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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"But not as deceitful as a low down, dirty... deceiver."
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October 02 2005

Joss wants to know how to get the message out. "Yes, the second weekend will tell all, as we've always known." Reg Req.

I wish I knew more people than I do, that's for sure.
We need to make a grassroots money-building technique to buy a commercial during CSI or Lost or summat. Tell folk to get to the gorramn theatres!
Argh! It's so frustrating! I do believe people that DO see it really enjoy it, fan or not. But it's so hard to prick through that "what no famous actors?" wall. We hear ya, Joss! We'll do....our best! Or something. Sigh. I can always start getting people into the theater at gun point.....

(and for those around us without humor, I'm *kidding*!)

(I think....)
The amusing thing is, the title of the post. Hee.

So, if you read the 2nd page, you'll spot Joss' 2nd post. It's his voice in the movie (never noticed!) but he asks if any of us recognise the voice of the computer near the beginning... Anybody know?
Violence does seem to work often...Maybe we can make some high-power celebrity endorse the film! Lets brainstorm, folks!
Part of the blame, I'm sorry, has to go to the reviewers who say (and there were quite a few), "People not familiar with the TV series might not get it," even if they liked it, because then why would any newbies even chance it?

Going to the movies is expensive, sometimes very, and most people won't throw their cash towards something they're not sure about. Unless there's an actor they know, deliberate, copious amounts of eye candy, or...everything else that people here have mentioned.
Is it doing bad? Because right now, the word is that people who have seen it REALLY enjoyed it. Word of mouth is a big thing with a movie.

A commercial during LOST wouldn't hurt, though.
Did anyone read further down the posts to Joss's second message?

Before I slip off: Yup, that's my voice in the trade station. I did it as temp in the editing room and it stuck. But did anybody recognise the computer voice giving the Operative full access at the beginning? Did ya? Huh? Did ya?

Night all.

Yes! I knew I heard his voice!
Did anyone read further down the posts to Joss's second message?

Before I slip off: Yup, that's my voice in the trade station. I did it as temp in the editing room and it stuck. But did anybody recognise the computer voice giving the Operative full access at the beginning? Did ya? Huh? Did ya?

Yeah, hehe he's answering my wife's question there! She's been dying to know that every time we saw the movie "I think that's Joss' voice!" and now she has confirmation from the man himself, hehe. She's all giddy.

(as you can tell;-)
New Yorkers and others if you have a live TV show in your town with camera time - get out there with signs like - "I'm in love with Serenity", etc. Stuff like that.
Yes, we need to somehow get the word out more. But, it turns out that's actually quite hard. An illustrative tale: pretty close friends whom I invited to go to see Serenity responded (a) "that's not a very good name for an action adventure film," (b) "why are you always going on about that Joss Whedon guy?, and (c) "isn't it funny how fanatical some of those people [browncoats] get? Real zealots . . . " The word of mouth "phenomenon", in their case, is a turn-off. I'm not at all saying that those 3 guys are representative, and I'm not going to stop spreading the word to those that need it said, but I've learned that enthusiasm isn't enough.

However, more generally, I'm not that depressed or disconsolate by the box office news. I never expected great gangbusters at the box office. Hoped for somewhat better returns, sure, but JW's nuanced brand of genre-splicing, adult (read: mature, um, "sophisticated") emotions, and humor will never be greeted by a ginormous audience. IMHO. And if he made the kind of movie that appealed to a huge swath of millions, frankly I'm not sure I'd like it as much. I just want sufficient returns to enable Joss to continue to do the kind of work he wants to do. I still feel sure he'll get them.
Sigh. Now that whole "Whose voice is it?" thing is gonna bug until I go see it next weekend. (Okay, I might get out to it Thursday, but that's the earliest possible, and as much as I want this flick to make money, I'm POOR. Like, not even in a funny way. Just, um, not wealthy. So I'm big with the matinees.)

Thanks a LOT, Joss.

I just noticed about 1 am today .

This weekend I was directly or indirectly responsible for 11 butts in seats. I think that's doing pretty well.
Um... this may be a very bad (and is certainly very illegal) idea but...

Has anyone thought of handing out burned copies of the first disc of "Firefly" to the uninitiated? I've had a stack of about fifteen burned copies of Firefly-Disc One that I was going to give out to friends - but I haven't, so please don't jail me, 20th Century Fox!

I have a cool disc design that you can use too, if you want... not that anyone would do this, of course... because it's illegal and would get us put in jail and, more importantly... because it's wrong.

Adam, I agree with your logic and frankly think that the people you are hooking with your Firefly lure will most likely go out and buy the whole set to see the rest so it's a win win situation. Plus, is it illegal if you aren't selling them?!
I KNEW that was him in the trade station! :D

About being SERENITY missionaries. I've consciously toned it down the last week or so. I'm all spygirl/ALIAS in my commentary now -- when I talk to casual acquaintances I casually mention the movie as if I haven't seen it three times and as if I don't hit for a fix daily. That is, I pretend I'm one of those normals: "Have you seen the trailer for SERENITY? It looks good! I'm seeing it this weekend." For some personalities, it's the only way to make the sale; they're afraid of excessive hype.

I'm disappointed in the box office numbers for Joss's sake, but I'm honestly just thrilled the movie got made. It's an excellent piece of storytelling. If it does do well financially, I think it'll be like Joss and others say, a slow burn. Either way, it's a GREAT film that will be remembered and rewatched over and over and over, and that's what counts in the long run.
If there is a sequel (and I certainly hope there is!) all Joss has to do is make sure Jodie Foster is in it! Instant blockbuster!
I agree that our enthusiasm can sometimes have a negative effect on other folks...I often get those sly little smiles or even non-too-subtle remarks aimed to question either my intellect or ability to "think for myself". I personally could care less except at a time like this. We simply must get butts into the whatever means necessary.
I am a bit confused though, how many Browncoats are there? I look at the estimate of ten million for the weekend and do a little math. It cost me $7.50 a ticket to see the movie, I suspect that's less than a lot of folks had to pay...does that entire amount go into the pot or only a portion? Because if it does then ten million is made by 1,333,333 tickets being sold. Assuming some folks stumble into any movie either by accident or because the poster looked cool or for some other reason unrelated to being part of the fan base, the number of tickets bought by Browncoats has to be less...I suspect 300,000 to 400,000 tickets can be assigned to the "random viewing" group so...that leaves under a million. Almost every fan I've spoken to claims to have gone a couple times and usually with friends they "drug" along so...seems like the estimates given on-line could easily be accomplished by 250,000 that the size of the fan base?
Although, we have to remember that these estimates are North America only.

