Thursday, April 21, 2016

6 Movies We Expect to Fail in 2016 and Beyond

Hollywood loves a good franchise. It’s the best and easiest way to make a quick buck at the box office, and it guarantees years of being able to churn out sequels. More than that, it makes it so a studio doesn’t have to go out on a limb for a risky original screenplay, instead depending on known quantities and millennial nostalgia. Not every idea is a winner though. That of course does little to stop studio heads from green-lighting anything with even the smallest possibility of catching on.

Enter the latest crop of franchise ideas set to appear in 2016 and beyond. Some are set to hit theaters in the next few months. Others were green-lit in just the last few months. As a collective, they represent some of the most misguided filmmaking in Hollywood. That won’t slow the oncoming tide of potential franchises, especially not when studio execs are seeing green. So without further ado, here’s the definitive list of what to avoid.

1. The Emoji Movie

In one of the most misguided attempts at appealing to millennials we’ve ever seen, Sony officially announced their plans to move forward with a 2017 release for The Emoji Movie. And yes, you guessed it: It’s literally a movie all about the way you express yourself over texting when you’re too lazy to use words. That only scratches the surface of just how terrible this idea is too. Already there’s been talk of sponsorship deals with companies like Spotify and Facebook to use their brands as characters in the film, opening up the floodgates for a 90-minute deluge of product placement.

2. MIB 23

Here we have another example of recent news coming down for a potentially disastrous idea. The elevator pitch is…well, something. The thought-to-be-dead Men in Black universe will combine with that of the Jump Street franchise, and that’s about the long and short of it. What’s more: 21 and 22 Jump Street directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller won’t be attached to the project in any capacity. So remove the brilliant creative minds, the cohesiveness of the universe, and any semblance of sanity, and MIB 23 is born. Yeah, what could possibly go wrong?

3. Star Trek Beyond
Source: Universal

The next installment in the Star Trek saga is one that’s raised a lot of skepticism in the fan community. The first trailer for the Justin Lin-led threequel looked more like a Fast and Furious movie, than a story set in the cerebral, thinking man’s sci-fi world of the original Trek. Lin, whose own resumé includes three movies in the Fast and Furious series, was always a curious choice to succeed J.J. Abrams, and it looks like many of our fears have been confirmed. Combine that with an uncharacteristically quiet marketing campaign from Paramount, and suddenly things are starting to look grim for a release just a few months away.

4. Angry Birds
Angry Birds Movie - Sony

Sony seems to think that movies based on mobile apps is the path to success, because they’re really doubling down hard right now. Angry Birds releases in about a month, and early trailers have done little to assuage fears that it’s nothing more than a poorly-written cash-grab. You won’t get any nostalgia points from 20-somethings who remember when the mobile game was big just two years ago. That just leaves the “small children” demographic, and unfortunately they’re far from dependable when it comes to predicting a healthy box office take.

5. Ben Hur
Ben Hur Remake - Paramount

1959’s Ben Hur is widely regarded as one of the greatest movies ever made. You’d think any film on such a list wouldn’t demand a remake of any sort, right? Wrong. So, so, so wrong. Paramount is bringing Ben Hur back for the remake nobody asked for, infusing it with enough mindless action and CGI to make Charlton Heston turn in his grave. Maybe we’ll be wrong and the new Ben Hur will be a faithful reimagining of a cinematic classic. It just seems like a pretty big possibility that the exact opposite outcome is more likely.

6. Universal’s “Monsters Cinematic Universe”
Source: Universal

Why make one ill-advised film when you can make seven? Universal has big plans for a shared universe, featuring its stable of classic movie monsters. It actually already kicked off in 2014 with Dracula Untold, and the next on the docket is 2017’s The Mummy. From there, the plan is to release standalone films for the Wolf Man, Van Helsing, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Bride of Frankenstein, and the Invisible Man. All we need next is an Avengers-style team-up, and we’ll really be cooking with fire.


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