Hollywood vs. Your World

 

This weekend, sitting alone in the dark, I leveled up.

Three weeks behind anyone else who cared, I finally found my way to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World on Saturday morning. I was in a plainly lousy mood despite having been furloughed from familyhood by my wife for the afternoon, and to be completely honest I was not especially excited about the movie (in case the part about waiting three weeks hadn’t driven that home all by itself). Film adaptations make me feel like an alien anthropologist; I cannot wrap my head around why humans are drawn to them, including myself. Why is it exciting when they make your favorite book into a movie? Either they change everything and frustrate you until you want to break into the projection booth with a fire axe, or they’re completely faithful to the source material and you sit there thinking, “Ahhh, that’s the stuff! They’re totally telling that story that I already read and know the ending to. Best money I ever spent.”

Maybe it’s like seeing your favorite band play live while better versions of all the songs sit on the iPod in your pocket. Actually, it’s probably more like going out to root for your team.

The thing is, even with the lousy mood and the jadedness and the over-analysis of TV Show: The Motion Picture as if it were the key that somehow unlocked human behavior, Scott Pilgrim tore me open like a bag of peanut M&Ms. I pulled out my phone and started trying to buy the soundtrack in the lobby. I put it on my Netflix queue before I got to my car. On the way home, I turned off my stereo because I found myself getting annoyed that Sex Bob-omb wasn’t coming out of the speakers. It was like biting into an oatmeal raisin cookie you’d mistaken for chocolate chip. It does not matter how scrumptious that cookie is; it’s the wrong damn cookie. “Graaah,” I said to the voice of John Lennon, “stop not being Scott Pilgrim.”

The climax of the movie made me start brainstorming ways I could live my life better. If I got any more enthusiastic and energized, people would think this was one of Mike Romo’s columns. I think you get the picture. I rather liked the film.

Of course, I was also alone in the room when I saw it. In the three weeks it had taken me to Google up some showtimes, the movie had all but vanished off the face of the earth, the St. Louis metropolitan area being my concept of the face of the earth (most local gas station maps of Illinois simply having “Here There Be Dragons” printed on them in an urgent hand). In order to see the movie a mere twenty-two days after its premiere, I had to bribe an usher to set up a projector in the mop closet at a theater roughly thirty miles from my home. Scott Pilgrim ran off like it had witnessed a murder.

It’s too bad. It’s always too bad when nobody sees a good movie everybody should have seen, something that happens one hundred times a year.

Does it matter, though? Should it matter? You saw it. You can't save everybody.

I ask because I know people who are taking this whole thing to heart like it was a personal blow to them. Some people see a thing like this and take a very short walk from “That movie didn’t do well” to “America has invalidated my interests” to “my way of life is in danger.” They’ve been conditioned to think that Comics Are Dyyyyying by bloggers with more passion than sense, so after a summer filled with Scott Pilgrims and Jonahs Hex and actual Losers, they become convinced that the precious Hollywood money keeping the industry on life support is going to disconnect and leave them with nothing to read or see on Friday night but The Friendster Movie or some kind of squeakuel.

First of all, I don’t think you have to worry. Have you seen the list of the top ten films of the last decade? The only original idea on the list is Avatar and, well, we’ll just leave this sentence where it is before the snark comes out. Everything else on the list is a sequel or an adaptation, and three of those are comic book movies. One of them is based on a ride. Listen to me!: based on a ride, a diorama you look at from a little boat. William Shatner is literally on a show based on a guy’s Twitter account. We’ll be fine. Drew Barrymore’s romantic comedy bombed this weekend; that Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy where the poster made it look like Jason Bateman was taste-testing semen bombed two weeks ago; I have yet to read an article asking, “Is this the end of romantic comedies?” Hollywood is a gaping maw that swallows any idea that seems palatable.

Second of all, though, what do you care whether a movie you didn’t make made any money?

True, the comics industry seems like a very open and personal one, and we readers feel like we know these creators a lot of the time. We root for them like friends of ours, even the ones who secretly think we’re a bunch of weird creeps. But I’m not on anybody's street team. There is no Team Comics. When Road to Perdition made its money back, I didn’t get a check or a pizza party invitation with “We Did It!” in big letters at the top.

