Sunshine, Light, and Joy


This is a post that I've been thinking about for awhile. Recently, I opened up the discussion to other members of the staff to get their feelings on the matter, and their opinions generally matched mine, which is this:

Within the last year or so, there's been a steady increase of negative posts in movie threads. We've always had some heated discussions for some movies, but recently things have not only gotten more histrionic in those threads (generally speaking, the CBM ones), but they've started to spread to other franchises and other movies as well. I'm not talking about out-and-out trolling, I'm talking about members feeling they have to consistently shit on a movie (or studio, or star) simply because they aren't interested in the current project or projects. With every piece of news about a movie, it's now a virtual guarantee that there's a flood of people rushing to say they think it sucks, they don't like the current trailer/tv spot/actor/actress/director/concept. And I get it -- we all have movies we don't like, movies which we think are bad ideas, industry people that just don't appeal to us. But there's a fine line between expressing your opinion about this and doing it so often, with such consistency, that the collective emphasis of all of it basically brings down the entire thread and thus the entire forum.

There's no easy answer to this. We don't want to crush freedom of expression here. But at the same time, the spirit of this forum is for people to have fun talking about the movies they love and the box-office runs they love.

To have fun.

And while it may be fun -- in a sense -- to personally vent about a movie, or to vent at people who dare to enjoy something you don't, it doesn't bring fun to our community. In fact, it generally drags down the overall fun for everyone else. We've had people repeatedly mention to us over the last several months or so that in some cases they don't even bother going into some threads -- even for movies they're curious about! -- because they just don't want to deal with the overall mess those threads contain. And frankly, that matches the personal opinion of most of the staff as well.

So this post is both a request and a warning. 

The request: Next time you feel like taking a dump on a movie (or a topic) for the dozenth time, take a moment to consider whether it's really worth it. People probably already have a good idea of what your attitude about the project is. Maybe just put your posting energy into a movie that you enjoy and love or are excited about.

The warning: The staff is going to be taking a closer look at some of these threads and we'll be more active with temp thread-bans if we think it'll help the overall vibe of the forum. I'd rather we don't have to, but it's not going to constrain any of you too much if you aren't allowed to post about a movie you supposedly don't care about anyway.

Remember the words of Bill and Ted: "Be Excellent to Each Other".

They're just movies, guys. It's about having fun.

