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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Norman Chad: Albert Pujols on pace for historic flop

Stu Ungar laughs ~ (tweak mission break) ~ laughs some more ~ (extended tweak mission) ~.....................

A year ago, Albert Pujols was a postmodern Stan Musial. Today, he is a living, breathing “John Carter.”

(“John Carter” cost $250 million or so to make and was a bust at the box office. Pujols cost $250 million or so to land and has been a bust at the ballpark.)

Pujols thought he was going to Disneyland. Instead, he’s wound up in Dante’s Inferno.

In the off-season, Pujols, 32, left St. Louis for Southern California. He became the second basebal l player ever to s ign a $200 million-plus contract — remarkably, Alex Rodriguez has done it twice — and Pujols might become the first player to return the money with a note that says, “Oops — can’t hit no more.”

Repoz Posted: May 15, 2012 at 06:02 AM | 763 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   501. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: May 15, 2012 at 06:23 AM (#4131633)
John Carter has grossed nearly $275M worldwide. Admittedly, the quoted $250M budget doesn't include promotional costs, but it's not hard to see how Disney will eventually recoup its investment or at least come close.

As box office bombs go, it's no Adventures of Pluto Nash.
   502. Leroy Kincaid Posted: May 15, 2012 at 07:01 AM (#4131637)
Willem(?) Defoe(?) was on the Colbert Report, promoting John Carter. He said almost nothing. Just smiled and giggled like a doofus most of the "interview". I guess now I understand why.
   503. Bob Evans Posted: May 15, 2012 at 07:57 AM (#4131654)
Today, he is a living, breathing “John Carter.”

Get back to me when he is a living, breathing 2011 Adam Dunn.
   504. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 15, 2012 at 08:41 AM (#4131671)
Albert Pujols has been better at playing baseball this year than Norman Chad has been at writing.
   505. Juan V Posted: May 15, 2012 at 08:53 AM (#4131675)
I thought he was a living, breathing Joe Carter. At least that way he might be able to hit a WS-winning homer.
   506. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 15, 2012 at 08:56 AM (#4131676)
I've heard John Carter was actually pretty good - it's from the director of bunch of Pixar films, and it stars Tim Riggins - but just promoted awfully. Haven't seen it yet, of course.
   507. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 15, 2012 at 09:01 AM (#4131680)
I wasn't aware that there was a clause in Pujols' deal that said he had to hit like Musial every month of the contract, or else it was a failure.
   508. Lassus Posted: May 15, 2012 at 09:06 AM (#4131683)
I've heard John Carter was actually pretty good - it's from the director of bunch of Pixar films, and it stars Tim Riggins - but just promoted awfully. Haven't seen it yet, of course.

Saw it, enjoyed it quite a bit, well-done popcorn fare. I'd be interested to see how it does with the repeated viewing test.
   509. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 15, 2012 at 09:06 AM (#4131684)

A year ago, Albert Pujols was a postmodern Stan Musial. Today, he is a living, breathing “John Carter.”

(“John Carter” cost $250 million or so to make and was a bust at the box office. Pujols cost $250 million or so to land and has been a bust at the ballpark.)


If you have to explain the joke, it's not a good joke.
   510. Chris Needham Posted: May 15, 2012 at 09:15 AM (#4131691)
So let's just say this contract bombs. Something's happened and he's done... maybe he pulls off 3-4 more Dale Murphy seasons before the Angels bite the bullet...

What impact would this have on these FA mega deals? Something would happen short-term... would you see more 3/$105 kind of deals? Would the market for players over 30 really dry up? Would this just be a blip, or would this mean something longer-term?
   511. dlf Posted: May 15, 2012 at 09:19 AM (#4131694)
I've heard John Carter was actually pretty good - it's from the director of bunch of Pixar films, and it stars Tim Riggins - but just promoted awfully. Haven't seen it yet, of course.


I'm raising a living, breathing, self-described sci-fi geek who has read nearly all the Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars books. She thought the movie fairly good and reasonably faithful to the books.
   512. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 15, 2012 at 09:20 AM (#4131696)
What impact would this have on these FA mega deals? Something would happen short-term... would you see more 3/$105 kind of deals? Would the market for players over 30 really dry up? Would this just be a blip, or would this mean something longer-term?
I can't imagine it would have any significant effect. The Angels nearly saddled themselves with Carl Crawford at over $100M last offseason, and it only spurred them to spend more. It's not like Albert Pujols is the only player on a huge contract in baseball, and some of Fielder / Votto / Tulo / Sabathia / Kemp / Mauer will surely be superstar contributors over their contracts.
   513. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 15, 2012 at 09:26 AM (#4131698)
So let's just say this contract bombs. Something's happened and he's done... maybe he pulls off 3-4 more Dale Murphy seasons before the Angels bite the bullet...

What impact would this have on these FA mega deals? Something would happen short-term... would you see more 3/$105 kind of deals? Would the market for players over 30 really dry up? Would this just be a blip, or would this mean something longer-term?


I suspect any impact would be short term. Here are the top ten contracts that we can evaluate with some certainty right now;

1. Alex Rodriguez, $275,000,000 (2008-17) - Disappointment
2. Alex Rodriguez, $252,000,000 (2001-10) - Very good but the team that signed him got out of it pretty quickly
6. Derek Jeter, $189,000,000 (2001-10) - Very good
7. Joe Mauer, $184,000,000 (2011-18) - Looking a bit dicey
8. Mark Teixeira, $180,000,000 (2009-16) - Disappointment
9. CC Sabathia, $161,000,000 (2009-15) - Very good
10. Manny Ramirez, $160,000,000 (2001-08) - Very good though with some issues
13. Adrian Gonzalez, $154,000,000 (2012-18) - Looking good
14. Miguel Cabrera, $152,300,000 (2008-15) - Very good
15. Carl Crawford, $142,000,000 (2011-17) - Ugh

(the ones not listed are the guys like Votto who recently signed)

That's a cautionary tale if you ask me. I think there are three, maybe four (Jeter, CC, Miggy and maybe Manny) that were unqualified successes. One or two (A-Rod, maybe Manny) that were successful but the responses of their teams (trade of A-Rod, waiving Manny in 2003) suggests a bit of caution at overpraise. That leaves four that are varying degrees of disappointment.

