How To Get Moviegoers to Turn up for a Movie- Part 1

Part 1 of this unceasing installment begins with a bang. Oh really.

Okay, on a more formal note of sorts, this will be my first of many installments in this series of ‘How to Get Moviegoers to Turn up for a Movie’ posts, which will be written bi-weekly, starting from today. Part 1 will be looking at the general ways to attract moviegoers and to sell tickets, while the next few installments will be dwelling further into different genres. Now, here’s 10 of them (don’t worry, if any reason doesn’t pop up here, it might pop up in the next installment)

1)Have James Cameron as Director

james cameron

Studios despise him. He’s hard to get along with. He makes everyone pissed. He’s a control freak. An authoritarian. And he takes too much risk. That’s a sentiment that most of the cast members of any of his film will share, but they gotta admit, he does his job, and really well. Headaches ensue because of his inability to comprehend what his ‘feeble-minded’ colleagues want, and his inability to meet any sort of deadlines. Yet, he has a magical touch that nobody can beat. James Cameron is responsible for both Avatar and Titanic. Avatar earned $2,783,918,982. Highest grossing film of all time, so lets give it an applause. Titanic earned $2,207,615,668 after re-runs both in 2D and 3D. Second biggest film of all time, applause. Fine, those two films are lies, you say. Maybe he bribed a whole load of people to come week after week to make the studio heads erupt for not trusting him with another of their massive franchises in the beginning. Okay, fine, but he bought two pop culture classics which I’m sure you and I here are well acquaintance with, proving that this fella here is a real deal. No joking, no lying. He brought us Aliens and the first two Terminator films, the former helping reinvent the franchise, while the latter being two classics with an experience which none of the desperate rip-offs which followed could replicate. Here’s Arnold’s face, in case you are grinning at the good days of the Terminator franchise:

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Okay, the man who brought us the best-received installment in two different franchises, and the two biggest films of all time. Come on, give this man yet another chance, let him direct ‘Transformers 5: The Franchise is Not Dying Today Because James Cameron is Here’. Or ‘Jurassic World 2: Bryce Dallas Howard doesn’t run with heels anymore’. Or some original film of his, like ‘Life of James Cameron Compressed in the length of a movie’. I’m pretty sure that entire crates, or asteroids filled with money are going to drop down from the skies above us.

2)Throw Megatons of Money on CGI/Explosions/Whatever Big Budget Movies have

Bang. Bang. Powww. Pew. Explosions, explosions, explosions. Maybe robots. Rule book of Hollywood #2- give us lots of CGI, with explosions and destructions being a hot favorite, and we will turn up. I’m not going to include  Avatar here, since it’s not fair because I spent one entire point on the man who brought you that epic of mega proportions. Lets have a photo collage now. Skip through this entire segment if you aren’t interested in the pictures:

Transformers, doing the only thing it does.

I see smoke and flames.
I see smoke and flames.

Avengers joins in the fun.

I see smoke and a CGI-ed Hulk
I see smoke and a CGI-ed Hulk

Independence Day, lets go!

I see flames and a CGI-ed sky mansion?
I see flames and a CGI-ed sky mansion?

Transformers again, because its more or less the only culprit here.

I see yet more smokes and a CGI-ed alien ship
I see yet more smokes and a CGI-ed alien ship

2012, because its all a lie.

I see destruction. Earthquakes. All in CGI.
I see destruction. Earthquakes. All in CGI.

You see, those films I mentioned are big-budget affairs, all filled with explosions. Or robots. Or superheroes, but more about that below. Or destruction. Regardless, one thing is simple- I don’t care about the story, Mr Hollywood, I don’t care about the logic, all I care about are the brainless, thoughtless, unrealistic explosions and robot porn, and if you give me that, I’ll give you my entire bunker of cash. Filled to the brim. Just entertain me. And talking about superheroes…

3)Superheroes + Superheroes = Success

To add on, there's CGI-ed random yellow light thing that's everywhere, and a CGI-ed Tree with eyes
To add on, there’s CGI-ed random yellow light thing that’s everywhere, and a CGI-ed Tree with eyes

