David S. Goyer Talks a ‘Cohesive’ DC Universe and Not Emulating Marvel

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Wonder Woman Batman Superman David S. Goyer Talks a Cohesive DC Universe and Not Emulating Marvel

Warner Bros. is both expanding and organizing its DC film and television universe with upcoming projects The Flash – a direct spinoff of the Arrow TV show – and the Man of Steel sequel, tentatively known as Batman vs. Superman, which is going to introduce versions of Batman and Wonder Woman that exist in the same world as Henry Cavill’s Kal-El/Clark Kent. Many people watching all this from a distance have argued that WB is, in no uncertain terms, clearly emulating Marvel Studios’ approach to brand-building – and, to be fair, that’s a fairly persuasive and reasonable argument to make, given that Marvel’s recent financial success is undoubtedly the envy of other studios.

The Marvel Movie/TV Universe maintains continuity between its big screen and small screen installments alike; if something major happens in the Marvel films, then it directly impacts any related characters or events on TV (see: how this week’s episode on ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show will tie-in with developments in the newly-released Captain America: The Winter Soldier). Of course, the question as to whether or not Warners and DC ought to replicate the Marvel Studios’ formula for success with the architecture of its own movie/TV universe – that’s an issue we’ve debated many a time in the past (including, on the Screen Rant Underground Podcast).

20th Century Fox is starting over on its Fantastic Four movie franchise and is looking to instill new life into the X-Men film series through this year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, with assistance from creative talents like director Bryan Singer and screenwriter Simon Kinberg. Similarly, Sony has put together its own “brain trust” of creative talent to oversee the expansion of its rebooted Spider-Man property The Amazing Spider-Man, with this year’s Amazing Spider-Man 2 laying the foundation for solo vehicles featuring Spidey anti-hero Venom and the villainous Sinister Six – the latter of which is being written and directed by Drew Goddard, who’s also working on Marvel’s Daredevil Netflix series, by (probably not a) coincidence.

That is to say, Marvel Studios’ “Shared Universe” approach has certainly influenced how other studios are now playing the superhero/comic book movie game, though neither Fox nor Sony’s Marvel universe-building tactics are a direct copy-cat of the Marvel Studios technique. Filmmaker David S. Goyer, who wrote Man of Steel and co-wrote Batman vs. Superman, has likewise suggested that while WB might want to bring the tidiness of the Marvel-world to its DC-verse, they’re not necessarily going to rehash Marvels’ formula step-for-step either.

David S. Goyer Interview DC Movie TV Universe 1024x529 David S. Goyer Talks a Cohesive DC Universe and Not Emulating Marvel

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Goyer has been collaborating with WB for years now and recently signed a formal three-year deal with the studio, which helped to lock him down while he essentially serves as the (technically, unofficial) overseer on the new wing(s) of the DC universe. It was during an interview with IGN that Goyer offered his thoughts on the possibility of future DC show connecting to upcoming DC movies, similar to what Marvel Studios is doing:

I mean, it’s too early. I know that Warner Bros. would love to make their universe more cohesive. There have been a lot of general conversations about that, but it’s really, really early. I’m not sure. Marvel has had enormous success, but I’m not sure that everybody should try to emulate them either. It’s just been vague conversations so far.

It’s already clear that the DC universe won’t be structured exactly like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, given that the new Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) are crossing over with Man of Steel‘s Superman before they’re even given their own solo vehicles. Similarly, recent DC projects like Man of Steel and Arrow have very much skirted the thin line between fantasy and sci-fi genre elements, yet are by and large are grounded in sci-fi mechanics (read: non-magic) like Marvel’s film/TV universe – yet with upcoming ventures like the Constantine TV series and the Sandman movie, both of which feature Goyer in a creative capacity, the DC universe is headed deep into fantasy territory.

Admittedly, Marvel Studios has begun to open the doors so that it might organically incorporate characters that have supernatural abilities and use magic into its films and future TV programs. However, during the same interview Goyer told IGN that “I’m trying to branch off with Sandman,” indicating that he’s not, per se, striving to make Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s comic fit together smoothly with Zack Snyder’s vision of the world occupied by Superman, Batman and other Justice League members (or any other DC properties, for that matter).