Personally, I just want these movies to succeed enough so that I don’t ever have to drive out to the West Olive 16 (“not as close to the Kansas border as it feels”) to see them. Beyond that, it’s none of my business.

I’m not trying to be coldhearted. If anything, I’m trying to discourage anyone from feeling bad or beating themselves up. Scott Pilgrim was an artistic success, and beyond that it’s out of your control unless you are perhaps a studio marketing person who maybe should think about switching careers after this. It’s easy to worry, “But now Hollywood won’t take chances on smaller comics. They’ll only play it safe with sure-fire properties, household names like Green Lantern and Iron Fist.” Honestly, though, it was always a miracle that a Scott Pilgrim was being made at all, and I think there are plenty more where this came from. What else are they going to do, come up with new ideas?

 


Jim Mroczkowski has been playing this level for years and has yet to defeat Nega-Jim. Strategy guide available on Twitter.
 

Comments

  1. As regards Scott Pilgrim I care for two reasons, one selfless and one selfish. 

    First selfless, I like people who work hard and do good work to be rewarded with lots of people going to see their work, it’s more then just making money. There is a joy when you’re an artist and you pull the sheet off your work and  thunderous applause commences. I want Micheal Cera and Edgar Wright to feel a satisfaction in building it and having people come.

    Selfish, if movies I really enjoy do well, they are more likely to make more movies I enjoy. If Scott Pilgrim does a Billion dollars then maybe Stumptown will get made or Locke and Key or dare I dream…Fear Agent. Hollywood has basically dried up for original ideas and is milking the Comic Cow for all it’s worth but if too many Comic movies bomb, they’ll pull away and maybe a great comic won’t get the attention it deserves and it’s creator won’t get a fat check. It’ll still be a while but there is an ebb and flow and we’re definitely still on the mountain top for comic book movies.

  2. To me, it’s like imagine if Conor was the only guy on the podcast who had seen Reign of Fire. Imagine if only Josh had seen Jaws. When a movie is succesful it affords you the oppurtunity to bond over it with other people but if nobody sees it then you lose that. Out of my group of friends about 15 of us really wanted to see Scott Pilgrim. It was in my city for two weeks. The only ones who actually made it to the theater were me and my girlfriend who were also the only ones out of all of us who read the books. It’s just not as fun when you can’t talk about it with other people y’know? Like I could give a shit less how much money it made. I just want people to see it.

  3. Great article. Thanks for bringing a dose of reality to the madness that is comic book fanboy box office prognostication….which has to be up there with Fantasy Football as the preeminent obsessive stat geek pasttime. Going on message boards and arguing over how much money some giant corporation is making off of particular business venture that you have no vested interest in is a bit ludicrous if you take a step back and think about it. 

    That all being said i do want good movies like Scott Pilgrim to succeed because in theory it will help other good comic properties get produced. In reality Hollywood is too fickle and unpredictable for fans to make those sorts of cause and effect judgments. Hollywood will remain as is, some director/producer/actor with pull will read a story they love and try to get it made into a movie they can be involved with.

    Comics still will have a leg up on original screenplays in that it will show producers a tangible product with authentic buzz and sales numbers as opposed to 90 sheets of paper set in centered 12 pt Courrier with 3 hole punch. 

  4. Great article, couldn’t agree more!

  5. I crave vindication.

    Please don’t judge me.

  6. Am I the only one who thinks it’s funny that a movie about indie rock has spawned so much "If the rest of America doesn’t like what I like, we’re doomed" hand-wringing?  That’s sort of the opposite of the spirit of indie rock, right?  (I was also going to say that I like watching adaptations for the same reason I like watching live music by my favorite bands, but if the premise of the article involves not liking that, there isn’t much else to say!)

    Anyway.  ‘Scott Pilgrim’ was an awesome movie, and I felt just the way Jimski did about the climactic scene.  Because I like talking about that with people, I want my friends and people I chat with and whose tastes I admire to see it.  Whether that actually means anything at the box office, I don’t care about.  Considering the things that the news is telling me large percentages of Americans believe, the fact that they didn’t embrace this movie is pretty far down on my list of concerns.

