Is Movie Review Affect the Business?

Anila Jain

Active Member
I always wanted to know is the movie review given by the reviews really affect the audience? As well as does it really affect the business of that movie as well?
 

lucasisking

Distinguished Member
I always wanted to know is the movie review given by the reviews really affect the audience? As well as does it really affect the business of that movie as well?

I'd say film reviews have an enormous impact on a movie's business. Word-of-mouth more so, but it would definitely have an effect. The fact that many studios enforce embargoes on early reviews confirms that as well. If I'm on the fence about wanting to see a film, then a review will swing it.

Some films will always be critic proof however; the Transformers 4s and Grown Ups 2s of this world sadly will do brilliantly whatever; since they appeal to the masses of people who enjoy going to the cinema, but have absolutely no appreciation of film.
 

Solomon Grundy

Distinguished Member
Apart from the blockbusters I do pay attention to reviews. Take Burnt for example...I was thinking about it this weekend but the reviews are terrible so I'll give it a miss.
 

Garrett

Moderator
Well there are some films I probably would see in-spite of bad reviews as I don't always agree with the reviews. But I been getting fed up of with the Bond series and although would have liked to have said I seen every one on the big screen the reviews on Spectre have put me off going to see it.
And although I love super hero films was put off seeing Green Lantern but then found when I picked it of cheap I liked it albeit not great, also Man of Steel.
On the other hand if the next X-Men film only gets 3/5 Ill still go and see it.
 

Fillumgeek

Well-known Member
I always wanted to know is the movie review given by the reviews really affect the audience? As well as does it really affect the business of that movie as well?

Short answer: not as much as in the past. Reviewers can support smaller movies, which don't have large marketing budgets by getting word out. People like Kevin Smith were very much helped by writers in the States and Europe when he was starting out (he hates critics now though!).

The huge blockbusters I don't believe are affected by film reviews. Because they are often targeting a lowest common denominator uninterested in the subtleties of plot or script-writing skills.

There are a million and one blogs and fansites now and twitter has changed the critical world dramatically. Word of mouth carries a lot more weight, and let's be honest in the UK, ask the average punter under 29 and they have not ever heard of the most significant film critics in the UK.

Maybe I am bit too close to it as I used to review three or four films a week for a newspaper. Now I think the 'film responding world' is much larger, fractured, disparate and maybe more interesting. Times change and that. As Lucas and others point out, there are some excellent YouTube reviewers who have 200 - 400 THOUSAND subscribers and sometimes millions of views (in the US).

There is often a connection between a MASSIVE HIT and reviewers though. For example, if Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a good film, with strong characters, an intelligent script and a well defined story, then it will get the FOUR AND FIVE STAR reviews it will have deserved. By coincidence that is also the reason fans will watch it a second or third time (rather than the mandatory or casual one viewing). And if that happens, the box office will kerching all the way to ground-breaking new records.

But it won't be the reviews causing the fan reaction, if you get my drift?


*That was my short answer, so you can why film reviewers are not to be trusted :D:clap:*
 

hippo99

Distinguished Member
The huge blockbusters I don't believe are affected by film reviews. Because they are often targeting a lowest common denominator uninterested in the subtleties of plot or script-writing skills.
Tell that to Fantastic Four, John Carter, Lone Ranger....the Disney studios chairman actually lost his job over the JC & LR flops.
Fantastic Four got very poor reviews & people stayed away. Had it got good reviews there's no reason why the people who usually go watch the Marvel Studios films wouldn't have gone. People stayed away because reviews were very poor.

John Carter & Lone Ranger aren't actually that bad, but the poor reviews doomed them & people stayed away.
 

ViolentReaction

Well-known Member
Those were a shame, I enjoyed The Lone Ranger and John Carter. John Carter especially I thought was undeserving of the lack of box office success. Possibly hindered by the bland name (should have kept the "of Mars" IMO) and the fact the source material had been ripped off itself over many years so didn't seem original much.
 

raduv1

Distinguished Member
Yup we've seen first hand that bad reviews impact how well a film performs. But ( may not go down well :thumbsdow ) i do see a hive mind of sorts on reviews especially now that websites live on clickbait articles and it seems bringing something down has that X factor pull.
 

r1ecn

Active Member
Agree with Fillumgeek. Studios now spend nearly as much on marketing as on the films themselves to create their own propaganda. The general public, as opposed to film fans, don't pay anywhere near as much attention to traditional reviews as they used to. Blogs now cover movies ahead of release which the traditional reviews don't really.