Sandman Movie Joseph Gordon Levitt Update David S. Goyer Talks a Cohesive DC Universe and Not Emulating Marvel

All things considered, it’s arguably encouraging to hear Goyer shoot down the idea that WB and DC will play the same game as Marvel Studios. Marvel and DC comic book properties are very different beasts, so it doesn’t necessarily seem all that wise to use the same approach to organize them while adapting them into live-action form. Besides, as profitable as Marvel’s shared-universe has been thus far, it’s also had its share of shortcomings from a creative perspective, which just goes to show: there’s not yet been a way to play the superhero movie game that’s been proven to be perfect.

Would you like to see a more “cohesive” DC universe, in terms of the various films and TV shows? Or do you think that WB and DC should keep things more separate, rather than attempt and link everything together in a manner that resembles the Marvel Studios approach?

__________________________________________________

Batman vs. Superman is currently scheduled to open in U.S. theaters on May 6th, 2016.

Source: IGN

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TAGS: arrow, batman vs superman, constantine, green lantern, justice league, man of steel, the flash, wonder woman

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  1. I did an article about this for my site a couple of months ago. Basically, WB should do exactly what they did for the animated series: start with Batman and Superman, do a crossover between them, and then do the Justice League centered around them, with solo projects for whichever characters seem the most popular. You know, exactly like they’re doing now.

    As for the TV shows, I think they should be in totally separate universes from DC. Continuity is great and all, but it’s not like “Smallville” couldn’t last ten seasons without tying into “Superman Returns”. On the other hand, “Agents of SHIELD” can barely exist on its own. I think the various TV series should be independent of the movie franchises.

  2. There were also people at Disney who expressed doubts about Marvel’s film strategy. Says Iger: “I remember someone [saying] on the Disney side, ‘Don’t you want to do Avengers first, and introduce Thor and Captain America in that, and then if they work bring them out afterward?’ ” Feige was adamant that this would be a mistake. He wanted audiences to get to know Thor and Captain America on their own before combining them with Iron Man and the Hulk. Disney was persuaded. Feige was relieved. He had enough things to worry about.

    • But then again, since Disney gives out whatever Box-Office number they want to a gullible press mis-informing the public, who knows if it really worked…

    • Now why Kevin Feige never do this approach when he was a producer in Fox… We could’ve had greater X-Men, Daredevil, Fantastic 4 by now..

  3. I think that the solution would be the creation of a DC Studios company under the WB umbrella, give the creative keys to people that now more or less what they are doing like kevin feige at marvel. WB should just worry about the financial side of it. I love all comic books but I would have loved to see what is happening with marvel happen with DC and vice versa. I just find DC characters more appealing than marvel but that is subjective.

    • I agree withe everything you said

    • Agreed. Let DC decide what DC wants to do with their characters under their own terms. Like what Disney is letting Marvel Studios do.

      Basically, let the team that knows it’s properties have the say in what is done with them. In my opinion, WB should just do what Disney is doing… sit back and relax.

  4. I still don’t understand people’s obsession with DC/WB being exact the way Marvel did it. People seem to forget that WB is one of the most successful movie studios in Hollywood. It was the highest grossing studio last year and that was with only one CBM last year. WB also helped push superheroes mainstream when they brought DC in 1968 (actually Time Warner brought both WB and DC at the same time) with Superman the movie (its the blueprint for every CBM except for Batman Begins and Man of Steel (oh the irony!))

    WB also helped to make animated versions of superheroes big business too. BTAS, Justice League; seriously the list could goes on. Acting like they haven’t created impact on media and superheroes is nonsense.

    Now for one thing I am excited for Batman vs Superman but I don’t want to see a DC cinematic universe like Marvel wholesome generic universe. I want something fresh and epic. I can wait for two years. A movie like this needs two years and we can wait.

    And if WB/DC has a plan, they’ll tell you but they also don’t need to tell you!!

