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Blade Runner 2049 bombs at box office


Andrew Reid
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8 hours ago, kidzrevil said:

whether its 2 hours or 2 mins its all considered content.

Well, I'd disagree with that.  Sometimes cinema can be legitimate art work.  Art, in my mind, should never be considered "content."  Personally, I'll always segregate one from the other.

Then there's the commercial element to all of it.

People like CaseyNeistat make "content;" essentially video versions of corporate motivation posters for your cubicle.  He's leveraging the tech and craft to make superficial stuff.  Material to take up space in one's day, not necessarily anything to really require people to take it in, slowly digest it, or reckon with it seriously.  That's fine, but it's not art.

Certainly agree that taste, storytelling vocabulary, and the overall craft will always evolve.

Technology typically allows a new spectacle, then artists are the ones to utilize the new technology to create elevated craftwork and then even artwork.  Movies had "Birth of a Nation" and eventually films like "Citizen Kane" helped define the nomenclature of modern commercial cinema.

And, honestly, speaking of blending craft/artwork, I still find "Man With The Movie Camera" ridiculously awesome, even better than almost everything I see these days, and it's been almost a century since it was made.

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Understandable but I think you may be overlooking something bere. Art is literally content by definition. I think the discrepancy here is how you are defining whats content and whats art when they are in essence the same thing. You may not want certain forms of content to be considered art and vice versa because it doesn’t suit your personal taste but thats a very subjective way to look at it.

D98F6DCF-DCE9-4E86-99FD-5FF430971EFB.thumb.jpeg.99600c267774b49d03f359e7f715eebb.jpeg

Sidenote ”Birth of a nation” was racist af. Wasn’t the original title “klansmen” and painted the KKK as the heros of America ? Interesting that you find that to be a form of art. 4D5DC305-5B5A-498C-9659-CFEB8544D4A7.thumb.jpeg.37e6451cd5f6441a455adad149f2a69b.jpeg

I doubt anyone is gonna be citing that as a reference for anything. As far as Citizen Kane goes good luck showing someone that today and holding their attention. Times are changing and cinema will change with it. Don’t believe me believe the box office sales

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What's really nice about Blade Runner 2049 is that it doesn't feel like a big American blockbuster - you know, no brains & loads of action sequences spliced together. This feels like a very European affair & so has lost most people along the way, as they were expecting something completely different. People seem to have forgotten what a struggle Ridley Scott had with the original film & what we got was clearly not what he originally hoped for - even his Final Cut feels like a compromise of sorts. So the fact that the script was done first & it was enough to convince Ford to sign on, before Villeneuve came in to replace Scott (Alien commitments), that this film was always going to be a different beast - the kind of film Scott wanted the first to be. I really like the fact that the new film started the way the original was meant to & goes to further show how much the original studio influenced the first film - the original bombed big time at the box office.

Hopefully, the recent bad box office for Hollywood films might change the content they spew out at us. I think Blade Runner 2049 is an excellent Science Fiction film, but not of the American Space Opera type & is one that will eventually prove much more satisfying than the original. Personally, I thought the original film to be a sad companion piece to the original novel.

As far as the kids are concerned, fuck'em! Make films for us & let them have their 10mins YouTube shit made by annoying self obsessed money grabbing morons - love the way these content abusers are have their revenues cut!

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8 hours ago, kidzrevil said:

Understandable but I think you may be overlooking something bere. Art is literally content by definition. I think the discrepancy here is how you are defining whats content and whats art when they are in essence the same thing. You may not want certain forms of content to be considered art and vice versa because it doesn’t suit your personal taste but thats a very subjective way to look at it.

D98F6DCF-DCE9-4E86-99FD-5FF430971EFB.thumb.jpeg.99600c267774b49d03f359e7f715eebb.jpeg

Sidenote ”Birth of a nation” was racist af. Wasn’t the original title “klansmen” and painted the KKK as the heros of America ? Interesting that you find that to be a form of art. 4D5DC305-5B5A-498C-9659-CFEB8544D4A7.thumb.jpeg.37e6451cd5f6441a455adad149f2a69b.jpeg

I doubt anyone is gonna be citing that as a reference for anything. As far as Citizen Kane goes good luck showing someone that today and holding their attention. Times are changing and cinema will change with it. Don’t believe me believe the box office sales

You're right, to clarify:  I'm talking "content" in the current context of online everything. 