So studios have taken what action they can to to limit the negative effect from reviews.
 

hippo99

Distinguished Member
Agree with Fillumgeek. Studios now spend nearly as much on marketing as on the films themselves to create their own propaganda. The general public, as opposed to film fans, don't pay anywhere near as much attention to traditional reviews as they used to. Blogs now cover movies ahead of release which the traditional reviews don't really.

So studios have taken what action they can to to limit the negative effect from reviews.
But as Fantastic Four showed, sometimes there's nothing they can do to improve the box office.
 

r1ecn

Active Member
Indeed, you can't fool all the people all the time but a good propaganda machine usually helps to fool enough.
 

Courtjezter

Distinguished Member
Tell that to Fantastic Four, John Carter, Lone Ranger....the Disney studios chairman actually lost his job over the JC & LR flops.
Fantastic Four got very poor reviews & people stayed away. Had it got good reviews there's no reason why the people who usually go watch the Marvel Studios films wouldn't have gone. People stayed away because reviews were very poor.

John Carter & Lone Ranger aren't actually that bad, but the poor reviews doomed them & people stayed away.
I am not sure it was all down to reviews cultural zeitgeist also has an effect on it. If Carter and LR had been lower budget less studio tentpole features they may have been more successful.
 

captainarchive

Distinguished Member
Agree with Fillumgeek. Studios now spend nearly as much on marketing as on the films themselves to create their own propaganda. The general public, as opposed to film fans, don't pay anywhere near as much attention to traditional reviews as they used to. Blogs now cover movies ahead of release which the traditional reviews don't really.

So studios have taken what action they can to to limit the negative effect from reviews.
Studios have been spending the equivalent of a films production budget on marketing for decades, it's nothing new or recent. As for using marketing to limit the damage of bad reviews consider the case of Ishtar starring Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty. A negative buzz started even before the film was completed, the studio conducted focus groups before the film was released which suggested the film was going to bomb. The marketing people suggested the studio cut it's losses by cutting the marketing budget; instead the studio spent even more because they did want to upset the stars. The film still tanked.
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
John Carter & Lone Ranger aren't actually that bad, but the poor reviews doomed them & people stayed away.

I thought these two were more about marketing than reviews. I saw the trailer for LR (my usual screening method as I find reviews too spoilery) and it just looked... no thanks - and I normally like a bit of mindless nonsense.

Have since watched JC on a Netflix trial and it was OK but very forgettable - the Jupiter Ascending of its day probably.
 

r1ecn

Active Member
Studios have been spending the equivalent of a films production budget on marketing for decades, it's nothing new or recent.

Marketing spend has increased over time, both in real terms and as a proportion of movie budgets.

$200 Million and Rising: Hollywood Struggles With Soaring Marketing Costs

"In 1980, the average cost of marketing a studio movie in the U.S. was $4.3 million ($12.4 million in today's dollars). By 2007, it had shot up to nearly $36 million."

So it trebled in real terms in three decades.

Average budget in 2007 was $65 million (or around double the marketing spend):
Why Movies Cost So Much To Make

I couldn't easily find the average budget for 1980, but here are a few from the Numbers:

Dressed to kill $6.5m
Lion of the desert $35m
Long Riders $10m
Empire Strikes Back $23m
Raging Bull $18m

Unless the average Hollywood budget was under $9 million in 1980 (and unless you have data that indicates otherwise, I would suggest it was around $15 million), my data shows that marketing spend has increased relative to budgets, from around 25% to 50% during the period 1980 to 2007.

As for using marketing to limit the damage of bad reviews consider the case of Ishtar starring Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty. A negative buzz started even before the film was completed, the studio conducted focus groups before the film was released which suggested the film was going to bomb. The marketing people suggested the studio cut it's losses by cutting the marketing budget; instead the studio spent even more because they did want to upset the stars. The film still tanked.

As I said earlier you can't fool all the people all the time. But a big marketing spend is a case of "he who shouts loudest gets heard". Otherwise the studios wouldn't be doing it at massive cost.
 

captainarchive

Distinguished Member
Marketing spend has increased over time, both in real terms and as a proportion of movie budgets.

$200 Million and Rising: Hollywood Struggles With Soaring Marketing Costs

"In 1980, the average cost of marketing a studio movie in the U.S. was $4.3 million ($12.4 million in today's dollars). By 2007, it had shot up to nearly $36 million."

So it trebled in real terms in three decades.

