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[EM INGLÊS] Por que a temporada de blockbusters nessa metade do ano foi tão ruim?

Bruce Torres

Let's be alone together.
Why has this summer blockbuster season been so bad?
After a record year at the box office in 2015, failed franchise-starters and tired superhero films have had an underwhelming time at the multiple

This weekend saw good and bad news for Warner Bros, a studio desperately in need of the former. Their highly anticipated antihero adventure Suicide Squadmade over $267m worldwide in its opening weekend, breaking an August record in the US and helping to fight back against the negative reviews the film had received. Because yeah, about those reviews ...

Critical reception for Suicide Squad has been super-bad, with the film scraping together a measly 26% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, making the film even less liked than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. After Zack Snyder’s superhero smackdown crash-landed in March, Suicide Squad was retooled and repositioned as the film’s wittier, hipper sibling, aimed at restoring faith in a DC universe that was slowly falling apart.

But while fans like the film slightly more (it scored a B+ with audiences, compared with Batman v Superman’s B), it’s already suffering from poisonous word of mouth. After over-performing on Thursday night and Friday in the US, it suffered a steep decline on the Saturday with a 41% drop (in comparison, Captain America: Civil War fell just 19%).

It’s the final underwhelming blockbuster of what’s been an underwhelming season at the cinema after last year’s record summer. But what’s been going wrong?

1. The dreaded cinematic universe
Ever since the Avengers assembled across multiple movies, every other studio has been eagerly brainstorming ways to turn a linear franchise into a criss-crossing “cinematic universe”. Those two words have been attached to everything from the Fast & Furious series to Hasbro’s films. This year has seen Warners’ DC masterplan start to collapse, with their attempt to replicate Marvel’s impressive handiwork feeling laboured. While Captain America, Iron Man and their cohorts zipped around effortlessly from film to film, Batman and Superman have sluggishly stomped between efforts, grimly smashing everything in their sights.

It’s not exactly breaking news that studios are eager for cash, but cinematic universes have made them blind, deaf and dumb with greed. The sharp drop-offs for both Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad show that anticipation and brand awareness will only get you so far, and that audiences, savvy enough to understand what’s being constructed beyond the framework of the film they’re watching, need something more to maintain their interest. Everything now hinges on next year for Warners, with Wonder Woman and Justice League testing both the loyalty of their fanbase and the studio’s ability to learn from their mistakes.

2. Eastern promises
The growing importance of the Chinese market, and studios’ pandering to overseas audiences to ensure added profits, have never been more noticeable than during this year’s set of blockbusters. Independence Day: Resurgence crowbarred in two Chinese characters, lines of dialogue in Chinese and prominent placement of the Chinese drink Moon Milk, while around one-third of Now You See Me 2 was set in Macau.

Now, adding some internationality to the often dull uniformity of American blockbusters is no bad thing, but these decisions aren’t led by creative impulses. A blockbuster that feels like a commercial product is hardly a unicorn, but the Chinese influence is making movies feel more mechanical than ever before.

3. Franchise non-starters
The only thing a studio wants more than a successful sequel is a film so successful that it will need a sequel of its own. This summer, Universal, coming off a record year, hoped that its ambitiously titled video-game adaptation Warcraft: The Beginning would launch a new set of related films, but the $160m adventure was a washout in the US, making less than $50m. It might have clawed back some cash in China, but local interest has been so poor that a sequel is unlikely.

Warners was also hoping that an umpteenth Tarzan film would lead to further adventures, but current box office suggests otherwise. A $335m global total is no disaster but with a $180m budget attached, making more jungle-set capers would be a risky decision. The Nice Guys was also given one of the most blatantly open endings of the season but, despite strong reviews, it failed to catch on with audiences so more instalments seem unlikely. The original films that have secured sequels this season are The Secret Life of Pets and Lights Out, showing that animation and horror are still the most reliable genres in the business.

4. Franchise fatigue
While audiences and critics were happy to see a sequel to Finding Nemo (Finding Dory has become the biggest animated film of all time in the US), they’ve been less impressed with most other sequels offered up this summer. Globally, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows made less than half of the original’s surprise $493m take; Alice Through the Looking Glass made less than a third of Alice in Wonderland’s $1bn total; and The Huntsman: Winter’s War made just $164m in comparison to the $396m that Snow White brought in.

