How The Phantom Menace Killed the Star Wars Franchise

Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by Jabbadabbado, May 25, 2002.

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  1. Makavelli Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 16, 2002
    star 1
    You should probably see yourself in the minority of overall tools who enjoys trying to say Star Wars has been "killed". Just to clarify.
  2. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Makevelli, maybe you can answer this question. Why is it that the fans are so much more disgruntled about the negative reaction to AOTC than to TPM?

    So disgruntled that movie critics are getting threatening e-mails from fans. So disgruntled that the fans who are expressing negative views are getting hammered harder than the classic TPM bashers.

    I clarified what I meant about TPM killing the franchise. I mean, specifically, that 40% of the audience is gone. Just gone. Explain that however you want.

  3. Malthus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 1999
    star 4
    Interestingly, I think both sides of this debate have made some excellent points. Obviously, we've gone from discussing how TPM killed the SW franchise to a discussion about how AotC has continued that trend. So we're still mostly on topic. No worries yet.

    I just went and saw AotC for my 6th time last night. We showed up an hour and a half before the showtime, and yet there were still some 40 people ahead of us! Amazingly, the draw to this movie is still quite strong. I very much believe that TPM let down the vast majority of Star Wars fans who'd been part of the franchise for the prior 16+ years, but AotC successfully regained support from most of the Disappointed Ones. Myself included. In many ways, the Star Wars franchise is back.

    I do believe, however, that it's telling that movies like Spiderman and Men in Black can compete with Star Wars. Amazing. George Lucas is obviously not the same kind of person as me, because I'd be wanting for my Star Wars to continue to be as impressive upon the masses as the originals were. This means that I'd want them to come off BETTER than the originals, so much so that Star Wars would still be the untouchable franchise.

    It still is, to a degree, but the rest of the world has caught up to Lucas' movies now. AotC, for me, is every bit as flawed and entertaining and engaging as the OT. In different ways, sure, but it's no Phantom Menace. Because it's on par with the OT, I am a fan of the movie. But I find it telling that movies like Titanic can remain at the top of the world's box office records when Star Wars has such immediate, widespread, and such powerful repeat appeal... BUILT IN! I'm not one of those purists who hangs my self-worth on Star Wars making box-office records or not, but at the same time I am a realist. Star Wars could be much better than it is these days. Very telling, indeed.

    I'm not going to risk my reputation (yes, I know, what reputation? hehe, I can dream can I not?) on a "prophecy" or some such, but I will wait and see. TPM wasn't the death of the SW franchise, but if it was, AotC is likely the much-needed revival for most fans. But it's not over yet. There's still Episode 3 to go, and then all the edits of the OTs I keep hearing about (grrr).
  4. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    Jabbadabbado,

    I am just as disenchanted with the fans who are incapable of enjoying AOTC as I am with fans who are incapable of enjoying TPM.

    It's just more people share that disenchantment this time around because more people managed to enjoy AOTC than did TPM.

    If you think the SW franchise is dead, then you are right. But it is only dead for yourself. There are still plenty of us who think you are just a guy who forgot how to watch new SW films with an open mind.

    I don't condone death threats, but I can see why people think Critics in general are completey full of it.
  5. Gay-LenKenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2000
    star 5
    "TPM, at least, set high narrative goals for itself even though it was unable to fully achieve them, whereas AOTC went straight for the lowest common denominator without any apologies. "

    But I thought that so many hated TPM because of GL's use of JarJar and potty humor to appeal to the lowest common demoninator....


    ... I'm so confused :confused:
  6. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    TPM tried to pander to too many audiences. It was not a movie for children, yet GL threw in kiddie elements at random to try to draw young children into the theater. It worked. He got his audience, but I don't think it meant much to them.

    Judging by AOTC's numbers, the five-year-olds who went to see TPM with their parents are not returning to AOTC as 8 year olds, or at least not in substantial numbers.
  7. ElfStar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2001
    star 4
    Ironically this whole thread shows how much bashers despise TPM box office take of 430 mil. Bashers always say TPM is the worst movie ever yet that BO take seems to keep hitting them in the face so they write it off as a fluke, saying people are sheep, they went to see it because it was SW, blah blah blah. Fact is if TPM was such a bad movie it would have tailed off but instead it got repeat viewings for the summer, doesnt happen for bad movies really, SW or not.

    So you're saying Titanic is a great movie? :p

  8. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Go-Mer, if you're saying that more fans enjoyed AOTC than enjoyed TPM, I agree.

    But it's not true that more people enjoyed AOTC than TPM. Fewer people are seeing it. Maybe a higher percentage of those who go see it think it's a good movie, but there is a smaller group of people going to see Star Wars now than at any time in the history of the franchise.

