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Ben Affleck is busy selling his newest movie, The Tender Bar, which simply earned him a Greatest Supporting Actor nomination on the Golden Globes, however a query about one other movie he launched this yr has him talking on why the movie in the end bombed and whether or not or not the director’s blaming of millennials is the rationale for the failure.
The movie in query is The Last Duel, which starred Affleck, Matt Damon, Adam Driver, and Jodie Comer. The movie is directed by Ridley Scott and it earned good opinions from critics (85% contemporary on Rotten Tomatoes) but it surely fizzled badly on the field workplace. Launched on the identical weekend that Halloween Kills dominated the field workplace, The Final Duel ultimately limped to $10 million domestically on a hefty $100 million price range. The Final Duel was one other instance in the course of the pandemic field workplace that movies skewed in the direction of an older viewers are struggling as a result of the demo continues to be apprehensive about hitting their native multiplex because of the international well being disaster.
Ridley Scott, during an appearance on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, blamed millennials for the movie’s failure. The director stated, “What we’ve acquired as we speak are the audiences who have been introduced on these f*cking cell telephones. The millennian don’t ever wish to be taught something until you advised it on the mobile phone.” It was a little bit of a “get off my garden” response from the director who has been very feisty in interviews currently, even telling a Russian journalist, “F*ck you. Go f*ck your self, sir,” after the author stated The Final Duel regarded extra lifelike than his earlier movies, Kingdom of Heaven and Robin Hood. When Affleck was requested by “The Hollywood Reporter” about Scott blaming millennials for the failure of The Final Duel, the actor first spoke on Ridley himself by saying, “I imply, let’s be sincere, who hasn’t wished to say that in a press junket?” (with regard to Scott expletive response to The Final Duel query). “Ridley is on the stage of his profession the place, clearly, he’s utterly unencumbered by considerations of what individuals suppose.” Primarily, if Scott needs responsible the millennials, let’s let him blame the millennials.
Affleck then opened up about why he personally thinks the film failed and his response was fairly spot on as he believes it indicators one thing about the way forward for the film enterprise and the way it’s altering. Be suggested, it’s a really lengthy quote however worthy of a learn:
“Actually, the reality is that I’ve had motion pictures that didn’t work that bombed, that weren’t good. It’s very simple to know that and why it occurred. The film is shit, individuals don’t wish to see it, proper? This film, The Final Duel, I actually like. It’s good and it performs — I noticed it play with audiences and now it’s taking part in effectively on streaming. It wasn’t a kind of movies that you simply say, ‘Oh boy, I want my film had labored.’ As a substitute, that is extra resulting from a seismic shift that I’m seeing, and I’m having this dialog with each single individual I do know. Although there are numerous iterations, the dialog is identical: How is [the movie business] altering?
One of many basic methods it’s altering is that the individuals who wish to see sophisticated, grownup, non-IP dramas are the identical people who find themselves saying to themselves, ‘You realize what? I don’t must exit to a movie show as a result of I’d wish to pause it, go to the lavatory, end it tomorrow.’ It’s that, together with the truth that you may watch with good high quality at dwelling. It’s not like after I was a child and the TV at dwelling was an 11-inch black-and-white TV. I imply, you will get a 65-inch TV at Walmart for $130. There’s good high quality on the market and persons are at dwelling streaming in Dolby Imaginative and prescient and Dolby Atmos. It’s all modified.
And you realize what? I knew it was altering earlier than the pandemic hit with The Approach Again. I keep in mind feeling like, shit, I actually love this film, and nobody’s going to see it. I may simply inform; it’s not going to land within the theaters. Folks don’t wish to go see dramas. Then the pandemic hit, and paradoxically, one of many first few movies that was rushed to streaming was The Approach Again, and folks did see it. I stated, ‘You realize what? This isn’t dangerous.’ I might fairly have individuals see this and watch it, and I don’t should be caught to the previous methods [of doing business].
The theatrical expertise is nice, I like the theatrical expertise, however the enterprise has modified over time. First it was Vaudeville, after which silent photos, after which the talkies, after which coloration, and the radio got here out and everyone stated it was going to kill motion pictures. TV got here out and everyone stated it will kill motion pictures. Each time it’s the identical, individuals watch tales that transfer them in numerous methods [on different platforms]. I feel that’s okay.
Really, the excellent news is — and I don’t have the numbers in entrance of me proper now — however I might strongly guess that persons are watching extra [content] now, and are consuming extra. So, that’s a great factor and one of many causes for it’s that streamers are doing such nice stuff. I imply, the content material is spectacular. Succession? Spectacular! Ozark? Spectacular! Once I began on this enterprise, tv, per se, was okay. It was serial programmers creating content material and a few of the exhibits have been carried out nice however they have been nonetheless one factor and flicks have been attempting to be artwork. That’s not the case anymore. You see exhibits on streaming which can be simply magnificent.
A whole lot of the time, and I’m even responsible of this myself, I can lament it. I went to see one film theatrically. That film was Licorice Pizza. There are in all probability two or three administrators, individuals like Paul Thomas Anderson and Quentin Tarantino, who’ve individuals saying, ‘Okay, I’m going to see two or three motion pictures within the theater this yr, I’ll go see theirs.’ I feel you’re going to see 40 motion pictures a minimum of [released] every year now. When Gone Child Gone got here out [a 2007 film directed by Ben Affleck and starring Casey Affleck], there have been one thing like 600 motion pictures being launched yearly. We had seven motion pictures debuting on the identical weekend. It was actually tough, and I feel perhaps [The Last Duel] would’ve carried out higher on streaming as a result of the best way [studios and streamers] have of figuring out and advertising on to individuals who like it’s actually efficient. For God’s sake, consider this film, [The Tender Bar], I imply, Amazon has an infinite attain. Everyone makes use of Amazon. They could be shopping for groceries, fridges, no matter, however they nonetheless use it and you may attain people who approach. I feel you must adapt with the occasions otherwise you threat turning into a dinosaur, as my youngsters inform me.”
Relating to why The Final Duel failed, I’ll take Ben Affleck’s level-headed reply over Ridley Scott’s extra grumpy response to the scenario. How about YOU?