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El Squibbonator

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  1. And this is what I don't get. If the success of Godzilla vs. Kong is any indication, theaters are becoming, if not as successful as they used to be, then at least more successful than they were when the pandemic was at its height. Surely there's a possibility that with some more time, we could see theaters returning to their former status?
  2. Maybe, but you'd think that would encourage studios to find more books to adapt that the current generation is reading. After all, the trend survived the transition from Harry Potter to Twilinght, and from Twilight to The Hunger Games.
  3. I doubt it'll be that. Manga adaptations have never been big hits at the US box office (the most successful one, Alita: Battle Angel, made a little over $400 million and still barely broke even). I actually think the next big thing besides superheroes is going to be video game adaptations. We get Mortal Kombat, and Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City this year, and other titles in the works include Borderlands, Minecraft, Beyond Good and Evil, Space Invaders, Saints Row and Gears of War.
  4. Do you think we'll ever see another non-superhero IP get a mainstream blockbuster movie adaptation? The Hunger Games is the most recent one I can think of, and it's almost a decade old.
  5. It wasn't too long ago-- in movie-industry terms-- that adaptations of young-adult novels were the big thing in Hollywood. The Harry Potter movies arguably started it, but the trend really kicked off with the Twilight series in the late 2000s, and the Hunger Games movies shortly afterwards. Once those movies became successful, every studio seemed to want to cash in on the fad, and we got things like The Maze Runner, Divergent, Beautiful Creatures, The Mortal Instruments, and The Giver. Some of them were successful, most weren't, but in the end the YA novel adaptation trend fizzled. The most recent prominent entries in the genre were Artemis Fowl and Chaos Walking. Artemis Fowl was shunted onto Disney+ and panned both by critics and fans of the books, and Chaos Walking doesn't seem to be doing too hot either. So what happened? We know the trend ended, but why? What killed the YA novel adaptation boom that lasted from the late 2000s to the mid 2010s? Did the public's tastes actually change? Did studios release too many of them at once? Or did the superhero genre just get so big it swallowed up all other PG-13 blockbusters?
  6. Walking With Dinosaurs: The Cinematic Experience Production Companies: Fossil Record Pictures (CGI animals), Silvertree Studios (live-action backgrounds) Director: Richard Diamond* Release Date: Friday, May 10th, Y8 Genre: Documentary Rating: PG (some scary natural violence) Budget: $15M Theater Count: 1,977 Runtime: 120 minutes Narrator: Morgan Freeman The film starts with a scene of a British forest, with the narrator explaining that this location, just like the rest of the world, was once inhabited by dinosaurs. As the narrator describes this, the background begins to fade, with the traces of humanity-- roads, telephone wires, and buildings-- disappear. The same forest is shown in the late Jurassic, 165 million years ago, and zooms in on a mound of soil and leaves on the ground. The mound of debris, the narrator explains, is the nest of a Cetiosaurus, a giant sauropod dinosaur. As the ground begins to move, four juvenile Cetiosaurus--or "sauropodlets"-- dig there way out of the ground, each of them no bigger than a kitten. As they do, they attract the attention of an immature Eustreptospondylus, a fifteen-foot predatory dinosaur. Three of the sauropodlets manage to flee, but the fourth is caught and eaten by the ten-foot-long predator. We cut to a rocky outcrop overlooking the sea, where a male Ramphorhynchus pterosaur is preening himself and preparing to migrate north for the mating season. He takes off, accompanied by two other males. There follows a detour from the main plot as the male pterosaur makes his way to the same island where the Cetiosaurus lives. The Ramphorhynchus spot a school of fish, and dive to catch them. The narrator comments on how, rather than merely skimming the surface of the water as they were once believed to, these pterosaurs dive after their prey in its own element. One Ramphorhynchus, however, is suddenly snapped up by a Liopleurodon* while diving for fish. The Liopleurodon is a female, and she, too is ready to mate. A male approaches her, and the two of them curiously circle around each other, poking and prodding each other with their snouts. The female is then shown touching her belly to that of the male, with her flippers overlapping his. The creche of sauropodlets have grown, and all of them are now about the size of a sheep. They still remain together for safety, but predators are not the only danger they face. As the creche forages along the edge of a river, they encounter a Lexovisaurus, a member of the stegosaur family with a pair of large spikes protruding from its shoulder. The Lexovisaurus is, as the narrator remarks, "not particularly bright", and begins to swing its spiked tail in anger at the sight of intruders. Before the sauropodlets can flee, a full-grown Eustreptospondylus appears. It