This article in Slate goes into the economics of the current Hollywood obsession with movie sequels, remakes, rehashes and video game adaptations. The author singles out The Island as an example of a big budget movie that didn’t fit into the formula and subsequently failed at the box office. Since I’d like to see more original content at the box office, I made a direct effort to go to Blockbuster and rent it.
For those that don’t even remember it, The Island features Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson and was directed by Michael Bay. I didn’t really expect to like it all that much, but I have to say I’ve seen many many worse movies, in other words, it wasn’t that bad. I was rooting for the protagonist, actually said “Whoa” and recalled a fellow viewer into the room to see some of the car chase sequences, stuff that normally doesn’t do a whole lot for me.
I think the problem is just more about movie marketing in general. I cringe whenever I think about movies that cost more to market than make. How can that be a wise investment? There is a certain perception that if a backing company isn’t willing to spend $35 million on marketing they don’t think the movie is good enough to warrant it. Would you see a movie that didn’t have any billboards or bus ads at all?