Now maybe you say "hey, 60% hit rate seems good." And your right, it does. Except these are presumably the best of the best. To me if the free agent signings that should be expected to be the most certain locks to work out have a 40% failure rate that's a pretty damning indictment of these types of deals and yet they keep happening. I stopped at the top ten but the next five names on the list are; Helton, Santana, Soriano, Wells and Zito.

tl;dr - No, it's not going to matter.

   514. BDC Posted: May 15, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4131723)
I agree, it's not going to matter much. For one thing, it's simply expensive to sign ballplayers, and getting more expensive. Adrian Beltre gets 80/5 and Ryan Zimmerman has an extension of 100/6, and these are your basic All-Star types, not major MVP candidates. And if one of the larger contracts doesn't work out, there's always some reason that won't apply to the guy you're signing: he was hurt, or old, or a catcher, or a slow first baseman, or he caught some unlucky break that surely your mega-guy won't catch.
   515. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 15, 2012 at 10:37 AM (#4131743)
I guess "Ishtar" is too dated now to reference as a box office bomb?

Its fun to go over the list of movies generating the biggest losses. "Mars Needs Moms" cost that much money to make??? Its a cartoon! And a crappy looking one at that. Its so weird, many of the top movies I've never even heard of. "Supernova"? "Treasure Planet"? "Town and Country"? The action movies I understand, but how does a romantic comedy cost $100 mill to make?
   516. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 15, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4131745)
but how does a romantic comedy cost $100 mill to make?

Look at the cast.
   517. Ephus Posted: May 15, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4131755)
I find it hard to argue that Alex Rodriguez's 2001 - 2010 contract was "very good" when Texas had to pay the Yankees to take it off of their hands. Despite ARod's production in 2001-03, there literally was no team willing to take over that contract in 2004. So, I would say that while ARod played up to expectations from 2001 -03, his contract was well over market for the value of those contributions.

Manny Ramirez was in the exact same situation after 2003. Despite his success on the field, no team was willing to pick him up on waivers.
   518. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 15, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4131757)
"Treasure Planet" really was the pits, in case anyone needs a reminder of how badly Disney needed Pixar to churn out a watchable animated feature.
   519. Eddo Posted: May 15, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4131766)
8. Mark Teixeira, $180,000,000 (2009-16) - Disappointment
...
13. Adrian Gonzalez, $154,000,000 (2012-18) - Looking good

This doesn't really square. Gonzalez had a great first season in Boston, but Teixeira did in New York:

Teixeira, 2009: 292/383/565, 39 HR (led league), 43 2B, 141 OPS+
Gonzalez, 2011: 338/410/548, 27 HR, 45 2B, 153 OPS+

Gonzalez's was a little better, but neither was a disappointment. And Gonzalez's 2011 isn't part of his megadeal.

My point is that you can't call Teixeira a disappointment while calling Gonzalez's a good deal, since (a) their first years with their respective teams were comparable and (b) Gonzalez is technically only six weeks into his extension.
   520. PreservedFish Posted: May 15, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4131771)
Have any of you seen The Fall of the Roman Empire, which lost an inflation-adjusted $100,000,000? It has Alec Guiness, Sophia Loren, Omar Sharif, James Mason, and Christopher Plummer, directed by the excellent Anthony Mann, an epic Dmitri Tiomkin score ... it looks totally awesome.
   521. Cooper Nielson Posted: May 15, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4131776)
I know Norman Chad used to be famous, but did he used to be funny? If so, what happened?
   522. Misirlou has S.C.M.O.D.S Posted: May 15, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4131777)
I find it hard to argue that Alex Rodriguez's 2001 - 2010 contract was "very good" when Texas had to pay the Yankees to take it off of their hands. Despite ARod's production in 2001-03, there literally was no team willing to take over that contract in 2004. So, I would say that while ARod played up to expectations from 2001 -03, his contract was well over market for the value of those contributions.


Because the thing with the long term contracts is that you generally underpay for the early years and overpay for the later ones. So if you get the cream of the first few years, you should expect to kick in some cash to have someone take over the leftovers. The Rangers paid Rodriguez $66 million ($22 mil average) for his ages 25-27 seasons. Why would anyone take on the remaining $184 million ($26.3 mil average) for his ages 28-34 seasons without getting a little something back? The money the Rangers kicked in was to even it out in the eyes of both parties. Doesn't mean it was a bad contract.
   523. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 15, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4131778)
Gonzalez probably should have been taken out as one of the "too soon to tell" guys, I forgot that this was year one. Right now I'm comfortable saying Teixeira's deal is looking to be a disappointment (not that I think he'll stay as bad as he has been in 2012) but I probably jumped the gun on Gonzalez.
   524. Tripon Posted: May 15, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4131783)
John Carter has grossed nearly $275M worldwide. Admittedly, the quoted $250M budget doesn't include promotional costs, but it's not hard to see how Disney will eventually recoup its investment or at least come close.

As box office bombs go, it's no Adventures of Pluto Nash.


It can if the promotional costs equal what its production costs, which from what I read did. Disney spent gobs of money, including a couple of super bowl ads to fund this.
   525. McCoy Posted: May 15, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4131793)
Have any of you seen The Fall of the Roman Empire,

Saw it on TNT or so when I was little. I remember later on watching Gladiator and thinking Gladiator ripped of The Fall of the Roman Empire.
   526. McCoy Posted: May 15, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4131807)
Disney took a 200 million dollar write down in the first quarter because of John Carter. The market budget was said to be 100 million dollars and with a production cost of 275 million that is obviously quite a chunk of change. The second thing to note is to note that movie studios don't get 100% of the "gate" for their movies. The longer the run the smaller the piece gets for them. So the actual amount Disney took in might only be 90% of what is reported as box office revenue for the film.
   527. gay guy in cut-offs smoking the objective pipe Posted: May 15, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4131812)
I'm raising a living, breathing, self-described sci-fi geek who has read nearly all the Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars books. She thought the movie fairly good and reasonably faithful to the books.

