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Are you excited about the future of the MCU?


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Don't we all, dear boy. Sadly, the money from butts on seats is what primarily pays for them.

(Well, and the kind of arcane dark accountancy that would terrify the Circle Of Thorns. The "rolling break-even" is particularly evil...)

 

You have to wonder if epic summer tentpole movies on the Marvel/Bond/DC level will have to get shelved in favour of smaller, cheaper, more streaming-friendly versions for a while. Given what Favreau managed to achieve on a (relatively) micro-budget for The Mandalorian, using new filming techniques, it's certainly possible to get epic movie feels without breaking the bank. It would also allow for a wider range of storytelling.

 

https://www.ft.com/content/a44b5c22-0b44-4c34-8f67-5540db152182

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9 hours ago, ThaOGDreamWeaver said:
  • Quantumania - July 28th 2023

Reasoning is that while Shang-Chi was a hit in pandemic-era terms, it still underperformed compared to other Marvel movies.
Giving the industry more time to adjust seems wise. 

I've still not seen Shang-Chi though I look forward to it.  I was puzzled, after Disney put several other movies in Disney + at premium prices, to find it was not doing the same.  I haven't bought into that concept yet, but Shang-Chi probably would have been the first one. 

 

And the way they're pushing things back, Michael Douglas is going to be in a nursing home before a fourth Ant Man film gets started. (Assuming Hank lives through Quantumania).

 

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Without being a Marvel insider, I can't tell you the reason why (and would have Feige sending the killer robots after me if I was/did.)

 

Maybe they just thought the markets would support this one better than Black Widow as more things were open: maybe it was an experiment: maybe they thought there'd be more piracy given they launched this one heavily in China. (Having worked briefly in the Chinese VoD sector, a 30-second video saying that Xi Jinping resembles Winnie the Pooh will get taken down almost instantly and probably earn you a trip to Qincheng, whereas a full length rip of a Hollywood movie... the censor teams can happily watch through - for cultural inspection reasons, of course - and then leave alone.)

Edited by ThaOGDreamWeaver

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Noted: the "anti-woke" crowd have been review-bombing Eternals because oh no teh gays are forcing stuff down our throats.

(Honey, I think you'd have noticed if...ahem.)

 

The critics' reviews have been a bit more mixed. Comparing it to Inhumans might have been a tad harsh - comparing anything to that show's a bit harsh on it.

But it is trying to:

(a) be more lyrically beautiful than other Marvel movies: would expect no less from Chloe Zhao.

(b) handle quite a large cast with new backstories

(c) introduce some new and quite cosmic concepts into Marvel

(d) still do all that while lacking a decent villain. AGAIN.

 

I'll catch it on D+.

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When was Shang-Chi even in theaters? Is Eternals even out yet?

You pay to play, having fun is ok, kill Skuls or kill Crey, hunt at night or in the day, black or white or shades of gray, play it your way, we have no say.

 

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Shang-Chi had wide release through September, and is still playing:

https://www.boxofficemojo.com/title/tt9376612/?ref_=bo_se_r_1

 

Eternals has had its premieres (lots of - clearly their key superpower is "Blinding Cheekbones") and is out Friday Nov 5th.

If you care about such things, it's also just over the border of a Fresh grade on RottenTomatoes.

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2 hours ago, ThaOGDreamWeaver said:

Shang-Chi had wide release through September, and is still playing:

https://www.boxofficemojo.com/title/tt9376612/?ref_=bo_se_r_1

 

Eternals has had its premieres (lots of - clearly their key superpower is "Blinding Cheekbones") and is out Friday Nov 5th.

If you care about such things, it's also just over the border of a Fresh grade on RottenTomatoes.



Shang Chi took 150-200M to make.  (Hollywood accounting.)
Normally they would have to make 3x the production cost to break even.  They're barely past 400M.

Honestly, RT's ratings from pro reviewers is worthless.

So God only knows how Eternals is going to do.
Eternals is fairly funky subject matter.  Even within the purview of a universe where guys stick to walls and aliens wipe out half the universe by snapping their fingers.

