It’s Saturday night, your sitting in with your friends watching a Lord of The Rings marathon in one night. You sit there admiring the beautiful scenery, the epic battles and the atmosphere as you are sucked out of your world and brought into this world. You become lost in the magic of fighting orcs and daemons that you almost forget that it’s just a movie. A movie that spent countless months, days and hours making and put huge time and effort into bringing to the big screen.
Suddenly you start thinking about the beautiful scenery, the epic battles and the atmosphere in a different way, asking yourself, just how much did all of this cost? Three movies, nine hours long and hundreds of actors, producers, cameramen and editors who all had to be paid after the first premiere showing of each movie. And yet, even after all the money was paid and they made back the amount they spent, they were still able to make millions more and even enough to make The Hobbit into three films.
But of course that’s not always the case. Making movies take time and effort to complete and usually cost millions of dollars. We would think that with all this money, companies would be taking the time to create masterpieces, which would change the way we watch television. And yet we still see movies such as Adam Sandler’s Overboard, a movie which was so bad it sinks to the bottom of bargain bins and pound shops with an anchor holding it down.
Lord of the Rings was first released in 2001 with the sequels following one year apart. The movie was shot in New Zeeland and directed by Peter Jackson, and took nearly four years to film the entire trilogy. After the success of the first movie Peter Jackson shot both The Two Towers and Return of The King back to back. Peter Jackson took a huge risk when filming the two, claiming that the Two Towers is going to be a major hit and therefore we can afford to start making Return of The King. Film companies themselves took the risk by giving Jackson that sort of budget to work with and believing that he could make a profit out of both these movies. And the result? Lord of The Rings Return of the King is now the 6th highest grossing film of all time.
For over a decade Titanic was the highest grossing film of all time and only just beaten by Avatar in 2009. The film was unique as it explored the real life tragedy of the Titanic and combined it with a love story between two people from two completely different worlds. The movie was critically acclaimed and won awards such as the Oscars best picture, best visual effect, best director and many m
Pearl Harbour nearly ruined Michael Bays career and studio’s were cautious of hiring him to direct another movie. But soon Michael Bay became one of the biggest action directors of all time after directing all three Transformers movies, where Dark of The Moon landed number 5 on the highest grossing films list.ore. So in 2001, Michael Bay put his own take on the real life tragedy with his movie Pearl Harbour. Critics tore apart this movie for its portrayal on the American naval army and how poorly it treated the situation of such a tragic event. This movie bombed at the box office and it was clear that Michael Bay wasn’t making a movie but trying to make his own Titanic so he could win all the Oscars.
One of the biggest problems that film makers face these days is the age of digital download. Now it becomes even easier for people to download their favourite movies before DVD release through torrent sites and free download pages. Downloading and pirating movies online affects how much money film makers make back from their movies.
Which is why a sequel to the popular horror/comedy Zombieland may never see the light of day. According to Box Office Mojo, Zombieland’s current worldwide earnings approximate to $85 million, which triples the $23.6 million production budget. However the value is almost insignificant when discovered that Zombieland is the most pirated movie on Bit Torrent with over one million people who have already downloaded the movie. Despite the triple profit return, a sequel to Zombieland still hangs in the balance, after cost have been met and actors and crew have been paid for, Zombieland will be lucky to make the same budget to make another movie.
To combat the rise in digital downloads, film makers have to rely heavily on their box office success as that is the only time someone cannot download a good quality version of the film. Film makers need to create more hype before cinema release so more people will be inclined to see it. This includes rebooting film series to give it a fresh look for the same audience. This includes The Amazing Spiderman, Dark Knight Rises and The Man of Steel which have near surpassed their predecessors.
Another way to create more hype is by releasing more book licenced movies as they already have a loyal fan base from reading the novel and will want to see a movie version come out. This was most famously achieved with Stephanie Myers Twilight Saga the popular love craft series which had such a loyal fan base that all four books were made into movies and was even stretched into a fifth movie. All five movies reached triple million figures and secured a lifelong fan base for more of Stephanie Myers books to be turned into movies in the coming years.
So when we sit down to watch a Lord of the Rings marathon or go to the cinema to watch the latest Star Wars movie in 3D, it’s hard to imagine how much work went into making a two or three hour movie. With so much to conceder it’s a miracle that any movie can make enough money to call itself a success. And even if the movie was bad, people still paid money to say it was bad and that’s all the studio needs to be able to squeeze a profit out of it and stat again from scratch.