  7. I couldn’t care less about how much business the movie (or any movie) does. If the movie doesn’t connect with more people, there are actually reasons behind that. Wanting the movie to do better actually amounts to wanting other people in the world to NOT be who they are, if you see what I’m saying. It totally makes sense for this movie to only find minor success. We don’t live in a world where my mom, dad, all my aunts and most of the knuckle-heads I went to school with, would even care about this movie. Basically–heh–you’d have to remake reality, press the pause button and rewrite most people’s brains, in order to make Scott Pilgrim a hit. Entertaining that prospect is fun, for a second, but it’s totally pointless to bemoan box office turnout for very long.

    It’d be different if the movie wasn’t marketed adequately. But it was. It got a fair shot, and pretty much everyone who would like the movie got the chance to find out about it.

    Also…it’s a movie adaptation. Michael Cera and company already make enough money, in my opinion. And Hollywood studios sure don’t need any more money. I’m not sure how/if O’Malley’s profit is tied to boxoffice receipts, but it’s probably not. And besides, O’Malley already profited more from SP can he every could have dreamed. He’s selling a ton of the graphic novels. And that’s really where the whole concept was developed anyway: from O’Malley and the comics. Those are the things that matter. Not whether Hollywood gets to suck more money from the masses. Wishing that a movie made more money, to me, is too close to wishing major corportations could suck more money from the entertainment-obsessed masses. I can’t really bring myself to wish that.

    "Failures" like the SP and Kick-Ass movies aren’t really failures at all. No one expected them to do Spider-Man or Batman numbers. This isn’t going to affect future comics properties being sold to Hollywood at all. Hollywood is so completely creatively bankrupt that of course they’re going to keep looking to comics for properties to pimp and take advantage of.

  8. When you adapt a comic that has sold literally mere *thousands* of copies, you can’t complain it didn’t attract a larger audience, especially when it was so faithful to the source material. Which seemed of limited import to begin with. However, Jim, I have to say that after the resounding failure of "The Switch" (née "The Baster"), there were many articles speculating the end of Aniston’s rom-com career. This has more to do with the fever associated with movie studio reporting, I’m sure.

  9. Boy, it sure was good, wasn’t it? All I wanted after it was over was to own the DVD, so that I could watch the battle of the bands scene RIGHT NOW!

    Well said, Jimski.

  10. I think a lot of the comments here already are starting to sum up SP’s lack, if you want to say that, success at the BO. the film was the best opening for Edgar Wright, it attracted it’s target audience, as @Froggulper said, don’t expect everyperson to like it. I liked it, didn’t think it was amazing. the visual really pulled me, but the cramming 6 books into a two hour movie hurt it for me. My GF on the other hand, didn’t like it what’s so ever. I also think the same thing can be Said for Kick-Ass, though i beleive that SP did a better marketing job, that film too was aimed at a particular audience. And my GF didn’t like that either.

    Going into Jimski’s article, comic, and i think more appropriately, Superhero films want to be seen to fill that "What If" thought. Think back to Donners Superman; the world really thought a man could fly. That was the big selling point; here is a relastic take on the most popular superhero at that time. look forward 20 years from that, the X-Men did the same thing. What if Mutants are real, what if you had powers, what would that look like, and that filmed showed you. that though is just one part of the equation. and why do films like Spider-man and the Dark Knight, or even Avatar do so well at the BO? there is that what if aspect again, but there is also the connection aspect, which a few of the comments above touched on. For pictures like spider-man and the dark knight, they are properties that have touched a lot of different people. Spider-man was a classic cartoon in the 60’s; my mom said she loved that show. then you have the Adam West Batman series from the 60’s as well. both of these series also were on tv (or in the case of Batman)or on the big screen in a number of other decades, including the 80’s and 90’s. these Movies didn’t do well because they were well written comic book movies, but because they were superheros that had a connection to a very large audience. Avatar even had that connection. It, like Star Wars, is the quintessential Hero’s Journey that people have seen time and time again in a number of different mediums. Jim’s line "The only original idea on the list is Avatar and, well, we’ll just leave this sentence where it is before the snark comes out" is of course spot on. Even sequels can be great for the BO because people already have that connection. We want what we know, not what we don’t.

