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How Do Studios Decide What Movies Get Sequels?

This is a question which has bothered me for quite a while now, because it seems like there should be an obvious answer, but I can’t really make a lot of decisions fit based on that. The deciding factor, one would assume, in any industry as to whether a product gets a continuation, a re-release, or a spin-off, would be that of box office. You imagine that the studio executives include an option for sequels in the contracts of any actors they want to stick around, and then wait for the box office totals to come in before they finally decide if they want to make the investment. However, this doesn’t always seem to be the case.

Should I get on my bike?

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Trail me Lies, Trail me Sweet Little Lies: Hollywood Trailers, Omission of Facts and Downright Lies

Movie trailers are a fickle bunch. Some spoil movies by revealing crucial plot twists. But there’s arguably something far more sinister than an advertisement which innocently gives a plot twist or two away: the movie trailer which actively lies to the audience. It’s a very dodgy advertising strategy, but sadly one that movie studios seem to be quite comfortable resorting to.

Machete: A Romantic Comedy...

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Non-Review Review: The Player

I love The Player. I really do. When I was in college, I used to organise movie screenings – we’d show The Player once a year and it would always pack out. It was just one of those films that everybody had heard nothing but good things about, but never got a chance to see. Indeed, I would go so far as to say The Player, with all its wacky fourth-wall meta-ness, is my favourite Robert Altman film.

Who would want to kill this producer? Answers on the back of a postcard...

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Why Inception Matters…

I spent a great deal of last weekend heavily anticipating the box office figures for Inception. Of money it makes won’t change the fact that I think it’s an amazing film, but it will affect the impact that Christopher Nolan’s latest will have on the movie industry. And that, my friends, is very important. In fact, I’d go out on a limb and suggest that Inception might be the most important summer blockbuster of the decade, and possibly longer.

More movies like Inception? Hopefully not just in my dreams...

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Sequel Query: Hollywood’s Fascination With Sequels…

Can you remember a year when the summer wasn’t dominated by sequels or spin-offs or reboots or prequels? If you can, most of them were probably adaptations. There’s been a lot of back-and-forth recently about the abundance of such films in the summer lineups, so I thought it might be worth a little exploration into the history of the sequel and of Hollywood blockbusters, and also worth considering the suggestion that has been mooted a lot recently: are movie-goers tiring of sequels?  

Even death couldn’t keep Spock out of the next Star Trek movie…

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What Does Box Office Failure Even Mean these Days?

It’s already happening. We’re already calling Kick-Ass a failure. Even though it managed to narrowly slide into first place at the US Box Office over the weekend, there are tonnes of pundits ready to dogpile on top of it and describe it as the most epic kind of failure. It seems to be a cyclical experience every time that a big geek film emerges, that has experienced a large amount of pre-release hype on the old interweb: Snakes on a Plane, Watchmen and Grindhouse among others. So how come Hollywood keeps pandering to a niche that never seems to show up?

Did Kick-Ass get its ass kicked? Should we call it Ass-Kick?

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How Is Hollywood Dealing With Recession?

Hollywood. It’s the place where dreams come true. Where normal things like traffic don’t bother heroes like Jack Bauer, credit ratings and mortgage payments don’t halt Carrie’s spending spree and Bruce Willis never has to fill out an insurance claim form. No wonder they used to call it Hollywoodland, like some sort of fairytale kingdom (in actuality it was to advertise a housing development). This magical quality (or, if you’re cynical, ‘disengagement’) means that Hollywood can take its time in reflecting the tastes of the common people and the issues that really affect them.

High-flying corporate executive...

High-flying corporate executive...

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