Series: A Good Movie
Part 1: On Box Office Hits
Throughout the years since TV was first invented, the public has been submitted to a variety of movies and theater presentations from silent films and musicals to epics and thrillers. Over time, our special effects, computer software and HD cameras have set the bar high in the technical department of the movie industry. With the invention of airplanes and faster modes of travel, film studios are now able to fly their cast and equipment to any set they choose, giving them the benefit of both equipment and location. Peter Jackson filmed both the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit epics in New Zealand, Spielberg filmed The Raiders of the Lost Ark in France, England and Tunisia, and more recently, Thor 2: The Dark World was filmed in England and Iceland. Unrestricted and unlimited, the modern film industry has been able to produce some of the world’s most advanced films in its history, creating movies with stunning special effects and stunts. However, is technological advancement the prerequisite of a good movie? And is it the reason that a movie is able to claim the title of a ‘classic’ as it grips the hearts and emotions of its viewers?
This, then, is the question before us: What gives a movie the necessary power to shock its viewers and send them out of the theater unable to forget what they have just seen? There are different ways that movie producers and directors attempt to make a movie memorable. Graphic movies, horror movies, suspense thrillers and dramas are a few of the ways, but is that kind of remembrance the one a good director or producer wants to leave with his audience? There are some who think that, but while I agree that you will definitely make the audience remember you, it is not just remembrance that you need to make a box office hit, and it is not just being a box office hit that makes a movie good.
In order to get on that chart of ‘top ten grossing movies’, your movie has to not only make it to the theaters, it also has to be watched by millions of people. In order to get that kind of audience, the movie doesn’t just have to be good—it has to be advertised and in order to do that you have to have connections, and not a little bit of money. There have been many good movies produced over the years that would have made more money if more people had known they existed. Not everyone in the world checks the theater every week to find out if any new movies have come in, and not all good movies even make it there. To be accepted to a theater, your movie has to be attractive and prospective to the owners of the theater. They have to believe that it will attract enough people to be worth their time, and if they don’t think it is going to do that, then they will replace it with a different movie. Once the movie makes it to the theaters, it will have to be advertised enough to get its initial audience. Once it does, the snowball starts rolling.
Once a movie makes it to the theater, it will be subjected to a variety of praise or criticism depending on the movie and popular culture at the time of its introduction. If the initial response is positive, then people will start talking about it and if enough people go to see it and share it on Facebook and other similar social media sites, the larger media will very likely pick up on it, and the snowball of fame will start growing. More people will go to see it, more people will praise or criticize it, more people will write reviews, and consequently, more people will hear about it and repeat that process. Assuming that the popular reaction to the movie is positive throughout all these stages of the process, it will become a box office hit. The purpose of the next section of this article is to define ‘positive’ in the phrase ‘positive reaction’ and to show you what that means and how it changes. The purpose of the third section of this article will be to show that being a box office hit can be an indication of a good movie, but it is not the fundamental or necessary factor in determining the quality of a movie. In the fourth section, we will discuss heroes and work on identifying the qualities that transform a protagonist into a hero. I will use the fifth section to wrap up my arguments and present them in an outlined fashion.