Interesting, this is exactly the opposite reaction that Mrs. MH#1F, also a self-described sci-fi geek who grew up reading the Burroughs Mars books, had to it. She thought it was execrable and a travesty of the books -- not her exact words, her exact words would be less kind.
   528. Squash Posted: May 15, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4131821)
John Carter has grossed nearly $275M worldwide. Admittedly, the quoted $250M budget doesn't include promotional costs, but it's not hard to see how Disney will eventually recoup its investment or at least come close.


Disney took a 200 million dollar write down in the first quarter because of John Carter. The market budget was said to be 100 million dollars and with a production cost of 275 million that is obviously quite a chunk of change. The second thing to note is to note that movie studios don't get 100% of the "gate" for their movies. The longer the run the smaller the piece gets for them. So the actual amount Disney took in might only be 90% of what is reported as box office revenue for the film.


Actually it's far, far worse. The basic multiple for a big-budget movie is that it must gross 3x its budget to make its money back. The theater chains take a very big chunk of the ticket sales, advertising, etc. John Carter is one of the all-time busts and Disney is way, way in the hole on it to the tune of several hundred million dollars. A massive bust.
   529. zonk Posted: May 15, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4131827)
I stopped checking Pujols since his first HR - but wow... he's been getting even worse. Down to 197/235/275 with an OPS+ of 46(!).

That's just putrid.

What's a reasonable expectation for season-end numbers? Bill James mailbag was proposing that he'd get back to a somewhat lesser, but more in-line with standard .300 with 34 HRs... I just can't see that happening. It's the middle of May -- and there are no do overs with the 150 PAs he's already pissed away.

   530. Squash Posted: May 15, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4131837)
I find it hard to argue that Alex Rodriguez's 2001 - 2010 contract was "very good" when Texas had to pay the Yankees to take it off of their hands. Despite ARod's production in 2001-03, there literally was no team willing to take over that contract in 2004. So, I would say that while ARod played up to expectations from 2001 -03, his contract was well over market for the value of those contributions.

Boston was. Texas's dealing ARod was a lot about PR value and scapegoating that era and owner as it was about money. Production wise the contract was a success - it's just that not many teams can afford to pay market value for a guy who was that good. That's more about how awesome ARod was than about the contract. Not many people can afford a Bentley either.
   531. Loren F. Posted: May 15, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4131839)
A-Rod's current contract was doomed to be a disappointment from day one. But given that superstars never come cheap, I'd say his 2001-2010 contract was, at worst, satisfactory. Along with the 3 MVPs and 5 HR titles, the man produced 68.5 WAR (B-R) during those 10 years -- more than any consecutive 10-year stretch by either Joe Morgan or Frank Robinson. Yes, Texas dumped him after three years -- three years in which he put up an of OPS+ 155 as a good-fielding shortstop. But that was more a reflection on Texas than on A-Rod. Geez, the fact that Texas paid to convert him into Alfonso Soriano tells you all you need to know about the Rangers franchise's baseball savvy at that time.
   532. Eddo Posted: May 15, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4131843)
Gonzalez probably should have been taken out as one of the "too soon to tell" guys, I forgot that this was year one. Right now I'm comfortable saying Teixeira's deal is looking to be a disappointment (not that I think he'll stay as bad as he has been in 2012) but I probably jumped the gun on Gonzalez.

That makes sense. And I'm OK with your characterization of the Teixeira contract; my comment was more of the "get Gonzalez's out of there!" variety.
   533. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 15, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4131844)
Geez, the fact that Texas paid to convert him into Alfonso Soriano tells you all you need to know about the Rangers franchise's baseball savvy at that time.


To be fair, Soriano did put up a 6 WAR season shortly thereafter.

Whoops, that was in Washington, after Texas had converted him to Brad Wilkerson.
   534. zonk Posted: May 15, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4131845)
While I wanted no part of the Pujols stuff this offseason as a Cubs fan, I very much did want the Cubs in on A-Rod in 2001 -- and in retrospect and assuming they didn't extend him, I think 10/250 would have worked out quite well for the Cubs.

A-Rod's first mega contract was a good deal, even very good, especially if you keep him at SS.
   535. McCoy Posted: May 15, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4131854)
The theater chains take a very big chunk of the ticket sales, advertising, etc.

I've been looking for some links on this subject but I couldn't find anything concrete beyond generalities. From what I've read the studio keeps most of the money they make in the first few weeks and it is usually after week 4 when the % go drastically down. John Carter made almost all of its money in the first 10 days of release so I was assuming that it got to keep most of its box office.
   536. salvomania Posted: May 15, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4131855)
What's a reasonable expectation for season-end numbers?


I think the Angels would be thrilled with a .280/.350/.490 with 28 homers and 90 rbi.

And then he'll be 33.
   537. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 15, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4131860)

A-Rod's first mega contract was a good deal, even very good, especially if you keep him at SS.


It would have been even better if the Rangers had included an opt-out clause.
   538. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: May 15, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4131865)

I stopped checking Pujols since his first HR - but wow... he's been getting even worse. Down to 197/235/275 with an OPS+ of 46(!).

That's just putrid.

What's a reasonable expectation for season-end numbers? Bill James mailbag was proposing that he'd get back to a somewhat lesser, but more in-line with standard .300 with 34 HRs... I just can't see that happening. It's the middle of May -- and there are no do overs with the 150 PAs he's already pissed away.


My hunch continues to be that Albert will just get blazingly hot one day and kill the ball for the rest of the season, bringing his numbers back up to par. Sort of a variation on Big Papi's 08-10 pattern. He did the same thing last year, though obviously he didn't get off to this crappy of a start. If Albert reverted to his career averages (326/417/609) from today out, what would that get him?