.... and "Birth of a Nation," which I really dislike, FWIW, as a movie that began to define the craft of the genre.  Which it did.  Even though it's racist crap. 

And you can show me Citizen Kane anytime. I'll watch it.  

3 hours ago, Bioskop.Inc said:

This feels like a very European affair

To me, It feels like an American 70's or 80's movie with sophisticated special effects...

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4 hours ago, Bioskop.Inc said:

 

As far as the kids are concerned, fuck'em! Make films for us & let them have their 10mins YouTube shit made by annoying self obsessed money grabbing morons - love the way these content abusers are have their revenues cut!

Wow....sounds progressive ??

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11 hours ago, kidzrevil said:

Understandable but I think you may be overlooking something bere. Art is literally content by definition. I think the discrepancy here is how you are defining whats content and whats art when they are in essence the same thing. You may not want certain forms of content to be considered art and vice versa because it doesn’t suit your personal taste but thats a very subjective way to look at it.

fuzzynormal is right, because no one was calling filmmaking 'content' in the 70s and 80s or even the 90s or 00s. That wikipedia page you're citing talks about the 'end user' (yuck) for your 'content' before it mentions audience. The proliferation of that term to refer to art is a result of the increasing corporatisation of the entertainment industry. It places everything on the same level as substance free internet filler material. If you have pride in yourself as a storyteller, never call yourself a content creator.

 

11 hours ago, kidzrevil said:

Sidenote ”Birth of a nation” was racist af. Wasn’t the original title “klansmen” and painted the KKK as the heros of America ? Interesting that you find that to be a form of art. I doubt anyone is gonna be citing that as a reference for anything. 

Then you should study up more on film history, because Birth of a Nation is a milestone in the development on the medium. We all know it's racist shit. 

 

As for this thing about chasing speed, everything has to get faster and faster, let's make 10 minute feature films etc... Check out this ad from 1992. 

It's the height of the MTV era, everyone's chasing speed, you get ads like this as a result. They've tried to cram the maximum amount of visual information and story elements in possible, because they have faith the audience can grasp it from very little. The result is a total mess. The comedy bits don't land, because nothing has emphasis, and nothing is given enough time to register emotionally beyond the broadest, 'I get what's going on'. Sure, this isn't the height of sophistication in what's possible with ultra fast editing styles and there are times where it could be very suited to the storytelling, but my point in throwing up this ad is that people were trying to push the medium in this direction as far back as 25 years ago. It failed to take off, I would wager, partly because it's not the most suitable way to tell a lot of stories. People don't just want stimulation, stimulation, stimulation, boom, flash, colours, edits. People still like to be immersed in a narrative, where they give it enough time for it to become part of their life. Long form TV is more popular than ever. 

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9 hours ago, kidzrevil said:

Wow....sounds progressive ??

I do try & stay on the cutting edge side of things these days!

No, but seriously, what I'm hoping for is that more consideration is given to older viewers - if the kids can't stomach sitting in a dark room for 2hrs49mins (which flew past by the way) then lets hope that they reconsider who their audience really is. Think this summer should be a wake up call, but it doesn't look good for them because they've already made their schedule for the next year or so & if people stay away....

8 hours ago, Chrad said:

Then you should study up more on film history, because Birth of a Nation is a milestone in the development on the medium. We all know it's racist shit.

The thing is regardless of the techniques used to make the film or construct the narrative, it's still one of the most racist films ever made & that can never be swept under the carpet. What is most troubling about this film is that it is often compared to Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will & it's used as a type of excuse, but no matter what techniques or how good these films are (we wouldn't be talking about them if they were a pile of shit), they are dangerous precisely because of what they did right. However, I wouldn't call for an outright ban of these films, but that they should stay as an example of how good film making can be subverted for dangerous & evil ends. It's a real shame that Birth of a Nation seems to have introduced a template for American film making, one that hasn't gone away & should now be seen as not progressive. Luckily, the rest of the world didn't follow suit & we now have far better examples of films that broke the mould in the name of cinematic progression.

