So begins the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen review over at Latino Review. In fact, by and large, across the web, Transformers 2 has been getting lambasted, raked over the coals, and generally abused by critics and movie fans alike. Funny thing is, none of this has dampened my own enthusiasm to see the film in Imax glory tomorrow night, but it does bring up some questions in my mind, especially considering the box office numbers that Revenge of the Fallen has already tallied.
In spite of a veritable rampage of negative reviews, according to Box Office Mojo, Transformers 2 has already grossed over $120 million dollars internationally, and this is before the first domestic weekend. So, by all accounts, Revenge of the Fallen can’t be considered a good film (of course depending on everyone’s personal opinion of that term), but there is absolutely no doubt that it will be a successful film.
Which, of course, raises the question… what is more important? Would you rather have a good film or a big money maker? Of course in a perfect world, we could have The Dark Knight, which gave us both…but this is my website, dammit, so I’m calling the shots. If you could only have one… big money, or good quality, what would it be?
I continue to bounce back and forth.
On the one hand, I’d be foolish if I didn’t want a great film. A good film can instantly give a brand credibility and gives a great foundation to build our own little G.I. Joe universes. However, when it all comes down to it, a great film can give you 2 solid hours of entertainment, while a financial success could potentially mean greatness in the toy aisles for years. So I guess ultimately it comes down to your preference…are you more of a movie person or a toy person? From my own perspective, I’m definitely a toy person first and foremost…a great toy can supercede questionable media (I mean, I am a Sigma 6 fan, after all). So, with that in mind, I suppose I’d almost rather have a successful film rather than a great film. Sure, I might not have those two hours of entertainment on August 7th, but with a great financial result, a future film franchise is ensured, and years of toy releases are guaranteed. Not only that, but even with a questionable film, a solid money maker also gives the brand credibility and lasting power. I mean, I don’t know anyone who really thinks the Star Wars prequels are great films, but the outrageous money they made assured that toys would continue for years to come. It also immediately made Star Wars a viable brand for all kinds of different licensing and merchandise.
A great film that makes no money may keep fans entertained for 2 hours, but a film that makes money while sacrificing some quality or some things that would appeal to the core fanbase will ensure a successful brand for years to come, which could potentially spawn great toys, great cartoons, and great merchandise. It could totally revitalize the brand.
Believe me, if the film can somehow accomplish both, I’ll be on cloud nine. But if there’s some things that don’t appeal to me as a diehard fan, yet the film makes 400 million dollars, I think I’m willing to live with what I don’t like for the long term success of G.I. Joe. Regardless, I don’t remember being this excited about the rest of the year for a long, long time, and it’s a damn fun ride. For that reason alone I hope this movie makes some cash, because I’d love to feel like this every couple of years…