The Paramount movie company is scrambling because of dismal movie turnouts and expectations for Dark Shadows, the aborted GI Joe and the mega-flop John Carter. It looks like this might finally be the gut check to the industry us lapse movie-goers have been waiting for.

Last month Paramount postponed the sequel to G.I. Joe until March 2013 to add 3-D – a cynical ploy studio execs described as “we’ve seen how it can better box office internationally.” [sic]

An understood theme of the summer movie season is the big budget blow’em’up movie. However, it looks like this lazy diversion might finally be losing its intended effect.

I’m sure this shake-up is transient and everyone is just waiting for the next Hangover movie or the next Marvel comics thing or Batman flick. Basically, if people are going to spend their increasingly ridiculous ticket fare on a boom-boom movie, it’s going to be a reliably familiar explosion fest. The gaming industry has been dealing with this for the last few years. Gamers now seldom see new titles from major studios. It’s just the next iteration of Star Wars, Modern Warfare, Halo, Bioshock, Metal Gear, Zelda, Mario, Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Lego Presents (blah’blah), et cetera.

Video game studios figured out a long time ago that sucking consumers in to a new franchise or concept is increasingly risky unless your studio produces gold no matter what – think: Blizzard and their upcomming new IPO.

The failure of John Carter* or Dark Shadows and the murder of the GI Joe sequel means a new wind for the movie industry. But it also means churning out more sequels to reliably successful franchises and only adapting familiar intellectual property for the screen – who the hell even knows Dark Shadows was a TV show way back when? Finally, this wine-drunk Caligulan decision-making  has started to bite the studios in the ass. I just doubt it will result in better, different or more interesting movies for us, the consumers.


*A film title bereft of absolutely any meaning because Disney chopped off the two words from the Edgar Rice Burroughs book the film is adapted from. Two words that would have, probably, completely changed the financial stakes of the, now, $200 million flop.


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