Over the holiday weekend I went to see Tomorrowland the new Brad Bird film and I had very high expectations because of Bird and the preview of the film that I had seen at Disneyland recently. Myself and two other adults and a 10-year-old boy went to see the film and we all very much enjoyed the film. While the film is not perfect and it does run a bit too long overall but was a very enjoyable film. It reminded me of the live action films that Walt Disney used to produce back in the day.
I soon discovered that not only was the film getting poor reviews there were some out right hate for the film. While I understand that the film is not going to appeal to everyone, I can see at the very least that the worst you could say about the film is that it was OK but not terrible. Now people are equating quality to the box office of the film. I find it ironic that people continue to equate box office to quality. Here are films that were considered box office bombs and not very well reviewed on their initial release. The Wizard of Oz, It’s A Wonderful Life, Blade Runner, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Office Space, The Princess Bride, and Shawshank Redemption fall into this category but now are beloved films. I’m not saying that Tomorrowland will be beloved in the future but calling the film bad because of the box office is ludicrous.
Here are some of the stories and comments around the web about this.
All due respect, but Tomorrowland does not look like a film that cost $190 million to produce.
I strongly disagree with this not well throughout statement. I CAN see the money on the screen expecally in scenes like the physical recreation of the 1964 Worlds Fair. A quote from Cinematographer Claudio Miranda, In “Tomorrowland” we shot in Spain which has a very futuristic look to shoot the movie and a lot of scenes take place there. And Scott Chambliss, the production designer, did an amazing job in building these massive sets that we could ground our feet on. The monorail and a lot of the entrances to the monorail were all built. Large scale sets and location shooting are not cheap to film.
In the end, “Tomorrowland” may have simply been too ambitious. With a complicated structure, the film attempted to embrace the present, the past (the 1960s) and the future.
Complicated? If the 10-year-old that was with us had no problem understanding the film I wonder what film they were watching? Sure you have to pay attention but I guess that big budget films like this most people are not used to having to think too much. While I do think that younger kids (5 years and under) are not going to get a lot that is going on, you would have to be in my opinion pretty dim not to understand the plot of the film the premise is very simple.
Tomorrowland’s middling debut points to a nagging problem in Hollywood. As much as people claim they love fresh and unique movies, they’re more likely to shell out money for sequels and reboots.
This is one of the more interesting stories about the film. I do agree that Disney took a big gamble money wise with Tomorrowland at $190 million dollars. I think the bigger issue with Hollywood now is that they only know how to spend $125 to $200 million on tent pole films. A good example of this is last years animated film Book of Life that was produced for a fraction of most big studio animated features at a cost of $50 million. In comparison Frozen cost $150 million and How To Train Your Dragon 2 cost $145 million. In the case of Avengers Age of Ultron the budget was $220 to $250 million dollars to make. That’s insane for films to cost that much. Mad Max Fury Road for $150 million dollars is much more impressive than Avengers because you can see every dime spent on the film with very little CGI effects and mostly used to erase safety harnesses from the actors and stunt people.
The most insane story is over at Breit Bart:
Audiences and critics are divided on Tomorrowland, but there is some agreement among the Hollywood trades that the film’s climate change messaging is too heavy-handed.
The whole “story” over there is saying the film bombed because of George Clooney’s liberal agenda of global warming. Yep people will connect things that make no sense what so ever.
So where am I going with all of this? While Tomorrowland may not be the ultimate film of all time, it now wears the Scarlett letter of a bad film. That is very sad because the one thing that I really loved about the film is when I walked out of the theater after watching it was a sense of hope. The film is simply about imagination and hope and is that such a bad thing? Tomorrowland is a fresh and rare summer film where the point of the film is not about blowing crap up or a hollow spectacle of CGI effects. I would like for people to go and see the film and make up their own minds but sadly people seem to be unwilling to go into a film with out overwhelming expectations. It’s so hard to do today because the studios themselves ruin a lot of films with revealing the plot in the marketing. The other culprit is the media who will declare a film a failure mere moments after the first box office returns come in. People are so obsessed with box office and seems to base their movie going on that fact.
While Tomorrowland may not be the best film that I will see this year but it will be one of the few films that will leave me with the sense of hope and wonder and in the end that is a huge improvement over most summer tent pole blowout fiestas. A bright future is maybe something that we all need today.