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Commentary on Fox

This article is an interesting rant on Twentieth Century Fox, a studio that has released a spate of poor science fiction and fantasy films lately, despite owning rights to some major franchises. An excerpt:

Now that it’s clear Fox wants to delay — or derail — the Watchmen movie, fans are talking boycott. There’s only one problem: you can’t boycott something unless you actually want to see it.

Fox has an almost unbroken record of putting out crap genre films over the past few years. Based on the studio’s track record alone, you’d have to be a bit of a masochist to want to consume any more films like X-Files 2, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Eragon, Max Payne, The Happening, Space Chimps, Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem, Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer, Meet Dave, Jumper, or X-Men: The Last Stand. (To be fair, the studio also released City Of Ember, which I loved, and the Simpsons movie, in the last few years.)

These are not just movies you’re better off renting. These movies are the reason there’s a 4:20 in the morning as well as the afternoon — they probably look pretty good if you’re both sleep-deprived and stoned.

Proving there is some justice, Fox has been suffering financially as a result. Says the Wall Street Journal:

Operating income at Fox Filmed Entertainment dropped 31% to $251 million for the fiscal quarter ended Sept. 30, in part because this summer’s results were weak in comparison with last summer’s.

Fox’s losing streak only ended with the release of Marley And Me, which looks to be a minor success.

And, by all accounts, Fox’s output hasn’t gotten wretched by accident. One hears stories about studio execs, hacking up movies to shorten them and dumb them down. Director Alex Proyas has publicly sworn never to work with Fox again, after his experience making I, Robot, and Matthieu Kassovitz has said similar things about Babylon A.D.

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