Do Movie Boycotts Ever Work?

View this image ” Asa Butterfield and Harrison Ford in Ender’s Game Richard Foreman Jr. / Summit Entertainment For months, Ender’s Game has toiled under a cloud of controversy that few feature films ever have to endure, let alone sci-fi spectacles designed to launch a major new feature film

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Do Movie Boycotts Ever Work?

Asa Butterfield and Harrison Ford in Ender’s Game Richard Foreman Jr. / Summit Entertainment

For months, Ender’s Game has toiled under a cloud of controversy that few feature films ever have to endure, let alone sci-fi spectacles designed to launch a major new feature film franchise. Orson Scott Card, the author of the 1985 young adult novel the film is based on, has such a long and well-documented history of making anti-gay statements that a call for an organized boycott against the film this past summer gained a great deal of media attention – and a New York Times editorial that likened the boycott to “blacklisting.” Despite strongly worded statements denouncing Card’s views by both Ender’s Game‘s studio and filmmakers – statements that reinforced the (mostly undisputed) fact that there is no overt homophobia in Ender’s Game itself – the boycott’s organizers remained steadfast, determined not to financially reward Card by purchasing a ticket to the movie. Even a report from The Wrap earlier this week that Card would receive no money from the film’s box office take did not appear to deter the boycott.

After all that hullabaloo, Ender’s Game finally opened this weekend, grossing an estimated $28 million for the top spot at the box office. So did the boycott succeed? Or did it fail?

On its face, this is an impossible question to answer. A rep for Summit Entertainment called the debut “in line with the studio’s pre-weekend expectations,” but there is no way to know for certain how many people would have bought a ticket to Ender’s Game had the social politics of the story’s author not been at issue. And even if Card had been the most pro-gay author on the planet, Ender’s Game was always going to be an unusual movie with which to launch a major franchise. Yes, the novel was a beloved literary phenomenon onto itself for decades before writer-director Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) began production – unlike several other failed YA film adaptations of late that felt like their movie studio marketing plans were stapled to the authors’ unpublished manuscripts. (RIP Eragon, I Am Number Four, The Host, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Beautiful Creatures, and The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising – we hardly knew ye.)

Moises Arias, Haliee Steinfeld, and Asa Butterfield in Ender’s Game. Richard Foreman Jr. / Summit Entertainment

But unlike The Hunger Games and Twilight and even Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, there is no romance in Ender’s Game – either in the sense of two people in love or in the sense of being swept up in a grand fantasy adventure. A tale of the young titular genius drafted into a brutal and unforgiving military training school to defeat a possible alien threat, the film is a story of intellectual prowess, of a kid triumphing not through brawn or magic or love, but through ruthless cerebral know-how. Hood faithfully brings that brainy quality to the film, staging its action scenes with a welcome intelligence and logic instead of the usual haphazard visual assault. But successful movie franchises are not dour intellectual experiences – they are exciting and visceral ones. Hood seems to understand this need (a mild SPOILER alert is in order, probably), because in the film’s ending, he pushes hard on the potential for a more emotional and redemptive arc in any subsequent films.

Whether there are any sequels, however, remains very much an open question. On the one hand, Ender’s Game‘s box office debut was stronger than those aforementioned failed YA adaptations, and it is just about on par with 2010’s Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightening Thief, the rare YA adaptation that successfully spawned a sequel, this past August’s Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.

Both Percy Jackson films, however, proved their box office potential overseas – in the U.S., they have been lackluster performers at best, and Ender’s Game, which has only opened in three overseas territories so far, looks like it could be on the same domestic box office path. Consider After Earth and Jack the Giant Slayer. Both are sci-fi/fantasy films aimed at the same audience as Ender’s Game; both opened this year just under Ender’s Game debut numbers; and both limped to a total domestic gross of $60.5 million and $65.2 million, respectively. Even if Ender’s Game enjoys better word-of-mouth than those films, it will have to contend with some heavy box office competition in the next few weeks from Thor: The Dark World and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

What does any of this have to do with the boycott? As I said before, it is impracticable to put an exact dollar amount on any boycott of a feature film, but I’m going to risk this hypothesis anyway: next to nothing.