The first Alice and Snow White films worked because of the awareness that their title characters brought with them, but audiences were less familiar with anything that came after (the Huntsman plot was an entirely new invention), while a Ninja Turtles sequel was hardly at the top of anyone’s wish-list. Even no-brainers under-performed, such as X-Men: Apocalypse ($534m to Future Past’s $747m) and Ice Age: Collision Course ($288m to Continental Drift’s $877m), suggesting a general franchise boredom. But all of these films had one other thing in common ...

5. Bad reviews
It’s the most obvious point to be making but one of the major problems this season is that Hollywood just isn’t making good films. The battle to lure audiences away from Netflix was temporarily won last year thanks to event movies that were loved by fans and critics (Star Wars: The Force Awakens; Jurassic World; Inside Out; The Martian) but this year’s crop has seen a major dip in quality. Angry DC fans tried to shut down Rotten Tomatoes last week after the negative Suicide Squad reviews, but the film’s sharp drop-off shows the reviews were representative of the film’s general lousiness.

With audiences tweeting their reactions, good word of mouth is even more important, which explains why the films that have succeeded this summer have been the ones that have benefited from critical support. The season’s biggest hit, Finding Dory, has a 94% Rotten Tomatoes rating, Captain America: Civil War boasts 90%, while surprise smash The Secret Life of Pets is up to 75%. That two of these three hits are animated, along with Zootropolis’ huge $1bn take in March (a film which had a 98% rating), also indicate that children remain the most reliable demographic.

The success of Zootropolis, along with pre-summer 2016 hits The Jungle Book, The Revenant and Deadpool, also shows that seasons have shifted at the box office. The summer months and the Christmas period are no longer the only times when studios unleash their major releases. Audiences are no longer saving up until June but are splashing out on Imax and 3D surcharges all year round.

This summer might have been a disappointment, but this spring definitely wasn’t, and this autumn and winter, bringing along new Star Wars and Harry Potter spin-offs, is unlikely to be either ...

Fonte: https://www.theguardian.com/film/fi...n&utm_term=185333&subid=18432222&CMP=ema_861a
Texto argumentando que não é bem assim...

Worst Movie Summer Ever: An Investigation
Jessica Kiang
August 11, 2016 3:58 pm

WORST. SUMMER. EVER. By now you’ve heard that refrain applied to the 2016 blockbuster season. Normally, we’re highly skeptical of any claims that suggest that the times we’re living in right this second are somehow unprecedented. The idea that Nothing Like This Has Ever Happened Before almost always proves false in the longer term, because the wheel turns, old wounds heal and newmuch more painful ones are opened up. And it’s a phrase that has been, within our collective memory of just the last decade or so, widely applied to 2013, to 2010, 2009 and 2007. But even manfully resisting the pull of recency and trying our best to dose ourselves with as much perspective as possible, we have to agree that 2016 at least feels particularly grim in terms of its blockbusters. So let’s strap on our calculators, open up roughly 47 tabs in Box Office Mojo, The Numbers, IMDB, the various trades and Rotten Tomatoes to investigate the statement from every conceivable angle.

The very idea of the summer season is a lot younger than the movies — so don’t fear I’ll be dredging up the notorious example of when saucy Mabel Normand vehicle “Mickey” shocked onlookers by juicing its August release date to become the highest-grossing film of 1919. Blockbuster culture was born in June 1975 with “Jaws” and even so took a while to catch on, bolstered by the May ’77 release of “Star Wars.” But it wasn’t really until the early ’80s that it became a codified principle that if you had a film that you were hopeful a huge number of people would see, you’d be a sap not to release it between May and August. So for the purposes of our discussion here, “ever” refers to “since 1980.”

