ORIGINAL: Bullwinkle58Edit: Your numbers are correct but not adjusted for inflation. US movie tickets are roughly 40-50% more now than in in 1998. Also, many movies lose money domestically and make immense sums overseas. Sometimes now major US movies open overseas on purpose for this reason. The DVD market is also very different than in the late-90s. Netflix has killed it here and those revenues aren't "clean" to report like DVD sales were.
You miss the idea that to make it more realistic would actually make it more economically viable as well by cutting CGI/production time spent on effects that aren't necessary to telling the story. I site other films, and could site others, but there are really few that try to get it right, and generally the ones that have have been widely and popularly successful. That's the point.
If you can get Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg on every war movie project, yeah, you can get realism. If you have $35 million, not so much. The theater audience wants flash and stuff blowing up, with a romance or a racial story or an alchoholic leader or similar. The "real" miniseries you cite were on HBO. They were ten hours not 90 minutes, and audiences had to vote with their dollars to view them at home. Just a different market entirely than "Red Tails." I saw that one on pay cable, and it's not even really a war movie as people here would describe the genre. You get no history from it really. It's a story about race. An important story and an interesting one. But it's not a movie about the air war in the ETO any more than "The Thin Red Line" is a war movie about the PTO. Different objectives, different art.
I'm used to having this discussion with Canoerebel.
BTW, "Kelly's Heroes" is a GREAT movie. But it's not a "war movie" either. (Maybe that will flush him out.)
I'm also not sure what your definition of a 'war movie' as people here would describe the genre. I'm one of the people here, () and The Thin Red Line is my single favorite 'war movie' yet made.
TMTSNBN did just what you're talking about by going overseas and making triple what it made domestically, which had only barely covered original budget. Maybe Red Tails will do the same.
No idea what this new 8th film costs. Couldn't find numbers, but I bet it's about the same as Red Tails. Where does your 35million figure come from?
Your point about time is interesting, but in my comments I mentioned the mini-series as examples far above, talking about getting the realism closer to correct, (and they used some CGI too, just a bit more judiciously).
makes some good points about "Red Tails" in particular. The movie didn't fail because it was realistic or not-realistic. It failed because it's a terrible movie.
My point about "realistic" is realism doesn't give the trailer shots needed to market to the US first-weekend theater market in 2013. I don't know how long you've been in the UK but movie marketing here has changed a lot in a decade, and a tremendous amount in the last five years. Massive budget, A-list movies like "Ender's Game" generally get one weekend to make the money. The up-front marketing is a blanket. TV, trailers, on-line, social media. Then one weekend, with numbers reported by Sunday evening on most major "news" outlets. (Why a non-investor cares which move "won" the weekend I have no idea, but it's news.) The next weekend there's a new new movie. Usually you'll see a third-weekend push on the first movie to get the crowd that waits for reviews and word-of-mouth and hates first weekend crows and then . . . that's it. DVD and overseas. Next player at bat. "Ender's Game had huge stars, hundreds of millions in marketing over several years, re-works, PR tours out the wazoo, and it stank up the joint its opening weekend. And now it's five-day-old fish. In that enviro if you can show 100 B-17s when reality says show 5, you show 100 and you play stirring, patriotic music in the trailer. Oh, and you "lie" that the thing is about history and not race so white folks won't be scared to go. It's just the reality of the industry now.
(Man, this line-wrap thing is making it almost impossible to post. The lione above is over 800 characters wide on my posting window.)
A "war movie" as I define it for the people here is "Tora, Tora, Tora." Facts, history, not much or any character development. "The Red Badge of Courage" is not a war movie. It's a human factors movie. A character study with a war as the backdrop and motivator for the character action. But you dont' learn about ACW campaigns reading, or watching, it.
< Message edited by Bullwinkle58 -- 11/22/2013 2:49:36 PM >