    • I don’t think people truly have any obsession let alone interest in WB/DC doing things the exact way Marvel does. People just want to see that WB/DC has a plan and the controversy surrounding some of the casting as well as them delaying the release date of the Superman/Batman movie almost an entire year has done little to inspire confidence. People haven’t forgotten how successful Warner Bros is, they just don’t see it as a viable reason or excuse for not having a solid plan for DC movies when Disney has also been very successful and has other franchises of their own. They didn’t get 5 billion last year like Warner Bros but 4.7 billion isn’t by any stretch a staggering difference nor is the difference in CBM’s released. Warner Bros had one, Disney had two. Warner Bros helping to push superheroes mainstream is no different than what Sony, Fox and Marvel Studios have done over the last 15 years. Warner Bros is no longer separated from the pack that way. No one is acting or thinking that they haven’t created any impact on media and superheroes. If anything, it’s the fact they have done these things and yet are seeming to have such a difficult time building anything cohesive when it comes to their DCCU that has frustrated some people. It even worse now that Marvel has made a reputation for themselves of working with more of their characters than DC.

      I am also excited for Superman/Batman but Marvel isn’t a generic universe. It’s fresh and epic and different from what anyone else was doing at the time in live action. It is the continued success of that universe that has helped bring about movies like Superman/Batman, The Sinister Six, X-Men: Days of Future Past and so forth. I can wait for two years for Superman/Batman too but then again, I don’t have a choice and it better damn well be worth it when I get there.

      • Exactly. I could care less if WB/DC follows what Marvel is doing but I do care that WB/DC doesn’t really have a plan. It tells me that they are relying solely on what BvS does and if for whatever reason it doesn’t do what they think it should do then they will wait another 6 years to do another CBM which ususally ends up being the same characters(Batman or Superman). I remember when Disney admitted when the whole Marvel plan was placed they had doubts that it would work. They even wanted to release The Avengers movie first but Feige stuck to his plan and it has worked out for both parties. WB just needs to have faith in DC and DC needs to get on the ball and branch out to other characters. I mean, for Disney to agree to do a GOTG movie takes some tremendous stones and right now, based on the hype(from the general public) it’s working out

    • everything you say is true but that warners has a plan? you can see in their
      DC brand they never had one including MOS which made vague references to
      to other characters. we wont know they are together until 2016.

    • If they do have a plan, then why are they not preparing/casting for movies after BvS? Why does it seem they are waiting for this movie to becoming a huge hit before doing anything? No, I think DC has a plan but are waiting for WB to come on board with their ideas and WB is most likely waiting for after BvS before deciding, which, unless they move their opening date isn’t looking like it’s going to happen.

    • I haven’t seen “Man Of Steel”, nor do I plan to any time soon, but I would say that from what I seen and heard from various reviews, (Nostalgia Critic’s in particular) I probably wouldn’t like it. I still remember hearing and/or reading one of the excuses those that actually liked the movie used to defend the film from those that didn’t: “We couldn’t handle it because it wasn’t like the original movies” or “We don’t like it because it’s something new, and we can’t handle it”or something like that. Well, you know what? Speaking as someone who only vaguely remembers seeing the first one, and parts of IV via the Nostalgia Critic’s review of it, (as a crossover with Linkara of Atop The Fourth Wall; a comic book review show) I wasn’t comparing it to the original…I was comparing it to the Bruce Timm cartoons. (Batman:T.A.S., Superman:T.A.S., Justice League, Batman Beyond, Static Shock, Justice League Unlimited, etc.) Mostly because that’s how I was introduced to the DC universe, a good part of how I know what I do about it. It’s also where I was introduced to my later on favorite Green Lantern, Jon Stewart. I even really enjoyed Teen Titans. So many good shows… I mean, Heck! Even after Bruce Timm stopped, shows like “Superman and the Legion of Superheroes”, and years later, came Young Justice. The more I think about it, maybe DC and Warner Brothers are better off with their cartoons and TV shows.(Smallville aside, as I haven’t watched it.) What am I saying? That maybe the TV shows world should either be separate or slightly different than that of the films. If only because of WB’s “No Jokes” policy.(I’ve heard good things about “Gotham”, I’m not entirely sure if I show get into “Arrow”, and seeing the trailer for “The Flash” and said hero’s costume gives me some hope that these could be good.) Another reason I’m kind of glad “Static Shock” is getting a live-action TV show, instead of a movie, and the Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” movie will be a Vertigo movie, not a WB movie. DC and WB using “The Marvel Method” doesn’t sound like that much of a bad idea. (Especially given “Man of Steel”) If it gets us better movies, then I say fine.