Average budget in 2007 was $65 million (or around double the marketing spend):
Why Movies Cost So Much To Make

I couldn't easily find the average budget for 1980, but here are a few from the Numbers:

Dressed to kill $6.5m
Lion of the desert $35m
Long Riders $10m
Empire Strikes Back $23m
Raging Bull $18m

Unless the average Hollywood budget was under $9 million in 1980 (and unless you have data that indicates otherwise, I would suggest it was around $15 million), my data shows that marketing spend has increased relative to budgets, from around 25% to 50% during the period 1980 to 2007.
How has the average been worked out? If it's total spent on marketing during a year divided by the number of films produced that year then it doesn't tell you anything. I'm sure a film like Battle Beyond the Stars cost considerable less than ESB but doubt they both had a marketing budget of $4.3m.
 

r1ecn

Active Member
How has the average been worked out? If it's total spent on marketing during a year divided by the number of films produced that year then it doesn't tell you anything. I'm sure a film like Battle Beyond the Stars cost considerable less than ESB but doubt they both had a marketing budget of $4.3m.
The data is an average for studio pictures, so excluding Roger Corman films like Battle Beyond the Stars. Therefore it should be comparable.
 

Fillumgeek

Well-known Member
I thought these two were more about marketing than reviews. I saw the trailer for LR (my usual screening method as I find reviews too spoilery) and it just looked... no thanks - and I normally like a bit of mindless nonsense.

Have since watched JC on a Netflix trial and it was OK but very forgettable - the Jupiter Ascending of its day probably.

Agreed, John Carter wasn't that bad. It's problem was its source novel predated Star Wars by about seven decades - and the masses had no clue what it was. I didn't see Lone Ranger, but again that "property" is soooo old and the studio spent a fortune on it. How old would you have to be as a LR fan, 75?

Some really spot on comments, the critics nowdays just give pre-warning something is really bad, like Fanfour stick four wasnt previewed until 2 days before release in the UK and then embargoed for that two days, Twitter confirmed what it was like immediately.

In the case of Spectre, oddly British broadsheet press seem to be colourblind to Bond. I mean he could have taken a dump in front of Buckingham Palace and they'd give it 4 stars. International markets just want Bond to do Bondy things, with nice tailoring and a British accent. Blog reviews and fan responses have been more interesting that what the Times had to say.
 

Garrett

Moderator
Agreed, John Carter wasn't that bad. .
The reviews of John Carter were scathing???? but when I saw it on TV I realty enjoyed it, although was a little like Planet Hulk and picked the Blu Ray up of it at a reasonable price and looking forwards to watching it again.
An other what looked like to be start of a series like Salt and Green Lantern they may never/wont come to be.
 

Fillumgeek

Well-known Member
If John Carter had been done in the 80s, with some stop-motion animation it might have been a hit. I say might.

No film review ever cost a Transformers movie a single dollar. To my shame, I think I even gave the first one a sort of three star treatment. The first one that is!
 

captainarchive

Distinguished Member
I didn't see Lone Ranger, but again that "property" is soooo old and the studio spent a fortune on it. How old would you have to be as a LR fan, 75?
That's a peculiar thing to say. You wouldn't argue you'd have to be 95 to be a Superman fan or a Dracula fan. I agree the studio spent too much money on LR and they also targeted it at the wrong audience and I don't mean it should have been targeted at septuagenarians.
 

Fillumgeek

Well-known Member
That's a peculiar thing to say. You wouldn't argue you'd have to be 95 to be a Superman fan or a Dracula fan. I agree the studio spent too much money on LR and they also targeted it at the wrong audience and I don't mean it should have been targeted at septuagenarians.

I don't know, Superman was a popular phenom in the 80s, when was the Lone Ranger series on tv? Just seemed really odd, like remaking King Solomon's Mines or Happy Days.
 

Garrett

Moderator
I don't know, Superman was a popular phenom in the 80s, when was the Lone Ranger series on tv? Just seemed really odd, like remaking King Solomon's Mines or Happy Days.
In the UK Id say in the 50 there also was a cartoon series in the 60 which has been repeated quite recently on one of the channels but was treading in Wild Wild West territory with giant robots etc.
Clapton Moore played the Lone Ranger an actor who appered in a lot of cliffhanger serials as a villain. In the same series the ranger was temporary played by John Hart who played himself playing the Ranger in an episode of The Greatest American Hero in an episode My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys. After Ranger Hart went on went to star in Last of the Mahicans as Hawkeye with Lon Chaney Jr as Chingachgook
 

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