ignores the sauropodlets, and instead confronts the Lexovisaurus. The Eustreptospondylus dodges a swipe of the Lexovisaurus's thagomizer, and rushes at the stegosaur head-on. The Lexovisaurus simply lowers its head, presenting its massive shoulder spikes to its attacker. The Eustreptospondylus bites down on one of the shoulder spikes, and the Lexovisaurus desperately tries to shake it off. The sauropodlets flee into the deeper forest. The next day, the same scene is shown, and there is no sign of either dinosaur, save for a broken-off piece of the Lexovisaurus' shoulder spike. Months pass, and the Liopleurodon female is ready to give birth. She ascends to the surface of the water, and as she does, her five-foot-long baby emerges from her cloaca. She gently nudges her newborn to the surface, where it takes its first gulp of air. However, she will provide no care for him beyond this-- he is able to fend for himself immediately after being born. Meanwhile, the Ramphorhynchus are also mating, and the particular male who we last followed has found a position for himself in the middle of a giant mating group, or lek, of male pterosaurs. When a female arrives, they mate briefly, and then the female flies off to lay her eggs on her own. For the moment, it seems as though things are perfect. But these good times are about to come to an end. A massive hurricane sweeps the island, leveling forests and destroying delicate shallow sea environments. Two of the remaining young Cetiosaurus are killed in the storm, and when the skies clear a further casualty is revealed-- the female Liopleurodon. She has washed up on the shore, and her body is being picked over by scavenging Ramphorhynchus and Eustreptospondylus. The narrator remarks that, although she is dead, she was a successful individual: her baby is still alive, and she has given birth to many young over the course of her life. The movie cuts to ten years later. The last surviving Cetiosaurus is now a twenty-foot-long young adult, and has found a herd of his own to join. As he does, he is being watched by a Eustreptospondylus. The predator attacks him, and the young Cetiosaurus attempts to scare it away by thrashing his tail and rearing onto his hind legs. The predator, however, is not repelled, and continues its attack, only to be knocked off its feet by the tail of a much larger, fully grown Cetiosaurus. The young male joins the adult’s herd, and the camera gradually zooms out on the Cetiosaurus grazing, while the Ramphorhynchus flies overhead. *shown at its correct 21-foot size, not 80 feet as in the original series.
  7. Walking With Dinosaurs, if it hasn't already been done. I want to give it a proper theatrical documentary, not the in-name-only 2013 movie.
  8. OK, full disclosure here. I haven't watched a single episode of PAW Patrol. But I still question the logic of putting this movie in theaters. See, movies aimed at preschoolers have. . . I'm going to be generous and say an unimpressive history of box-office success. The movie industry is littered with the bloated corpses of preschooler-targeted movies like Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird!, Barney's Great Adventure, Curious George, and most notoriously The Oogieloves In The Big Balloon Adventure. The fundamental issue with putting movies aimed at preschoolers in theaters is that preschoolers don't buy movie tickets. Parents do. Which is why most movies supposedly aimed at kids are actually aimed at families. That is to say, they're enjoyable to parents as well as children, or at least tolerable to them. Most preschool TV shows are barely tolerable to parents in half-hour doses, let alone as a two-hour movie. Many of the movies I mentioned above were based on franchises that were at the height of their popularity at the time they were released, just as PAW Patrol is now. Yet they still failed at the box office. In other words, if Nickelodeon were smart, they would make this a Paramount+ release.
  9. Funny Business Director: Albert White Studio: Masquerade Pictures (imprint of The Workshop, Inc.) Genre: Animation/Live-Action Hybrid, Comedy Release Date: Friday, February 16th, Y8 Theater Count: 2,545 MPAA Rating: R (sex, language) Runtime: 116 minutes Production Budget: $30 million Principal Cast: Rob Paulsen as Squash (voice) Tress MacNeille as Stretch (voice) Jim Cummings as Bad Bob (voice) William Corman* as Norton J. Greenburg III David Wesley* as The Toonbuster Janet Lee Clark* as Princess Elizabeth (voice) Kevin Conroy as The Leaping Locust (voice) George Emerson* as Nezumi (voice) Tagline: He's bad. . . and he's drawn that way. Plot Summary: *fictional
  10. Something's wrong. I wrote an entry in a Word document, but the forum isn't letting me copy and paste it in a post.
  11. On that train of thought, do you think there's ever going to be another multi-billion dollar theatrical movie franchise on the same scale as Marvel and Star Wars? If so, what might it be? Universal still has the Jurassic Park and The Fast and The Furious series, but those won't last forever either.
  12. So with theaters tentatively reopening, how long do you think it'll be before theatrical movie grosses reach pre-2020 levels again? You know, when we start getting $50-million-plus opening weekends and $1-billion-plus worldwide grosses on a regular basis?
