The following is the second edition of a new exclusive series to Media Market Journal. Under the title ‘Better or Worse,’ this particular line of features takes on how current works stack up against other efforts in various respects.
Today’s topics include Britney Spears on The X Factor, another Prometheus/Snow White and the Huntsman comparison, and multi-million dollar flops.
BETTER OR WORSE: EPISODE #2
Will Britney Spears be better than Demi Lovato on The X Factor this fall?
The tail-end of last week brought with it the first day of auditions for the new season of The X Factor which meant that every tabloid in this country went on Britney watch. Even though most of us could care less about her, there is a question popping into a lot of people’s minds as to whether she has what it takes to make Simon Cowell’s reality show into the biggest thing on television.
It is with this in mind that we place her up again Demi Lovato who no one expects anything from as she is simply a play for young audiences. In effect, the question translates to whether or not Spears will add something to the show other than someone different sitting next to Cowell.
The answer to this question seems to have already come. The audience did not exactly agree with her comments and that is a great thing. To say something different means a dialogue transcendent of the usual which means there is a reason to watch a big piece of the show. There is however a danger in that it could end up becoming a deterrent to viewers if it becomes too polarizing, so that is what we will be watching for when the show returns to air four months from now.
Which Charlize Theron movie looks better as of this moment, Snow White and the Huntsman or Prometheus?
Earlier this month, I took on a similar question that compared the two films’ marketing efforts. Essentially, I said that Prometheus had the better campaign because of their focus on viral media, but today we ask a completely different question regarding the movies’ respective appeal.
I would have to go with Snow White and the Huntsman, but really because Prometheus lost it. The latter is a sci-fi picture from Ridley Scott and it happens to be R-rated. There are not a whole lot for big budget efforts in the genre nowadays that go for the older audiences, but for whatever reason Fox was okay with this. Perhaps the cast of Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elbra, Charlize Theron, and Guy Pearce sold the studio on the viability of such a feature in a world composed mostly of indie flicks and mainstream comedies.
While this is not to say that I am lacking excitement for the feature, I just feel that the Alien prequel might not hold a candle to Snow White in the Huntsman’s fairy tale backdrop and cross-gender appeal.
What is worse, big budget flops or the headlines that point them out?
Something I have noticed in recent months is that there seems to be a vicious cycle going on in regards to how the media tackles big budget flops. Most notably back in March, there was a blockbuster film from Disney that was well-received by audiences who gave the film a B+ audience score. The movie went on to gross nearly $300 million worldwide, but widespread reports surfaced before the feature even hit theaters that it was going to be a financial disaster for the studio.
For those of you who have no idea what movie I am referring to, it is the Taylor Kitsch-lead John Carter. The problem with this movie is that it was ‘headline panned’ meaning that without even a critical take on the feature, much of the world just shot it down merely because no one had ever heard of it and the film’s title was often associated with the word ‘disaster.’
Not one to be impressionable, I actually saw this movie and I have to tell you that it was not terrible. The movie was too ambitious to deliver the home run play; however, having not seen a true blockbuster since December I was more than willing to sit through a few boring scenes in order to witness $250 million worth of special effects.
To answer the question being asked, it is the headlines that are worse. While these headlines would not be written if it were not true to an extent, they can be capable of misleading the public by drumming up a false sense of awareness that gets everyone on the same ‘I heard that is not any good’ page. These big budget nightmares for studios only come out a hundred million or so in the red which implies that if the movie sold maybe a third more tickets than the loss would not have occurred, negating the term ‘write-off’ from accurately describing these pictures.