Okay, what happens when you have a superhero movie, and you apply formula #2 and some cheesy humor? Money. What happens when you have quite a number of that, all coming together in one massive film? Even more profits. You don’t need to look far to prove this trend. Avengers is the biggest Marvel film to date, because it more or less played like an Iron Man, with the added benefit of Black Widow, Nick Fury, Thor, The Hulk and Captain America as well as Loki. Because of those ‘flavorings’, Avengers managed to pick up truckloads of cash at the box office, ending off as the third biggest film of all time before Jurassic World beat it earlier this summer. Another proof- Guardians of the Galaxy. Trust me, if the movie had only one ‘superhero’ instead of five- lets say that Star Lord was the only lead of the film. That film might have earned as much as what Ant-Man pulled in last weekend but whatever, it decided to bring along Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Raccoon and Groot on the ride, and since Hollywood has the saying- the more, the merrier- okay, fine, its not a Hollywood saying, but you kind of understand what’s going on: Add 2 or more superheroes and you get a bigger ‘event’ status film. Lets start placing bets on Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice next year. Or Suicide Squad. Or the inevitable Fantastic Four and X-Men crossover.

4)It’s a sequel/reboot/remake/prequel

 

Does this
Does this
Or this look more familiar?
Or this look more familiar?

There’s one thing that never goes wrong in Hollywood- if your film is a sequel, and you play on that prominently in the marketing campaign, the results are certainly going to show. The very fact that a film has a sequel ascertains the fact that the original film was  noteworthy, or performed well enough for the studio to green-light another one.  Thats precisely why almost every single film in the top 10 highest-grossing films of all time hart are sequels (except Titanic and Avatar and Frozen). I know this is a somewhat controversial point, since some sequels just fail right out of the gate, but that mostly occurs only when a sequel is unwarranted, or the original film is so awful that nobody remembers it (Except Transformers). Or the sequel might fall short, if the previous film was so damn good and the sequel fails to live up to the most grandiose expectations. Case in point- any Marvel film to date. For the Fast and Furious franchise, I’m going to regard its fourth installment, Fast and Furious, as its first one, since that installment revamped the very genre the film is part of. Even there, the signs are obvious- every subsequent installment saw success in terms of building a wider fan base. Transformers too- the first installment ‘barely’ earned over $700 million worldwide, and today, every time a new installment arrives in our cineplex, its a foregone conclusion that that franchise grabs $1 billion in revenue. Whatever, one thing is clear- there’s a higher likelihood of a film thriving at the box office if its a sequel. Period.

5)It’s based on a popular property/book

Hunger Games

Some might consider this yet another controversial point again, but I digress. Pixels was a sole exception to this otherwise lucrative method of bringing in boatloads of cash. Lets look at Hunger Games. The film’s 3 installments to date have all grossed in the ballpark of $700 million- $800 million. Even if you talk domestically, the first installment, despite having no cinematic history, earned $152.5 million in theaters over its opening weekend, which is  a number that most people can only dream of. And this film pulls it off because it has a already has a remarkably big reader base to draw from. Let’s look at Divergent and its sequel Insurgent (only looking at domestic numbers for this one). It managed to draw $52-54 million over its opening weekend, solely due to pre-existing awareness.

Its a girl standing up, but since its Divergent, does that really matter?
Its a girl standing up, but since its Divergent, does that really matter?

Even if we look at The Lego Movie from last year, it opened to a massive $69 million. Because everyone knew what lego was before coming in, and when ‘LEGO’s having a movie!’ starts ringing in everyone’s minds, it only means one thing- they’re not going to miss out on this. Fifty Shades of Grey would be another example, being a film which nobody in their right minds would have watched had the book been non-existent and it probably wouldn’t have been green-lit either. Regardless, this comes to a race of who gets to adapt the most popular novels or video games first, which sure is ridiculous. Another example, Twilight. Anyways, if that Emoji movie from Sony becomes a runaway success story, or those video game adaptations launching next year (Warcraft, Assassin’s Creed, Uncharted) are huge, you know that this isn’t debatable.

It's LEGO!!! Why not?
It’s LEGO!!! Why not?

And that brings me to the end of Part 1 of this installment. Remember to check back regularly for Part 2, if you loved what you’re reading! If some of the reasons got missed out- eg. Star Power, Pixar and the like, don’t fret- its going to be coming to you within the next few installments. I won’t leave any stones unturned, trust me.

 

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