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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"I think we have a situation. The kind you need to shoot at."
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May 11 2012

The Avengers holds 17 all-time box office records, so far. By the end of this weekend, according to Box Office Mojo, it will add "at least 8 more".

What's the difference between "Summer Opening" and "Summer Start?"
"Summer Start" appears to be the first big movie each summer, and "Summer Opening" is all summer movies.
Opening is just "a film that opened int he summer". Summer start is the opening of a big "tent-pole" film that's considered to be the start of the summer moviegoing season.
the all-time worldwide box office leaders list is utterly depressing: avatar and titanic lead, then seven straight sequels, then alice in wonderland.

7 out of the next 10 are sequels as well.

ever get the feeling that human beings, as a group, are complete cowards?
I don't think we are cowards so much as we just like to try and relive and connect with an established experience. It seems to be one of our earliest human impulses - as anyone who has had to read and reread and reread and reread and reread Goodnight Moon to a child can attest. ;-)
But that's what DVDs are for. People aren't sitting around reading Goodnight Moon 6: This Time It's Personal.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2012-05-11 01:22 ]
Yup, I get that the box office leaders list isn't exactly inspiring but...

1. It's about to change!
2. Joss will be on there!
3. I've actually managed to get to a thread before everybody else has already posted my feelings more eloquently than I ever could! (OK, maybe that doesn't count for much in the bigger picture...)

Thanks for the link, b!X. I don't usually pay much attention to box office stats - high numbers usually correlate with me going either meh or WTF?? But I've become strangely addicted to Avengers record-breaking reports, to the point where I feel oddly let down every time I visit here and there's no new record. Might need to take some professional advice on that one...
I would totally read "Goodnight Moon 6: This Time It's Personal."
That is the miracle of this movie, and what sets it apart from everything else Joss has done. It's massive appeal and financial success actually approximates how much I love it -- namely, close to infinity. I love it infinity much and it is making almost infinity dollars.

I am so used to the relationship between those variables being inverse that I'm having a hard time processing how awesome this all is. I mean it's one of the best things he's ever done AND it's making a gajillion dollars AND everybody else loves it too?!!

How could there be so much right in the world?
By the way, let's not stigmatize sequels. These days sequels are sometimes terrific, and sometimes significantly better than their predecessor. This is especially true with superhero movies. See, e.g., X-Men 2, Spider-man 2, Dark Knight.

Speaking of, do we know yet whether Joss is doing Avengers 2?

[ edited by Squishy on 2012-05-11 02:30 ]
Speaking of sequels, The Avengers has been talked about as the sequel to all the Marvel movies. There's no higher ground here -- unless you're a sequel and then you get to stand on the shoulders of your audience from the first movie.
Ah, I only have the first 5 books in the "Goodnight Moon" series. While the character developments get very interesting in Book 5, I agree that the 6th installment isn't worth buying. Checked it out from the Library, and wasn't very impressed. None of the suspense of Books 3-4, and with very little story arc.

In all seriousness, I do completely agree with b!x's point, and think it was stated very well.
We may mock Hollywood for making endless sequels, reboots etc but look at two of Joss' movies, Avengers and Serenity. In many ways Serenity is the better movie, but based on characters few people know. Avengers, based on well known characters and following on from previous movies, took $207million in three days. Serenity took $40million in its entire run.

Can you blame studios for choosing the path of existing properties? Frankly it's amazing that original movies ever get made.
Hollywood is adverse to risk. Shareholders love them a franchise. It's a blessing in some ways (Avengers is basically the biggest franchise/sequel movie of all time - at the box office, too), but also depressing in others (Universal paid millions for Goners, then went 'this isn't a sequel!').
Oh, of course there's nothing wrong with a good sequel. Sequels rake in money, so studios like 'em. Quantity over quality, which doesn't mean quality is bad, necessarily. Should we fault studios for this? To me, it depends. I like it when people care about more than money. They can care about money, but how 'bout other stuff as well?

[ edited by wasabi17 on 2012-05-11 03:39 ]
Honestly, the fault is ours. Studios just follow the money. If you look at what fans ask joss for, it's more Firefly, a Serenity sequel, a Dr H sequel. When Dollhouse was announced, there was a lot of complaints it wasn't Firefly or Buffy or Angel spin off DVD movies.

Personally I think there's room for both. The next big franchise is somewhere in Joss Whedon's head. Or mine. Or yours. Probably yours, my mind is driven by meerkats.
It's true, people; meerkats!
Hilariously, everyone wants a Serenity sequel.

ETA: My reading comprehension is for crap lately.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2012-05-11 04:30 ]
Is this a dream sequence?
Lets not forget that TV is the ultimate medium for lots and lots and lots of sequels. What is Buffy after all but 140 hours of sequels? Indeed, the capacity for serialized episodic storytelling is precisely what makes TV the medium in which Joss arguably does his best work. And it is also why he said that if forced to choose a favorite medium, he would pick TV.

I think we should not be so quick to condemn the increased "sequelization" of the film industry. What some may view as a bias against originality may turn out to be a welcome willingness to tell more complex and engaging stories.
I think Joss should totally make Goodnight Moon 6: This Time It's Personal and we should fund it with a Kickstarter campaign.

Meerkats! will be its catchphrase, and it will be performed entirely by shadow and sock puppets.

It could work.
I can't be happier for Joss. Love the major success and doors this might open for him.