If you want to be godlike, pick anything.

If you want to be GOD, pick a TANK!

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On 11/1/2021 at 7:07 PM, Hyperstrike said:



Shang Chi took 150-200M to make.  (Hollywood accounting.)
Normally they would have to make 3x the production cost to break even.  They're barely past 400M.

Trust me, very familiar with Hollywood accountancy, having been on the wrong end of it once and lost my life savings1.

 

Marvel are cagey about everything including budgets, but the numbers seem fair.

And yes, it should be 3x for notional breakeven (rolling breaks and other malarkey notwithstanding)... 

...if we weren't still in a pandemic.

 

Given that Shang-Chi should do well when it transfers to Disney+, I'd argue it's still done its fair share.

 

1Tip if you ever work in WhollyOdd: be sure to find out...

- if it's for a "producer", what the hell they personally mean by that term, if anything

- if your contract is enforceable (or worth the paper it's written on)

- if they have any actual money to pay you with

- if anything AT ALL is considered to be "on spec"

- if they've ripped anyone off lately, especially financiers, directors, famous actors who may or may not include Halle Berry and Adrien Brody, other producers, and/or their close personal friends

Oh, and itemise and keep receipts for EVERYTHING, especially your time.

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1 minute ago, ThaOGDreamWeaver said:

Given that Shang-Chi should do well when it transfers to Disney+, I'd argue it's still done its fair share.


You might.  But the Mouse-Haus is notoriously tightfisted and cut-throat.

Ask Alan Dean Foster, Neil Gaiman and a host of other authors about it...

If you want to be godlike, pick anything.

If you want to be GOD, pick a TANK!

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19 minutes ago, Hyperstrike said:


You might.  But the Mouse-Haus is notoriously tightfisted and cut-throat.

 

There is a very old saying in Burbank that starts "Not even Minnie..."

...you can guess the rest.

 

They're better than they used to be since the mergers - a bit of Pixar's corporate culture came over with Lasseter. While he turned out to be... personally problematic, you can clearly see the change for the better in terms of their creative drive, willingness to experiment and supportive culture for creatives, right up until it hits the Accounts department. 

 

According to my Bothan spies, Marvel Studios are their current cash cow from both movies and merch, and allowed to be their own thing to an extent. Then again, Feige and his band of fanatically insane ninja lawyers are a whole other bunch of fun. (I'm worried even typing that on a messageboard.)

 

Disney's deals for artists still suck, particularly writers. I'm not a fan of everything JK Rowling does (especially recently. Never go full Linehan.)

But she saw those guys coming a mile off and ran for it - dodged Weinstein too. New Line are much saner - though in that town...

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56 minutes ago, Glacier Peak said:

Man that Jared Leto guy can really lose and gain weight like an art form. True character study from that dude. Morbius? Mobius? Morpheus? I'm getting names mixed up...

 

Diet tips aside, is it any good as a movie?

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Well.  Have seen Eternals.

Again with the "In theaters, but sound mix is for streaming" issues.

It wasn't as bad as Dune (and was probably cleaned up last-minute because of Dune), but it was still a bit too Phil Spector.

And while, with Eternals, you KNOW you're in for CGI, a film doesn't HAVE to be dark and washed out to make the CGI pop better.

The story itself flips back and forth through multiple historical periods (Uh.  HE-LLOOOOO!  "Eternals?" 😉  ) showing their continuity through history.
You do assemble a fairly good understanding of the characters and their story arc.

I can't really say the moving was engaging (at least for me).

I feel it was "okay".  And anyone familiar with the Ultimates universe will see the twist coming from a mile away.

I dunno.  I'm kind of at a loss for words on how to review this film better.

 

If you want to be godlike, pick anything.

If you want to be GOD, pick a TANK!

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Regarding that Eternals mid-credits sequence...