I have absolutely zero basis in fact for saying this, but I have a hunch that in the unlikely case Albert is truly busted (he's cratered and stays this way for the next season or two), he'd probably retire instead of taking the cash. He strikes me as that kind of guy.
   539. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 15, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4131877)
In the last calendar year Pujols has hit .291/.354/.525. That's good but obviously not what the Angels paid for. I'm of the mind he's going to go on a tear, too, but the lack of walks with a corresponding increase in strike outs over the last year would make my sphincter pucker a bit if I were the Angels. Just a bit, though. I think it's a long way from panic time.
   540. Nasty Nate Posted: May 15, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4131886)
I find it hard to argue that Alex Rodriguez's 2001 - 2010 contract was "very good" when Texas had to pay the Yankees to take it off of their hands. Despite ARod's production in 2001-03, there literally was no team willing to take over that contract in 2004. So, I would say that while ARod played up to expectations from 2001 -03, his contract was well over market for the value of those contributions.


You have to factor in Soriano, also.
   541. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 15, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4131891)
I know Norman Chad used to be famous, but did he used to be funny? If so, what happened?

I think he's like a sports version of Dave Barry. Dave Barry stopped being funny around 1997 (age 50). Norman Chad stopped being funny around ... well, I never thought he was funny. But he turned 50 in 2008 and therefore should retire or get some new catchphrases.
   542. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 15, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4131892)
But he turned 50 in 2008


I would have added a decade to his age without even breaking a sweat.
   543. hokieneer Posted: May 15, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4131894)
In the last calendar year Pujols has hit .291/.354/.525. That's good but obviously not what the Angels paid for. I'm of the mind he's going to go on a tear, too, but the lack of walks with a corresponding increase in strike outs over the last year would make my sphincter pucker a bit if I were the Angels. Just a bit, though. I think it's a long way from panic time.


A few days ago, I just noticed how awful Pujols has been. The most alarming thing is not the avg or lack of power, it's the trending decline in his walk rate. If it was just '12, I'd guess he's just pressing given the circumstances, but the walk rate has been declining for a few years now.
   544. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: May 15, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4131910)
...I have a hunch that in the unlikely case Albert is truly busted (he's cratered and stays this way for the next season or two), he'd probably retire instead of taking the cash. He strikes me as that kind of guy.

If Ricardo Montalban and Herve Villechaize weren't both dead, I would wonder if I suddenly got transported to Fantasy Island.
   545. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 15, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4131915)

Have any of you seen The Fall of the Roman Empire, which lost an inflation-adjusted $100,000,000? It has Alec Guiness, Sophia Loren, Omar Sharif, James Mason, and Christopher Plummer, directed by the excellent Anthony Mann, an epic Dmitri Tiomkin score ... it looks totally awesome.


Have seen much of it -- it's considered a minor classic today; I wouldn't have expected it to do so poorly. Indeed, there are a number of fairly good movies on that list: The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, I liked The Great Raid, The 13th Warrior was watchable, even if not outstanding, I enjoyed Scott Pilgrim, Sphere was pretty good, etc.
   546. Squash Posted: May 15, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4131920)
I've been looking for some links on this subject but I couldn't find anything concrete beyond generalities. From what I've read the studio keeps most of the money they make in the first few weeks and it is usually after week 4 when the % go drastically down. John Carter made almost all of its money in the first 10 days of release so I was assuming that it got to keep most of its box office.

The general rule of thumb is that it's two times the production budget to cover production, but then there's also marketing. If you spend half what you spent on the movie marketing it (another good rough estimate) then you're talking about earning the movie's cost again to cover P&A. All told for a big movie it's 2.5-3x, usually on the 3 side, to break even. The reason it works is that it's a game of hits and misses - provided you don't miss too big, one hit (Pirates of the Caribbean, Shrek, stuff like that) covers a whole lot of misses. Kind like baseball. The problem is that John Carter is a massive miss and was made for dubious reasons anyway. Heads are rolling.
   547. The Essex Snead Posted: May 15, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4131935)
I'd love to see actual proof of this "rule of thumb," or these "rough estimates." Not that the hoi polloi have any right to know what a private company spent to make / market their product, but if folks are going to report on it, it'd be awesome to get actual semi-accurate numbers, instead of the usual specious big-business accounting coupled with ill-informed "LOL U FAIL"-level rhetoric, which is all I've seen from most John Carter box-office coverage.

Also, given that The Avengers has grossed over $1 billion worldwide in less than 2 weeks, I think Disney's going to survive John Carter.
   548. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 15, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4131965)
"LOL U FAIL"-level rhetoric, which is all I've seen from most John Carter box-office coverage.

They fired all the decision makers involved with green-lighting the movie. I'd take that as confirmation LOL U FAIL was the correct response. On the other hand, the obsession with box-office numbers is kind of tiresome. I don't know why people care so much.
   549. PepTech Posted: May 15, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4131970)
I only knew of Chad because he somehow landed the WSOP gig. The first couple years on TV he was fine, until he started recycling all his material. I can't say I've ever read anything of his that entertained me - and explaining his own joke is a perfect example. He's in the generation of one-sentence-paragraph "columnists" that grate tremendously on anyone who can remember back when well-crafted thoughts were the rule rather than the rarity.

EDIT: While I'm at it, two comments about the movie bombs - hard to believe "Howard the Duck" isn't on there somewhere. Also, I'd forgotten entirely about Hudson Hawk. Heh.
   550. McCoy Posted: May 15, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4131986)
The general rule of thumb is that it's two times the production budget to cover production, but then there's also marketing. If you spend half what you spent on the movie marketing it (another good rough estimate) then you're talking about earning the movie's cost again to cover P&A. All told for a big movie it's 2.5-3x, usually on the 3 side, to break even. The reason it works is that it's a game of hits and misses - provided you don't miss too big, one hit (Pirates of the Caribbean, Shrek, stuff like that) covers a whole lot of misses. Kind like baseball. The problem is that John Carter is a massive miss and was made for dubious reasons anyway. Heads are rolling.