The Da Vinci Code

Sony Pictures

The Passion of the Christ

Newmarket Films

The Golden Compass

New Line Cinema

 

Organized movie boycotts have often proven to be ineffective at swaying the box office. Talk of Catholics shunning the Dan Brown adaptations The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons didn’t keep those films from worldwide grosses of $758 million and $486 million, respectively. Similarly, the enormous controversy surrounding Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ didn’t keep it from pulling in $611.9 million worldwide.

There have been times, however, when dissatisfaction with the film has appeared to make an impact on the film’s box office. A former New Line Cinema exec told The New York Times that he estimated 2007’s The Golden Compass lost as much as 50% of its domestic gross after Catholic groups protested the film’s alleged anti-Catholic agenda. And controversy surrounding an “electric cars are gay” joke in 2011’s The Dilemma may have been a factor in the film’s disastrous $48.8 million domestic gross.

Then again, perhaps these movies were not successful because audiences did not want to see them.

People can be remarkably stubborn when it comes to their entertainment. They can make a “hard sell” like Gravity into a global phenomenon that just passed $400 million worldwide. They can make movies with the world’s biggest stars – like Will Smith’s After Earth and Johnny Depp’s The Lone Ranger – into outright flops. Over the past decade, Tom Cruise and Mel Gibson both saw their box office plummet (the latter much more than the former) – not because of some organization’s concerted effort to make people actively boycott their films, but because their behavior turned people off.

Even the psychological effect of the Ender’s Game boycott is difficult to pin down. Say there aren’t any more movies about Ender Wiggin. Will it be because the boycott scared off the studio from wanting to deal with this PR headache all over again? Or because the studio concluded there wasn’t enough of a global audience for any more movies? Card’s subsequent novels in the series, by the way, do not follow the kind of linear storytelling path we’ve come to expect from franchise movies; any delays in subsequent films could easily be due to the challenge of trying to make them work as a coherent experience.

Speaking of Card’s books, despite all the recriminations about their author’s anti-gay views, they continue to climb the sales charts. As Card himself said in a recent TV interview, “My sales go up with such attacks.” How can you boycott someone’s work when the boycott itself causes that work to succeed? It’s a dilemma that would stymie even the strategic expertise of Ender Wiggin.

Here are the estimated top 10 box office figures for Friday to Sunday, courtesy of Box Office Mojo:

1. Ender’s Game* – $28 million

2. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa – $20.5 million

3. Last Vegas* – $16.5 million

4. Free Birds* – $16.2 million

5. Gravity – $13.1 million

6. Captain Phillips – $8.5 million

7. 12 Years a Slave – $4.6 million

8. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 – $4.2 million

9. Carrie – $3.4 million

10. The Counselor – $3.3 million

*Opening weekend

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/adambvary/enders-game-box-office-boycott

The post Do Movie Boycotts Ever Work? appeared first on How To Buy Franchises.

Gears of War 4 announced: Fans of the series are overjoyed!

http://twitter.com/#!/ANewnez/status/208238150873649152

Makers of the hit video game “Gears of War” promised fans that Gears of War 3 would be the last installment of the series.

Well, it looks like they lied!

Just 8 months after Gears of War 3 hit shelves, Microsoft is already set to announce a new Gears of War game. We won’t know for sure until more information about the game is revealed next week at E3, but people speculating say the developers will announce a prequel to the original series.

Regardless if they announce a prequel or a continuation of the series, most fans were ecstatic to hear the news.

HOYLSHIIIIIIIIIIIIII – A NEW GEARS OF WAR?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!? OMGOMGOMGOMOGMOMGOMGOMG!!!