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About Shawn

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  • Birthday July 30

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  1. chasmmi, as someone who played this game back in its early days, you've seriously done it justice and then some. Just reading your first posts outlining the questions and rules really took me back. I commend you, the same as I commend Baumer for the foresight of initiating it to begin with. Both of you have contributed something as special to the box office community as the Derby or anything else I could mention. This stands among the best box office games I've ever had the joy of playing. I'll always cherish the late night memories of tracking films' opening numbers as they fatefully decided the results of mine and many others' pre-season and weekly predictions. Edit: Major props to Jajang for all of his work on this too. This really takes me back. Keep doing what you do!
  2. Hi Everyone, I thought I'd pop in and say... happy 5th anniversary! It's hard to believe we built the forums five years ago this November. The actual anniversary is November 5th, so my apologies on being a bit late! I hope you're all doing well and enjoying what's shaping up to be a really fun holiday movie season. I'm still crushing pretty hard on Doctor Strange myself... As always, thank you all -- members and staff -- for everything you've contributed to this site. It wouldn't be possible without you. - S
  3. I pretty much agree with the sentiment that this is Tarantino at his most "Tarantino" since the likes of Reservoir Dogs and Jackie Brown. It definitely felt to me like a passion project that wasn't as commercial as his recent efforts beforehand. Relatively speaking, I felt like it was his Interstellar. Not knocking it in any way. It's low on my list of Tarantino films, but I walked out of the theater feeling like my money was still well spent to see an auteur putting something like that up on the screen in 2015/2016. Personal Quentin favorites remain Basterds and Pulp Fiction. Django has also moved up my chart with repeat viewings. Oh, and... Walton Goggins. My man.
  4. I think I can honestly say box office tracking will never get more exciting for me than it has been for this movie. Since day one, something special seemed like it was in store. It's nice to see that actually be fulfilled. Star Wars was the reason I got into following box office "full time" back in '97 and '99. I have no idea what's coming out in December 2021, but judging by Titanic (1997), ROTK, (2003), Avatar (2009), and now TFA in 2015, it will probably be utterly massive. #TheSixYearRule
  5. Everyone, I'm very excited to announce our official launch of the Box Office Derby prediction game on! Following a successful public test run last week, official scores and standings begin this week. To celebrate the Derby's oft-demanded comeback and the release of a certain long-awaited film, The Box Office Theory is giving away TWO Fandango gift cards at the conclusion of this weekend's first official game! One US$20 digital gift card will be awarded to the player with the most accurate opening weekend box office prediction for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and another $20 digital gift card will be awarded to the first place winner with the best overall weekly score this weekend. (Limit one gift card per player.) The deadline to enter this weekend's game and qualify for the giveaway is 12:00 AM Pacific on Thursday night/Friday morning. You may enter your predictions here. You can also read more about the game and find out how to play and claim prizes. Please be aware that mobile functionality is still being refined. I offer my sincere thanks to Andrew Little for his generous collaboration in developing our version of the Box Office Derby (and a new main website) over the past year. That appreciation extends equally to the fantastic work of Carlos Uribe, Chris Harvey, and the entire moderating team on the forums, as well as everyone who donates their financial support and other contributions to the forums. Of course, the community wouldn't exist at all without its most important asset: you. We're hopeful that the relationship between the community and the new Derby will strengthen our efforts to begin funding the forums without the need for member donations in the near future. On a personal note, when The Box Office Theory was founded as a simple blog in early 2011, I had no idea it would become a home to movie fans and box office enthusiasts around the world. The contributions of many people have helped make that and the new Derby happen. This launch represents the achievement of a goal that the TBOT team and I have been chasing for over four years. The first time I ever played the original game was during the release of Star Wars: Episode II nearly 14 years ago. When the results were posted, to my shock, I had placed second in the standings that weekend. Thus, a weekly tradition and a relentless (if sometimes humbling) pursuit to reach first place were introduced into my life for the next decade. Forgive the obvious puns, but this week's launch of our Derby for a new generation of box office enthusiasts really does bring things full circle. We hope you enjoy it! Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy Star Wars Week from myself and the entire Box Office Theory team. Cheers, Shawn
  6. Thank you, Andy! This wouldn't have been possible without the efforts you've put into programming and building the game this year. You've gone above and beyond, sir. I can't wait for everyone to start playing. This week marks the first publicly open game, and next week the official standings will go into effect just in time for that small little movie coming out on the 18th. We'll have further updates about additional prizes that will be available to Seasonal, Yearly, and possibly Monthly winners. More to come soon...
  7. I liked your post for several reasons, but I'm hardly the watchful protector anymore (and you'll do great in the Derby).
  8. Greetings All, Alright, time is short and my days of writing walls of text are (mostly) behind me still. This is one wall some of you might be happy to read, though. First of all, happy 4th anniversary! It's hard to believe it's been that long since this community formed, but four years is a remarkable accomplishment and it's owed to the fantastic support you've all given during that time. Be it through your donations, your contributions to the community, or just sheer fun discussion among friends from around the world... this place exists for you and because of you. I also want to sincerely thank the entire staff for what they do to keep the community thriving. It's been financially independent and funded through your donations for almost a full year now. I may not be a regularly contributing poster anymore, but for the Box Office Theory address to still serve some purpose makes me feel proud of what everyone banded together to create. You've also probably noticed some changes around the place lately. We thank you for your patience as we know it can be a little frustrating at times, but there have been required updates to the forum software which WB and Tele have been doing an awesome at implementing. Those are the pleasantries. This is the main course: We're bringing the Box Office Derby to BOT Many of you might be saying, "we've heard that before," and it's true. Not being able to launch the Derby a few years ago was one of the regrets I had when I had to forfeit my daily presence around the forums. Bringing the game here was major goal when the boards started, but I never was able to quite pull it off before leaving. I was so nervous about another attempt at it that I asked the staff a favor in keeping this news close to the chest for many months. And know that: it's not something that ever would have happened without the efforts they've put into running this place, or AndyLL's generosity in volunteering to program a new version of the game to be hosted here. As you're probably aware, Andy joined the moderating team earlier this year and recently became our official IT Admin. If you're newer to the box office community in general and aren't familiar with "the Derby", many veterans here will be happy to detail it for you. In short, it was a very popular box office prediction game at Box Office Mojo that was unceremoniously shut down in 2011. We're still at least a few weeks away from publicly launching as we finalize design and scoring elements, but as someone who played the old game for nearly a decade, I think you're going to really enjoy what's being put together. If you've donated to the forums, you should have received a private message about invitations to beta test the game. If you haven't donated but would like to, you will also be granted beta test access to the game for as long as your forum donation subscription is active. As always, 100% of donations go toward paying monthly server hosting costs of $330 to Invision. When the game launches, it will be free to play. I know some of you will have plenty of questions and suggestions about the game, so feel free to ask and please be patient awaiting answers. We have a launch date in mind and other plans brewing, but we'll share most of those a bit later on and let Andy's hard work speak for itself when the game goes live. Your feedback and suggestions will be read in the mean time, though! With that said, I hope you're all doing well. Enjoy the holiday movie season! Best, Shawn
  9. I can believe it! For my monies' worth, the only thing standing between unbelievable records and the movie at this point are great reviews. The last piece of the puzzle.
  10. I don't think there's anything wrong with individual people deciding to dress as "slave Leia". There are surely positive angles to gleam from it (body image, etc.). I just don't think Disney had much of a choice considering that their primary audience for decades has been women of all ages, and the majority of them might (or do) view it as objectification. It's an appeasement, but not one that totally prevents individuals from still celebrating the outfit if they wish. Anyway... if I'm going to post, it should be on a more universally agreeable note: STAR WARS IS BACK, BABY!
  11. I pretty much agree. Within the context of the film, it has a narrative purpose, but I completely support Disney's decision to discontinue it from future marketing materials because its narrative context is assuredly not why it became so popular -- sexual objectification is the primary reason for that, and considering Disney has multiple generations of women to remain a positive influence for, Leia's costume is not something that furthers that goal at all. IMO.
  12. Hey everyone, The new custom design for the forums is now live. We've been working on this quite a bit to bring things back to a similar feel as they were before we had to upgrade the forum software. There are probably still one or two small bugs floating around that haven't been caught yet, but we feel like this final design addresses a lot of the feedback you sent in early last week. For any of those bugs, please report them using the Support system and the staff will address them to the best of their ability. It's also likely we'll be getting another round of software updates in the near future, so those may address any lingering issues when they occur. Thanks for your continued patience during this whole process and for your contributions to the community!
  13. We seriously thought about it...
  14. Loved Ghost Protocol and Skyfall both. With Furious 7 and Rogue Nation both looking like great wins for their franchises this year, really hoping Spectre completes the trifecta. (And let's not forget Kingsman, either.)
  15. Oh, and... two $90m+ grossers? WHAT?! This summer year is certifiably insane.