It would seriously chafe right now to admit that Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola were right, so I’m not going to go that far. They were right in saying that movies bound to the MCU and other comic book movies are in fact dominating the box office when it comes to the big screen. The fact that Doctor Sleep is operating on the premise that it’s going to actually lose money, as Luke Parker of We Got This Covered reports, for Warner Bros. is evidence enough of that, especially since for so many fans this was a dream come true when it came to a sequel to The Shining. But it could be that while the MCU is partially to blame for its mind-blowing performance (sorry Martin but you’re still left chewing sour grapes) there are also other reasons as to why other movies are not performing as well. Has Scorsese seen what it costs to attend a movie these days? The running joke is that an average family has to finance a trip to the theater since the cost of tickets and then the concession stand items is enough to break a wallet if there are more than two people attending a show. Simply attending a movie these days is something that requires enough money to just toss at the theater in the hopes that one will enjoy themselves.
True, that’s not a good enough reason as to why comic book movies are outdoing other movies when it comes to ticket sales, but the true cause of this is something that seems to run deeper than I’d like to get into at the moment. Content-wise movies like Doctor Sleep have the MCU beaten by a country mile, but that doesn’t seem to matter. The money aspect is what people care about since the cost of everything that goes into a movie and the profit that is sought at the end of it all is what’s going to gain the most attention, sadly. It does take a lot of money to make a movie, that much is an obvious fact that is hard to get away from. At this point it doesn’t look like there’s an easy explanation when it comes to figuring out the dilemma of just how any movies that aren’t related to the comics are going to make any money, but if we sat down for long enough and thought it out there might be some way to finally reach a compromise that might work. Dina Zipin of Investopedia might have an idea or two about this. Maybe if the Hollywood elite that make millions to basically play pretend could take a pay cut things might work out. Maybe if those that are making money hand over fist while their crew members are making far less would take a pay cut things could even out. Maybe after cutting costs as much as possible everything could be brought back to center. That’s a nice thought but it’s not realistic. Few people, if any, in show business are going to willingly take a cut in pay for any reason, especially when it comes to a studio losing money. People want to get paid, that’s an immutable fact that isn’t bound to change, and despite how overpaid actors and directors are, yes it’s true they are, they’re not about to forego the millions that might be saved just to insure that the studio can have a better day than they would with a multi-million dollar loss.
I still won’t say that Coppola or Scorsese are right since their movies are great but their attitude in regards to the snobbery they’ve been called out on when talking about comic book movies wasn’t entirely warranted. They get to have their own opinions, that’s very true, but complaining that the competition is outdoing you in ticket sales and is somehow overriding the idea of what cinema is doesn’t sound like adult discussion, it sounds like a child screaming that things aren’t fair. Did they forget that somewhere along the line? The fact that people don’t want to go bankrupt for some movies but will toss money at a theater as though it grows on trees for other movies is a problem to be certain, but it’s a problem that’s plagued humanity for a long, LONG time, and it’s called freedom of choice. People want to watch comic book movies because they’re an escape into a fantasy world where things aren’t real but are so vivid and bright that they get to lose themselves for a while. Darker movies such as Doctor Sleep are still popular and appreciated but unfortunately fall short of the whole vibrant fantasy and remind people that even though beings such as the True Knot might not exist, they do manage to remind them that there are sick people in reality that will target children. Sometimes people prefer the over the top fantasy to the dark reminder that we live in a world that can go very dark sometimes.