  13. Zootopia is a currently-running franchise, with a TV series in the works. Is it eligible for CAYOM?
  14. Maybe they've just gotten complacent. They've spent so long utterly crushing their competition that they just assume anything they put out will automatically be successful.
  15. So if the reason Raya is doing so poorly is because theaters are refusing to play it out of spite towards Disney, then I don't think its genre or its target audience can really be blamed for this.
  16. That low? My guess would be something around $50 million. Still on the low end as far as recent Disney animated movies-- closer to Wreck-it Ralph than Frozen-- but enough to be considered a success.
  17. So, if the pandemic hadn't been a thing and this had gotten a regular theatrical release, how big of an opening weekend would it have most likely gotten?
  18. Not really, no. Atlantis was, for the most part, a straight-up animated action movie. All of its advertising and marketing focused heavily on the action and adventure aspects, and the movie itself was little different. That's not to say Atlantis didn't have elements of comedy, but they weren't the main selling point. It was also, rated PG, which was virtually unheard of at the time. Nowadays, when everything from Minions to Frozen is rated PG, it's hard to remember that there was a time when this rating was unusual for an animated movie. Atlantis came out in 2001, when the majority of animated movies were rated G, and PG-rated live-action blockbusters weren't uncommon. In other words, PG back then was more or less the equivalent of PG-13 today. More to the point, the target audience of Atlantis was specifically teenage and late pre-teen boys, an audience that Disney had historically had difficulty attracting. And that, as it turned out, was what doomed the movie. Raya and the Last Dragon, on the other hand, feels closer in tone to more recent Disney animations. As I explained before, its early trailers did imply that it was going to be a serious action movie in the vein of Atlantis, but its later promotions have focused heavily on comedy, and the movie itself is much more humorous and light-hearted, though still with plenty of drama and action, than its early trailers implied. If I had to pick any specific movie to compare it to, it would be Moana-- not just because of the central premise of a princess seeking out a magical being to restore her homeland, but because of the similar blend of comedy and drama. Also like Moana, the title character of Raya is an unofficial "Disney Princess", indicating that it is aimed at the same target audience as movies like Moana and Frozen, rather than the teenage-male audience of Atlantis.
  19. Probably because they assumed it wouldn't be much of a threat. The LEGO Movie aside, none of Warner Bros.'s animated movies (and yes, for the purpose of this comparison I'm calling Tom and Jerry an animated movie) have been major breakout hits, so why would they have to worry about this one breaking that trend? Of course, they turned out to be wrong on that count, but hindsight is always 20/20.
  20. I liked Raya and the Last Dragon well enough for what it was, but at the same time I felt like it was a movie with a lot holding it back from being what it could have been. Those comparisons to Avatar and The Legend of Korra that people are making? There's merit to them. But the problem is that Raya and the Last Dragon feels like a de-fanged, watered-down version of those shows without the nuance and maturity that made them so good. There's potential for a great movie here, if it weren't shackled by its adherence to the Disney formula. And that's a shame. Grade: C
  21. I'm wary of assigning budgets to movies that don't have them publicly announced, but since Disney is fairly consistent in what its budgets for its recent movies are, I'm going to guess it was somewhere around $160 million, about the same as Wreck-It Ralph, Zootopia, and Moana.
  22. The whole "Disney is sabotaging Raya" idea doesn't make sense. It's more likely that the movie is underperforming because it opened too close to Tom and Jerry, which, as an established property that both kids and parents were familiar with, was going to attract more people. And given that audiences still aren't going to theaters as often as they used to, that's a selling point. If the pandemic hadn't been an issue, I can easily see this movie making Moana numbers. It hasn't been unheard of in the past for two animated movies to open close together and both be successful.
  23. I found myself somewhat conflicted in my opinions this movie. On the one hand, it's excellent for what it is. As a Disney animated movie, it's top-notch. But on the other hand, and here's where my conflicting views come into play, the comparisons people are making to Avatar: The Last Airbender are valid-- and not in a good way. I mentioned earlier how the first trailers made Raya look like an action movie, but the later ones really ramped up the comedy. No spoilers, but those later trailers are a lot more accurate to what the movie is really like. It's like they gave us a hint of something unique and interesting, but then just gave us the "diet" version.
  24. True, but its budget was only about half that of a comparable Disney film, so it pretty much evens out. I was under the impression he meant that such movies were never successful, which might have been true 10 years ago, but not anymore. Back on topic, Raya's poor performance, combined with that of Onward, has me concerned about Luca and Encanto. Unless people really start heading back to theaters this year, this is going to be a tough time for Disney and Pixar no matter what kind of movies they make.
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