– Hollie Bennett (@HollieB) May 31, 2012

https://twitter.com/Berzerker19/status/208236254448463872

New Gears of War Game has been announced. All it needs to be is GoW1 but with new maps and it is instantly the best game of all time!

– Alex Gooch (@Goochhyy) May 31, 2012

What? A new Gears of War??? SHOCKING!!! Why would they continue such a successful franchise?

– Jason Evangelho (@killyourfm) May 31, 2012

New Gears Of War? Good god, I haven’t even finished the first one

– Aysha (@AyshaWeir) May 31, 2012

I need the new Gears of War game right now! Can’t wait to see the Microsoft E3 press conference. Who’s the chained up CoG and where is this?

– K.O. Nino (@OldskoolgamerGV) May 31, 2012

As long as the story in the new Gears of War is as good as 3, I’ll buy it.

– TwistedData (@TwistedData) May 31, 2012

Epic announcing a New Gears of War is alot like Ricky Martin coming out of the closet did you really feel the need we all knew?

– Ben Royce (@Dactz1) May 31, 2012

So they’re revealing a new Gears Of War at E3?? I thought part 3 was the last one

– Gamer By Default ♊ (@EnemyOfYourFace) May 31, 2012

New Gears of War? I can’t wait to suck at that game still.

– Beau Ryan (@BeauRyan) May 31, 2012

new gears of war prequel is said to be announced monday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #HOLYSHIT

– Nathaniel Paisley (@npaisley8) May 31, 2012

New gears of war game will be announced at E3 on monday OMG I’m super gassed I didn’t think they would make another one <img src="https://s.w.org/images/core/emoji/2.2.1/72×72/1f642.png&quot; alt="

25 Reasons The San Francisco 49ers Are The Best NFL Franchise Ever

The gold standard of football! 1. They have won 5 Super Bowl Championships! View this image ” Jonathan Daniel/Stringer / Getty Images They are tied with the Dallas Cowboys and only behind Pittsburgh who has 6 wins. 2. Their rivalry with the Seahawks is one of the fiercest in football.

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25 Reasons The San Francisco 49ers Are The Best NFL Franchise Ever

The gold standard of football!

1. They have won 5 Super Bowl Championships!

They have won 5 Super Bowl Championships!

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Jonathan Daniel/Stringer / Getty Images

They are tied with the Dallas Cowboys and only behind Pittsburgh who has 6 wins.

2. Their rivalry with the Seahawks is one of the fiercest in football.

Their rivalry with the Seahawks is one of the fiercest in football.

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Jonathan Ferrey / Getty Images

These two teams absolutely despise each other. As divisional rivals they play at at least twice a year. The games and antics of the two opposing fan bases is quickly becoming the stuff of legend.

3.

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Jonathan Ferrey / Getty Images

No love lost.

4. They had Joe Montana, who many consider to be the greatest quarterback of all time.

They had Joe Montana, who many consider to be the greatest quarterback of all time.

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George Rose / Getty Images

4x Super Bowl Champion3x Superbowl MVP2x NFL MVP8x Pro Bowl selectionsPro Football Hall Of Famer –ESPN

Yes, he has a very impressive resume.

5. Steve Young

Steve Young

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George Rose / Getty Images

3x Super Bowl Champion 2x NFL MVP7 Pro Bowl Selections Pro Football Hall of Famer-ESPN

6. They currently have Colin Kaepernick, one of the most dynamic young quarterbacks in football.

25 Reasons The San Francisco 49ers Are The Best NFL Franchise Ever

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Via cover32.com

He has been to the Super Bowl and has led his team to consecutive NFC championship games.

25 Reasons The San Francisco 49ers Are The Best NFL Franchise Ever

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Fox Sports / Via giphy.com

7. It’s a very exclusive quarterback club.

George Rose / Getty Images

Mike Powell/Allsport / Getty Images

Brian Bahr / Getty Images

 

Time will tell if Kaepernick can join their Hall of Fame ranks.