ETA: It also seems likely to me that most of the converts between the DVD release and now, probably aren't as rabid as we are and don't feel the urge to see the film opening weekend. I don't know why, either... they're just weird.

[ edited by adam_tvs on 2005-10-03 05:14 ]
Plus, is it illegal if you aren't selling them?!

It is. While some (including myself) may argue that there is a vast moral difference between giving someone else's work away at one's own cost as opposed to making money off of it, the legal difference is non-existent. Firefly is the property of 20th C. Fox, and discussing giving away illegal copies of it at as high profile a website as Whedonesque is, sadly, not as good marketing as one might hope. I've been a member of (and run) websites where talk of this sort of thing was expressly prohibited.

It's kind of sad there's not a legal shelter for this sort of "sampling" behavior, as it seems like it would result in more final sales, but there just isn't.
Yeah being rabid can be a negative- in fact I *am* one of those people to be turned off by rabid fandom.

But it can be a positive as well, since I'm pretty mellow- not one to get overly excited too often, one of my close friends knows that me being excited about something means it's something to notice.

So you just gotta know who you're talking to- with some people you need to be subtle and with others you need to scream about how great this movie is.
How I got all my friends to go was to not mention how obsessed I was at all...I was just like, "Hey, I'm getting people together to see a movie this weekend." "What movie?" "Serenity." "Oh, what is that?" "It's like a sci-fi action movie, and it's getting really good reviews." "Okay." Most of them found out about my obsession after they saw it, but it was too late then. I do agree, though, that saying stuff like "It's from the guy who did Buffy," or "it's based on this great cancelled TV show," or "I've seen it 3 times already!" does not sound enticing to many people, unfortunately.

Also, which voice in the Trade Station is Joss? Does he do the voice of the guard before we see the guard? That's about the only voice that isn't a cast member's that I can think of.

[ edited by bonzob on 2005-10-03 05:24 ]
I don't understand why no one will acknowledge many fans feel betrayed by this film.

We are honestly unable to recommend it to our friends. We don't have the nerve to see it again.

Some one really needs to help Joss understand this before he goes on to try making any more movies.
I don't know whether to laugh or cry at steelbluerat's comments.
Right there with you, ringworm.
Nevermind. I laughed.
Also, which voice in the Trade Station is Joss? Does he do the voice of the guard before we see the guard?

He's the voice of the old guy who opens the smaller safe for them. He talks about how he's heard of the browncoats. Joss pulls old man voice! :~P

I don't understand why no one will acknowledge many fans feel betrayed by this film.

I acknowledge it. I hope it makes you feel better, because Joss doesn't owe anyone anything. There was no way to make a movie where everyone is happy. Thankfully, he made a movie where the great majority of fans *were* happy, so I'm not sure what sense it would make for him to bow to the voice of the minority.
I never caught Firefly on TV - I illegally downloaded the eps from the internet and watched them all in one sitting, I was so blown away. Then I waited impatiently for the DVD release and bought the set immediately and began converting all my friends by making them come over for Firefly marathon/sleepovers & then buying sets as birthday presents for all of them.

I frankly don't understand the sort of person who is put off by another person's enthusiasm for a film or TV show they love - I'm certainly not going to be convinced by someone who expresses little to no emotion over a film. Fact is the average person is someone who can only plug into entertainment that requires nothing from them, emotionally or intellectually. So I don't see how the masses can be convinced - I was only able to convince my friends because they're all smart and either writers or actors. The general pop isn't awake, they're all drugged up on pap and unknowingly this close to just letting themselves... Miranda, as it were. Because of this, I don't know why anyone would have expected Serenity to do much better than it has so far - surely the folks at Universal were aware they were dealing with a cult situation, surely their expectations have to be geared towards the upcoming DVD sales. They can't have expected a runaway hit. I didn't and I think it's doing really well, all things considered. Won't DVD sales factor in hugely when it comes time to greenlight a sequel ?

steelbluerat - I'm sorry hon, but you are in a seriously small minority, and considering that the newbs who saw it seemed to have thoroughly enjoy it & that the majority of professional critics liked it, what you consider to be a betrayal just doesn't factor in.

[ edited by SoddingNancyTribe on 2005-10-03 05:43 ]
An illustrative tale: pretty close friends whom I invited to go to see Serenity responded (a) "that's not a very good name for an action adventure film," (b) "why are you always going on about that Joss Whedon guy?, and (c) "isn't it funny how fanatical some of those people [browncoats] get? Real zealots . . . "

Man, I gotta say that sounds frustrating. I work from home and don't even have colleagues to try and convert. My wife already is met with some friendly derision over the 'Whedon-topic'. ("Oh...that Buffy show.....")

I agree that this weekend, while less than hoped, is actually probably what we should've expected, and considering average tastes and the factors that people go by when they decide to go see a flic, it's actually rather good. See right now, the opening weekend, what we can judge now is how the trailers look to people. Which doesn't actually say a hell of a lot about the movie itself. Next week we can judge what word-of-mouth did. I still say the mainstream audiences we saw it with all really enjoyed it.

I don't understand why no one will acknowledge many fans feel betrayed by this film.

What's there to acknowledge? Some fans didn't like it. The vast majority did. And "betrayed". Anyone smell the melodrama?

We are honestly unable to recommend it to our friends. We don't have the nerve to see it again.

