Welcome to the Real World

Savant has a nice, warm, cuddly welcome for Square and it’s completely CG-rendered remake of Ishtar.

Good morning natives, your cuddly buddy Savant here. Well well well, I’ll bet several executives at a certain gaming-orientated production company and a certain studio woke up today minus their fucking heads. So it seems, the 140-million dollar plus anim(e)ated CG-epic, “Final Fantasy,” has discovered the “Ishtar” within. After a dismal weekend of something around 11 million, I’d be pretty headless too, wouldn’t you? After all, unless this is the one film in a thousand that builds upon its opening weekend, this film will die a grisly death domestically. And overseas. And on cable. In fact, it’s already DOA; we’re just waiting to see how bad the wreck is gonna get.

You see, let’s assume… assume… that the film actually manages to scruff up 100 million dollars in total grosses. Well… if we continue to largely assume that the studio will see half, that’s 50 million against 140 million. So we’re still minus 90 million, NOT counting prints and advertising, which are rumored to be quite high. Do you know how many White House interns I can get for 90 millionrr

Oh, it gets better, watch the tires fly: That “50 million” hypothetical number is what the studio gets. That’s nowhere near what the production company will receive. If the P&A (prints and advertising) budget is as high as I believe… there’s a good chance that our little production co. will get shafted for every fucking dime. It’s not every day you lose over 100 million dollars on a single business venture. These, folks, are the kind of numbers that utterly bankrupt people.

Where did they go wrongr

The film was fine, folks, it doesn’t need to be a masterpiece of cinema. Chalk another death to marketing. Your first clue something was wrong: a subtitle, The Spirits Within. This means that our friendly marketers are automatically assuming that the “Final Fantasy” trademark is so branded in the minds of Americans that it can afford to slap on a subtitle. This isn’t “The X-Files,” there aren’t proven Nielsens of 20 million every week for 3 years that warrants a Fight The Future subtitle… and a 30 million dollar opening for a horrid shitty film.

Your second cluer Anyone here got cabler I saw a coupla FF ads on MTV, sure. Maybe a couple on NBC during “Will and Grace.” Anyone see shit on Tech-TVr Bravor IFCr Sundancer Here, the first film to truly CHALLENGE the notion of flesh-and-blood actors… and we’re not hitting up the techs and the geeksr This isn’t fucking “Star Wars.” This isn’t even “Starship Troopers.” This is geek masturbation material. So why are we advertising to the guys stoned on weed beer and kava rave candyr

Your third cluer A blurry poster, where the title is hard to read, where you can’t see those beautiful CG faces, where the color scheme from 5 paces reminds you of a fucking gay pride march. Need another one, stillr How about constant re-releases of different trailers, each unable to hit a good pace and showcase the true awesomeness of this CG worldr Shit, the best trailer was released after the film had already opened! The list just doesn’t end!!

I could go Ollie Stone here and argue that the Evil Empire, aka SAG and the Star Chamber, stifled the CG-man. It wouldn’t be hard… this isn’t a flesh-and-blood assassination… shit, all you’d have to do is hire the marketing department that, well, was hired. Doesn’t matter, it’s dead, and now, we’re doomed to bad Tom Cruise performances that cost $20 million and continue to send your theater ticket prices skyrocketing upwards. 140 million is nothing to sneeze at either for a bunch of CG-men, but remember that unlike actors, the price of CG continues to drop every single day as technology and artists catch up. Film marketing, however… that’s a whole other rant.

Admittedly, I hope it doesn’t crash Squaresoft, I like playing the Final Fantasy games. I like these Japanese games where the characters are always mysteriously modeled after Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio, or Brad Renfro. I dig the fact that these games and films are attuned to the fact that every male under 30 is a burgeoning homosexual with a penchant for the Renaissance Faire and “Star Trek.” At least in Japan, anyway. Not that America’s any different, we’re just about 10 years behind in the repression race.

In the meantime, I’ll wait for a real marketing team and Niccol’s “Simone.”