    For me, i would much rather see the Spider-mans and the batman’s versus the Scott Pilgrims, Kick-Ass or the Watchmen (which i wasn’t happy with) because they are the real adaptations, to me at least.

     

  11. Sorry, but I’ve got to call straw man on this one.

    This debate has lost focus on what is actually at stake. I don’t think informed followers of comics and movies are looking at Scott Pilgrim’s lousy box office and predicting a total end to the existence of comic book adaptations. (Anyone who is arguing that is similar to an uninformed political arguer, reciting the nebulous bumper sticker slogan without the foundation of knowledge giving rise to the slogan).

    One thing at stake here is the notion of loyalty to the source material in future comics adaptations. Here’s an adaptation that fully embraced its source material, and failed. Comics fans have good reason to worry that this will translate into negative consequences for a comics property they love in the future. If we know anything about the insane world of Hollywood, it’s that the execs love to draw the wrong lessons from both successes and failures. They like to rationalize with bullet-point evidence. It’s perfectly realistic to expect an industry exec with power to take the box office of Scott Pilgrim and Watchmen and begin to steer all of their comics adaptations with the guiding principle that "being faithful to the source material is box office poison". That’s the wrong lesson. (In Watchmen’s case, for example, being slavishly pixel-by-pixel faithful, that may indeed be what doomed that film)…. But, there’s a distinct possibility that a major comic property will consequently suffer from the opposite fate – being adapted and changed to the point of being unrecognizable.

    Right now, Warner is possibly going to pull the trigger on one of the most anticipated adaptations of all time, Sandman. The possibility of entrusting that franchise, with its dark, grim, yet grounded tone, to the folks behind "Supernatural" – seems very risky to this Sandman fan. I hope to be proven wrong. 

    This article might be ahead of its time, actually; I don’t think it’s a fair argument on the stakes as they are now. But, next year is setting up to be quite the year for superhero comic movies, There’s going to be such a glut – (what is it – five? six major titles?) … if the majority of those movies fail big, then, the question of whether or not the superhero movie’s existence is at stake, that might be more legitimate to ask then. (But even then, much like the reasons in the article, the answer is still likely to be – they aren’t going away)

     

  12. @citizenmilton when you say "Here’s an adaptation that fully embraced its source material, and failed" do you mean failed at the BO or failed as a film? just looking for a bit of clarification.

  13. @ohcaroline–yes but rabid evangelism kinda goes with comics and pop culture in general. There is that fine line between being excited about a book and sharing it with a friend and being a pushy, cultish guy who wants to convert your friend/girlfriend/wife into loving what you do. 

    @citizenmiltion—comics aren’t the first things to be adapted into movies. Novelists and playwrights have been having the same frustrations for the entire history of cinema. Stephen King’s "i’ll make my faithful adaptation out of spite" fiasco with "The Shining" proves that faithful adaptation isn’t always necessary to make a great film. (i know thats prob the exception but still…) And while you’re using Zach Snyder as an example…while Watchmen may have not been greatly received, 300 was. Sometimes it could do with the source material accessibility more than how faithful the adaptation was. 

  14. @WeaklyRoll – I meant to say failed at BO.

    Creatively, I found the Pilgrim adaptation to be mostly inspired, really enjoyed it… I do feel it was lacking a major Act, though…. in haste to cut down the running time, the penultimate Act and final Act felt smashed together. 10-15 more minutes, and it could’ve been flawless. 4 out of 5.

  15. @wallythegreenmonster – I didn’t mean to imply that faithfulness translates directly into quality. It’s an art, not a science, for sure.

    Scott Pilgrim is an example where the filmmakers were given the freedom to embrace what they felt was important, what resonated for them, and to do so organically and truthfully.

    Hollywood Execs can often tend to reflexively sandpaper off the edges of everything that makes a given piece unique and memorable, whether it’s a comic adaptation or something wholly original.

