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According to one of the industry trades— the summer of 2017 — was the worst its been in a very long time. Dismal ticket sales — illustrated the smugness of studio execs — who are chained to the thrill of how easy it is to repackage revered classics for the sake of clogged and habitual mindsets.
The last time movie goers were this finicky was about a decade ago. I honestly can’t recall why the summer of 2007 was such a buzzkill — but I can deliver on the reasons why the summer of 2017 sucked ass.
The truth is that going to see a movie in America — is a full-scale event that requires lots of cash and enough patience to stand in line — waiting to give the order that will strip you of more money than you projected. That’s right after you forked over a chunk through a glass window — to gain entry into the hood that will host you in darkness — with a chill in the air and the moving images ahead that hopefully replenish your skepticism.
Back when there were options for gaining the full theatrical experience for a price that seemed reasonable — I basically spent most of my time — seated with roaring anticipation for the previews and the main attraction.
There was an organic climate in place back in the 90’s and most of 00’s — where the process still relied on the piercing techniques of the late sixties and seventies. The sparseness of the over-dramatic was finessed to showcase the barebones of characterization and the layered plots — that seemed to remain planted in your head — after leaving the movie behind.
The eighties were soaked with the All-American hero and the army of evil — awaiting to prove why handsome White males can never be wrong — even when the law turns against them.
Heavyweights like Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Stevan Seagal, Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Kevin Costner and Nicolas Cage — to name a few — all dominated the cluttered landscape of an era — that was sculpted to keep their muscles oily enough to singe the box office — eternally.
This menu flourished as a machine of hits that never deviated from the main plot of White men facing obstacles that demand eye-popping stunts — and dalliances with sexy blondes with bodies that kill. The thrill of an action film was also embedded in targeted men of color like Denzel Washington, Will Smith and Eddie Murphy who for the most part — were always co-starred with non-Black actresses.
But the adherence to religion — regulated that worshipped films — had to display tons of chaos and mayhem — assigned to the ones who typically rule the world — with their anointed aesthetics.
The nineties posed a fascinating period of experimentation that ended up rebranding the signature of potency in the delivery — that leaves the audience scathed with the fury of a loss or the return. Whatever the circumstances — the message was undiluted and unforgiving in its scope of mental embrace.
There has always been a formula in place or some sort of stretched out blueprint that dictates the hits and failures.
If there is anything that can be studied and retained from the summer box office slump of 2017 — it’s that the masses are no longer going to pay for shit with money they suffered to earn. Another discovery — is that big names paired with legends and the iconic brand of yesteryears — has become a ploy that has been dusted to imperfection.
Most of the highly-anticipated films of 2017 — that starred Hollywood’s most illustrious members — literally disintegrated without a trace — as the reception blazed the theory — about how major stars can always spearhead an impressive opening.
The standouts of 2017 — are films like the freakish hit — Get Out, the late summer breakout — Girls Trip — and The Fate of The Furious — which is undoubtedly riding on the glory of a globally-viable franchise.
The above-mentioned films — are diverse in nature with elements of originality — past and present. And this is where the industry of dreams — is dozing off — with gross consequences.
You can’t refuse to respect the lessening power of stars that are dimming — under the burden of securing their undying relevancy — with tropes of empty inspiration.
There is also the belief that White talent are by far the safest bet — when conniving ways to make Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn — adorable — in ways that failed to resonate with a crowd that needs more than splatters of yellow hair glistening in the sun — as incentive for viewing.
The eclectic cast of the Baywatch movie — that actually had the support of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson — inevitably turned the cool blue waters — murky — with the indigestible big screen version of a TV show that couldn’t survive the splash from a bigger pond — decades later.
The most delicious of all the flops of 2017 — has to be The Mummy — starring Tom Cruise — trapped in a crippled remake — that seemed to be sub for an extended documentary that was supposed to prove the prowess of Cruise’s entombed youthful vigor.
The list of weighty disappointments will surely haunt the producers of Atomic Blonde — after they reconcile why in the world the perfect woman with legs attached to the global template of idolization — couldn’t woo enough of you to go broke over how she straddles her latest victim.
The trick of the trade is getting tossed into a zone that is unfamiliar and treacherous. The mindless sessions of green-lighting remakes with aged stars as bait — is now a very expensive gamble that hardly pays off. The bankability of Whiteouts with specks of color for companionship — is rapidly making room for updated versions of existence.
It’s not an overwhelmingly White world anymore.
Muted fragrances emanating from sophisticated sets with the dew of blushes and sexily frazzled hair for good measure — isn’t going to bring the money — unless there is a damn good reason.
Summer blockbusters can be great again — and that’s awesome news.
Mainly because it means the increase in presence of talent of color who have the ravenous crowd for the outlet of power — that White executives are already evaluating with chaotic interest — is here to stay — with no hint of a vacation.
Thinking outside the box has never been Hollywood’s strongest point. Instead of relenting to the growing demand for movies that aren’t doused in the manual from 1984 — there is the assumption that what was once “great again” can be reworked in any shape that fits.
If summer needs the boost it’s currently lacking at the box office — there has to be an overhaul that replaces really bad offerings with decent alternatives that don’t have to be great — to get the theater seats filled with occupants that don’t need ageless older gents with bullet-proof tresses — as reinforcements.
The reason the summer kept movie theaters unseasonably cool across the nation — is attributed to the cluelessness of executives — that have lost their edge — to the point of a much-needed reboot that will present the vault of diversity — that is devoid of the Whitewashed rendering — that caters to an audience that is slowly diminishing in numbers.
White supremacy and the Black pain that rages on — is a source of contentment for White Hollywood and the crafters that keep the plot lines secured for the spectators that watch with supremeness.
Films like Detroit and the soon-to-be-released Suburbicon — are the latest attempts by storytellers — who are determined to capitalize on a narrative that initiates interest based on golden returns and the sealed allegiance to trends.
Blockbusters can be a thing again — in a great way — if filmmakers are willing to be artists with enough money to bring life to creations that aren’t trapped in webs — that were spawned through the laziness of a list that has dwindled beyond the grasp of revivals.
It’s a new day in the land of La La and the hills that are getting darker under the glare of a sun that has switched direction — indefinitely.
Listen to the people and give them what they want — with the same gusto you delivered the White warrior with the browned features — who appropriated the culture that he played with authority, but killed with privileged negligence.
Blockbusters become exactly that — when the expected is undermined by the unexpected twist of variables — that have the futuristic birth of what was a primal gift of vibrancy — before the whiteout.
Let the puffiness decrease as the colors mesh for receipts that won’t quit — after the summers ahead burn with greatness from the Universal Studios — that is now diverse enough to dilute — White — to degrees of equal artistry.
Wouldn’t that be great?