  5. You guys want some shawarma? I could really go for some.

  6. On 2016, before the release of BvS, there’s going to be a lot of DC mud-slinging. It happened in MOS and it’s still continuing to happen now, so I suggest if DC/WB want to blow this out of the water, they better watch their backs. Keep everything in secret until it’s time to reveal. Just make it a good surprise. Make it worth the wait. They better get their game on and make the movie excellent to shut the naysayers’ traps.

    Trolling and DC/Marvel fanboy wars are going to get even uglier the closer the opening night. Watch out for that. It’s going to be a whole lotta fun.

    Also, congratulations to the crew of Captain America 2 for their success. It was a good movie, but when MOS 2 comes, I’ll be choosing DC over Marvel.

  7. I do not know why, but after watching CA:TWS I think that there two scenes that seem to tell something from Marvel to DC..

    The line “on your left”

    And the line that Falcon says to Fury “don’t look at me, I do what he does, but slower” is like DC doing what Marvel does but “slower.”

  8. “Not the best approach”. Translation = The only people involved with DC that can match what Feige and Whedon have done are Bruce Timm and his team, but because they are in animation the high and mighty suits at WB WON’T give them the reigns. Movie people letting animators tell them what to do? Comic book people telling them what to do? This is ridiculous to them.

  9. give the keys to people who more or less know what there doing like kevin feige…more or less..?the man has been the architect for one of the most ground breaking events in movie history the entire marvel cinematic universe if it wasn’t for him we’d still be dining on poorly mad dribble it’s because of the likes of him we have nearly every studio reimagining,rehashing,rebooting and remaking nearly every comic book franchise they have and mostly for the better we have not only him to thank for the mcu but also for all these other studios finally using all these amazing characters and their worlds to the very fullest of their potential.

  10. Let’s be honest here, which film trilogy truly made comic book adaptions popular again? The Nolan trilogy of course. The Toby Mcquire spider man had floundered. The first Iron Man film did not do as well as expected, and even Captain America is considered a boring super hero. I believe WB know what they are doing, and I am intersted to see their new formula.

    • While I agree that the Dark Knight trilogy launched the CBM race, they haven’t really done anything since. MOS was okay but divided a lot of fans both comic fans and Nolan fans. MOS, even though Nolan’s name was attached to it doesn’t mean he approved of the final product(something he has come out to say in numerous interviews).

    • The first Iron Man made 318 domestic and 585 worldwide for a relatively unknown hero. It didn’t do as well as expected? It did BETTER THAN EXPECTED. 300+ domestic is what you’d expect of well known A-list heroes like Batman, Superman (which has yet to do so), X-Men (yet to do so), and Spider-Man.

      The Nolan trilogy didn’t inspire comic book adaptations. What it did was inspire darker and grittier reboots of movie franchises, and more grounded approaches to movies. Iron Man 1 had Batman Begins as an influence.

      It was the X-Men and Raimi Spider-Man franchises that inspired superhero/comic book movies, with Blade truly kicking it off.

      The Marvel Cinematic Universe inspired universe-building and more faithful comic book adaptations, whereas superhero movies before generally were standalone endeavors which generally didn’t stick to the source material (not always a bad thing in the case of The Dark Knight trilogy). At bare minimum, it made other studios doing superhero movies see dollar signs. At best, it made them take their superhero properties a lot more seriously.

      And Warner Bros doesn’t have a plan. Not at the moment, when they’re busy with tons of other movie properties. You can’t fault them for that reason, but they’re bringing stuff to live action on things not related to the Justice League or its universe. Sandman, Gotham (on Fox), Constantine – yeah, they have a Flash spinoff from Arrow, but neither Arrow nor Flash will be connected to the DC movie universe. Their most concrete plan that actually matters is a sequel to Man of Steel featuring the Trinity. Nothing beyond that. You could say they know what they’re doing and they’re just keeping it under wraps… but I’d say they’re banking on Batman/Superman to be a hit first before they do anything else. I’m willing to wager it’s the latter.

      • You’re quoting those box-office numbers as if they had been verified independently.

        I realize it’s shocking nobody does, but… nobody does!!!!

        The studios say whatever they want and the box-office “estimates” are just part of their PR (like the new Captain America “breaking records” like all movies seem to do even though theaters are doing so poorly they’re considering (horror!) lowering prices to get customers to come back.

