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THE TIM HARVEY SHOW #3: Hollywood’s Cruel Summer

To be blunt, it hasn’t been a great summer for Hollywood. While 2017 has seen genre success with films like Kong: Skull Island, Logan, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Get Out, Split and, of course, Wonder Woman and some little film about a clownthe summer months are supposed to be where Hollywood’s blockbusters live, and yet the list of big budget genre films that have crashed and burned is not at all short.

Valarian and the City of a Thousand Planets, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, The Dark Tower, Alien: Covenant, The Mummy, Transformers: The Last Knight, Life, Ghost in the Shell… all these and more cost $100’s of millions to make and promote, only to see audiences stay away in droves. The studios are pointing to the critics and sites like Rotten Tomatoes and blaming them for poisoning the public on these big-budget, big-name flops, but are they the real culprits here? This week Mr. Harvey takes a look and asks: Bad reviews, or bad movies?


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Watch The Tim Harvey Show LIVE on SciFi4Me TV.2.




Timothy Harvey

Timothy Harvey is a Kansas City based writer, director, actor and editor, with something of a passion for film noir movies. He was the art director for the horror films American Maniacs, Blood of Me, and the pilot for the science fiction series Paradox City. His own short films include the Noir Trilogy, 9 1/2 Years, The Statement of Randolph Carter - adapted for the screen by Jason Hunt - and the music video for IAMEVE’s Temptress. He’s a former President and board member for the Independent Filmmakers Coalition of Kansas City, and has served on the board of Film Society KC.

2 thoughts on “THE TIM HARVEY SHOW #3: Hollywood’s Cruel Summer

  • Bad movies. It was a pretty poor summer. I thought Life and Covenant were okay, but there were only a handful of watchable movies, genre or not.

  • This was, simply, a bad Summer for movies.

    Rotten Tomatoes has been around as a review aggregator for many years, in good and bad Summers alike. The recent RT innovation that seems to be giving Hollywood fits is the Audience Score. If reviewers pan a movie, but the Audience Score is high, many viewers will still go an see the movie. However, if both reviewers and audience score the movie as a gobbler, most viewers aren’t going to see it in the theater. The IMDB score is another place people can go to get a sense of whether a movie’s worth standing in line at the theater and shelling out $20 per person to see.

    Why were this Summer’s movies so bad? Some of it’s to do with the rise of the Cinematic Universe with it’s highly centralized creative model. Some of it’s to do with the globalization of movie audiences – The Mummy tanked in the US, but was a big hit in China, where Tom Cruise is a major draw. Despite the studios’ complaints about declining US box office, the calculus of profit is moving them inexorably away from good movies. The current ‘sure win’ approach favors moving away from unreliable ‘artists’ and ‘story-tellers’ making artisinal one-off movies toward the coveted production-line approach to cinema, where audience size is a function of loyalty to a studios stable of cinematic universes.

    In short, I think a paradigm shift is taking hold. For all the movies were badly received this Summer, I expect that will accelerate the shift. So while next Summer may deliver (modestly) better than this Summer, I think we may be entering the twilight of Summer cinema.


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