Well then obviously, no one here is talking about you or people who feel like you. And since you're the only one on here that I can see that feels like this, the question is, why can't YOU ackowledge that the majority loved this movie?

Some one really needs to help Joss understand this before he goes on to try making any more movies.

Understand what? That instead of following his muse and instincts like any artist should, he should completely bow to the specific wishes of a minority group? Oookay...

Hmm, btw when two thirds of your enitre number of posts here are just devoted to saying how much you hated 'Serenity.... Don't wanna yell 'troll', but....
I really don't get the "betrayal" angle. Is it betrayal because he decided to make a movie instead of making another TV show when he was massively disheartened? Is it betrayal because the movie doesn't try to simply please the fans and instead tells it's own story, with big verse ramnifications? OR is it betrayal because of certain large events in the film (which I will not mention) which let's face it, are things that he's already done on his other shows.

I simply don't get it. I saw Serenity with a nice group of fans, and non-fans.... and it seemed like it could have been the shows series finale. I don't see how it is a "betrayal".

And if it was a jokey comment by steelbluerat, that's alright, since this is a comment I've heard a couple of times.

[ edited by rabid on 2005-10-03 05:44 ]
I think that the big question is what were those people expecting that they felt betrayed by the movie? I try to always understand other people's perspective when it comes to music/fiction. But of the things I've read where the viewer (who is a fan of the show) was disappointed with the movie I can't see where they're coming from. I understand those that are just turned off of sci-fi, but when I read something that says that the movie lacked Joss's humor, I just don't get it.
Tracey - I enjoyed reading your comments, but could you please follow board rules re capitalization.

As far as steelbluerat's comments are concerned, I'd would be interested to hear some explanation for your feelings (although I can certainly wager a guess). Without knowing the reason why you have such a strong negative opinion, it's hard for any of us who enjoyed the movie to respond in a reasonable manner. Which is what we would like to do, naturally.
steelbluerat, sorry to say that I don't understand your post. I grok the words just fine. I just can't see your point of view. My family and I watched Serenity three times this weekend include two back-to-back shows today. I have to say that I gotta see this movie a couple more times...

Like EdDantes, I tried to get a feel for you from your posts, but 2 of 3 are simply statements that you hated Serenity. I can't even figure out what you hated since there is no real info...Sorry.
I'm a little lost, here. A movie was made from a canceled television show. It opened to almost complete critical acclaim. Some of you loved it enough to see it more than once. Some more than three times.

I think everyone is aware of how incredibly rare a thing this is. And I see all this handwringing. Because it's not enough. It won't be good enough until Serenity X: Jason and Freddy vs. Jayne.

shhhh...relax. Bask in the glow.

I think, and could be wrong, that there's a good deal of fandom who don't know how to feel unless they feel like a scrapping underdog.

I'm sorry, I truly am, if this is at all greeted as offensive or inflammatory.

But really. A movie got made, was released, received universal accolades, and you loved it. Take a moment. And then another. And if you want to see it again next weekend because you love it and you have an extra ten bucks, then by all means, go. But the weird sense of desperation and mourning is unneccessary, I think. It beat Jessica Alba in a bikini. Hooray. Team Geek wins.
I so agree that word of mouth doesn't have to mean Browncoat-level enthusiasm, just "hey, that's a great movie, liked it more than I expected. And I'm not a huge sci-fi fan." It doesn't hurt to mention that Joss co-wrote Toy Story, either, to those unfamiliar with (or uninterested in) BTVS or Firefly, just looking for a flick to entertain their kids or themselves. I know some who are disturbed by the cultish-ness of Serenity, and avoided the first weekend on purpose because they were AFRAID of crowds (or vocal crowds), so they will be going this week and next weekend.

I say this because a lot of people are suspect of genuine enthusiasm these days. It seems to equal geekiness (or borderline stalker behavior) as if you have no life if you demonstrate love too openly. Or, it just means you are Tom Cruise!

I said this in an earlier thread: one thing I would pester Universal about is not just airing the TV trailer more often, but CHANGING the TV trailer. I've barely caught the trailer(neither have my fan and non-fan friends) and I watch a lot of "target" TV programs. When I did see it, I could barely here/see the images flashing by, and the voiceover was difficult to understand. The shot of River running was also kind of suggestive that she was running away from the movie or the audience :) but seriously, that shot does not tell the story. Unless you want to re-name the movie/tagline: "Let River Run." This is all IMHO of course, but the non-fans I surveyed (around 10 people who don't know a Joss from a Joe) agreed about the trailer not grabbing them--one said even Into the Blue had a suspenseful trailer, even though she had no interest in seeing it.

At this point, I would say screw spoiler free-ness! show a money shot if you have to. I love the movie, but if I did not know about it before this week a TV trailer is probably where I would have found out about it, or after reading a review might have said, "that looks pretty cool, let's see what people say after the weekend so I don't have to get my lazy ass off my couch for a movie that I don't know is worth my time/$10."

Also, can we get Joss and the cast on The Daily Show?! Or any other popular talk show?? Why can't they jump up and down and proclaim their love for Serenity on Oprah's couch?
See, if I had been making an ad campaign, I would have started in August with "Mr. Universe" ads. Start an ad for a fictional cleanser or Fruity Oat Bars or somthing, then have Mr. Universe break in with a wave designed for Mal. With a "Can't stop the signal" before sign off.
Mr. Universe.... cool idea. Completely off-topic, but did anyone else have Buffybot flashbacks during the Mr.Universe stuff lol.
Look, box office numbers, sequels, betrayal...let's get to the real heart of it: How come Jayne was always eating in the movie?
Eating? He was always drinking in the movie. I think Jayne needs to go to AA. He has a problem.
Food was his love interest?
Allyson, you make some good points, and speaking for myself, of course I am really happy that I even got to see this movie on the big screen. For me personally, it was pretty much every thing I hoped for. A thousand hats off to the Universal execs who actually saw the quality in this and gave it a shot.