I understand general rule of thumbs but I would just like to see how the ticket sales are really broken down. Like I said I've seen it where it is stated something like 95% 90% 85% and so on as the weeks go by.
   551. BDC Posted: May 15, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4132001)
there are a number of fairly good movies on that list

It's an interesting mix of godawful stupid ideas and some prestige projects that had too much star salary and too little audience. In the latter category are things like Jakob the Liar and Old Gringo, which are from distinguished novels and had A+ list stars. Some of the most notorious failures among the higherbrow films on the list are actually kind of interesting movies, including The Bonfire of the Vanities and Death to Smoochy, which has a curious cult-film existence as both a godawful stupid idea and a prestige project full of stars.

The most ironic failure on the list must be Cradle Will Rock. (I really enjoyed that one when I was apparently the only person who ever saw it in a theater, but I don't know how it holds up now.)
   552. Lassus Posted: May 15, 2012 at 02:11 PM (#4132004)
I'd like to put in a small shout-out here for the $40M Remo Williams, which made $12M. The 1985 dollars there have to put it in some kind of contention. Man, it was horrible, I saw it in the theater.
   553. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 15, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4132008)
Since we don't have another movie thread, here's a question that's been bugging me for years but I have not been able to find the answer to:

A while ago (at least 10 years back, maybe more), I caught a snippet of a movie on cable. The only parts I remember: It was an action comedy in the vein of Big Trouble in Little China. Wise-cracking hero beats bad guy type of movie. Two scenes I remember involve the good guys infiltrating the bad guy's lair in the sewers, then a big confrontation in a large building that looked like a train station with lots of glass everywhere, a big central staircase. I think there was a also a quasi-sci/fi aspect in that I seem to remember a big flashing gizmo in the bad guy's lair. The date of the movie was the late 80s/early 90s timeframe.

That's all I know. When I tried to recall the title in later months and years, the only name that came to my mind was Buckaroo Banzai. And yet although I haven't seen that film I am 100% sure that's not the movie.

Can anyone help me remember what I am thinking of?
   554. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: May 15, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4132013)
Fun fact: Pujols' 2011 OPS+ of 148 was actually the lowest of his career. His 2012 would be slightly worse...even after you added 100 points to it.

Through 2011: 328/420/617; 40 HR, 120 RBI in 676 PA (per season)
2012: 197/235/275; 1 HR, 12 RBI in 149 PA
Needed, rest of 2012, to match avg of 2001-11: 372/471/729; 39 HR, 108 RBI in 527 PA.

Ow. That's a 1200 OPS, folks, above 200 OPS+. Ow.

EDIT: If we plug in 527 PA of last year's production, we get back to 275/336/479, 31 HR and 92 RBI. Not bad, but no need to clear any extra space on the trophy shelf, either.
   555. Al Kaline Trio Posted: May 15, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4132025)
Is it too early to call this contract and Albertross?
   556. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: May 15, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4132033)
The most ironic failure on the list must be Cradle Will Rock. (I really enjoyed that one when I was apparently the only person who ever saw it in a theater, but I don't know how it holds up now.)
I saw that in theaters. Of course, it was a DGA screening so I didn't pay, but still. I agree with you about the quality though I've also not seen it in ages. I'm stunned it lost that much money, but I guess well and truly no one saw it.
   557. BrianBrianson Posted: May 15, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4132051)
@SdeB

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.

I'd guess blocking out the Vanilla Ice bit is why you're having trouble remembering.
   558. Monty Posted: May 15, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4132060)
there are a number of fairly good movies on that list


I'm not claiming it's great art or anything, but I personally enjoy Cutthroat Island, the movie with the biggest loss on the list.

And anyone who doesn't like Hudson Hawk just doesn't get it.
   559. gay guy in cut-offs smoking the objective pipe Posted: May 15, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4132068)
I'm not claiming it's great art or anything, but I personally enjoy Cutthroat Island, the movie with the biggest loss on the list.

Cutthroat Island was ruined by Geena Davis' apocalyptically bad performance. Frank Langella is great, the sets are great, the story could have been trimmed a little but on the whole works passably well, Matthew Modine is ineffectual but charming.

And then there's Geena. Wooden is too kind a word.
   560. zonk Posted: May 15, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4132069)
I will brook no ill words about Death to Smoochy.

   561. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 15, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4132075)
Some of the most notorious failures among the higherbrow films on the list are actually kind of interesting movies, including The Bonfire of the Vanities


I read the Book before it was a movie, there was a bidding war over the movie rights, and then the all-star cast was announced...

Tom Hanks
Bruce Willis
Melanie Griffith
Kim Cattrall
Morgan Freeman

Ok I thought, I can see Willis as the lead character, Hanks as the journalist (I guess, wrong ethnicity...) or maybe the ADA, Cattrall as the girlfriend, Freeman as the Reverend... I had no idea who Griffith was supposed to play, there were really only two female roles and she didn't seem to fit either one...

and every single one was cast in the utterly wrong role for them, and for the story, it was stunning really.

Hanks NOW might be able to play the stock broker/lord of the universe role- then he was so badly miscast (and misdirected) it was pretty obvious that the producers who'd spent a ton on acquiring the movie rights and production and marketing had no clue what the story was about.

I've read that the producer wanted either Jack Nicholson or John Cleese to play the Journalist- Nicholson would have been worse miscasting than Willis- Cleese would have been the right ethnicity... and aside from that would have been miscast even worse than anyone else mentioned...

DePalma has admitted that the film was miscast, he later said that John Lithgow would have been better as the lead than Hanks
   562. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 15, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4132093)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.