        It’s one of the sad things about our era: studios just say whatever about their box-office, the press can’t be bothered to check and most people happily believe jacked up numbers as the studios make fewer and fewer films because they’re running out of money doing “record business”….

        • Rena… A close friend of mine works as a box office analyst and I can tell you with 100% CERTAINTY that you’re speaking complete nonsense. While the studios provide an estimate of box-office, the actual data is collated by an independent body. What actually tends to happen is the opposite. A movie like for example ‘Harry Potter’ is a huge success, then creative Hollywood accounting ensures they look like they’re in the red on paper. Mostly so they can pay as few people what they’re owed as possible.
          While an inaccurate science to a certain margin… The numbers are pretty much the numbers and are reported accurately.
          If Disney wanted to ‘jack up’ box office estimates to create a false perception of success don’t you think John Carter and the Lone Ranger would have been monster hits to serve the studio?
          Sure WB wanted/needed 600 mil from Green Lantern and at least 900 mil from MOS?

          If anything, the real hidden costs that affect the profitability of any given movie are in marketing and falsely reported budgets (tax-breaks etc..)

          What exactly are you basing this opinion on? It makes NO sense. Oh… BTW. My town is in the process of building 2 cinemas at the moment to add to the one we already have. Also, the trend seems to be that prices are going UP and will continue to do so as more people seek a premium method to view the latest blockbuster.

          • Studios like Disney love to destroy an occasional movie
            (well they don’t love it, but they see the upside) because it allows their smoke screen to remain a bit more convincing and it allows for internal politics to play out.

            In the case of John Carter, the play was to fire the executive behind it who was making a little bit too much shade for the boss.

            I haven’t found out who got the axe because of Lone Ranger, but don’t be fooled. Had they wanted to, they’d have jacked up the “estimates” at at least made it into a good performer.

            As far as your buddy who is an “analyst”. I can tell you with 100% certainty he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

            While Nielsen gathers independent info. It doesn’t get published or collated outside of their clients and never, ever, ever makes it to the press (unless a journalist wants to dig, which they never, ever do with studio releases).

            I don’t know what caused your friend to say something so outrageously false as that…

            All (and I mean all) published numbers come directly from the studios.

            In the old days, A.D. Murphy of Variety (and then The Hollywood Reporter) used to collate BO numbers himself and publish them. While he was alive, the studios strayed with first week-end BO, but didn’t dare go too far as they risked public exposure. Now that Mr. Murphy is gone, they have gone crazy making up ever bigger numbers and there is ZERO independent checking.

            Of course someone who calls himself a box-Office numbers analyst will be extremely reluctant to admit he or she is analyzing jacked up numbers and that their efforts are meaningless.

            I used to follow box-office numbers closely (because they were real and thus interesting) and I stopped, because now they’re fanciful. That people whose activity is levered to people thinking BO numbers are real denies it sounds like human nature to me. :)

            Newspapers love to cite sites like boxofficemojo (don’t know if that’s what your friend means) as if they were independent, but they’re not. They get the same jacked up numbers as everyone else.

            If you don’t believe me about NATO talking about lowering prices, I don’t know what to tell you. Any net search will yield as many articles as you’d like to read…

            What I am basing my opinion on, since you asked is knowledge and logic.

            When you realize, for instance that Box-Office numbers from 1946 to the 1990s was always between 4 and 6 billion dollars (even during hyper-inflation in the 1970s) and suddenly numbers doubled to 10 billion and then up and up from there, you have to know those numbers are no longer connected to reality (especially when the money doesn’t flop to the bottom line!)

            Finally, you seem to have no problem believing the studios give false budgets to States and Countries (a crime) but are completely honest with box-offie “estimates” (which at worst will bring in a lawsuit from investors (like Melrose Investors v. Paramount)

            I find that highly illogical. ;)

            • I’m confused. I use boxoffice mojo like most people. My friend however, works full time in box office analytics. The company he works for is hired as an independently body by studios to decipher real time box office as accurately as possible. They work with over 22, 000 theatres worldwide and account for estimates for 90% of the entire global BO picture. What’s Nielsen got to do with anything btw? They deal with TV and home media numbers.

              As much as I enjoyed reading your rant I have to say it reads like conspiracy theory. What FACTS are you basing this on?

