Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Serenity Broke The Internet

UPDATE: I like this bit, from someone who's good at pointing out Whedon's flaws without denying his strengths. Also, It's hard not to want to compare it to certain other recent sci-fi films, but "it's better than Revenge of the Sith" sounds like damning with faint praise. So let me amplify: not only is Serenity vastly superior to Revenge of the Sith in every way it is possible to judge a movie, it is superior to Revenge of the Sith in every way it is possible to judge human endeavor at all.

Except, I suppose, profit.

That's kinda funny.

For those of you outside the Extreme Geek Community, a rundown of recent events.

Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, had a third series on Fox called Firefly. It was cancelled, but he managed to get a deal with Universal to make it into a movie, called Serenity. His fans rallied around the film, convinced that if they all worked as volunteer marketers, they could turn the movie into a hit. They took to calling themselves "Browncoats," after the rebel forces in the TV show/movie. As time went on, they began to become somewhat annoying. As with any such group, the more irritating individuals within the group became the public face of the group for many outside (and even within).

At Ain't It Cool, the reviews went up. Harry's review could be summed up as "it was a'ight." Moriarty's could be summed up as "Overall, a good film, with a few small problems. And, oh yeah, the fans are starting to get on my nerves." Not as a gratuitous insult, but because they were causing problems in the talkbacks, dragging unrelated threads off topic, etc. Response to these two more-or-less positive reviews was so vitriolic that they were forced to shut down registration for the talkbacks. Meanwhile, over at CHUD, Devin was getting a similar response for his "8 out of 10" review (and ongoing prediction that the film wasn't going to be that big a hit). (for the record, I'd give it 7 out of 10 for my objective view of the movie, 8 out of 10 for my subjective enjoyment as someone who already likes the series and Whedon's style)

The movie opened to a disapointing $10 million weekend, which probably means no sequel (this is disapointing to me, but not unexpected, and frankly even getting two sequels would be a booby prize, since Firefly really works better as a TV series). Devin floated the idea that just maybe the obnoxiousness of the fans kept the "core genre audience" (working from the idea that you can expect any geeky scifi film to take in about $15-20 million opening weekend, based on the take of stuff like Hellboy, Sky Captain, and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) away from the film (a theory that I do not subscribe to, by the way). Joss Whedon Himself responded, rather huffily defending his fans. Devin responded to Joss' response. By this time, CHUD was also having to suspend registration over the influx of Browncoats signing up just to fight over this. Devin claims he will literally eat his words if the movie has less than a 30% drop in week two.

This is by far the geekiest shit not involving a new Star Wars movie in the history of the internet.


Blogger Ben Miro said...

About the whole B.O./flop thing, the real bummer is I'd like to have a movie landscape where modestly budgeted, good, fun sci-fi and horror tales pepper the year. I'd be thrilled with one a quarter even.

I wish more folk had come out to at least support the genre. No solidarity among nerds, I guess.

10/06/2005 7:29 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

A polarized community, to say the least...

10/07/2005 7:08 PM  

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