However you're underdog remark, while possibly true for some people in several fandoms, is definitely not true for me. We actually had discussion earlier this week about bands 'selling out' and how many fans seem to somehow resent a small band getting big success. If I like something I want it to be successful. I'd happlily shed the 'I'm part of a small special group' feeling if it meant Serenity really got as big as Star Wars.

(Sure I'd still proudly and annoyingly pronounce every now and then that I liked it before most people did, but....;-)

But yeah, this impossible project got made. Joss got to wrap up several storylines he started on the show, the cast got a chance to properly return and finalise their roles in a worthy big-screen gig, it got overwhelmingly positive reviews and it's basically doing within expectations. We should be grateful.

That said, I still want my sequel......
I think I understand steelbluerat's comments. Let me start by saying, I do not feel betrayed. It's not the word I would use for the feeling that I am having towards this film. I absolutely loved it. I've never felt so many strong emotions during a film. However, that being said, for all of us very loyal browncoats that have so much invested in these characters, it is very hard for any of us to deal with the events that unfold in this very fine film. It's like we grew up with these chracters, and what they experience, we experience. When certain events unfolded, I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest and thrown on the ground. I have not gotten the nerve up to see the film again. I've needed time to soak everything in. I personally do not feel betrayed by Joss, but I understand how one can feel betrayed. Joss is responsible for what happens in this universe, and can take the plot and characters where he feels necessary. When a film is fiction, the writer has control over the events of that story. So in a way, the writer is the a "god" to those characters and events. So when something happens in that story that rips your heart out and throws it on the floor, who do you blame? You blame the person that is in control over those events. The person in control could've spared us the emotions that we went through. So maybe this is why certain fans feel betrayed. Again, I am not one of these people, but I understand why someone might feel this way.

I personally would like to thank Joss for one of the most exciting, funniest and heart-wrenching films I have ever seen. I have been telling everyone to go see the film. I am even taking some family members this coming weekend. I hope one day I will be able to create a world and characters that create such passion in its fans, just as Joss has done with this universe.
I wonder if bonzo-good DVD sales would make an impact on sequalage?
What we need is a sex scandal with nuns and a goat; or a religious group calling for a boycott of "Serenity." Stir up the controversy, and then people will start flocking to the movie.

Or we need a directive to see "Serenity" from somebody like George Lucas or Stephen Spielberg aimed at their geeks.
Tracey - I enjoyed reading your comments, but could you please follow board rules re capitalization.

Well... only if you promise to spell my name correctly & without a capital T ! :-D Sorry, totally forgot about the rules, as I don't post here much. My bad ! Gee, it kind of gives me the creeps to use caps tho', like I've been possessed by an alternate personality, heh.

I wonder if bonzo-good DVD sales would make an impact on sequalage?

Well yah, isn't that how Serenity got made in the first place - awesome Firefly dvd sales ?? Who here understands how greenlighting decisions are made, can anyone shed some light ? Is logic involved at all - do they look at the fact that coming in 2nd is good when a movie has opened on less screens, and other such factors ?

Or we need a directive to see "Serenity" from somebody like George Lucas or Stephen Spielberg aimed at their geeks.

Someone from one of the Lucas owned websites did post an exuberant suggestion that all SW fans go see it.

[ edited by t r a c y on 2005-10-03 06:44 ]
I have gotten to the point where I just don't want to listen to people's thoughts on the film, good, bad, neutral, whatever, because I fear they will taint my enjoyment of it. I've seen it four times; each time I've enjoyed it. The first time I did have some issues, but they were all me-problems - as in, I imagined one thing, the movie delivered another, and I did need to take some time to reconcile those.

I don't mind people expressing disappointment with the movie, though I am dismayed by the more serious sentiments of anger/betrayal (as opposed to the teasing "That bastard Joss!" I've seen/heard various places). I myself have received multiple emails this week blaming "me" for the events of the film (from people who think that I am Joss, because I run a website about him). It's upsetting. I thought it might be funny but now it's just sad.

I am sorry there are people who have not enjoyed the movie, but that doesn't make it a failure.

I agree with Allyson as well that we should be excited about how well things are going, rather than upset over the fact that it didn't meet whatever numerical expectation any of us had. When I think about the fact that it came in 2nd this weekend, that's REMARKABLE. A cast of virtual unknowns, in a GENRE film, based on a quickly-cancelled TV show - this is about as close to a miracle as a thing can come! I am happy the movie is out there, and to the extent that I can, I will continue to support it.
Kiba - my sentiments exactly !
I think, for me anyway, it's more a case of I want it to be a success because Joss deserves it to be. I still think it has the ability to be that but of course hitting a homerun at first bat would've made that so much easier.

Yes, it's a great accomplishment to have finally gotten where we are but Joss wants to tell us more of this wonderful story and if the numbers don't end up being there we most likely won't get that chance.

I'm thrilled we've had our Serenity and he gave us a complete film and if that's all we get I'm grateful and happy for it. But I'm greedy and I don't want the stories to end. I want them to keep coming until Joss has nothing left to tell us.

but anyway, is Universal making tv spots for the second weekend that contain quotes from critics like that NewYorkTimes and Two Thumbs up, etc.

They said that there was an embargo among the critics to release their reviews 2 days prior to the start of the movie. We could have used those reviews included on the tv spots. However, I don't know how directly people are affected by critics. I haven't seen any tv spot this weekend since friday night. Also, there's no radio ads that I've heard. I'm wearing my Serenity shirt on campus tomorrow. We have a pretty busy campus. The 2nd largest university (in terms of population, ~35,000) behind UCLA in California. I hope it attracts attention but then I'm self-concious when people look at me. :D
exactly, optimistic34. I was writing an entry to say almost exactly what you did about understanding steelbluerat's comments. Except I think I reacted even more strongly than you. For about a week after I saw the movie the first time, I wished it had never been made. And yeah, I think I would go so far as to say I felt "betrayed." Like you said, it's like being angry at fate, but in this case someone actually *chose* to make it happen, which made it even easier to be angry.