Spoiler

Yes, Harry Styles makes perfect godsdamned sense as Starfox / Eros, it's a nice piece of ever so slightly tongue-in-cheek casting, and I think - with a decent script and quite a lot of directorial help - he could give Hemsworth a run for his money in the comedy stakes.

 

WAKE UP YA MISCREANTS AND MEDIOCRITIES!

Look out for me as: Miss Dream Weaver (Psi/Emp), Ranger Emily (AR/Devices), Dr Amy Weaver MD (DP/Emp), Dr Regan Sprungler (Beam/Ninja), Agatha Heterodyne (Robots/Devices)

 

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Eternals was a movie.

 

*shrugs*  It wasn't bad, but it also didn't make me run to the bathroom.  The best movies are the ones where my get so excited that I -have- to run to empty my urinary bladder in the middle of the movie or climax.

I also didn't appreciate the idea that humans couldn't do anything right without the Eternals guiding them to do it.  Like . . . all major inventions and cultural development was from an outside source?  BAH to that sentiment.

 

Still . . . not a bad movie.  Would watch again without complaint, but won't be seeking an opportunity to be the one who suggests seeing it again.

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Well...

 

I see some interesting ideas in some of what they have coming out, sure.

 

But having just come back from Eternals ... eeehhhh. Personally, I think that should've been a Disney Plus series, it was just so... meh. I mean, I left the theaters 20 minutes ago and couldn't really tell you much about it. Nothing really made me care about the characters, though they had some "that could be interesting." A series would have done it *so* much more justice, I think.

 

As far as the future? Mid-credits tag was kind of cringey to me. End tag was interesting, but didn't get enough really hinting at anything during the movie to be much more than a "wait... what?"

 

 

Also...

18 hours ago, GraspingVileTerror said:

I also didn't appreciate the idea that humans couldn't do anything right without the Eternals guiding them to do it.  Like . . . all major inventions and cultural development was from an outside source?  BAH to that sentiment.

 

Yeah. I don't mind "bit of a kickstart, and watching over," but otherwise... it's sort of the same problem with the Well in game, lorewise. Not fond of it.

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I tried to combine Circle and DE, but all I got were garden variety evil mages.

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3 minutes ago, Greycat said:

Well...

 

I see some interesting ideas in some of what they have coming out, sure.

 

But having just come back from Eternals ... eeehhhh. Personally, I think that should've been a Disney Plus series, it was just so... meh. I mean, I left the theaters 20 minutes ago and couldn't really tell you much about it. Nothing really made me care about the characters, though they had some "that could be interesting." A series would have done it *so* much more justice, I think.

 

As far as the future? Mid-credits tag was kind of cringey to me. End tag was interesting, but didn't get enough really hinting at anything during the movie to be much more than a "wait... what?"

 

 

Also...

 

Yeah. I don't mind "bit of a kickstart, and watching over," but otherwise... it's sort of the same problem with the Well in game, lorewise. Not fond of it.

 

For me, Eternals is the Godfather 3 of the MCU.  Not as good as the others or perhaps not as interesting.  It didn't grab me.

 

Hope the MCU isn't just going to raise the stakes higher and higher with more powers.  Bigger isn't always better.  The whole MCU from IM1 to Endgame are going to be hard to match, much less beat. 

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1 minute ago, wjrasmussen said:

 

For me, Eternals is the Godfather 3 of the MCU.  Not as good as the others or perhaps not as interesting.  It didn't grab me.

 

Hope the MCU isn't just going to raise the stakes higher and higher with more powers.  Bigger isn't always better.  The whole MCU from IM1 to Endgame are going to be hard to match, much less beat. 

 

Yeah. That's the thing. I keep hearing "it's going to get more cosmic" and "multiverse" and such. And yes, some of the concepts are interesting. I'll keep hopping around the galaxy with Guardians of the Galaxy.

 

But the big risk is getting to the point where it's just ... well, too big. People could deal with Iron Man. Single person, sure he's rich, smart, etc. but you could deal with him. And with Thor, and so forth. Even with "big cosmic threat coming to eat your face," you could care about the characters. Granted, this took *years* of movies.

