Spilled Coffee?

Winston Churchill–Never was so much owed by so many to so few.
Unknown blogger–Never was so much written by so many read by so few.  The blogger’s lament!

I was asked some weeks ago if I felt a sense of power by criticizing certain movies.   To the contrary, I feel like I have let the producers, directors, writers, and actors down.  For example, Dunkirk was 25 years in the making at a cost of $150 million dollars.  Obviously, Christopher Nolan and his wife put their heart and soul into this historical piece.  Clearly, they had lots of time to think about how to structure the film.  In the end, they made a War is Hell movie without any backstory, or much of any story at all.  There are only so many ways to kill soldiers from the air; I thought the movie got repetitive.  On the other hand, many critics liked the sheer terror wrought by the unseen Nazis.  But,
haven’t we seen that before?

All in all, despite the Dunkirk disappointment, it’s been a good July for movies with The Hero, The Big Sick, Spiderman, and the Apes.  We still have Valerian, Girls Trip, Atomic Blonde, and maybe others to go.  Movie studios were bemoaning their gross ($2.29 billion vs $2.49 billion last year) early in July but that was before Spiderman and subsequent releases.  Too many sequels and too many poor reviews of them has hurt the box office.  Since Spiderman, the theaters around her have certainly picked up, but then so have the critics’s ratings.

Do critics’ ratings affect box office success?  The studies seem to be inconclusive because there are so many other factors including the genre, the marketing, the actors, the studio, the word of mouth.  As you have seen over the last six months, high Rotten Tomatoes ratings certainly catch my attention but they certainly do not mean I am going to like the movie.  An artistic success is not necessarily an enjoyable experience.  In the end, we all like movies.  How else to explain that Netflix reported an all time record in subscribers this week?  I think the movie studios will survive.

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