movie as a movie, they could easily forget about it, BUT since it is based on something they know, it makes forgetting about them that much harder. I mean, it’s easy to forget a movie that’s mediocre or bad like Babylon A.D. (remember that one? Quick, who stared in it?) but it’s harder forget Green Lantern.
Maybe this summer, what the movie going audience needs isn’t something familiar….but something new.
Perhaps this is the summer in which the audience will embrace the new even more? They’ve been underwhelmed with “known” properties, and maybe what they need now is to be entertained by a film with no baggage. No comparing it to a previous version of that concept. No remember it how YOU wanted it to be, or what YOU liked it for. All your hoping for these movies is the thing you always hope that a film is….”Is it entertaining?”
I mean, that’s how this whole Summer Movie Season started in the first place! When Jaws and Star Wars came out, no one knew what to expect out of them. The only thing the audience wanted was to be entertained, and since those films are great, they REALLY got entertained.
BUT, who knows how this will turn out. Maybe these films will be GREAT but the audiences won’t come. Maybe they will come in droves! Maybe they aren’t great, or even worse bad. We don’t know. All I can say for sure is, right now, it would be nice to have a movie this summer that we all can enjoy again. Here’s hoping that someone delivers.
*I know, I know…The Lone Rangers fan base isn’t even as close to the popularity of the other three, but work with me here. I mean, you at least have a vague idea of who the Lone Ranger IS right?….sigh, or not. Never mind.