All that was several months ago. I saw it again today and I loved it. I'm back on board and praying for a sequel and planning to see it again and holding my breath about box office numbers. But people who didn't like it aren't being foolish or controlling or petty.

[ edited by crayon-breaky willow on 2005-10-03 07:24 ]
Allyson, I just wanted to say that I loved your comments above. Yes, I think we are all disappointed that the film didn't open stronger therefore getting us all more trips into the black. Still, I think we should celebrate the little miracle (corny, yes) that this film got made. I mean how delighted would we all have been back in December 2002 if we knew that that in a few years there was going to be a great big beautiful movie version of the verse.

[ edited by Unitas on 2005-10-03 07:18 ]
But people who didn't like it aren't being foolish or controlling or petty

I do think it's a bit foolish to say that just because a small part of the fanbase didn't like it that Joss should somehow change how he does things. I completely acknowledge that some people didn't like it and, okay, felt betrayed. But it's a bit egotistical to say that Joss needs to do anything in particular for the minority of people who disagree with him. We're guests in his world, he owes us nothing.
So anyway, the point was, "What can be done to reach people other than us?" The first answer is simple and direct: The ads, both print and television, highlighting the utter boatload of good reviews needed to be underway as of Sunday at the latest. If it doesn't start on Monday, then someone's dropped the ball.
Mr. Universe, you're the second person who has said they haven't seen a tv spot since Friday night. I have no idea what's up, but I hope they add the reviews, especially the 2 thumbs up from Ebert/Roeper, but also a more specific "money" quote from the NYT or something. The article just posted on the thread above this criticizes the "context-free" tv spots also! along with the poster, etc. Since that publicity has been less than helpful, I would totally wear a t-shirt if I had one, then people can ask you what Serenity is. And you can tell them: the best damn yoga documentary ever made. (Which would do pretty well here in Vancouver.)
adam_tvs, I haven't found this to be the case at all (fans who discovered the show on DVD not being as "big" fans, etc). I got several friends into the show on dvd and they LOVE, LOVE it. Most of them went with me to the first test screening last December, and were incredibly excited to do so. They all went Friday night. There was no waiting for the second weekend to be had from them.

I agree with Allyson. The fact is, I have always thought this movie had very little chance of being a true breakout hit, sad to say. It was just too hard a sell. That being the case, the very EXISTENCE of the movie is the accomplishment to cheer. The first time I saw the movie, it was surreal, because I couldn't believe the movie was there to be seen! I love that Joss was able to get this chance and to provide closure to most of the major storylines from the show. Are there some questions still to be pondered? Sure. Would I love to see more adventures of the Serenity crew? Hell yeah. But if we don't get them I'll be okay, because unlike when the TV series was cancelled, we now have some sense of closure (sorry for the repeat on that word!).
I've gotta say that even I've been sort of turned off by some of my fellow members of the fanbase. But regardless of exactly how much money Serenity makes, #2 at the box office on it's opening weekend is really impressive. I dont see how people could call it an outright failure and direct so much negativity towards the hardcore Firefly people (like a few quasi-journalists from certain movie sites are doing.) Ten million dollars in barely three days. It did a lot better than I thought it would. I'm actually really happy about it.
A question for all. I don't follow the boards very much but exactly how difficult were Firefly fans. Sites like Chud & AICN seem utterly pissed off about the Serenity fans. What happened?

I guess I can see things getting a little out of hand with some fans out there, especially considering that Whedon & Universal kinda pegged the whole financial success of the movie on fans like us getting people to go.

But seriously, did we give ourselves a bad name the last few months?
I don't think so, Unitas. It's just there's a certain type of person (and AICN is full of them) who will conciously go against anything that has a large following, just because it has a large following. If Joss gets a great rep, then they will start complaining "Whedon is overrated" and more vitriolic things because it justifies their attitude of superiority over the crowd.
Has anyone else heard about those flight attendants who are boycotting Serenity? Something about Jayne taking too long to ensure everyone got strapped in... I only caught the tail end of it on the news.
Ah Rogue Slayer, ya had me at Jayne!
That has to be one of my favorite things about the movie. Almost everytime we see him he's eating. It's brilliant!

And yep, Allyson, ya hit the nail on the head. Let's bask in the after glow whilst still handing out leaflets, getting our heads on TV.

Or one of my favorite pastimes; SMSing those little ticker things they have that run across the screen of music videos shows, where ppl send in messages to their friends. I always send in "Go See Serenity at the Cinema now! It kix arse!"...which to an Ozzie 13 year old is the equivelent of a subliminal mind bending message.
They all quietly whisper "Serenity" to themselves as they immediately harrass their parents to take them to the flicks.

Is that wrong of me?
Re: AICN, what I've heard is that indeed there was a Browncoat contingent who seemed to find it useful to storm discussions about other things with pimping Serenity. If I was faced with that, I'd get pissed off, too.
This film shouldn't exist. It does. And it's good. Be objective. Be happy. :)
Not to back up steelbluerat too much, but I'm one of those hardcore fans who did feel a little betrayed. Don't misunderstand me...I went to see the movie (wearing my brown bomber jacket and my Wash Hawaiian shirt), dragged one friend with me and will get a few more for next time, largely enjoyed myself, and would consider seeing it at least once more. But this movie, in my view, was just not Firefly. It was a good action movie, with moments bordering on great, but my reaction to it was probably the same reaction people had when they went to see On Her Majesty's Secret Service: "Hmm...this Lazenby fellow just isn't Connery..." Since people are no doubt going to ask for reasons why, I will go ahead and list my three reasons.

WARNING: What follows is a LONG post, almost entirely affected by the magic of invisotext except for the last paragraph. I know it looks ugly. I don't care. I'm doing this for those who want to remain unspoiled, in this country or others. They should be able to make up their own minds.

Having said all that, the jokes really were good, the villain really was fantastic (indeed, almost a show-stealer), and I found the central story, with its explanantion of where we got a major element of the show, to be very interesting. Serenity is a great action movie, but it left me a little chilled.