Congrats!!!!!!
Squishy: To infinity and beyond?

Quotergal: There needs to be a cameo by The Bird.

Are we sure we want Joss to kill the moon?
Goodnight Moon 6: This Time It's Personal

This is hilarious. Sounds like the writer finally got pissed off cos the #*$@ moon just wouldn't go to bed.
Holy cats!!
Is this what 1 BILLION dollars smells like?

(Congrats, Joss. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Uh...you...you are nice...aren't you? I mean...other than the killing off of beloved characters and the like?)
Just got back from a second viewing (this one not interrupted by 10 minutes worth of my son's bathroom breaks, bless his heart), and while I'm sure this has been discussed in those lengthy discussion threads I must say for myself how spectacularly this movie gives us Whedon followers SO many nods and yet respects the characters and stories developed by so many others. Really a tightrope act for the ages, and one with a ton of love for his fa...er, peeps.
I tried to get tickets to go see The Avengers with my dad today. Showed up at 4:00 and learned that tickets were sold out until 10:30.

While it's frustrating not to get tickets, it is also exciting to see how many people are going to see this, even during the week.

[ edited by rabid on 2012-05-11 06:33 ]
Apparently Friday night is already selling out.
Pretty amazing stats. The box office numbers for Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday are pretty impressive, too:

(domestic only)
Monday $18,898,999
Tuesday $17,677,190
Wednesday $13,612,910
$50,189,099 ttl for M/T/W

Compare this with Avatar's midweek numbers during its first midweek M/T/W which was Dec. 21-23, 2009, at the start of the holidays:

Monday $16,385,820
Tuesday $16,086,461
Wednesday $16,445,291
$48,917,572 ttl for M/T/W

It's tracking awfully similar to Avatar, isn't it? Still, Avatar's biggest box office records are going to be tough to match -- it was in the top 10 for 14 weeks and didn't drop out of the top 20 until its 22nd week.

Avatar weekly domestic box office

[ edited by punkinpuss on 2012-05-11 08:28 ]

[ edited by punkinpuss on 2012-05-11 08:31 ]
For info, it had 50% hold in weekend two UK.
The daily totals are crazy. The Avengers beats the second-highest earning movie by two decimal points.

It looks like The Avengers has made about $60 million more in the U.S. alone since Sunday.

[ edited by Ronald_SF on 2012-05-11 08:56 ]
It's worth looking at the All-Time B.O. w/ Inflation if want to have some more faith in humanity.
I loved Avatar an Titanic, loved Alice... And dont believe im a moron.
Avatar is stunning to look at, but terrible in all other accounts. That's what's so sad about it. Alice in Wonderland also pretty much raped the story it was based on... but then Tim Burton hasn't been making good films for a while now. Time for him to get back to his own creations.
Mitholas, let's not. Avatar had the heart; it had a very interesting Oedipal thing going for it, and it had an underlying theme of masculine vs feminine, and growing up. The dialogue was a bit tin-eared, but lively, and the characters although, admittedly archetypical, fairly believable.

Did you notice that the five female characters in it were engaged in the traditionally 'male' professions: scientist, soldier, hunter, spiritual leader, deity? Or, that the male 'hero' of the piece keeps stuffing up and needs to be saved by the female characters time and time again? Or, that, by applying the Western/masculine ideas of struggle (brute force) the hero nearly leads the Na'vi to disaster?

Avatar is not without its issues, but it's far from 'terrible', and has a lot of symbolism, if you're prepared to look under the surface. The same thing that Joss said about The Avengers not being a perfect movie applies to Avatar: it clearly struck the cord with a lot of people despite it flaws.

[ edited by Effulgent on 2012-05-11 11:58 ]
Mitholas, please don't use terms like "raped" in that context here. Thank you.
Remember, the difference between a movie franchise with many sequels and serialized television is not that substantial in concept atleast. And considering we adore one of those things, we should be careful how we knock the other... I'm just saying...

EDIT: Ehhhh... Guess I just could have said "I'm gonna second what squishy said"...

[ edited by Djungelurban on 2012-05-11 12:38 ]
Last year, I lit a candle in a cathedral while on vacation in France -- paid a euro and made a wish that this movie would make a billion dollars. I'm an atheist and the act was not much more whimsy for me, because I thought it very improbable that Joss's little indie sensation could make that much money.

So the past two weeks have been kind of amazing to me.
I went to a 6:40 show on Weds in Toronto - my first. Theater was a smidge short of full. The front few rows had seats, that's it. The friend I went with (her third time) wants to see it again (as do I and I normally don't go to theaters - I am disabled and it's a huge hassle).
Hm, I don't quite like how it bumped The Dark Knight from 1st in record holders to 3rd... Gonna have to look at the different records and see how it can bump TDK back above Avatar...

< / random aside>

I liked Burton's fun and different take on the story. Plus it was quite something visually, I think that's how movies like Avatar and Alice end up a higher than they might have, they're even more appreciated on an IMAX or miniImax/Rpx type screen.
18, b!X? Ok... 18 records.

[ edited by Willowy on 2012-05-11 22:24 ]
It's at 19 now. I saw the title, seeing 17 and then looking at what records it could break this weekend. I found 6 and could not find the other two. It turns out those two were already broken. :)
A little late to the party but it's now at 25 records! There's two more it needs. Fastest to $500M and domestic overall. I think worldwide overall might be tough...I guess overall domestic might be pretty lofty as well since it needs to double.

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