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Thread: LA Times wonders why nobody is going to see comedy movies anymore

  1. #1

    Exclamation LA Times wonders why nobody is going to see comedy movies anymore

    Hmmm...

    Perhaps because politically correct sermonizing, hamfisted social justice warriorism, sanitized, bleached, non offending "jokes" and foul mouthed fat woemen bitching about their vaginas, is not funny.


    Summer once gave us 'Hangover' and 'Ted.' Now it gives us 'Tag.' Here's the problem with comedy

    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...622-story.html

    By JOSH ROTTENBERG
    JUN 22, 2018 | 3:00 AM

    Summer once gave us 'Hangover' and 'Ted.' Now it gives us 'Tag.' Here's the problem with comedy

    In years past, the summertime box office could always be counted on to deliver at least one mainstream comedy smash that would break out of the pack of superhero films, action spectacles and rampaging giant-monster epics.

    Think: “The Hangover,” which pulled in $277 million domestically in 2009. Or “Ted,” which grossed $219 million in 2012. Or, more recently, last year’s “Girls Trip,” which took in $115 million.

    Alas, this past weekend’s “Tag” — one of the comedy genre’s brighter hopes for this particular summer — was not it.

    Despite boasting an ensemble of name actors (including Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Hannibal Buress, Jake Johnson, Isla Fisher and Jeremy Renner) and a hooky premise that seemed tailor-made for fans of past comedy hits like “Wedding Crashers” (grown men playing a decades-long game of tag), the film took in $14.9 million in its debut, less than a tenth of the haul of the weekend’s other major arrival, Pixar’s “Incredibles 2.”

    It also came in lower than the recent openings of Amy Schumer’s “I Feel Pretty” and Melissa McCarthy’s “Life of the Party” — both of which have petered out around or below the $50-million mark domestically.

    At a time when comedy is enjoying a boom on the small screen and stand-up comedians are being touted as “the new rock stars,” the genre can’t seem to shake a big-screen slump.

    Barring a surprise breakout, this could be the first summer in more than 20 years in which no traditional comedy grosses more than $100 million at the domestic box office.

    Speaking to The Times late last year shortly before release of his bizarro satire “Downsizing,” director Alexander Payne spoke sadly of what he saw as the twilight of the era of the broadly appealing mainstream summer comedy.

    “Every summer we used to look forward to the big blockbuster comedy,” Payne said. “We used to look forward to ‘Trading Places’ and ‘Ghostbusters.’ ‘What’s the big comedy that’s going to make a ton of money and be delightful?’ I lament the passing of those days.”

    Aside from “Girls Trip,” the summer of 2017 proved a veritable bloodbath for major, star-studded studio comedies like “Baywatch,” “The House,” “Snatched” and “Rough Night.” The sheer volume of flops left many who work in comedy wondering when, or if, the genre can get its mojo back.

    “I talk about this all the time with my comedy friends — it is rough out there,” said director Rawson Marshall Thurber, whose “Central Intelligence” was a summer comedy success just two years ago, grossing $127 million. Seeing what he calls “a comedy famine at the box office,” Thurber, who also helmed the hits “Dodgeball” and “We’re the Millers,” has lately shifted from the genre that launched his career; his next film, which hits theaters July 13, is the “Die Hard”-esque action film “Skyscraper,” starring Dwayne Johnson.

    With each passing year, the multiplexes have become increasingly dominated by big-budget spectacles, many of which have eaten into the turf of the traditional comedy. “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” gave Johnson his biggest domestic hit by pairing him with comedy veterans Kevin Hart and Jack Black and a healthy dose of tent-pole razzle-dazzle. Marvel Studios juggernauts like “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Thor: Ragnarok” deliver as many jokes as action set pieces, while, for all their comic-book trappings, “Deadpool” and its sequel were essentially R-rated action-comedies dressed in spandex.

    “Deadpool” screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese scored their breakout with 2009 comedy sleeper “Zombieland” but have since found even more success giving the superhero genre a sarcastic makeover with their fellow writer and franchise star Ryan Reynolds.

    “I think it’s less that audiences don’t want to see comedy in a theater and more that they do want to see spectacle in the theater,” Reese said. “TV is so good at providing drama and comedy that the movie theater is becoming one of the only places you can see things on a grand stage. It may be that with ‘Deadpool’ we’re just taking advantage of that. We’re providing spectacle and the superhero genre, but then we’re sliding a comedy in, so I think we get the benefit of both genres as opposed to just one.”

    “Do people go to the theater to see just a pure comedy anymore?” Wernick wondered aloud. “Boy, I don’t know. It’s truly a shame because I think comedies are such a communal experience. Going to the theater and hearing other people laugh is such a wonderful feeling of community. So we hope by all means that it’s not the end of the traditional comedy because we grew up on that stuff and love it to death.”



