Box Office Blues

Red, neon "box office" sign.

It simply has not been a good year at the box office. A third of the year remains, but the films from the first 8 months of the year seem to have missed the mark, to say the least. Sometimes, when movies under perform, there are a multitude of elaborate reasons, but I think great films can overcome that.

If you ask me, filmmakers need to go back to the basics. They need to tune out the studio pressure that comes with quarterly earnings reports, and focus on making good movies. Films with stories that are foundationally sound.

A movie doesn't Have to have the latest and greatest CG. That sort of stuff is supposed to be the icing on the cake, but Hollywood's birthday parties haven been the foul type lately, where cranky children cry, and the clown quits half way through the party without even collecting his pay. There are so many elements of movie making that are taking a priority to sound fundamental story telling. You can't build a mansion on quick sand.

A film doesn't Need the youngest starlet or the most defined abs it can find. Simply icing. What does need to be reevaluated though, are the elements that exist at a great story's core. The reasons why consumers, smile, frown, rejoice, and cry. There was a time in film making when these were the most important aspects of a story. Angst and anger toward the antagonist for being bad. An edge-of-your-seat excitement as the good guys went for the gusto.

Movie studios are so enamored with financial success these days, that they forget to make sure all but the coldest of us shed a tear or two before walking out of the theatre.

My ideologies believe that epic speculative fiction stories can contain all of the traditional, genre-specific elements fans love and crave, while simultaneously satisfying the above-mentioned fundamental principals. I would like to see story telling return to an era when artists create art in the manner they desire to, and not in the manner in which they feel will align best with current trends, increase their marketability, or profitability.

The best stories of our generation haven't been concocted with these types of schemes in mind. They've come from a place of originality, quality, and wide-ranging emotional spectrums that remind us of one simple fact...we are only human.


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