Watch the video, answer the questions on a piece of paper, then check your answers.
- How much money has the film made so far?
- What was the date of the weekend?
- From the context, what do you think badmouthed, highbrow and slagged mean?
badmouthed = criticized, highbrow = intellectual, slagged = criticized
- What five things should you do to make a financially successful movie?
Spend enough money, put in a star name, put in enough explosions and special effects, and make your movie newsworthy by the amount of money you’ve spent on it
- What does spending a lot of money on a film turn it into?
- What sort of film-making does he contrast blockbuster film-making with?
- What do some people say summer blockbusters should be?
Stupid, trash, robots just hitting each other
- What should Michael Bay be and get?
Be a better director. Get a better writer, get a better cast, get better special effects, get something that actually makes sense and actually engages people
- How much money did Pearl Harbor take and how many people has he met who liked it?
$450 million, none
- What does he mean by "the film sucks"
It is very bad
Watch the video, complete the gaps on a piece of paper, then check your answers.
So the opening weekend for Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon has come and gone and, as I’m sure you know, the movie has taken a staggering amount of money: a hundred and sixty-two million dollars the last time I looked. That was on Sunday. It’s the biggest Fourth of July opening weekend on record. It’s the biggest opening of 2011 and this has caused a lot of people to send messages to critics like me who badmouthed the film saying, "Nyuh! See? You don’t know what you’re talking about. The film’s a massive hit. There were you, applying your highbrow critical standards. The fact of the matter is, it’s a huge hit; you were wrong." So does the fact that Transformers made a massive amount of money mean that the critics who slagged it were wrong? In a word, no. And here’s why. If you look at the way that the economics of cinema work today, it goes like this: if you spend enough money, put in a star name - Shia LaBeouf - he is a star, believe it or not - put in enough explosions and special effects, and make your movie newsworthy by the amount of money you’ve spent on it, the fact of the matter is you will not lose money on your movie. It will make its money back. Look at the top ten, top twenty most expensive movies of the last twenty years: almost none of them lost money. Why?
Because if you spend that much money, your movie becomes an event. Now the people that contributed to that hundred and sixty-two million dollars that Transformers 3 took, they didn’t know before they spent their money whether the movie was any good and you don’t know now whether they actually liked the damn thing, but they paid to see it because it was an event. This is the truth of blockbuster film-making. In fact, far more so than independent film-making, blockbuster film-making is the one area in which you cannot lose money, in which you will not lose your shirt, if you spend enough.
So when people say, "Oh, well, critics, they’re being far too highbrow, you can’t apply all these highbrow critical standards to summer blockbusters, they’re meant to be stupid, they’re meant to be trash, they’re meant to be robots just hitting each other," but the truth of the matter is, when you’re spending that much money and you can’t lose it, surely we should be demanding more, saying, "No, you are the only safe bet in cinema, so therefore do better. Michael Bay, be a better director. Get a better writer, get a better cast, get better special effects, get something that actually makes sense and actually engages people."
You know, movies that cost that much can make that much back without anyone enjoying them. You want proof? Pearl Harbor took four hundred and fifty million dollars worldwide and I have yet to find anyone - anyone - who actually enjoyed it. Just because a movie makes money doesn’t mean anyone liked it. It just means it made money. As far as Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon is concerned, the film sucks. If you paid for it, your fault.
You may lose your faith in us, but never in yourselves. From here the fight will be your own.