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  3. #2
    How can anyone think about laughing when we have all the issues with the border children?

  4. #3
    "Punchy" Robert De niro, is due for another movie. I know he has been in comedies before.

  5. #4
    I might go see another politically incorrect Mel Brooks movie if he were to do one.

  6. #5
    LOL... this is going to be a MUCH bigger problem than "comedies at the box office", and much bigger than Hollywood movies - this is just one of the first and more obvious superficial signs of what is to come..

    Remember the story yesterday about the CEO of Intel being let go because he had a "consensual relationship" with an employee a few years ago??

    You think taxes make people go "Galt"?? Hah!! Hold Galt's beer and watch THIS!!

    This is completely the fault of the #MeToo movement

    High powered movie makers, guys who make tons of money dazzling audiences or selling the latest products.. They used to do that because the result was they could secure vagina. Now that is gone, now doing anything like that can ruin your career.. So all those talented people who worked hard to bring the masses what they want? Sorry, no more. They are done. I told you so.
    Last edited by dannno; 06-22-2018 at 09:52 AM.
    "He's talkin' to his gut like it's a person!!" -me
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  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by dannno View Post
    LOL... this is going to be a MUCH bigger problem than "comedies at the box office", and much bigger than Hollywood movies - this is just one of the first and more obvious superficial signs of what is to come..

    Remember the story yesterday about the CEO of Intel being let go because he had a "consensual relationship" with an employee a few years ago??

    You think taxes make people go "Galt"?? Hah!! Watch THIS!!

    This is completely the fault of the #MeToo movement

    High powered movie makers, guys who make tons of money dazzling audiences or selling the latest products.. They used to do that because the result was they could secure vagina. Now that is gone, now doing anything like that can ruin your career.. So all those talented people who worked hard to bring the masses what they want? Sorry, no more. They are done. I told you so.
    Valid point.

    MGTOW

  8. #7
    I predicted this would happen.

  9. #8
    Maybe MARVEL is really stealing the show.

    However, there is no mention here of Sausage Party. That is not my kind of movie and I never saw it, but my understanding is it was very successful. The article mentions people moving to TV and afterward Seth Rogen put together PREACHER for AMC.

    Also while trying to feel out the success of Superheroes, Amazon dusted off The TICK for another online TV series.


    For what it's worth, The Happy Time Murders is coming out late Summer, though I think it looks $#@!ing stupid.


    One other previous example of what comedy is fishing for was that Ghostbusters reboot. Aside from whatever PC agendas people might see with it, it was an attempt to bring a comedy that already had established Brand Recognition. The massive advantage superhero flicks or other action movies have is the recognition of their stars or the success of the properties they're based on even including the mixed results of STAR WARS. Even this December we'll be getting an action film based MORTAL ENGINES based on an established book series so the marketing and writing has already been done.

    Maybe the executives have been less interested in comedy because there is no smash hit marketing shortcut for it like this. In other cases when someone does try to dust off a property like Ghostbusters, it gets fumbled badly. This isn't just because what people thought of casting, but even Melissa McCarthy said the trailers for her film were confusing. Was this a late sequel? A reboot? Or a complete remake? Also the original stars apparently came back, but only as cameos and not even as their original characters. Another problem might just be that it's far more difficult to Reboot or Remake a comedy than it is to do the same with an action movie because you can't replicate an original actors humor plus you run up against fan loyalty. I mean there is just no way anybody could redo something like The Big Lebowski for example.


    I guess my last thought on this is if Hollywood has severely limited it's own opportunities for producing satire. The hysterical comedy Idiocracy was basically kicked to the curb with limited theatrical release. Supposedly it just pissed off to many corporations depicted in it. While this was quite a long time ago in 2006, I just wonder if that signaled a trend that people shouldn't bother to lampoon certain parts of our corporate culture like that. Also, even Mike Judge walked away from film and went to TV. This is to bad because I think the time is ripe for a movie like that to lampoon people like Mark Zuckerberg after the recenty mishandling of Facebook or how much he's been MEMEed. I wonder if we're long overdue for a brutal satire of Tech Giants, but these individuals command so much money and influence it would be a huge risk to piss them off.






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  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by VIDEODROME View Post
    Maybe the executives have been less interested in comedy because there is no smash hit marketing shortcut for it like this.
    For a long time, conspiracy theorists of a certain type have said that Hollywood would stop investing money into blockbusters shortly before the planned collapse. just saying.

  12. #10
    But we're still getting the Blockbusters and the MARVEL machine keeps churning out Avengers flicks. Also even aside from Deadpool, I expect some good humor from Ant-Man and The Wasp coming soon.

