Saturday, March 5, 2016

Are the Screenwriting Gods Angry?



Liongate’s theatrical release of GODS of EGYPT had a disastrous opening weekend at the domestic box office. Variety did an autopsy here. The article neglects to mention that the movie will have an opportunity to recoup with its foreign release.
However, why the tanking of this film in the domestic marketplace is relevant to professional filmmakers/screenwriters has everything to do with creative diversityGODS of EGYPT was an attempt by Lionsgate to start a new franchise in a genre market place dominated by the Marvel and D.C. comic book universe. Lionsgate has two huge franchises which have either ended or about to face retirement this year.

The Hunger Games finished its run in 2015 with a disappointing (both critically and financially) last chapter. The DIVERGENT franchise will have it's last chapter play out in theatres this year. Both franchises began as successful book series, rather than coming from comic books by Marvel / DC).
The Twilight Franchise, which originally transformed Lionsgate into a powerhouse studio, was also based on a successful series of books.

Here’s my point – every non-Marvel / DC related theatrical movie that chokes at the box office hurts the chances that any of the studios will create projects that aren’t based on comic books. Now don’t get me wrong, I love comic books, and love many of the movies related to the Marvel and DC universe, but it’s quite obvious that Professional Screenwriters / Filmmakers have the best chance of distinguishing their talents if the field of projects being produced are... creatively diversified.