[EDIT] Changed a misspelled word, clarified my thoughts, and made sure the invisotext worked.

[ edited by BAFfler on 2005-10-03 08:29 ]
But seriously, did we give ourselves a bad name the last few months?

I think it was mostly the last couple of weeks. I can say that we tend to be pretty bad on the AICN talkbacks. But most people in general are pretty bad there, in my opinion. And I can understand feeling the need to argue when a bunch of people are being stupid and trashing anything that has to do with Joss.

I see people's point about us being being perceived as off-putting fanboys but it seems like Joss Whedon fans are a pretty unfairly easy target for that sort of stuff. Seems a bit harsh. I'm sure they'll go back to just mocking the "Greedo shoots first" people sooner than later.

I frankly don't understand the sort of person who is put off by another person's enthusiasm for a film or TV show they love

I do, Tracy.

Most of the time, shows that make people (rabid?) fans are genre shows aiming at a very specific audience. Hence, when someone has a very enthusiastic attitude towards a show, people think that the show is very "special" (like some kind of hell) and that, not having the same views as the fan, they won't appreciate this; they believe that for the show to have rabid fans, it must be something very "cheesy" and maybe stupid, in their point of view (like the Rocky Horror Picture Show for example - which I do enjoy by the way).

Tell me about "Average Joe"...
Is the bugmenot login failing for anybody else?

Edit: Looks like somebody has put in two bugmenot passwords for the same username. Neither of which work.

[ edited by Dym on 2005-10-03 08:17 ]
BAFfler - Not wanting to argue because I am too tired and saddened by the rising tide of vitriol and the commencemnet of the blame game (not directing that at you at all by the way) but, given that it was written by Joss, Having said that, I shared your pain once too. Took me a while and multiple viewings though to recover!

I have always found that comment of Joss's to be more than a little egotistical, almost indefensibly so. Your quoting it at me in this instance doesn't help my feelings about Serenity. In fact, it cements my feelings. He gives me what I need? Hoo boy. Not meaning to go all Walker Percy, but I don't know what I need half the time, and I'm connected to me. I'd love this omniscient power that Joss credits himself with.

Okay, granted, some of that was vitriol spilling over. But in my opinion, it was well-earned. I wanted to like Serenity, and I did. But I also wanted to love it, and the aforementioned problems I had with the movie prevented me from doing that. You say in your post that I was trying not to take too firm a stand earlier, because I know that many people appreciate this movie and this man, and I know that anyone who criticizes him in this forum should realize they're walking on eggshells. But to be honest, your argument just makes me want to say firmly what I should have said before.

I liked Serenity, but I didn't love it. It's not Firefly. It's a first-rate sci-fi action movie with some great jokes and an awesome cast, but it's not Firefly. And I do feel betrayed. You took multiple viewings to recover, you say. Well, I can't imagine why for the life of me I would want to go through that again.
Well, I think you should run a bunch of TV spots that say, "critics and fans agree the #1 science fiction movie this weekend was Serenity!"

Accentuate the positive, know what I mean?

Then I'd run some spots hightlighting the ladies, specifically Morena in that her copanion buttkicking outfit she wore at the end. If that don't grab teen males nothing will.
Is the bugmenot login failing for anybody else?

I haven't been able to get bugmenot to work for over a week now, and it's driving me bonkers 8-) *daffy duck sounds*

I have to say I'm beginning to have a bit of trouble with the fans who are feeling bitterness and betrayal over I really think some perspective is in order.
Okay, if you didn't like the movie, sorry to hear that. You don't want to support it anymore, fine, no one says that you should. The rest of us, however are trying to talk here about how we still can do whatever we can. I really fail to see why I need to be told in this thread why others don't like it. It's really not going to change my opinion of it.

And really, as soon as words like 'betrayal' enter the conversaion I already tune out. If you find your spouse in bed with someone else, that's a betrayal. If your business partner takes off with all your money, that's a betrayal, if you sell government secrets to a foreign nation, that's a betrayal. This is just being dissappointed with certain aspects of a movie. It's not a 'betrayal'.

And frankly, Joss has always written elements in his stories that are liable to break regular viewers' hearts. It's partially what makes his stories matter and what keeps you knowing truly anything can happen and nothing is to be taken for granted. It's one of the reasons I love his work because almost no one else has the guts to do that. It breaks my 'viewer's heart' too, but I would never want Joss to change his ways.

As for the uglier side of fandom, it's always there. In trekkies, Star Wars fans, LotR fans, etc. Some groups of Browncoats are no exception, and they're no worse. I was incredibly disappointed with certain reviewers on a certain famous movie site when they were incapable of simply reviewing the movie, without spending a good chunk of their pieces with stating how much they hated Browncoats. Yes, there are annoying people among them who are way too fanatic and cross certain lines. Go back in time and check the talkbacks when RotS came out and tell me those fans weren't every bit as bad.

This is a movie. No more, no less. Like it, or don't like it. Fans don't have anything to do with the quality of it and the creators are just trying their best.
Just wanted to say I hope my post earlier regarding Universal's TV ads wasn't taken in the wrong spirit--I actually (and perhaps mistakenly!) thought we were encouraged to post suggestions for how to further advertise and assist the success of the movie in the next week(s) for Joss, in case he lurks (see thread title and his post!). I stand by my opinion and suggestion, but would not have posted if I didn't think giving feedback and suggestions was the purpose of this thread. (Has anyone else wished for Joss to appear on the Daily Show? 'Cause I think my head would explode.)
Well, t r a c y, I'm sorry you feel that way. And I can certainly see why you say what you do. I can't imagine going through what you've gone through, but it's not like I haven't had some painful experiences in that department myself.

However, I stand by my feelings. Joss means all his shows to be far more than diversions...he has openly admitted this. He wants people to become involved with them, obsessed with them. Which is fine, as far as it goes...but that opens the door to people getting mad and blaming him when the plot takes a turn they don't like. Joss's very intent to make his viewers obsessed is, by the by, the reason I have trouble with those who insist on perspective. It's hard to get perspective on something with whcih you are obsessed.