    It's apparently the Non-Spectacle comedy that's dried up for some reason.

  13. #11
    Movie attendance in general has been falling for years. People watching more on their devices or NetFlicks or the like. Off 27% since 2002.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    The quality seems to have dropped significantly since I came here, I guess you get what you pay for.
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  14. #12
    I wonder if IMAX influences Hollywood favoring Spectacle?

    Consider Zippy's chart showing a decline in attendance, but somewhere in the mix is massive Blockbuster event movies that attempt to drive people to IMAX Cinemas where tickets are more expensive and I don't even know how much more costly concessions are there. IMAX is not really a venue for comedy so maybe that is why it's moving to Netflix.

  15. #13
    Looks to me like, percentage -wise, attendance is dropping as ticket prices rise.
    *******

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  16. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    Despite boasting an ensemble of name actors (including Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Hannibal Buress, Jake Johnson, Isla Fisher and Jeremy Renner) [...]
    Apart from Renner, I've never heard of any of those people. I have no idea what they might have been in or if I've ever seen them in anything.

    And I only know Renner because of the Marvel/Avengers stuff.

    (Also, IIRC, I think he was the lead in that Jason Bourne movie that didn't have Jason Bourne in it.)


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  17. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by angelatc View Post
    Looks to me like, percentage -wise, attendance is dropping as ticket prices rise.
    Yes , movie goers are like stamp collectors . There were a lot of stamp collectors when stamps were 6 to 13 cents , very few now .
    Do something Danke

  18. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by VIDEODROME View Post
    Maybe MARVEL is really stealing the show.

    However, there is no mention here of Sausage Party. That is not my kind of movie and I never saw it, but my understanding is it was very successful. The article mentions people moving to TV and afterward Seth Rogen put together PREACHER for AMC.
    I was so excited for Sausage Party but it was awful. I think internet streaming has a lot to do with the drop in ticket sales.

    We go see a fair amount of movies and the only one that was really crowded was Infinity Wars. The show we wanted to see was sold out and the later show was full. I went with the boys and had no idea how big this movie was to the nerd community. I ended up sitting next to a man who talked the whole time. He was by himself but I'm not sure if he was talking to me. I smiled and nodded, just in case. I've never seen a grown man get so excited over seeing Captain America with a beard. o_O
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  20. #17

  21. #18
    Why waste money in dingy theaters when quality free comedic entertainment of political theater is available to all lately. Some of the new entries to the politics bring a lot of 2-in-1 value for the audiences.

  22. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanimal View Post
    I was so excited for Sausage Party but it was awful. I think internet streaming has a lot to do with the drop in ticket sales.

    We go see a fair amount of movies and the only one that was really crowded was Infinity Wars. The show we wanted to see was sold out and the later show was full. I went with the boys and had no idea how big this movie was to the nerd community. I ended up sitting next to a man who talked the whole time. He was by himself but I'm not sure if he was talking to me. I smiled and nodded, just in case. I've never seen a grown man get so excited over seeing Captain America with a beard. o_O
    I still like going to the movies and usually go to a Matinee showing and usually manage to avoid peak show time so it's not crowded. I still haven't seen Deadpool 2 or Solo, but might check them out.

  23. #20

  24. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    Hmmm...

    Perhaps because politically correct sermonizing, hamfisted social justice warriorism, sanitized, bleached, non offending "jokes" and foul mouthed fat woemen bitching about their vaginas, is not funny.


    Summer once gave us 'Hangover' and 'Ted.' Now it gives us 'Tag.' Here's the problem with comedy

    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...622-story.html

    By JOSH ROTTENBERG
    JUN 22, 2018 | 3:00 AM

    Summer once gave us 'Hangover' and 'Ted.' Now it gives us 'Tag.' Here's the problem with comedy

    In years past, the summertime box office could always be counted on to deliver at least one mainstream comedy smash that would break out of the pack of superhero films, action spectacles and rampaging giant-monster epics.

    Think: “The Hangover,” which pulled in $277 million domestically in 2009. Or “Ted,” which grossed $219 million in 2012. Or, more recently, last year’s “Girls Trip,” which took in $115 million.

    Alas, this past weekend’s “Tag” — one of the comedy genre’s brighter hopes for this particular summer — was not it.

    Despite boasting an ensemble of name actors (including Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Hannibal Buress, Jake Johnson, Isla Fisher and Jeremy Renner) and a hooky premise that seemed tailor-made for fans of past comedy hits like “Wedding Crashers” (grown men playing a decades-long game of tag), the film took in $14.9 million in its debut, less than a tenth of the haul of the weekend’s other major arrival, Pixar’s “Incredibles 2.”