I think I would remember giant turtle muppets. That isn't it.
   563. BDC Posted: May 15, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4132097)
I think I would remember giant turtle muppets

I used to say that a lot too, but I've had to accept that years of Campari & soda have taken their toll.
   564. phredbird Posted: May 15, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4132104)
i was going to make

'who is this albert pujols everyone is talking about?'

my sarcastic meme this season, but with him struggling like this it's no fun. i'm just kicking him while he's down. it's going into mothballs until he starts a comeback.
   565. Baldrick Posted: May 15, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4132112)
By my quick and dirty calculations, if Pujols today turns into the best version of himself (which I'm calling the 2008 version), he can still produce a reasonably 'Pujols' sort of season. If his final 500 PAs of the season look like 2008, he ends up:

310/396/545
30 HR, 88 R, 102 RBI
somewhere around 6.5 WAR

That's certainly acceptable. If this is all just a weird blip and he really still is the same guy, the season can still be rescued. But only barely. If this goes on for another couple weeks, he's guaranteed to turn in a crappy (for him) season even if he hits like peak-Pujols for the rest of it.
   566. Every Inge Counts Posted: May 15, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4132123)
I really enjoy looking into box office numbers. I enjoy trying to figure out what makes Avatar into the highest grossing film ever and what made John Carter such a huge flop (and I say that because I seemed to enjoy John Carter a lot more than Avatar...)
   567. BWV 1129 Posted: May 15, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4132134)
John Carter has grossed nearly $275M worldwide. Admittedly, the quoted $250M budget doesn't include promotional costs, but it's not hard to see how Disney will eventually recoup its investment or at least come close.

As pointed out above, a movie has to make 3x its production budget to turn a profit. Even with ancillaries, this film is doomed -- they didn't even do merchandising, because they knew it sucked.

And, believe me, it sucked. I walked out of it halfway through, which I'm pretty sure I'd never before done in my life. I've seen worse, but I'm older now. It's a complete disaster.
   568. Lassus Posted: May 15, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4132143)
And, believe me, it sucked. I walked out of it halfway through, which I'm pretty sure I'd never before done in my life. I've seen worse, but I'm older now. It's a complete disaster.

Disagree, and I'm not the only one who does; it has an audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes of 68%.
   569. BWV 1129 Posted: May 15, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4132144)
As for Pujols, even when you dig deep, there are weird things in his numbers. His line drive rate as reported by BB-Ref is 21%, which is his career mark, as well. BABIP is usually .100 points higher than that, and his career BABIP is right around .310; this year it's closer to .210 (last year it was .277).

He's getting behind in the count more often than he ever has before.

He's popping up more than he has before.

So he's behind in the count, and he either hits the ball well and gets no results, or hits it poorly and gets no results. He hits it hard and he hits it high, but he never hits it hard and high.

He gets out on his front foot. His front shoulder opens early. He's too pull-conscious. He pulls the ball on the ground to the third baseman forty times a game. He's not staying back. He's not hitting to all fields.

Etc.

All those things are true. But it is literally unprecedented for a hitter like this to completely collapse; hell, it's nearly unprecedented for a hitter like this to exist. You have to think he'll work through it, somehow. If his BABIP just reverted to normal, he'd be hitting .270, and his OPS+ would be around 90. That would still stuck, but it wouldn't be so many variations off of his mean.
   570. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 15, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4132146)
I really enjoy looking into box office numbers. I enjoy trying to figure out what makes Avatar into the highest grossing film ever and what made John Carter such a huge flop (and I say that because I seemed to enjoy John Carter a lot more than Avatar...)


I didn't know "John Carter" was from a beloved series of books til well after the movie had left theaters. They never made reference to the books, and yet they kinda acted like everyone knew the books (I think the director or someone that greenlit it admitted he was a huge fan and assumed everyone else was).

It just looked like a run-of-the-mill sci-fi action movie with second-rate special effects. Plus it had a no-name cast, really bad-looking effeminate aliens, and the trailers pretty much showed nothing about what the movie was about except for a woman saying "So you are John Carter of Earth" that ranked really high on the Unintentional Comedy Rating.

Granted, I'm not the target audience, but I think that's why it flopped.
   571. Every Inge Counts Posted: May 15, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4132151)
Yeah reading about the different issues about the marketing was interesting.

Apparently didn't want to call it John Carter of Mars because of the 2011 flop that has been mentioned on here, Mars Needs Moms. Based on the book A Princess of Mars, but didn't want to put princess in the title because they didn't want to scare away the teenage boys I guess. So they just called it John Carter...which isn't exactly exciting either...
   572. BWV 1129 Posted: May 15, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4132153)
- And, believe me, it sucked. I walked out of it halfway through, which I'm pretty sure I'd never before done in my life. I've seen worse, but I'm older now. It's a complete disaster.

Disagree rather strongly, and I'm not the only one who does; it has an audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes of 68%.


The audience rating is going to be made up disproportionately of fans of the movie. It has no meaning. It's 51 on Metacritic, 52% on Rotten Tomatoes. Bad ratings.

I expected to like the film; I wanted to like the film. I found narratively confused and visually incoherent and ugly. The pacing was awful. The frames within frames in the structure were DOA. I didn't think anything worked, and I didn't see how it was going to get better.
   573. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 15, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4132158)
I didn't know "John Carter" was from a beloved series of books til well after the movie had left theaters.
I wouldn't say they're "beloved" anymore. Tarzan's been the enduring Burroughs character, and he's not exactly a hot property right now.
   574. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 15, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4132162)
I didn't know "John Carter" was from a beloved series of books til well after the movie had left theaters. They never made reference to the books, and yet they kinda acted like everyone knew the books (I think the director or someone that greenlit it admitted he was a huge fan and assumed everyone else was).

It just looked like a run-of-the-mill sci-fi action movie with second-rate special effects. Plus it had a no-name cast, really bad-looking effeminate aliens, and the trailers pretty much showed nothing about what the movie was about except for a woman saying "So you are John Carter of Earth" that ranked really high on the Unintentional Comedy Rating.

Granted, I'm not the target audience, but I think that's why it flopped.