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^ Agree with you on both counts. BOTN's racist context can never be forgotten and should never be separated from talk of its accomplishments. However, we also can't deny it's place in history. It's a sadness and a warning.

 

And re:  Hollywood largely targeting kids and teens, a crash is on the way. Increasing corporatisation of the studios has killed risk taking, and the warning signs of audience rebellion are already there.

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As I see it, here are the similarities of BOTN and BR: both relied heavily on craft and offered other filmmakers "wow, you can do that?" moments.

They were innovative in that way, so one pays attention if one is interested in doing film.  Never ignore it. Ignoring stuff because it's uncomfortable or offensive is a horrible thing to do, just in general.

Regardless, the pacing of BR2049 is, yes, atypical, but it's not a problem.  Instead of asserting so much is hectic, why not look at the work that is most definately not?

For example, we're in the golden age of television right now. Prestige TV rivals ultra-commercial film offerings -and often surpasses it in narrative quality. 

Competent TV shows, because if their serial nature, can take their time and build tension to a release.

BR2049 invests into that aspect of storytelling craft too.

Okay by me.

 

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As a black filmmaker im going to go ahead and say idgaf about Birth Of a Nation for obvious reasons and I will not try to justify its importance or even entertain the conversaion. There are better movies to use as a reference point. Movies that weren’t founded in racist propoganda. Thank you for understanding. @Bioskop.Inc @fuzzynormal @Chrad

Anyway im excited to see Blade Runner. Seems like they found ways to improve upon the Original

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1 hour ago, kidzrevil said:

As a black filmmaker im going to go ahead and say idgaf about Birth Of a Nation for obvious reasons and I will not try to justify its importance or even entertain the conversaion. There are better movies to use as a reference point. Movies that weren’t founded in racist propoganda. Thank you for understanding. @Bioskop.Inc @fuzzynormal @Chrad

Anyway im excited to see Blade Runner. Seems like they found ways to improve upon the Original

Well, you have every right to ngaf about that movie. Unfortunately, it was the one that created a lot of the cinema vocabulary we still use.  

I suspect other films would've come along and done the same eventually. (Eisenstein really cranked it up a notch) It's too bad BOAN was that one to lead the way. 

In that regard I'm not sure you can say there were other films to reference. 

As you're aware, history is often defined with endless bad actors and disturbing human cruelty. It's truly a shame that early cinema has that stain, but nevertheless, there it is. 

BTW, that racist kkk culture was aggressively invigorated by the post civil war backlash of egalitarian reconstruction.  Bad mojo feeding off a noble progressive effort. 

...more examples of humanity's sad ying/yang dance. 

But if a shit cultural movie like BOAN can get made and we can scrape some goodness off it's shoe, better that than to pretend it never existed. 

I know you don't want to talk about BOAN, but I'm aiming at a higher concept. Indulge or ignore it, as you wish.  

BTW, take ear plugs to BR2049. Seriously. 

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Back to box office "bomb" calculations:

  • Blade Runner 2049 has been running in theaters for 3 weeks with a U.S. domestic box office of $77 million.
  • The original Blade Runner movie had a domestic gross of $19 million three weeks after its release in 1982. Using an inflation calculator, this is equivalent to $48.6 million in 2017. 

...and these figures do not even include the much-increased international box office. (In 1982, Hollywood films were much less globally marketed than today.)

This is a textbook example of how movie earning expectations have gone nuts. A film like the 1982 Blade Runner could never be made in today's Hollywood. The industry is completely addicted to megaselling pop corn movies. No wonder that you can barely make a major movie any longer if your characters don't wear capes.

 

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Just going back to BOAN quickly, just like to say that I've studied film (to PhD level) and lectured on film at University level & BOAN never came up as a film to be studied or watched as an example of anything worth while. The one time that it did come up was to do with it's blatant racism & not to do with any other qualites that people come up with. Perhaps its held with some regard in the US, but in Europe not really. The one film that everyone cites as the film to watch if you want to be a filmmaker is Citizen Kane - it has every shot type that you could possible ever want to use in a film & that's not even taking into account the editing or narrative construction.

