Hearne: Movie Sequel Bash Rehash Misses Point

THE LONE RANGERYesterday’s news, anyone?

The front page headline in today’s Kansas City Star: “Hollywood faces epic year of flops.”

Never mind that the story was written by a New York Times writer, not a Star staffer. The inconvenient truth is it’s little more than a rehash of what other entertainment media have been reporting for weeks.

“There was nothing new to the story,” says KCC movie meister Jack Poessiger. “It’s what all the magazines and television media have already said – that the big movies have flopped.”

However the NY Times / Star front pager totally misses the mark.

Reporter Brooks Barnes agenda was essentially to bag on sequels and special effects laden movies targeting younger moviegoers. Movies that newspaper reading adults find less to their liking. ¬†And while that point’s already been made, Barnes failed to report the industry’s overview of the problem as reported five days ago in the Hollywood Reporter.

d5p6rzz_jpg_1280x720_crop_upscale_q85“Too Many Tentpoles: Hollywood’s Homegrown Summer Movie Crisis.”

“‘Pacific Rim,’ ‘The Lone Ranger,’ and ‘White House Down’ flops are leading studios to re-evaluate their plans as an overcrowded summer schedule leads to millions in losses.”

Get it?

It’s not just because of sequels and special effects flicks, it’s because of the record number of movies being unleashed, “as Hollywood endures the most crowded summer in history for tentpoles. The pileup has resulted in an unprecedented string of expensive bombs that collectively will lose hundreds of millions of dollars,” the Reporter reports.

“It’s a crisis of Hollywood’s own making: Studios are releasing double the number of pricey movies they usually do during the summer, pushing the boundaries of how much the marketplace can expand. Amid the carnage, insiders question why studios are greenlighting so many films that cost more than $150 million to produce when so few have risen above the clutter.”

And while aging Star and New York Times¬†readers grumble about how bad movies are these days, don’t bet the farm on things changing anytime soon, Poessiger says.

Red2_OnlineCharacter-posters_HM_fin5-610x903“My take on the state of the industry is, the safest bet is still the sequel,” Poessiger says. “That’s why every studio tries so hard to establish a franchise. Because you have a built in audience and you eliminate a lot of the risk.”

And while there’ll undoubtedly be more budget cuts – and perhaps fewer films jammed into such a short time frame – another reason the studios can still afford to take the hits in this country is the overseas box office.

The thinking being that, “even if we don’t make it here, we’ll clean up overseas where they like all the big monsters and blow up stuff,” Poessiger says. “But while they’re still making money overseas, they’re starting to do less business, so they may be getting tired of it too.”

Here’s the math:

“They’re making more money overseas than they are in the United States,” Poessiger says. “I would say on the average you might be looking at 40 percent of the grosses coming from the U.S. and 60 percent from overseas.”

All of that said, don’t hold your breath for The Lone Ranger Rides Again.



1:00 AM PDT 7/17/2013 by Pamela McClintock
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10 Responses to Hearne: Movie Sequel Bash Rehash Misses Point

  1. Super Dave says:

    Ok the Star is dead we all know it so time to move along.

    As for the movies well they to me are all rehashed earlier versions of something. As well to me what hurts them is they release several movies about the same time that in short are the same movie. I mean does one want to go to Starlight all summer seeing the same type shows each time? Variety I guess isn’t an option from Hollywood anymore.

    • Orphan of the Road says:

      Maybe Hollywood should stick to the original story. Or at least be in the same neighborhood, eh?


    • admin says:

      The Star is far from dead.

      And unlike some of you, I don’t want it to die. It would be nice if it did a better job staying on top of trends here and there and maybe get a few more things right.

      I thought it was interesting that you have a geezer pleaser newspaper dude taking shots at an industry newspaper readers have mostly outgrown, while at the same time ignoring the primary reason for this summer’s red ink.

      That being quantity, not just quality.

      • Super Dave says:

        But they never do stay on top and that’s a lot of the problem and why folks like me could care less. We have been burned to the point we could care less what happens to it.

      • Orphan of the Road says:

        In college I’d head to the library at Annenberg Hall to read The Star & Times every day. Today I won’t buy a paper the writing is so bad and those folks in India mangle the editing.

        I don’t have warm-fuzzy memories of The Star. Roy Roberts ran this town until the Supreme Court smackdown in the 50s. My dad was involved in the labor movement in the 30s so I had a constant rebuttal to what was printed.

        I’d like to see THIS version of The Star die and rise again as a newspaper rather than a leisure-service of the grifters and such who have sucked the life out of the city.

        Once it was the NEWS business, however slanted. Now it is the news BUSINESS and rather than a crusty, editor running the ship, it is a bean counter who wouldn’t know a lede from a pica.

  2. Orphan of the Road says:

    Hollywood (throw the music BUSINESS in too) isn’t looking for anything new. They just want the new, improved version of (INSERT MOVIE/ARTIST HERE).

    Sometimes it may take more than one try to get a movie right (see The Maltese Falcon and Murder, My Sweet and The Big Sleep).

    And sometimes a movie inspires another movie which then becomes a cult favorite. (see The Big Lebowski and O Brother Where Art Thou).

    Louis Mayer once said if you want to send a message, use Western Union. You kids may have to google or wikipedia Western Union to understand that one.

    Recreating a classic seldom works.

    I always thought this reboot hit the target pretty well. It kept the original concept of the TV series while bringing a touch of realism lacking in the series.

    But The Cisco Kid, based on O Henry’s Robin Hood of the Old West, was so far off of O Henry’s story, I think I cried as a child while watching it on tv.


    Warren Baxter won an Oscar for his portrayal of The Cisco Kid. It followed O Henry’s The Caballero’s Way rather faithfully. ‘Cept The Cisco Kid was originally a Caucasian.


  3. the dude says:

    What Hollywood needs to do is stop subtitutuing CGI for a real, coherent story.
    Instead what you get is mostly cutscenes between CGI eye rape.

  4. PB says:

    There is plenty of reason to bash The Star, but jeezuz, this case is even a stretch for you, Hearne. That said, yes, too many blockbusters, but most of those flops mentioned in the article failed for a reason (with the possible exception of Pacific Rim…good pedigree, well-made), they were crap and you could pretty much tell from the trailers. I’m an old guy who loves the smaller, indy stuff or the good Hollywood films that come out at the end of the year, but I also enjoy a good summer popcorn flick. Because there are now so many though, I have to have a more discerning eye and I could tell before this summer season even got under way that it was going to be a huge letdown as compared to last year (The Avengers, Dark Knight Rises, Skyfall) and it has certainly played out that way. I mean c’mon, The Lone Ranger, a character that was popular WELL before even my old ass was born, in a genre where even good ones do poorly at the box office…yeah, let’s turn that into a summer blockbuster w/ Johnny freaking Depp! What were they thinking?!

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