EdDantes: Someone asked steelbluerat for reasons why he felt betrayed, which all but invited a response. You, if I remember right, all but called him a troll because two of his three posts were negative. Being a regular poster with an established pro-Joss, pro-Firefly, anticipating-Serenity stance, I decided to list the reasons I felt the same as he did.

Then again, I should have known better. I got tuned out over at AICN because I am a Browncoat, and I should have anticipated I would get tuned out over here because I had some problems with the movie. The irony is, I've said many a time that I liked the movie, and I've been the faithful Browncoat. I dragged a friend with me to the theater (and the nearest theater showing Serenity, by the way, was a fifty-minute drive) and I've constantly hyped it to my friends and family, some of whom have said they'll go see it. Despite my personal misgivings, I'll probably continue to do this, too, because it's a frickin' good action film and I think people should go see it...and because, with only $10m on opening weekend, I think we need to avoid cracks in the fanbase. But I still feel hurt--in fact, kind of slighted for my loyalty--and no matter what you think of the word "betrayed" in this context, I'll continue to use it.

Whatever. I'm off to bed.
Back to the main topic - I don't know what we can do to get more people in to see it. What makes non-fans, or non-movie enthusiasts, choose to go to the cinema on their 2 or 3 times a year, as I believe is the average (certainly here in the UK)? I think a lot of people will wait for the DVD, even if they hear good word on the film. And I suspect Universal all along were banking on big DVD sales: after all, it was Firefly's astonishing DVD sales which largely persuaded them to take on the movie.

Based here in the UK, I feel even more powerless to affect anything over there in the US, but really, it is the casual movie watcher who we'd want to be seeing it, not just ourselves multiple times, if it is to be worth Universal looking at sequels.

On the bright side, although $10m is less than I'd hoped for, based on comments before it opened, it must mean a lot of people have seen it who weren't Firefly fans or Joss fans, and the vast majority have liked it a lot, which is no surprise to me, given how good a movie it is.

For my part, I would say it is some of the best work Joss has done, and I'm very excited about seeing it again when it opens over here this weekend, and I am also trying to encourage other people to go, not just because I want to see the box office, but because I think they'll enjoy it.
Thanks Tracy for speaking the truth.
BAFfler, I do wonder if anybody had seen all the interviews before they'd seen the movie were Joss stresses very very clearly than Serenity is not Firefly. It's obvious it couldn't be, because motion pictures are not TV format. I mean, the name changed and everything to signify this change.

I think, to be honest, some of the fan base are finally realising Firefly is dead. Yes, really. It's gone. Fox canceled it. Nobody would pick it up. It's over. Serenity is an attempt to bring the characters back in a different format.
Wow. Lot of emotion floating around here. Which I think is a good thing, love it or hate it at least there is passion in the room.

Have to respectfully disagree though with the ‘Joss wants people to be obsessed’ with his work sentiment, I don’t recall him ever saying that, I rather recall that he wanted people to ‘love rather than like’ his work, even if that meant less people. Now colour me crazy but No 2 spot, $10 million, that is a LOT of people who at least have given it a chance, sorry but why exactly are we down in the dumps??

I think everybody needs to adjust their expectations to a more realistic level in terms of US domestic market and take into account that combined overseas market normally makes up way, way more than what a film takes in the US, plus DVD sales, merchandising etc etc. Universal is going to do well, no worries.

Personally, I am at the point where I am sick and bloody tired of looking at figures. I know it’s very important and sequels blah blah, but a real love of Joss work brought me here in the first place and all this stuff is starting to make the liquid in my now more than half full glass cloudy. Which is a crap metaphor but anyway.

Really, not having a go at anyone, just reflecting my own thoughts. My point is, success comes in many different guises, money always being the most obvious one but never the most important one. (Oh my, I am full of it today.)

Having said all this and getting back to the main topic, I had this mad dream this morning, where the UK contingent comes riding over the hill to rescue the day, like that scene in LoTR when Gandolf appears in the Two Towers. Then I woke up. Well, we certainly can and will try our best.(BTW, realistically though, Wallace and Gromit are going to take the no 1 spot when it opens in the UK next week, you can be pretty certain of that).

Allyson, Kiba - well said, I so agree with you. Sorry to hear Kiba you had some troubles. Cake and alcohol do help, preferably taken together :)
Concerts organizers usually place ads in college newspapers. I think that might help in Serenity's case, given the sought-after demographic. And especially some ads with that western feel to them with the spaceship juxtaposed. I wish I could afford placing an add in my university's paper, but boy are those expensive.

One thing I immensely enjoyed about Fox's ad campaign back in 2003 (where does the time go?) was when the ad asked something along the lines of: "what do a girl in a box, space hooker [bad way of describing Inara], preacher and a band of thieves all have in common?" I think playing the angle of the crew's unity will help newbies deal with the huge cast.

And t r a c y, I'm sorry for your losses.

Personally, I am at the point where I am sick and bloody tired of looking at figures.

Agreed. Figures don't mean a whole lot to me anyway and I mean that quite literally in a dyslectic for numbers kind of way. (That's why I'm never gonna be rich.) All these threads about box office results? My eyes glaze over, and frankly my dears... couldn't give a toss.

I just want to know when the DVD's out, so I can see it again tons of times.

I have gotten to the point where I just don't want to listen to people's thoughts on the film, good, bad, neutral, whatever, because I fear they will taint my enjoyment of it.

Yeah, that happened to me with BtVS when the online noise started to disturb the signal.

We're guests in his world, he owes us nothing.

Thank you, if I had a manual to me, that would probably be part of the instructions. Post of the day.
Figures determine if Universal will invest more money in the franchise. Or, put simply: sequels.

However. The big but. Serenity was always a gamble. I never thought Serenity would be a mainstream hit. The figures (sorry!) fell as I'd predicted here a month ago.

I want this on DVD. I love the reviews - I never thought they'd make a difference, but I like the fact 80% of critics "got it" for a change.