8. They produced Jerry Rice. The greatest receiver of all time!

They produced Jerry Rice. The greatest receiver of all time!

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George Rose / Getty Images

Most career Receiving Yards- 22,895Most career Receptions- 1,549Most career Touchdown Receptions- 1973x Super Bowl Champion 13 Pro Bowl Selections Pro Football Hall of Famer –ESPN

9. Together they formed one of the most dynamic duos in football history.

Together they formed one of the most dynamic duos in football history.

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Rick Stewart/Stringer / Getty Images

Many of those stats and accolades were achieved together as teammates.

10. Ronnie Lott

Ronnie Lott

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Rick Stewart/Stringer / Getty Images

This 8x Pro Bowler and 4x time Super Bowl Champion is one of the best defensive backs to ever play the game.

11. They had one of the greatest coaches of all time in Bill Walsh.

They had one of the greatest coaches of all time in Bill Walsh.

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George Rose / Getty Images

He coached the 49ers to three Super Bowl victories and changed the NFL with his innovative West Coast Offense.

12. Current coach Jim Harbaugh already has a proven record of success.

Current coach Jim Harbaugh already has a proven record of success.

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Al Messerschmidt / Getty Images

Three NFC Championship appearances and one Super Bowl appearance in his first three years.

13. Their home stadium Candlestick Park is one of the best venues in football.

Their home stadium Candlestick Park is one of the best venues in football.

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Gateman1997 / en.wikipedia.org / Creative Commons

It was the host of many great games and the final Beatles concert. It just saw its last year of action as the team will be moving to a new venue in 2014.

14. They have some of the most passionate fans in the NFL.

They have some of the most passionate fans in the NFL.

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Win McNamee / Getty Images

Their fan base is one of the biggest in the country.

15.

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Via imgur.com

16. The franchise has produced the most famous catches in NFL history.

25 Reasons The San Francisco 49ers Are The Best NFL Franchise Ever

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Via tumblr.com

“The Catch” Joe Montana to Dwight Clark in the 1982 NFC Championship game against Dallas. It has now become iconic.

17. Because the Justin and Aldon Smith are the dynamic duo of the defense.

Because the Justin and Aldon Smith are the dynamic duo of the defense.

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Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images

18. And NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis are two of the most feared linebackers in all of football.

And NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis are two of the most feared linebackers in all of football.

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Brian Bahr / Getty Images

19. The have some of the best cheerleaders in the league, nicknamed “The Gold Rush”.

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Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

20. They thrive with smash mouth football.

They thrive with smash mouth football.

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Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images

They run the ball well and have a stout defense the two cornerstones of a smash mouth style.

21. They have their own foundation strictly dedicated to philanthropy.

They have their own foundation strictly dedicated to philanthropy.

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Via 49ers.com

For 21 years the 49ers Foundation offers after school programs and activities for local youth.

22.

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Facebook: 49ersCommunity

23. So get excited.

25 Reasons The San Francisco 49ers Are The Best NFL Franchise Ever

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Via giphy.com

24. Practice your winning pose.

25 Reasons The San Francisco 49ers Are The Best NFL Franchise Ever

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Via fireball.com

25. And cheer on the 49ers!!!

25 Reasons The San Francisco 49ers Are The Best NFL Franchise Ever

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Via fansided.com

GOLD BLOODED!!!

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/javim2/25-reasons-the-san-francisco-49ers-are-the-best-te-bw9q

The post 25 Reasons The San Francisco 49ers Are The Best NFL Franchise Ever appeared first on How To Buy Franchises.

Community Post: 20 Things That Annoy The Hell Out Of Comic Book Fans

1. When people think The Punisher ever says “snikt”. View this image ” protagonist.wikia.com It’s just the sound his claws make, duh. 2. When people swap in a Foot Ninja from Battletoads for one of Wolverine’s enemies. View this image ” toplessrobot.com 3. When people don’t

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