              I’d love you to inform us about the real hits of the past decade. I bet it turns out frozen only made 100 bucks or so and Mars Needs Moms was the billion earner that TRULY captured the zeitgeist. That info is secret of course and all due to Disney/illuminati/stone-cutter/freemason/order of the water buffalo stuff.

              • Regarding this- “When you realize, for instance that Box-Office numbers from 1946 to the 1990s was always between 4 and 6 billion dollars (even during hyper-inflation in the 1970s) and suddenly numbers doubled to 10 billion and then up and up from there, you have to know those numbers are no longer connected to reality (especially when the money doesn’t flop to the bottom line!)”

                Do you really need a list of points about why this would be the case or are you going to spend another 5 minutes thinking about it?

                • I’ll invite you to think about it for five minutes…

                  I’ll even help: in the 1970s and their high inflation or the coming of teenage of baby boomers, box-office still kept within the same parameter (4 to 6 billion dollars) so inflation and population growth can’t be the reason…

                  Quality of movies also can’t be as attendance is dropping (unless you think theater owners are talking down their own business – it must have taken them years to decide to come out and admit to that) and videos don’t sell (I know – it’s all the internet which strangely also doesn’t affect box-office numbers…)

                  So yeah, I’d love to see a brilliant rationale as to why we are suddenly seeing theatrical movies become a high-growth business when everything militates against it.

                  • You’re correct on every point you’ve made, and have thus proven your complete superiority over me.

                    Well done

              • You came to the right place! I’ll deconfuse you! ;)

                First, this is what the company called Box Office Analytics does:

                “Box Office Analytics: After a movie is released, its success is primarily measured by the box office revenue it generated. However, explaining what factors resulted in those box office numbers is challenging. We perform a variety of analyses on social media content produced by a movie’s audience to explain what made a movie a success or a flop. The tools we develop will help studios better target their audience. ”

                You’ll notice that nowhere does it say that they measure box-office because that’s not what they do.

                Nielsen, as I guess you didn’t know, does gather theater by theater data on various movies. Like the late A.D. Murphy, they don’t have access to every theater (at least I don’t think so) and their data is of course dependent on the honesty of the theaters and the quality of their data (the now-ancient Magic Johnson theater scandal tells you what can happen even in a highly ethical company) but they do gather data that is independent of studio “estimates”.

                Nielsen’s data can be very useful for distributors to decide which theaters to try and book as if you find comparable movies, you’ll find vast differences in per-screen results depending on the theater (and of course the area it’s located in).

                Let me turn the question to you: what FACTS are you basing your touching belief in studio estimates on? The fact the studios say so? The fact they make up numbers that aren’t round to make them look real?

                The whole point is that the public data is not believable and unverified by unbiased external sources.

                On the other hand, you have the trend of BO numbers going back to 1946 that is an actual fact and shows the recent data is at the very least hugely suspect (an industry in secular decline like theatrical exploitation doesn’t suddenly see its activity double in the face of the internet, online gaming, gaming consoles and a rash of super-crappy movies). It just doesn’t make any sense.

                It also doesn’t make any sense to be told the #2 box-office grosser of all time provided less income that the number whatever-that-Harry-Potter-sequel-was brought in, yet that’s what Warner said in its quarterly report at the time.

                Companies keep explaining away the fact that “box-office records” don’t show up on the bottom line. First they invoke marketing costs, which wold make sense, except that the next quarter, the money keeps not showing up…

                Read the quarterlies of the companies that own the studios. It’s a hoot and a half if you enjoy chutzpah!

                As I pointed out before, studios do pick movies they publicly trounce. It has zero to do with their box-office performance (although a studio can easily kill a movie by stopping most promotion right before a movie comes out – yes it does happen – or by not committing as much promotion as promised when it’s a distribution deal of a movie they did not make themselves – which I believe Mars Needs Mo was – I could be wrong because I really didn’t care about that movie at all), so no I don’t think movies they say didn’t do well, actually did well (going to the press the day after they come out to advertise the fact they failed usually is not a sign the studio back it any longer!)

                But there is no way you can trust them on what they say are hits.

                Paramount in particular keeps making those “smash hits” and yet their investors had to sue just to get their money back (Melrose Investors v. Paramount – yet another “fact” I mentioned that you didn’t seem to notice – investors in Star Trek, Mission Impossible Transformers etc had not gotten the first penny back on their investment in those “tentpole hits).