Do I care about the prospect of sequels? Well, duh. I spent the last 6 months trying to turn a niché flick in the UK into something profitable for that goal. Do I think they'll happen? No comment.

Put simply: I think it's a great action flick, probably amongst Joss Whedon's best work. I can't make people watch it. I can't make people like it. But millions of newbies did watch it this weekend in the US, and lots of of people liked it. Many loved it. Outside the usual demographic for Joss' work. That fills me with joy far more than I can express on here.
I just feel so useless sitting here in Sweden unable to help in a direct fashion... *sigh*
Ok, here's a few ideas on how to get the word out. Maybe contact a local radio personality and offer to buy them a few tickets and have them talk about it on their show. If your online newspaper has a forum, post how much you liked the movie. Print out Serenity postcards and mail them to all your neighbors, your local newspaper, your radio and tv stations. I told everyone at work about the movie before the weekend and NONE of them had even heard of the movie. I like the idea of some of the cast going on The Daily Show ... or any of the talk shows. I haven't really seen any of that sort of promotion for the film - unless I missed it.
Has anyone else heard about those flight attendants who are boycotting Serenity? Something about Jayne taking too long to ensure everyone got strapped in... I only caught the tail end of it on the news.

Let us all dress up like flight attendants and picket "Serenity!"

Djungelurban, I know the feeling :) You can still buy tickets online on Fandango, and then maybe offer them for free to some American friends. That would be helping in a direct fashion :)

If situation gets more desperate, I will do so myself, even if it means that I am just buying empty seats.

[ edited by Lince on 2005-10-03 16:15 ]
I can say one thing: Serenity is one of the first US releases I've seen in a long time which hasn't been leaked online opening weekend. Still no sign of it.
Serenity is not Firefly. It was never meant to be Firefly. Firefly was the base for Serenity, but with a movie, you have to cram a season's worth of story into two hours.

I think that's a big mistake some folks have made going into this film--expecting a 2 hr episode of Firefly. Yes, then you will be very disappointed.(I would have been very disappointed if it HAD been a 2 hr epi of Firefly...)

And yeah, I nearly got an ulcer worrying over numbers this weekend. I'm gonna have to let it go for a while...
Totally agree Rogue Slayer. And it's actually two seasons worth of shows made to fit into two hours and Joss did a brilliant job of it. He talks about this in the visual companion about how this storyline was going to take place over two seasons.

One of the things I was worried about was whether or not he'd be able to pull it off and make a great movie and in my opinion he did.
I can say one thing: Serenity is one of the first US releases I've seen in a long time which hasn't been leaked online opening weekend. Still no sign of it.

Could it be that fans of this movie don't want to undercut sales?

It's love for Joss that drives us. Keeps us afloat. Keeps us warm. None of us has the heart to do something that could hurt him.

I hope it stays that way.
This may sound dumb, but, I'm going to see it again tonight and probably Thursday. How do weekday sales figure it? Do they just add to the total gross?
BTW, realistically though, Wallace and Gromit are going to take the no 1 spot when it opens in the UK next week, you can be pretty certain of that

This is one place, though, where the 15 rating could help us. I agree Wallace & Gromit will likely take first place because it's a family film. But I can't imagine many teens being bothered by that film, so Serenity may suddenly look quite appealing to those who wouldn't otherwise have cared one damn. Just a thought...
gossi - You are right. Not on the torrent sites at all. This has got to be good for Joss and Universal. They are making every possible dollar that they can and the respect that this movie has garnered from the fans is now actually palpable. I thought for a minute that you were just crazy and not looking in the right places, but, no, it is just not out there illegally. If nothing else, Joss should be very much proud of this accomplishment.
BAFfler I'd just like to say I agree with everything that you've said. Unfortunately I'm not suprised by the reaction your honest opinions have attracted. I expect to get similar. Or to be totally ignored. Whatever.

It's a movie based on a cancelled tv show that's a blend of sci-fi and westerns, with no big names in it. It's number 2. What's the problem here? Seriously. I think it's doing really well. I feel that the fans have higher expectations than JW has about this movie. If it'll do well in the following weeks it will do well. If it wont, it wont.

I've seen the tv show and was not overly impressed but thought it was ok. I heard one spoiler as I wasn't to bothered about being spoiled. Now I've read another and it's cheesed me off. Sorry but it's not brave and revolutionary, it's a predictable and increasingly annoying JW trait.

Also, the campaigning attitude has actually helped me make my mind up as to whether or not to see this film. I was going, then I wasn't. But all this fuss has made it very clear to me now. I wont be going to see this film. I'm glad I'm spoiled for it as that is also a contributing factor.

I'll give JW what he needs, a fan of his work who will say no thanks not this time, rather than what he wants, my money.

If you loved the movie good for you. But please show the insight to realise that not all opinions are the same and the maturity and class to accept that.

An unpopular view no doubt, let the flaming commence.
lynnie, Of course you have a right to your opinion and to express it.

It is more difficult though to have an informed opinion if you have not seen the thing you are giving an opinion about. I have seen posts by others who were spoiled, got angry and said they were not going to go to the movie. Just like I have read people's angry posts about episodes of Buffy that I later found out they had never seen. As far as they were concerned, a discription was enough for them to make a judgement.

I have a hard time with that the same way I have a hard time with religious or other groups who want to censor or ban things without having seen them. (I know you are not suggesting a banning or censorship.) I could describe any number of wonderful movies and plays in such a way as to outrage people. In some cases those people would be outraged if they saw it anyway, but in many cases, probably not. Art is very different when seen than when described.

I understand that in Victorian times Romeo and Juliet was given a happy ending. I'm sure people many people were glad of the change. Others were almost certainly outraged. Both opinions are worthy of being expressed, though I would expect some rather heated debate. IMO the debate, heated or otherwise, is better when people have actually seen or read whatever they are debating about, however.
I think the voice giving The Operative access is Morena Baccarin's.
Yeah that's been the consensus around here though there's been no offical word either way thus far :)

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