 

They've managed to get bigger and more powerful - Dr. Strange dealing with another dimension (or however you want to look at it) didn't get too out there to lose interest or focus. Wandavision... ok, we'd gotten to know Wanda a little before, but even having "Oh, you're big, chaos, super dangerous power" doesn't lose the character, and I think people can handle her, even if she's doing "big things."

 

But it's going to be very easy to screw up by going as big as it sounds.

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I tried to combine Circle and DE, but all I got were garden variety evil mages.

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4 minutes ago, Greycat said:

 

Yeah. That's the thing. I keep hearing "it's going to get more cosmic" and "multiverse" and such. And yes, some of the concepts are interesting. I'll keep hopping around the galaxy with Guardians of the Galaxy.

 

But the big risk is getting to the point where it's just ... well, too big. People could deal with Iron Man. Single person, sure he's rich, smart, etc. but you could deal with him. And with Thor, and so forth. Even with "big cosmic threat coming to eat your face," you could care about the characters. Granted, this took *years* of movies.

 

They've managed to get bigger and more powerful - Dr. Strange dealing with another dimension (or however you want to look at it) didn't get too out there to lose interest or focus. Wandavision... ok, we'd gotten to know Wanda a little before, but even having "Oh, you're big, chaos, super dangerous power" doesn't lose the character, and I think people can handle her, even if she's doing "big things."

 

But it's going to be very easy to screw up by going as big as it sounds.

I was thinking back to dnd ( I started in 74).  There was a point where some DMs were doing endless "end of the world" scenarios in a single campaign.  MCU going big could give me the same type of feeling.

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Yeah.  Like @Greycat brings up, I'm not too jazzed about the whole "cosmic level" crap, either in the MCU or in City of Heroes.  It's just too divorced from a framework which I can relate to.

If we're going to go cosmic, then I want it to be Cthulhian cosmic horror!  I can feel a personal sense of attachment to that.  But cosmic people in spandex flying around being simultaneously too human and not human enough just feels awkward when they're meant to be the lens through which the audience connects to personally.

 

. . . I now want to see a cosmic horror story where the spandex-wearing superheroes ARE the monsters that are lurking in the twinkling twilight of deep space . . . that sounds potentially interesting.

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I want to see more dealing with the impact on all of the events on the "average Joe", kind of like how Spiderman Homecoming dealt with a guy who ran a company that cleaned up after the battle of New York.  It'd also be refreshing to see how regular law enforcement or military tried to cope with such events.  Heck, how about a morally grey movie dealing with people who were trying to get in on all the superpowers flying around - imagine the parent of a wheelchair-bound child trying to get a hold of some version of the tech that allowed War machine to walk again, or someone who invented a much more modest power armor, but wasn't a billionaire, dealing with the police or SHIELD knocking on their door...

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I liked Homecoming for that reason - not to mention the fact that they gave Adrian Toombs to Michael Keaton. I harp on about this a lot, but Marvel aren't good at villains. They need to be as well fleshed out as the heroes, perhaps moreso, and when they're well written they're an awful lot of fun to play for actors. (Just ask Jason Isaacs).

 

Toombs felt like a real character - like the slightly-dodgy-but-salt-of-the-earth guys I've known and got drunk with in Red Hook, Paterson and Hoboken. He was a hell of a lot less scary in the bird armour than just staring across the kitchen table with a knife in his hand, or turning round for The Talk. Hell, I'd cheerfully take on Thanos instead.

 

(Also liked that he absolutely wasn't a "pro" villain who had little to no idea what he was doing. "...I thought this was the gravity gun...?")

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Have absolutely no interest in seeing Eternals other than to keep MCU continuity across any grand arcs.  My new work team are total geeks (they put me to shame) and none of them are interested in the movie either.  I think Greycat summed it up when saying "meh".    I'll likely watch it when it hits Disney+, just like I'm going to do this weekend with Shang Chi, for which I'm far more excited.

 

 

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