    My worry w/ Scott Pilgrim’s BO is that execs will view it as filmmakers wandering off and getting lost in the pages of that strange other medium. And not want to empower artists in the future to blaze a similar trail. 

  16. @wally — I don’t think it’s that thin of a line?  I wasn’t sure about seeing the movie, but some friends who liked the comic bought me a ticket.  I liked it so much I went again and bought my brother’s ticket.  I talked to people who weren’t sure if they wanted to see it, and told them I thought they’d like it, and they later told me they did.  That’s how word of mouth generally works.  I’m not saying that my friends never find me obnoxious, but it’s generally not because I’m encouraging them to see something I think they will enjoy! 

    What I didn’t do was post a status update on all of my social networks saying IF YOU CARE ABOUT THE FUTURE OF MOVIES, YOU MUST SEE SCOTT PILGRIM 5 TIMES THIS WEEK! 

    See the difference?

  17. I think the most alarming thing to come out of this is the discovery that I have friends made out of straw.

  18. @Wally I’m just gonna say it. Kubrick’s version of The Shining sucks. I liked it as a kid but hadn’t seen it in since maybe 6th grade. a few years ago i found the book at a used bookstore and devoured it. rented the kubrick version and was just so so dissapointed.

  19. @citizenmiltion–I think the Harry Potter franchise proves that staying faithful to the original material can equal gold with the right property. I wonder if Hollywood people really set up divisions between comic book movies and other IP as much as we think? I kinda think they just look at everything as one giant R&D pot to pull from and license. Ideas are ideas y’know what i mean?

    @roi–Kubrick’s Shinning is pretty cemented as one of the greatest horror/suspense movies ever made. Now whether or not its like Stephen King’s book is another conversation. Putting that guy from Wings in a really bad made for TV adaptation is not the way to set things right. King really made himself a joker with that move. 

    @ohcaroline–oh i see the difference. I get it (i wasn’t pointing my comments at you)…but LOTS of other people evangelized about Scott Pilgrim/Avatar/Dark Knight in the way you described. 

  20. @Wally Kubricks movie is great on its own but after reading the book and loving it and then trying to rediscover the movie it was "based on" it just lacks everything i wanted out of an adaptation

    Also, Steven Weber is not "that guy from Wings" He has a name, and he was badass in the shining and Studio 60

  21. @roi-thats what i was getting at. The movie is more "based on" than an adaptation but they are both equally good as their own thing. Not staying true to the original book isn’t the end all. Yes i forgot Webber’s name..my mind’s stash of "useless pop culture information" failed me earlier. =)

  22. Make up your mind on whether the Shining sucks or is great. You just said it was both.  A work that doesn’t depend on you having read the novel that it was based on is probably a stronger work.  For my part, they’re both excellent in very different ways and both stand on their own.

    Also, while I like both the actors from Wings, it’s always more fun to say "that guy from Wings" rather than Steven Weber or Tim Daly. It’s just a fact.

  23. to clarify it’s great if you haven’t read the book and loved it more than any book you’ve read that year a day before you see the movie. i saw it too soon after i finished the book and i did not remember how different it was. taken on it’s own as a suspense movie it’s brilliant but it lacks the inner struggle the book had that made me fall in love with it

     

  24. I don’t think it’s fair to imply that the Kubrick Shining is only good if you haven’t read the book. I’ve read the book and seen both adaptations, and I believe the original movie still packs a hell of a punch. They’re just completely different works that focus on different themes, and the absence of some themes doesn’t make the original a lesser film, since it focuses on the others with such great success.  

  25. @Wally the argument i would make against Harry Potter would be that (and i would add twilight to the pot on this) is that these films already had large fanbases, and like say spider-man or the dark knight, are held on the mass number of people who are into these properties. I wouldn’t say the numbers gaurantee that these films will do well at the box office, but they do play an important part. Plus, Harry Potter is a Hollywood safe film, and easily translates to a big budget formulaic film, Scott pilgrim, while formulaic in that the guy gets the girl, goes beyond the formula with the anime/comic book/video game visuals. there are lots of instances in kick-ass that it doesn’t follow the hollywood safe formula, i’d say most of Hit-Girls character. these are things that work great in a niche medium such as comic books, but can struggle in the film medium. I reiterate what i said earlier, people want to see what they know, or are familar with; by people i mean the everyday average joe movie goer.

    but in saying all that, it is always about the right property. there are times when you get a hit out of no where, like iron man. films like kick ass and scott pilgrim i would venture are films that are made to make some money, and if they are a hit, great, but if not, no big deal, they made some money back and can put that towards a film that can make the big bucks.