BR2049 hasn't bombed at the box office & it is just about to get released in Asia, so still more revenue to come.

This sums up BR2049 quite nicely:

https://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2017/oct/09/blade-runner-2049-slow-burn-blockbusters-denis-villeneuve

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3 hours ago, Bioskop.Inc said:

Just going back to BOAN quickly, just like to say that I've studied film (to PhD level) and lectured on film at University level & BOAN never came up as a film to be studied or watched as an example of anything worth while

For sure, consideration of BOAN as a vanguard film could be US-centric. Which is poetic. The US often is simultaneously spectacular and horrible.

Still, what other films were happening in 1914 that were significantly defining the future of the genre?

I don't really know very early Euro films.

When did the Passion of Joan of Arc come out?  It was much later, I think- a late 20's film? Same with Battleship Potemkin?

And, yes, Citizen Kane is masterful, but it also had, what, three more decades of tech advancement and craft honing before it was made?

To give an idea how BOAN is riviled and revered here in the States, look to 2016's "The Birth of a Nation" and how/why that film deliberately appropriated the title.

 

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11 hours ago, Bioskop.Inc said:

Just going back to BOAN quickly, just like to say that I've studied film (to PhD level) and lectured on film at University level & BOAN never came up as a film to be studied or watched as an example of anything worth while. The one time that it did come up was to do with it's blatant racism & not to do with any other qualites that people come up with. Perhaps its held with some regard in the US, but in Europe not really. The one film that everyone cites as the film to watch if you want to be a filmmaker is Citizen Kane - it has every shot type that you could possible ever want to use in a film & that's not even taking into account the editing or narrative construction. 

In Australia I heard it spoken of at uni as a major technical innovator that was also incredibly harmful in the message it perpetrated.  Not recommended to people, but acknowledged in its context in the history of silent cinema. 

Citizen Kane is entirely different - an example of the craft of filmmaking really coming together, which you can still learn from today.  BOAN is some of the baby steps that eventually lead to that. Griffith is invaluable to the history of cinematic technique, and BOAN was his most popular movie and one of his most ambitious. It's not a pleasant fact but it's there. 

Since Potemkin was referenced I just remembered an interesting fact. Griffifth's follow up film Intolerance (a subject he took on partly because of the criticism of him as a racist after Birth's release) was hugely popular in the Soviet Union and was studied a lot in the development of the montage technique Eisenstein would become famous for. The point is, stuff is all interlinked. Birth has an important footprint and we can recognise that without celebrating what it stands for morally. 

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What's really troubling is the way people seem to think that this film's Pros out weigh it's Cons, when really all it's innovation was done in order to propagate & enhance a narrative that is pure & simply racist to its core. It really is of little consequence whether he then made a film to appologise about what he had done. The facts are that he made a racist film & nothing can erase that - you've got to be pretty naive to think that he didn't know what he was doing or what kind of film he was making. You've got to remember that America fought a very bloody civil war over the question of slavery (between 6-800,000 people died, which is more than the other wars America has fought put together) & then 50yrs later a filmmaker makes a film glorifying the south & their ideology!?

As I said before, this film is dangerous precisely because it used innovative techniques to advance its racist narrative - it should be a warning about how dangerous film can be & no excuses can ultimately change this fact. It doesn't matter if this film was the first to do this or that, what is important is that it did it in the service of reigniting & propagating a racist narrative/ideology & only 50yrs after so many people lost their lives in one of the most bloody civil wars in history.

To defend this film is to continue to propagate an ideology that is repugnant, completely out of step & deeply troubling.

Just because something like this exists, doesn't mean we should ever hold a torch up to it as something other than a warning about evil & the means by which dangerous ideologies will go to in order to re-enforce/normalise their message.

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1 hour ago, Bioskop.Inc said:

What's really troubling is the way people seem to think that this film's Pros out weigh it's Cons, when really all it's innovation was done in order to propagate & enhance a narrative that is pure & simply racist to its core. It really is of little consequence whether he then made a film to appologise about what he had done. The facts are that he made a racist film & nothing can erase that - you've got to be pretty naive to think that he didn't know what he was doing or what kind of film he was making.

...