    It also came in lower than the recent openings of Amy Schumer’s “I Feel Pretty” and Melissa McCarthy’s “Life of the Party” — both of which have petered out around or below the $50-million mark domestically.

    At a time when comedy is enjoying a boom on the small screen and stand-up comedians are being touted as “the new rock stars,” the genre can’t seem to shake a big-screen slump.

    Barring a surprise breakout, this could be the first summer in more than 20 years in which no traditional comedy grosses more than $100 million at the domestic box office.

    Speaking to The Times late last year shortly before release of his bizarro satire “Downsizing,” director Alexander Payne spoke sadly of what he saw as the twilight of the era of the broadly appealing mainstream summer comedy.

    “Every summer we used to look forward to the big blockbuster comedy,” Payne said. “We used to look forward to ‘Trading Places’ and ‘Ghostbusters.’ ‘What’s the big comedy that’s going to make a ton of money and be delightful?’ I lament the passing of those days.”

    Aside from “Girls Trip,” the summer of 2017 proved a veritable bloodbath for major, star-studded studio comedies like “Baywatch,” “The House,” “Snatched” and “Rough Night.” The sheer volume of flops left many who work in comedy wondering when, or if, the genre can get its mojo back.

    “I talk about this all the time with my comedy friends — it is rough out there,” said director Rawson Marshall Thurber, whose “Central Intelligence” was a summer comedy success just two years ago, grossing $127 million. Seeing what he calls “a comedy famine at the box office,” Thurber, who also helmed the hits “Dodgeball” and “We’re the Millers,” has lately shifted from the genre that launched his career; his next film, which hits theaters July 13, is the “Die Hard”-esque action film “Skyscraper,” starring Dwayne Johnson.

    With each passing year, the multiplexes have become increasingly dominated by big-budget spectacles, many of which have eaten into the turf of the traditional comedy. “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” gave Johnson his biggest domestic hit by pairing him with comedy veterans Kevin Hart and Jack Black and a healthy dose of tent-pole razzle-dazzle. Marvel Studios juggernauts like “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Thor: Ragnarok” deliver as many jokes as action set pieces, while, for all their comic-book trappings, “Deadpool” and its sequel were essentially R-rated action-comedies dressed in spandex.

    “Deadpool” screenwriters Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese scored their breakout with 2009 comedy sleeper “Zombieland” but have since found even more success giving the superhero genre a sarcastic makeover with their fellow writer and franchise star Ryan Reynolds.

    “I think it’s less that audiences don’t want to see comedy in a theater and more that they do want to see spectacle in the theater,” Reese said. “TV is so good at providing drama and comedy that the movie theater is becoming one of the only places you can see things on a grand stage. It may be that with ‘Deadpool’ we’re just taking advantage of that. We’re providing spectacle and the superhero genre, but then we’re sliding a comedy in, so I think we get the benefit of both genres as opposed to just one.”

    “Do people go to the theater to see just a pure comedy anymore?” Wernick wondered aloud. “Boy, I don’t know. It’s truly a shame because I think comedies are such a communal experience. Going to the theater and hearing other people laugh is such a wonderful feeling of community. So we hope by all means that it’s not the end of the traditional comedy because we grew up on that stuff and love it to death.”
    The comedy clubs in midwestern cities seem to be doing well .
    Do something Danke

  25. #22
    People aren't really going to the movies anymore. They usually just wait until the movie is available on Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime. Last time I went to the theaters was to see Captain America: Civil War and that was back in 2016.
    Last edited by Anti Globalist; 12-09-2019 at 04:42 PM.
    "Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration is minding my own business."

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  26. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    This better be good enough to make people completely forget about the travesty that was Ghostbusters 3.
    "Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration is minding my own business."

    Calvin Coolidge

  27. #24



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  29. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    That, actually, didn't look half bad.
    It was produced by the original producers son. Apparently he wasn't too pleased with what happened in 2016...

    "There hasn't been a ghost sighting in 30 years." ROFL
    "The Patriarch"

  30. #26
    Clint Eastwood has a movie coming out this week.

    Truth is Fallacy, Fallacy is Evil.

  31. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Schifference View Post
    Clint Eastwood has a movie coming out this week.

    That one I'm going to watch.
    "The Patriarch"

  32. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    ok, that made me grin. That I will see.

  33. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
    It was produced by the original producers son. Apparently he wasn't too pleased with what happened in 2016...

    "There hasn't been a ghost sighting in 30 years." ROFL
    Be nice if they pick the story up from there and just act like that 2016 pile of dog vomit didn't even happen.

  34. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by specsaregood View Post
    ok, that made me grin. That I will see.
    just showed it to the kid. he said, "OMG, that looks EPIC!" He has seen the originals and loves them; I don't think he even knows the stupid remake even exists.

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