So there are other possible contenders for the title dating back three and half decades. It’s hard to find one in the ’80s itself, though, because there’s a major nostalgia factor at work that makes it seem like even pretty crappy movies are fond childhood masterpieces (don’t faint, but “The Goonies“). Also while the blockbuster flourished and more or less defined 1980s cinema, the sequel, remake, reboot and expanded universe culture that we now live in, that simultaneously freights so many big releases with untenable expectations and then makes them seem tediously familiar once they arrive, was not yet in place. But for argument’s sake, let’s look at 1985: yes, there were unassailable masterpieces like “Back to the Future,” “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” and fine,whatever, “The Goonies” that year, but that was also the year of nadir Bond “A View to A Kill,” “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome,” “Teen Wolf,” “Return to Oz,” “Red Sonja,” and “Gymkata.”

Or to skip to the 1990s, what about the notorious summer of ’97 which saw the release of “The Lost World,” “Batman and Robin,” “Speed 2: Cruise Control,” “Nothing to Lose“ and “GI Jane“? How offset were those turkeys by the fact that “Air Force One,” “Face/Off“ and “Men in Black” also numbered among the year’s biggest hits? My personal pre-2016 vote may go to summer 2001, when we kicked off the new millennium with a roster of shame that included “The Mummy Returns,” “Pearl Harbor,” “Rush Hour 2,” “Jurassic Park III, Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes,” “American Pie 2,” “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” “Dr. Dolittle 2,” “America’s Sweethearts,” “Cats & Dogs,” “Scary Movie 2,” “The Score,” “Swordfish,” “Evolution,” “The Animal,” “Rat Race,” and ”Osmosis Jones,” with only the paltry likes of “Shrek,” “Legally Blonde“ and “A.I.” to halfheartedly cheer for.

Or what about 2013, for which you can still find legions of online op-eds discussing how the sky was falling and it was the Worst Summer Ever despite (or to some, because of) “Iron Man 3,” “World War Z” and “Pacific Rim“: consider “Man of Steel,” “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “Grown Ups 2,” “The Wolverine,” “Now You See Me,” “Monsters University,” “Elysium,” “The Lone Ranger,” “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “White House Down,” and “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” and you can see maybe people had a point.

All of which might seem to be a plea for sanity and perspective and a call to count whatever blessings summer 2016 has given us, like “Captain America: Civil War,” “Star Trek Beyond” and “The Conjuring 2.” But no matter how sunny a spin we try to put on things, the specter of the likes of “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” “The Angry Birds Movie,” “X-Men: Apocalypse,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” “Warcraft,” “Independence Day: Resurgence,” “Now You See Me 2,” “Legend of Tarzan“ and now “Suicide Squad“ looms large.

Box Office Mojo defines the season as running from the first weekend in May to Labor Day, which this year is September 5th, meaning that if you were hoping Clint Eastwood’s “Sully” would save the summer you’re fresh out of luck as it opens September 9th. And of course, we’re not talking about indies that are released during this period as counter-programming to: we’re including only wide-release first-run studio films within the remit. Those films have traditionally been so associated with the season that they’re what we refer to when we talk about “summer movies,” so much so that the term has almost become a genre.

And for the most part that’s still the best definition we have of the summer season, though as David Ehrlich persuasively argued in The Dissolve in 2013, the last “worst summer ever,” there are various factors that have complicated the rule. It certainly seems to give a false perspective on the year 2011, for example, that the summer movie tally might exclude “Fast Five” and its $210m domestic haul, because it was released on April 29th. Since then, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” made a quarter of a billion releasing in the first week of April, and “The Lego Movie” a “summer film” by any non-literal definition, made the same amount by releasing in February 2014. Couple that with the practice whereby enormous surefire hits like “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the “Lord of the Rings” movies and the penultimate ‘Harry Potter‘ film can open during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season (which will also be the fate of this year’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Assassin’s Creed,” “Passengers,” “Dr. Strange,” “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and more) and it means that the proportion of a year’s total box office represented by the summer season is getting smaller.