Just because something like this exists, doesn't mean we should ever hold a torch up to it as something other than a warning about evil & the means by which dangerous ideologies will go to in order to re-enforce/normalise their message.

I actually absolutely agree - I'm not trying to defend the movie or rehabilitate its reputation of whatever. And I don't think Intolerance is a good apology, either, even if such a thing were possible - it's multi-strand narrative doesn't feature a segment about intolerance towards black people by white people.

The popularity of Birth of a Nation is considered to be a major reason why the KKK had a resurgence, so it stands as a tremendous force for evil in the world. I don't believe anything can counterweigh that.

I just went over to the Wikipedia page. If people don't understand just how much of a milestone this movie was for the formal technique of film (at a point in its infancy when the foundation for everything we take for granted now was being laid), they should just look at the 'Significance' section there. Recognising this film's place in history in its entirety, provided that its cinematic innovation is never referenced without being contextualised by the insidiousness of its footprint on society, doesn't mean you're arguing the movie is good, or that it didn't stand for evil, or that its pros outweigh its cons. 

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@Bioskop.Inc thank you for understanding

we could/should start another thread about this so we don’t annoy the Blade Runner fans. I will say this though

@Chrad @fuzzynormal we as filmmakers must be very careful with the films we endorse and the narratives they push. It isn’t “just art” anymore these images play significant roles in the lives of many. BOAN was shown to our president at the time to convince him to maintain and justify the oppressive systems of segregration, Jim Crow and the many other institutions of racism that have claimed the lives of many. It is bigger than just a film, it was a tool of propaganda using the technology available to them at that time. Again we can continue this is another thread if you guys are up to it ?

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5 hours ago, kidzrevil said:

@Bioskop.Inc thank you for understanding

we could/should start another thread about this so we don’t annoy the Blade Runner fans. I will say this though

@Chrad @fuzzynormal we as filmmakers must be very careful with the films we endorse and the narratives they push. It isn’t “just art” anymore these images play significant roles in the lives of many. BOAN was shown to our president at the time to convince him to maintain and justify the oppressive systems of segregration, Jim Crow and the many other institutions of racism that have claimed the lives of many. It is bigger than just a film, it was a tool of propaganda using the technology available to them at that time. Again we can continue this is another thread if you guys are up to it ?

No problem @kidzrevil - I think people nowadays really need to have it hammered into their brains that this sort of complicity really needs to be addressed. I mentioned Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will in an earlier post; just because the film looks great (the lighting, camera angles & the Hugo Boss uniforms etc.) & has loads of innovative cinematic techniques can never outweigh the fact that it is a piece of Nazi propaganda - propaganda that enabled a World War & millions of Jews to be exterminated! To state that we know it's racist, but that's ok because of what it might have given future filmmakers just simply isn't good enough. People need to wake up!

You know what, i think the Blade Runner fans are completely befuddled by the new film as they are used to a disposable product that normally doesn't mean anything past the spectacle aspect of a Hollywood film. This new film rests within a more Eurpoean model, where art & ideology mix to form a deeper experience - a film that can be watched numerous times & interpreted on numerous levels - it's a tough film to understand if you were expecting an all action spectacular ride. One thing no one has mentioned is how inportant the 3 short prequal films are to the main film itself - to be watched in the following order: Anime first, then the other two.

As far as BOAN is concerned, no one is saying it should be banned, but just understood within its context of being a racist film. Yes, it uses cinematic techniques that have influenced future Hollywood films, but these techniques helped propagate a racist naarative & that can never be a good thing. Another point to make, is that whilst it might have influenced future Hollywood films, it certainly didn't influence the rest of the world in quite the same way, if at all. In fact, Non-American films have had a far greater influence on modern filmmaking than Hollywood can ever have hoped to have had on the rest of the world. Hollywood has plundered & copied other nations filmmaking styles far more than the reverse, which is the real elephant in the room when talking about film history. If you want to look at innovation in filmmaking, Hollywood is the last place to look for or find it.

There are so many great films that aren't American, films that you can learn style & technique from in a way that you simply can't do with the watered down versions that find their way to Hollywood productions. If your top 5 favourite films have more than 2 American films in it then you simply haven't watched enough to appreciate the magnitude of the world of cinema, or should that be world cinema.

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