This was exactly my point of view on it. I think you and I are the type of viewer you want to attract for the movie. The people who know the story are going to see it, the trick is to get me interested but all I saw was a generic sci-fi flick. There was no there there. I was stunned when I learned that this was in fact a major, big budget flick.
   575. McCoy Posted: May 15, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4132167)
Yeah, so few people went and saw it that basically only the hard core fans and the extremely disgruntled are going to leave reviews.
   576. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 15, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4132170)
The people who know the story are going to see it, the trick is to get me interested but all I saw was a generic sci-fi flick.


It's "generic sci-fi" only because sci-fi authors and filmmakers have been plundering the Barsoom series for ideas for the last 100 years. The first story came out in 1912. The series is older than Wrigley Field.

It's reminiscent of the woman who didn't like Hamlet because "it was just a bunch of famous quotes strung together."

In my opinion, as one only superficially familiar with the books, the film was a good, not great movie. Definitely worth going to see. Overall generally enjoyable.
   577. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 15, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4132174)
Also, maybe it's just me, but the trailers seemed to take on the tone that this was a Very Important Epic Movie, what with its faux-stirring music and total lack of action. The trailer might as well have been for "War Horse 2: The Quickening".

Trailers are important! You could sell a crappy movie about Pablo Escobar based on a great trailer.
   578. DA Baracus Posted: May 15, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4132175)
They never made reference to the books, and yet they kinda acted like everyone knew the books (I think the director or someone that greenlit it admitted he was a huge fan and assumed everyone else was).


This was part of it. They just assumed everyone knew who John Carter was, and they were wrong. The trailers told you literally nothing about the movie. It was only through word of mouth from people that I know that read the books that I and others that I know knew that John Carter was a Confederate solider transported to Mars, or something like that.* A little explanation in the previews would have been nice.

*EDIT: I apologize for that train wreck of a sentence.
   579. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 15, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4132176)
I'd like to put in a small shout-out here for the $40M Remo Williams, which made $12M. The 1985 dollars there have to put it in some kind of contention. Man, it was horrible, I saw it in the theater.


Remo Williams was great, some of the finest acting of Joel Grey's career.
   580. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 15, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4132181)
It's "generic sci-fi" only because sci-fi authors and filmmakers have been plundering the Barsoom series for ideas for the last 100 years. The first story came out in 1912. The series is older than Wrigley Field.
That's the problem: They were presenting not one fresh idea that hadn't been CGI'd to death over the last few decades, and they were doing it with an unknown character using unknown actors.
   581. McCoy Posted: May 15, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4132182)
To give some perspective John Carter have about 76,000 people responding to the rating and 68% of them saying they liked it. The Avengers in just 10 days has had 321,000 people respond and had 96% of them say they liked it. Avatar has had 623,000 people respond and had 92% of them say they liked it. Indiana Jones and the Stupid Skulls got 1.2 million responses and 59% of them said they liked it. 68% is not a compliment.
   582. hokieneer Posted: May 15, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4132184)
I really enjoy looking into box office numbers. I enjoy trying to figure out what makes Avatar into the highest grossing film ever and what made John Carter such a huge flop


James Cameron's midas touch.
   583. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 15, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4132188)
My opinion on John Carter having seen trailers: It looks like "Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time", plus a race of green people and a race of giant white apes. Obviously it is not set in the real world, but "300" was supposedly based on historical events and it's not set in the real world either, not to mention "Beowulf" and any number of other stories with monsters in them, so there's no way one would know this movie involves interplanetary travel.

I went to see it anyway because I heard the special effects were great, which they are.

Conclusions:
- The depiction of his super-jumping-power is as good as one could hope. He's like a Superman in some ways, but in other ways he is powerless.
- The vast city on the alien planet seems to at least have more than one inhabitant per ten square miles, unlike "Thor".
- The parts of the movie where he joins the green people's society are the best parts. This is most of the first half. I got a lot of Indiana Jones-style enjoyment out of those adventures. Including the green people's religious rituals.
- However, it's like an Indiana Jones movie with Indiana Jones replaced by Daniel Plainview. This is a guy with no friends, no interest in anything except making a fortune gold mining. There's a long sequence where he just flatly refuses to help the Arizona militia round up some bad guys or something, despite being the only person who could help them. I don't have a problem with him being a Confederate soldier, but it contributes to him basically being a bitter outcast who nobody in Arizona likes. Eventually we figure out that the reason he's such a jerk is that he's sad that his family was killed by the Union Army. Still not fun to watch.
- The princess is ACTUALLY Mars's only irreplaceable brilliant scientist? She isn't just, like, sponsoring scientific research with her vast wealth? Why does she dress like that? This is just ridiculous.
- The whole civil war between the two groups of humans on Mars is not very exciting. What'll happen if the good city gets overtaken by the bad city? Just have a new ruler? Who cares? And the bad city has been effortlessly conquering every city it tries to conquer. Why do you think you have a chance to stop them?
- Not enough time spent with the bald deity people in robes.
- The giant white apes don't factor into the movie at all. One of them appears as an adversary in the big gladiator event.
- The flyign machines are awesome. So is the giant dog-creature, but he seems to have been included as an afterthought.
   584. BDC Posted: May 15, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4132196)
You could sell a crappy movie about Pablo Escobar based on a great trailer

IN A WORLD where the home run was king ... all young Escobar had was a shortstop's glove. They told him he couldn't walk off the island ... but a wizened old coach taught him the plate discipline that would ...

Oh, wrong Escobar.
   585. Eddo Posted: May 15, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4132205)
It's "generic sci-fi" only because sci-fi authors and filmmakers have been plundering the Barsoom series for ideas for the last 100 years. The first story came out in 1912. The series is older than Wrigley Field.

That's fair, but like others have said: unless you had prior knowledge of the character (which I didn't), you weren't going to know this after seeing the trailer.

The trailer made it look super-generic. Also (and this might just be a personal thing), the prominent "Disney" logo just above the title on posters (and in the trailer) definitely hurt its credibility as a classic sci-fi story. I have nothing against Disney on principle, but the "Disney" branding definitely invokes thoughts of family films. That can definitely be a turn-off for more serious sci-fi and fantasy.
   586. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 15, 2012 at 05:16 PM (#4132208)
Why does she dress like that? This is just ridiculous.