  26. @comicbookchris I’m gonna go with Josh’s old standby. Kubrick’s Shining just wasn’t for me. It didn’t focus on the things that jumped out of the book for me. Also Jack seemed crazy from the first scene while in the book and the mini series you watch(or read about) a man slowly falling apart.

    Back to comic movies though, I’m pretty sure Scott Pilgrim is gonna do great on DVD just like Kick-Ass did

  27. Apropos of nothing:

    Years ago, before I’d started the Comic Book Renaissance period of my life and burned my brain cells on Star Wars, there was an initiative on one of the web sites (TheForce.net?) urging people six weeks or 100 days after Phantom Menace came out to go to the theaters en masse that weekend and make it #1 at the box office again "to send a message." The Star Wars people were always weirdly political like that– how many organized petitions did I see demanding that Hasbro do something to rectify the color of the Boba Fett figure’s wristbands?– but that one took the cake.

    I still haven’t figured out what the message was.

    "People like Star Wars!!"

    "The voices of young men who like big-budget CGI sci-fi movies have been ignored by Hollywood for too long!!"

    As I recall, there was also a huge push to "beat" Titanic. I’m not sure what we won.

  28. @Jimski I remember that. I was in high school and i remember thinking this would be great if Phantom Menace was an indie film but it was the movie to beat that summer. what kind of message were they going to send and who was going to get said message. I pictured some big studio suit opening up his morning paper and seeing Phatom at number 1 and thinking "Holy cats! Y’know that movie we made that was a prequel to that trilogy everyone loves? People are going to see it like crazy! Who knew?"

  29. @RoiVampire: Actually, technically, THE PHANTOM MENACE *was* an indie film. It was completely financed by Lucas. It was only distributed by Fox.

    /off-topic

  30. @Conor  You got me on that one. Is it the most expensive indie film ever made?

  31. @jimski—those kinds of things always shock me in that the power of people to affect change is great, but they use it on somewhat silly things like helping a movie become #1 instead of something a bit more worthwhile for their communities. With great power…

  32. @Jimski – really? You really have friends taking that level of extreme reaction to the SP box office? Judging from the smart online company you keep, I’d expect you run with a more, uhm, reasonable, bunch….  At least their arguments make for excellent Doctor Who characters.

  33. @Jimski  I have heard people say that The Switch is the end of Jennifer Aniston, does that count?

  34. @Crucio – agreed. 

  35. Great article, Jim. I’ve been pounding this drum since the movie came out. WHO CARES.

    We got a great movie that for the most part, all of us enjoyed. What more do we want? Do you have any idea how many of the best films that come out year in and year out do not make that much money? Be it small indie art house films or simply films that don’t speak to the general populous (read: dumb people). Charlie Kaufman movies don’t exactly rake in tons. Yet they’re usually great films. Looking at my dvd shelf, there’s a good deal of movies that weren’t box office bandits. Doesn’t make me enjoy them or think of them any less.

    The only effect this will have is that unknown comic properties won’t get huge budgets anymore. But so what? They don’t need them. Pretty much all that would have meant for Scott Pilgrim was a slightly lesser known cast and less marketing.

    And the final part of the equation is the comic book fans feeling unloved. Again, who cares what the Transformers 2/Twilight/Sex in the City/Expendables crowds think about the things you love? You guys should actually take solace in them not being into them. Do you honestly think people who watch Two and a Half Men or CSI: Miami would appreciate The Wire or Breaking Bad? Take pride in having good taste. It’s not a common trait in the world.