                But then again, you’ll blame “studio accounting” while telling me the same company fudging numbers for their investors (a felony by the way) is scrupulously honest when delivering box-office “estimates”…

                I realize your friend must believe the numbers (most people do – we’ve all learned in school to believe numbers and believe the press checks info it publishes even though they no longer do).

                That doesn’t mean you can trust those numbers, and you shouldn’t if you want to understand how Hollywood works.

                If you don’t keep believing Hollywood keeps producing hit after hit, that the collapse of Home video has nothing to do with crappy movies that people don’t want to see and the drop in film production and massive firings at most of the studios (Paramount let go 2,000 employees last year – FOX did the same a couple years before) is caused by their incredible success.

                • 1. I’ve never heard of the company ‘box office analytics’.
                  2. Nielsen deals in TV and home media exclusively. They were purchased in 2009 by Rentrak (the business I’m talking about). Rentrak are now the primary source for that data worldwide.
                  3. Do you REALLY believe in the modern age we don’t have access to better data than we did decades ago?
                  4. Are you just looking at the domestic picture? Worldwide (I’m in the UK) many large markets have emerged over the past decade.
                  5. True, domestically or otherwise attendance is down in like for like situations but is compensated by inflation, premium formats and worldwide theatre expansion.
                  6. Paramount firing 2000 employees… What’s your source?
                  7. That Paramount lawsuit… Exactly the creative studio accounting I’m talking about.
                  8.,Crappy movies? Isn’t that subjective? I disagree,

                  Forget it. I’m out. You’re obviously an armchair genius and Hollywood is corrupt to the point where there’s no point discussing numbers anymore. It’s all fake and random, all successes are exaggerated and the modern era of blockbusters is worthless both creatively and from a business standpoint. 70′s cinema is the be all and end all and nothing will ever make more money than the Exorcist and the Godfather. I’m pretty sure now that Star Wars wasn’t all that popular either now. Back to my wife and my Sunday, it’s a nice day outside.

                  • 1. You’re the one who mentioned it. I know of no such occupation as “working in box-office analytics”. I assume you weren’t making it up and you mis-spoke.

                    2. “Nielsen’s Watch division (approx. one-third of global revenues) primarily measures what consumers are watching (and listening to) across all devices: TV, radio, computers, mobile/smartphones, tablets, etc.” You keep making assertions that are demonstrably untrue, yet keep asking me for data and proof…

                    3. Nielsen’s data is better because they’re using larger sampling. I do NOT believe we have better data today than we used to generally.

                    Point in fact, Box-office data, which used to be believable and isn’t any longer.

                    4. There’s zero believable data for overall foreign markets. They’ve always been the realm of imaginary box-office.

                    I generally speak about domestic, which used to be reliable becaue the data used to be gathered independently and the press (in the person of A.D. Murphy – check him out – he invented box-office reporting) is no longer doing its job of keeping the studios moderately honest in their “estimates”.

                    5. That’s exactly why I described the theatrical business after 1946 as being in secular decline. With the serial introduction of television, video etc.. it kept declining at a rate that more or less mirrored that of inflation (again it stayed between 4 and 6 billion Dollars per year even in high inflation years). Were we in hyper-inflation ala 1930s (and Thank Providence we’re not!) then Box-Office might believably jump over the 6 billion mark. Given we’re in low inflation and competing entertainment continues to proliferate, a doubling and more of box-office revenue over ten-fifteen years is just not credible.

                    6. Look it up. I really don’t have the time. It was in the press. They’ve also closed down some of their units (like scoring and equipment rental, although I’m not sure if that made the papers). That’s not what you do when you’re coining money going from record to record. Also it’s not just Paramount. All the studios have been firing people and cutting costs. NBC is looking to unload the Leno studio if you know a taker. :)

                    7. Ask yourself why you’re willing to believe in “creative accounting” (a felony) but not in jacking up your box-office “estimates’ which at worst will get you a civil lawsuit (and it did!)

                    Since the lawsuit was settled out of court, the plaintiffs may have been lying and Paramount have actually lost all their money fair and square. There’s no way to know. But then, what happened to all those “mega-hits”?