Compared to the way Dejah Thoris is traditionally depicted, the character in the movie is way overdressed.

Based on the book A Princess of Mars, but didn't want to put princess in the title because they didn't want to scare away the teenage boys I guess.



Probably didn't want to get this movie confused with the godawful one featuring Tracie Lords.
   587. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 15, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4132217)
68% is not a compliment.


It's not an indictment, either.

Some other not-too-long-ago SF&F pictures in that general neighborhood:

A Scanner Darkly 69%
The Blob (1958) 69%
Rollerball (1975) 68%
Unbreakable 68%
Logan's Run 68%
Highlander 67%
Flesh Gordon 67%
Diamonds Are Forever 67%
The Andromeda Strain 67%

Those aren't really all-time classics, but I wouldn't call any of them terrible, either.
   588. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 15, 2012 at 05:31 PM (#4132220)
I really enjoy looking into box office numbers. I enjoy trying to figure out what makes Avatar into the highest grossing film ever and what made John Carter such a huge flop
I saw Avatar for the first time last week (I know, I know), and it was just horrible. I imagine John Carter to be a similar experience.
   589. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 15, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4132225)
I saw Avatar for the first time last week (I know, I know), and it was just horrible.


I don't really get why it was a huge hit either. The plot is terrible, and I wasn't all that blown away by the CGI. It looked like an overdone cartoon to me. But I never would have guessed you could get a blockbuster out of the Titanic story either. That's why I have student loans and James Cameron sleeps on a big pile of money.
   590. Monty Posted: May 15, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4132228)
Flesh Gordon 67%

Those aren't really all-time classics, but I wouldn't call any of them terrible, either


If that's not a misspelling, I assure you it is a terrible, terrible movie.
   591. PepTech Posted: May 15, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4132229)
So I'm curious about "movies you've walked out of". Typically I will stay even for a horrible movie, just for the (probably unintentional) comedic value. Hollow Man fell into that category. Fifth Element, same kinda thing. On the other hand, Mystic River was hard to watch, even though I knew going in Lehane's themes are hardcore - none of it worked onscreen for me, even the cast.

Blue Velvet, for me, is the only movie I've ever got up and left. I probably would have stuck it out if my (female, not date) companion hadn't become, ah, nauseous.

I will admit falling asleep during Brazil, but that was after pulling my first allnighter in college and thinking I had rallied.

   592. Monty Posted: May 15, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4132232)
Avatar looks amazing on a giant screen. Absolutely incredible. But there's no reason to watch it on a screen smaller than a barn.
   593. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 15, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4132233)
Was Avatar a huge money maker merely for the technical aspects? The plotline was just embarrassing — some dude goes "native", and then becomes the most awesome native ever — and that works for people? Maybe it's because I've played way too many video games, but the whole movie felt like a cut scene from a new game.

According to Wiki, Avatar has grossed an inflation-adjusted $2,782,300,000 so far. C'mon, people.
   594. Eddo Posted: May 15, 2012 at 05:42 PM (#4132239)
I don't really get why it was a huge hit either. The plot is terrible, and I wasn't all that blown away by the CGI. It looked like an overdone cartoon to me. But I never would have guessed you could get a blockbuster out of the Titanic story either. That's why I have student loans and James Cameron sleeps on a big pile of money.

Avatar was all about the 3D experience. It was engrossing in theaters, but doesn't really hold up as a film. It's really more like one of those interactive 3D movies/rides at Disney World.

Titanic, while not an awesomely great film, is certainly a very good one, melodrama and all. A fine piece of filmaking, for sure.

------

Mystic River was hard to watch, even though I knew going in Lehane's themes are hardcore - none of it worked onscreen for me, even the cast.

I'll second this. It lays the groundwork for a really great movie, but it totally fizzles out. The final scene - with Kevin Bacon pointing his finger, like a gun, at Sean Penn - is laughable.
   595. zonk Posted: May 15, 2012 at 05:44 PM (#4132241)
Flesh Gordon 67%

Those aren't really all-time classics, but I wouldn't call any of them terrible, either




If that's not a misspelling, I assure you it is a terrible, terrible movie.


I don't know... I found myself to be somewhat interested, then very interested, then INTENSELY interested, the REALLY EXCITED... then I lost all interest and ordered a pizza.

I would call it an uneven movie.

props to an old SNL...
   596. McCoy Posted: May 15, 2012 at 05:48 PM (#4132248)
re 87:

I think I've seen all of those they are all pretty crappy.

I'll second the opinion that Avatar was amazing on a big screen and with 3D. I saw it in one of those 3D IMAX theaters and was completely blown away by the visuals. Had no desire to see it again and definitely had no desire to see it on a TV screen.
   597. Monty Posted: May 15, 2012 at 05:49 PM (#4132250)
Was Avatar a huge money maker merely for the technical aspects?


I think it was an absolute triumph from the technical standpoint, and from the purely visual standpoint. It was great to look at and provided a fully-realized alien world. From the plot and acting standpoints, it was a mess.
   598. billyshears Posted: May 15, 2012 at 05:50 PM (#4132253)
On the other hand, Mystic River was hard to watch, even though I knew going in Lehane's themes are hardcore - none of it worked onscreen for me, even the cast.


I'll second this. It lays the groundwork for a really great movie, but it totally fizzles out. The final scene - with Kevin Bacon pointing his finger, like a gun, at Sean Penn - is laughable.

I am so happy we can all finally come out and say what a terrible movie this was. Also terrible - The Town. I really just can't stand Boston as a character in movies any more.

Things to know:

Mystic River - Not a Date Movie
Heat - Also Not a Date Movie. Especially if you're just trying to hook up with a slightly dim girl.
   599. McCoy Posted: May 15, 2012 at 05:53 PM (#4132260)
Neither is The Thin Red Line.
   600. Baldrick Posted: May 15, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4132268)
Those aren't really all-time classics, but I wouldn't call any of them terrible, either.

Unbreakable is a terrible movie.
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