  36. I care.

  37. As a movie going society we put far too much stock in how successful a film is these days. With the growth of the internet and the information age, I feel things have really fallen out of balance in terms of what we as fans and viewers should care about. I in part blame it on the geeks taking over or at least gaining more of a public voice through the internet. So many movie web sites and podcasts spend far too much time talking about box office performance. As if it’s this new statistic they found to analyze that helps them quantify how "successful" a film is. Geeks and nerds love statistics and formulas. And IMHO, in this case, they’ve lost focus on what really matters a fans of film. It’s something you can take note of, sure. But unless you are hardcore about following the movie industry and studios, so what? That crap isn’t why we as movie fans love movies.

    If you are a sports fan, what are you more concerned with? If your team has a good season and entertains you? Or about how profitable it was over the last year? Exactly. Sure, you want your team to make money so they can continue to put on a good product for you as a fan. And there’s nothing wrong with paying attention to the business side of things. But for the business side to take over the way you judge their performance is utterly ridiculous.

    Like I said before, the fact that Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind only made $34 million in the box office (Scott Pilgrim has made around $27), doesn’t make it any less one of my favorite movies. Nor does the fact that one of my favorite films of last year, Moon, only made $4.8 million. When I stick these movies in my dvd player to watch, I don’t get sad because the masses of people with poor taste never bothered seeing them. I don’t even think about that crap. They are great movies and that doesn’t change over time. Nobody cares that Office Space only made $10 million in theaters. And neither should you care about how Scott Pilgrim did. You got your movie, nobody can take that away from you.

  38. I have to agree with the last few comments from j206.  I can’t understand why anyone anywhere cares how any film does money wise.  It means nothing except there was a succesful advertising campaign to get folks into that theater on opening weekend.  To make Scott Pilgrim’s "failure" about anything more than that is a gross misunderstanding of what a successful movie means.

    When I watch a film that I think is worthwhile I recommended it to friends and family.  Whether it made 9 million on opening weekend (which seems to me to be a lot of money for a poorly marketed comic book based movie) or whether it made 9 cents, it’s not going to matter to the film that I watched.

    And I guess it’s unrelated, but I can’t understand the desire to see a comic on the big screen anyway.  That desire left me 10 years ago, and I’ve thankfully missed so many supposed dreadful adaptations because of it.  Maybe only two or three comic films I’ve ever seen were superior to the source material, so why bother?  I’ve had to learn through wasting my own hard earned money on crap films that comics work best as comics, not movies.

    Also, sorry to Jim that you had to go all the way out to the West Olive 16, but be glad it was still an AMC theater and not a Wehrenberg.  Wehrenberg barely manages to play their films in focus out here.

  39. Good movies making a lot of money restores my faith in humanity whereas shitty films making a lot of money makes me a hate people.

    So I guess I got a stake (as well as the rest of you) in how much movies make.

  40. @j206—sincerely wishes that i could *only make* $34 million from a few weeks of work. 

  41. @ScorpionMasada – You just chose to take on the single biggest no win cause of no win causes. It doesn’t matter the medium, the masses prefer simplistic garbage. Be it movies (Transformers 2), tv (2 and a Half Men), music (simply turn on the radio), or even comics (Deadpool, anyone?), crap always wins out over quality. The average person doesn’t want smart, creative, new, or original. They want the same old, same old easy, simple, familiar, safe crap. It has always been this way, and always will. If you are waiting for the majority to develop discerning taste, you’re going to be sadly disappointed.

  42. At least I have hope . . .

  43. Saw the movie a few days ago, loved it! The rest is all blah, blah. But then again, this website would be the place to get all rhetorical and shit. Lord knows some geeks like to take a stand. And just that, stand. And then their bellies grow!

    Good article Jim, I’m with you!

  44. I have to say, I don’t think there’s anything *wrong* with following the industry and being interested/ invested in how well these films do.  What I’m not a fan of is the suggestion that anybody who likes the movie (or likes comics) *must* be invested in how well the film does, as if it’s not enough just to enjoy the film.  (SCOTT PILGRIM MUST DO WELL, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO THE FUTURE OF FILM.  PLEASE RT IF YOU CARE ABOUT MOVIES!  That kind of thing, which I saw *a lot*)