                    Either they’re thieves (something I wouldn’t dare even imply) or their box-office wasn’t as good as the “estimates” said. You’re the one who thinks they’re thieves but scrupulously correct in their BO reports. Makes no sense to me. :)

                    Also I don’t mean to pick on Paramount. It’s just that the latest lawsuit involved them. There’s been others before – I’ll refer you to the hilariously unlikely return and destruction of 2 million copies of the Shrek 2 DVD (they’d been reported as sold and then failed to materialize on the company bottom line) and the inevitable investor lawsuit which caused Hollywood to stop reporting any video sales numbers for ten years (sorry completely coincidental) – that one was also in the press and Dreamworks was quoted as having received 2 million DVDs back from retailers – they were presumably destroyed. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions as it was also settled out of court (I see a pattern emerging ;) ).

                    For some people people are almost desperate to believe movies make tons of money when it’s been decades since money flowed from the Box-Office in Hollywood (and TV has now followed suit sadly).

                    7. I actually think you can objectively demonstrate how crappy most current movies are. They’re made under executive supervision by people who might know how to direct and write but show no such knowledge in the final product. There’s a reason why nobody quotes movies any longer… Wit, they still quote movies from the 80s…

                    Finally Star Wars was a movie of the 70s (he kind people still quote)

                    You also reverse the roles: you are the one who thinks the studios are crooked. I’m just saying their box-office numbers are jacked up (a much milder infraction than what you’re casually throwing around).

                    • Whatevs

                • So you’re saying the whole movie industry is doing a scam so that companies can manipulate the prices of their shares of stock? One should make a movie about this conspiracy theory of yours….

                  • I only described the way it works and data pertaining to it. You’re the one who is ascribing dark motives. Personally I have no idea what they’re motives are and am quite sure they involve helping your fellow man and spreading love and culture to all…

                    Seriously, it is just the way it is. It’s not for nothing Hollywood is known as place where “creative accounting” rules.

                    It’s just bizarre to me that people treat the numbers coming out of its PR machine as if they were collected objectively by a disinterested third party…

                    The lawsuits were real too. But I’m sure they were based on entire unfounded “conspiracy theories” and that the Melrose Investors in particular had just failed to open that envelope with the check handing them their money back plus a huge profit participation…

  11. There are three studios using Marvel characters (Disney, Sony and Fox) as opposed to DC having only Warner using DC characters….. 3 studios vs 1… no way can DC catch up in terms of the number of superhero movies being produced with Marvel characters….

  12. I wish they would do a X-Factor show on Fox or FX that follows the Peter David model. It is a highly underrated series and would translate to TV brilliantly.

  13. I don’t see anything wrong with DC implementing what Marvel’s been doing with its universe. Can’t lie watching the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (which goes in parallel with CA:TWS) was fascinating. Making a more ‘cohesive’ film and TV universe, DC can save time and energy in catching up with Marvel. Thus the fans and audiences can see all the superheroes together in Justice League sooner. Don’t forget to make it up to us after than Green Lantern movie.

  14. My gut tells me that one of two things is happening: either DC is going to go for the same world-building route Marvel did, but they don’t want to be perceived as copying Marvel, “We’re doing our own thing. It looks like we’re using the Marvel method but we came up with it on our own,” OR they will specifically do opposite of whatever Marvel did.

    Marvel did movies for each individual member, then climaxed it with the team-up movie. It’s looking like DC is putting together some of the team right off the bat (no pun intended), Superman had his own movie but his next movie will have Batman and Diana Prince without their own movies, forming half the Justice League.

    It’s a cool idea but I have a hard time believing that they aren’t examining what Marvel did and made decisions about “no let’s not do that, but that over there is a good idea, and this one over here…” It would be like claiming General Motors doesn’t put rear-view cameras in their cars, which are an awesome idea, after another manufacturer did it.

  15. I clicked on this article hoping to read something new. And boy was I wrong.

  16. I think that a shared television universe would be awesome, but including the cinematic one would ruin it. DC TV has a huge reputation while DC Movies do not. And Yes, the money comes from the Movies more than the TV, but this is only if you get the movies right in the first place. From a financial standpoint it might be better to join the movies to the TV, but I would rather see the TV Universe, which is going so well, continue to thrive on its own.

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