You can either choose to interpret that the way Kyle Buchanan, writing for Slate in 2014 did and say that the whole year is now blockbuster season, or you can suggest that this greater flexibility may contribute to a feeling of paucity in the previously hit-laden summer months. Would we think better of summer 2016, for example, had certified hit “Deadpool” (also one of the best reviewed blockbusters of the year, incidentally with a current “fresh” 84%) been released in May rather than February? In fact so far this year, 4 of the top 6 films by gross — “Deadpool,Zootopia,” “The Jungle Book“ and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” all of which feel like they’re part of the summer movie “genre” — were not released in summer at all.

Ok, this is the big one, so let’s put to one side, as we so often do for the sake of discourse, the fact that “best” and “worst” are such subjective concepts that no one who regularly deploys them can think about them too literally for fear of slipping into a massive relativism-related depression. When we lightly dub 2016 the worst, we can be talking about any number of things, some more quantifiable than others. So let’s start with the easy stuff. Has summer 2016 been financially the worst in terms of straightforward box office receipts to date?

Box Office
Despite a number of high-profile disappointments, the answer is actually no, not really. Bearing in mind we’ve still a few weeks of new releases to go (come on, “Mechanic: Resurrection,” 2016 needs a new pair of shoes), and that a bunch of big films are still on wide release, it looks like summer 2016 is shaping up to be a solid, not stellar, box office season. The current figure for the 41 wide-release summer films so far is $3.4bn with an $83m average per title, which is some way off 2015’s total of $4.34bn with an average of $89m over 49 titles, but on track to rival or surpass 2014’s tally, in which a crowded slate of 53 titles yielded only $3.98bn for a $75m average. Remember, in addition to theJason Statham vehicle glibly referenced above, we still have “Pete’s Dragon,” “Sausage Party” (which is tracking strongly), “Kubo and the Two Strings,” “Ben-Hur,” “War Dogs,” “Hands of Stone,” horror “Don’t Breathe,” “The Light Between Oceans” and “Morgan” to come. Some of these will be pants, but even if they average a little less than the summer movies so far this year, 2016 will likely sail past 2014’s total summer box office tally.

How profitable a summer it will be is of course a different question, and a largely unanswerable one until all the major studios open their books to us which they won’t do, likely because they’re “being audited.” But the general perception that 2016 contained more blockbusters that have flopped in the more meaningful sense — as in, underperformed against their production and marketing budgets — does seem to hold true. From “Star Trek Beyond” to “Ghostbusters” (which is currently reported to be looking at a $70m write-down) the inflated budgets of the summer’s biggest hopes means profitability seems a long way off for many, if not most. All of which contributes to a sense of a cash-strapped movie industry, even though in general audiences have been doing their bit and shelling out for tickets in roughly equivalent numbers to any other year.

Of course “worst” isn’t only, or even primarily, about money. It’s about the quality of the films. And this is where 2016 really seems to start to bite, hard. (I’m going to have to use the Rotten Tomatoes scores here because while it’s an immensely flawed system it’s the best consensus indicator we’ve got, whatever the “Suicide Squad” defenders may think). Even if we exclude the “rotten” likes of “Batman v Superman” (27%) and “Huntsman: Winter’s War” (17%) as being outside the timeframe, there have been a cavalcade of wide summer releases that have received negative scores, and have made it feel like week in, week out, Hollywood has been serving up extravagantly bloated yet subpar blockbusters — here’s that earlier list with their Rotten Tomatoes ratings: “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” (30%), “The Angry Birds Movie” (38%), X-Men: Apocalypse (48%), “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” (38%), “Warcraft,”(28%) “Independence Day: Resurgence” (32%), “Now You See Me 2” (34%), “Legend of Tarzan” (35%), “Suicide Squad” (26%).

These numbers become massively unwieldy (and frankly massively boring) to calculate in combination, but thankfully Matt Singer at Screencrush did it already — his stats are at the link, and date back to July 1st, but already then the upshot was twofold. Somewhat surprisingly he concludes that 2016’s summer wide releases up to that point averaged out at roughly the same level of critical acclaim as the previous few years. But when he factored in only those films with budgets of $100m or more the result was dramatic: 2016 at that point was the worst-reviewed year for big-budget blockbusters since 2009 (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” “Angels & Demons,” “Terminator Salvation,” “Land of the Lost,” “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” “G-Force,” and “G.I. Joe.”), and that’s before the likes of ‘Tarzan,’ “Jason Bourne” and “Suicide Squad” opened and registered their splats. A series of very unlikely occurrences would have to ensue (“Ben-Hur” gets an unprecedented 110% Fresh RT score!) in order for 2016 not to equal, or probably surpass 2009’s ignominious record as the worst-reviewed blockbuster summer for at least the past decade.