    I agree with much of what Malthus wrote in his last post, a very good post, by the way.

    If AOTC reenergized Star Wars for the fan base, then I really am happy for those who feel that. However, I think there's evidence that the fan base is shrinking because the general public interested in Star Wars is shrinking. Inevitably, that will translate into fewer Star Wars fans over time.

    If the ones who remain are happy, then GL has accomplished something worthwhile. I do not disagree with that. But I'm interested in the phenomenon of Star Wars in general. Its wider cultural impact and meaning, which I think has seriously diminished over time. Growing up with the OT as a dominant influence on Hollywood and on pop culture makes me see the decline of Star Wars as something slightly sad, inevitable though it may be.
  9. Makavelli Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 16, 2002
    star 1
    B/c Attack of the Clones is a better film, and a film that is more easily enjoyed by audiences, Star Wars fans and general audiences alike. What does that have to do with SW's "downfall"??

    The Yoda fight scene was all anyone talked about for a while at school after the movie's release. Spiderman certainly hasn't had any impact on the public, just b/c it made more money doesn't mean its more pop culturey or whatever. In fact, Star Wars was really popular with my age group and that made me happy. AOTC has been very well received and it certainly was an "event" when it came out. The fact that it was on hundreds of less screens hindered its chances of beating Spidey, though.

    But really, you should consider getting a life. Gaining pleasure from stirring up controversy and making other people angry by talking about the supposed downfall of Star Wars isn't healthy.
  10. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    More easily enjoyed by fewer fans and a smaller general audience, you mean.
  11. SomeRandomNerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 1999
    star 4
    >>>>However, I believe that AOTC's box office reveal that Star Wars has lost 30-40% of its audience. Whether that is because the public thinks AOTC is a worse movie than TPM, or because TPM drove away 40% of Star Wars' built-in audience in the U.S. may never be known.

    Remember, Episode 1 was hyped. You couldn't have not known about it about 2 months before it was released. With AOTC, you could have wasily been unaware of its existence up until about a week or two before it's release (in the UK, at least.) TPM wasn't the first Star Wars film in 3 years- it was the first Star Wars film for 16 years- people had grown up in that time! It wasn't a question of whether people were going to see it, but how long they were going to wait for the queues to die down before they went to see it. (Again...)

    Also, it's a different environment. One world release date, more competition, digital projections etc. will all have had an effect on the box office takings.

    Remember the Austin Powers 2 and South Park trailers- both of which went so far as to mention or at least allude to a competing film- effectively admitting defeat in the box office war before it had even started- I don't think that's ever happened before or since.

    >>>>Why is it that the fans are so much more disgruntled about the negative reaction to AOTC than to TPM?

    I don't think they are. I haven't seen anything (in this place at least) to come close to the insanity that it was in Autumn 1999, when the gusher/basher wars were WARS, rather than the petty squabbles they are now.
  12. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    ESB, ROTJ and TPM made nearly the same amount of money, although each made slightly less than the previous one, in real (2002) dollars.

    Even with the hype levels you're suggesting, TPM still sold fewer tickets than any Star Wars movie to that date.

    So, after the popularity of ANH, there was a steady but small decline in tickets sold from ESB through TPM.

    If that trend had held, AOTC would have been expected to earn $420-$430 million U.S., by selling a few hundred thousand fewer tickets than TPM at slightly higher prices, meaning a net small decline from TPM, adjusted for inflation.

    Instead, we have a much more dramatic decline from about $460 U.S (TPM adjusted for inflation) to $300 U.S.
  13. Makavelli Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 16, 2002
    star 1
    No that's actually not what I mean. Just cause AOTC isn't seeing the massive repeat viewings of total pyschoes who haven't seen a Star Wars movie in 16 years doesn't mean people aren't seeing it.

    The main problem with your argument, Jabba, besides the fact that it sux, is that AOTC is doing extremely well in the box office. So most of your argument is stupidity. The only reason it looks like its doing less than awesome is because TPM did so ridicolously good, another thing bashers won't admit. Granted, its ridicolously good start may have been hype, but its sustained power can't all be attributed to taht.
  14. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    So your argument is "it's not that less people are seeing AOTC, it's that more saw TPM"?