So the facts and figures look to be bolstering the case for 2016 claiming the “Worst Ever” sash, however marginally. But facts are one thing, perception is another. And when it comes to the echo chamber of modern film culture, as the old adage goes, perception is reality. And our perception of summer 2016 at the movies seems dramatically poorer than even those depressing stats fully convey: sadly, there is no Rotten Tomatoes for the human heart.

Instead, there are a few more nebulous factors to consider here, none particularly uplifting. 2016 at the movies didn’t drop on us out of the blue: many of the elements contributing to our current sorry state are merely the latest iterations of long-gestating downward trends. The homogenization of blockbuster “product” started probably all the way back in 1978 when “Jaws 2,” the first blockbuster sequel came out, but it’s a process that has completely overtaken our summers. And now, nearly 40 years later, the top 10 movies of summer 2016 contain precisely 2 titles that are not sequels, remakes, reboots or installments in a wider “Cinematic Universe” project (“Central Intelligence” and “The Secret Life of Pets“). And that doesn’t have to mean the films are bad, but it does mean that when they are, as have a lot of them been this year, the taint is not contained to just one movie — it leaks out into the franchises, brands and IPs they represent. It leaches out into the world.

We also have more channels than ever these days to amplify the signal, which is mostly a good thing, we hope (as we’re a part of that process), but does also mean when the signal is bad, or negative, that gets louder too. And that the importance of certain outlets, scores or otherwise gets completely distorted: witness the death threats against the critic who is the first to “ruin” a film’s 100% RT score, or the bizarre and sadly unfounded accusations that Marvel is bribing every critic in sight. 2016 has seen some of the most bitter and pointless debates spring up around big-ticket films that we have ever encountered — trolls gonna troll, but the critic vs fan schism has become ever more intractable during a summer bookended (for all intents and purposes) by two extraordinarily expensive and hotly anticipated DC films that should have been can’t-miss, but proved extremely unpopular with critics. That toxic discourse and the disproportionate signal-to-noise ratio it generates of course infects our impressions of what a blockbuster year is like.

Not only that, but the wealth of options available to us at the moment, what with Netflix and our era of Peak TV, means that we expect more from the movies than we did a couple of decades ago. With TV having caught up to and arguably surpassed cinema in the very kind of populist, escapist, yetexpensive storytelling that used to be mainstream cinema’s domain, we’re holding our popcorn movies to a higher standard at exactly the time when studios are more risk averse than ever. This translates to them putting more money into empty spectacle based on pre-existing IP, while viewers, enjoying an unprecedented era of rich storytelling on their small screens, are rightly disgruntled when they leave the comfort of their sofa, shell out their hard-earned and get something as thinly formulaic as “X-Men: Apocalypse” or “Independence Day: Resurgence”. In addition to the simple convenience and relative cost-effectiveness that on-demand entertainment outlets offer, this is the more insidious way in which, as Netflix honcho Ted Sarandos put it, Peak TV has come at the expense of movie culture.

All these factors outside the quality of the films themselves, and even outside the box office, conspire to color our experience of film culture beyond what is easily measurable. But the final way that 2016’s summer at the movies seems more than usually atrocious is even more diffuse and unquantifiable: summer 2016 has happened during goddamn 2016. From Trump to Brexit to anunprecedented number of high-profile celebrity deaths, this year has been bad however you cut it, and film culture, being part of wider culture, can’t help but be battered by those same prevailing winds. So as I said up top, normally if we heard someone bandying around the “worst summer ever” statement, we’d be the exact people to push our spectacles up our noses, clear our throats and preach forbearance. But when it comes to summer 2016? Eh, knock yourselves out.

Fonte: http://theplaylist.net/worst-movie-summer-ever-investigation-20160811/#cb-content

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