    :)

    I'll point out the obvious that the gap between TPM's and AOTC's audience is even wider than it looks because ticket prices are more expensive now than in 99.
  15. funky-gonk-droid Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 2002
    star 1
    Tis true AOTC may make less money than TPM when all is said and done, but it will still be one of the biggest movies of all time especially when all the international box office comes rolling in. If it means anything at all, AOTC is kicking serious ass over here in the UK I think it made 11 million in it's first week with the second place movie needing 4 weeks worth of box office to make as much. this is very good news to Cinema owners and doesnt seem to me to be the sign of a dead franchise. Sure the Franchise has been slightly downsized, but this was all Lucas's doing he simply overhyped TPM to a degree where anything after that is going to "seem" to be anitclimactic. Despite any flaws that AOTC might have it would seem to appeal to the majority of SW fans, to the point where a lot of them rank it higher than some of the OT movies.
    Hold on to you're hats for Ep 3 people,just my opinion, but I think that the final ever Star Wars will make an obscene amount of money. The biggest baddest icon in all of moviedom makes his first appearence in the Star Wars universe. I'm sure even the most blackhearted basher troll will want to see that one. ;)
  16. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    That much is true. No matter what, I'll be in line to see Episode 3. No matter what, there's still the potential for that movie to be great.

    England is a phenomenon unto itself. AOTC got better critical reviews, and the British seem to like it more.

    UK, it seems, is populated almost entirely by people who "get" Star Wars, eh Go-Mer? :)
  17. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    Jabbadabbado do you have anything better to do than sit here and post every 10 minutes in this thread? Sheesh. You've made your point. Move on.
  18. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    The average is more like once an hour. Try to keep your facts straight! :)

    Also, AOTC dropped 52% from last Tuesday. If you extrapolate from that with, say, 41-45% drops on the weekends and 50% drops weekdays, then AOTC will not even reach $290 million.

    Feel free to put that in your signature!
  19. Malthus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 1999
    star 4
    Perhaps you should take your own suggestion :)
  20. JBFett Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2002
    star 4
    Jabba....you care about the BO too much...

    I dont care what you or anyone else thinks....I liked TPM and I loved AOTC...and you saying it killed star wars is your opinion and it does nothing to sway me or anyone who liked the films on these boards. ALL of the movies are flawed...and those who only appreciate the OT should go back and watch it a few times more and see how they drag in places....have funny dialogue..some bad acting...the works.....

    ALL STAR WARS MOVIES ARE THE SAME...like them or not they follow the same formula....and until you and others like you learn to accept that..your opinion is void to me.
  21. JBFett Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2002
    star 4
    and on that note...I am going for dinner!

    PEACE!
  22. JediDa-cam18 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2001
    star 4
    You seem hell bent on shoving stats down are throats to prove that TPM was a bad movie, get over it, TPM made 430 mil domestically, AotC making less is not all of the sudden going to be the absolute proof that TPM was indeed a disappointment to fans no matter how you figure it. As for AotC well I think people have made it clear why it will make less and it has nothing to do with jaded fans or AotC being a bad movie. So you go on and make this your daily take on box office stats and the downfall of AotC and SW in general, it proves nothing other than you have a serious unhealthy obsession.
  23. lono Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2002
    star 1
    So much for a killed franchise..
    Look at what Jeffrey Wells, a columnist who really used to bash Lucas says these days:


    Can you feel it when you go out? That sense of unfettered joy and unbridled excitement in people everywhere about the astronomical numbers that Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones has been racking up, particularly the $61.2 million earned over the Memorial Day holiday?

    No question about it ? spirits are soaring everywhere over George Lucas' miraculous box-office triumph. The cheerleading esprit du corps of Exhibitor Relations chairman Paul Dergerabedian, normally an inside-Hollywood phenomenon, has caught on with the general populace. To think that Clones has topped the $200 million mark in just 12 days, especially considering it took The Phantom Menace a day longer! I don't know about the rest of you, but I am shuddering with delight.

    There's always resistance to a new idea, but what if local municipalities from coast to coast were to stage celebrations when a movie does this well? Why not stage parades down Main Street, get high school bands dressed up as Star Wars characters to play in tribute, and stage competitions for the best Star Wars float? Celebrating the signing of the Declaration of Independence may seem like a nebulous concept to younger people, but a hit movie that lifts us all off the ground by generating such happiness is truly something to shout and dance about.


  24. Telemachos Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 2
    Does the concept of sarcasm ring a bell?

    The day Jeff Wells praises SW in any way without some sort of backhanded slam is the day hell freezes over.
  25. lono Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2002
    star 1
    That's what I thought at first, but surely a published columnist knows that sarcasm doesn't come across properly in print.

    "a hit movie that lifts us all off the ground by generating such happiness is truly something to shout and dance about."

    that sentence, for example, is entirely true; AOTC is generating lots of happiness, moreso than TPM did.

    Lono


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