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Old 01-08-2010, 05:33 PM   #1
Chris Wallace
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Default How do we avoid the third act curse?

Nowadays, it seems that getting a really good comic book movie isn't all that hard. Directors seem to understand the material and have the vision to bring forth a quality film, one that is-more often than not-loved by fans, neophytes and critics alike.

And where these crowd-pleasing movies leave off, we seem to be getting (by and large) superior sequels.

But when it comes to capitalizing on that film's success, this is where everything seems to fall apart. Time & again we get disappointing 3's. Even if they don't crash and burn at the box office,

they're panned by critics-the same ones who LOVED the previous installments,

and/or fail to win over the general audience-again, including those who loved the first two.

Why is this? How is it that a premise built around enduring characters that the world has loved for decades, can't strike Hollywood gold more than twice?I thought for sure that the Spider-Man franchise would be the one to escape this pattern, but while it may arguably have come the closest, it certainly didn't emerge unscathed. But it keeps happening.
I do have some theories on the matter; one that I've pushed before is that the studio goes into the movie with the whole "wrap-it-up" mentality. The contracts are all up, we may not be getting another one, so let's tie up all the loose ends and throw in that villain that everybody's been asking for-who we don't have time to develop while we're trying to tie up all the loose ends. And in their efforts to please everybody they end up pretty much disappointing everyone.
I also think that sometimes the studios start treating the third movie more like a business proposition; one that the actors-and maybe even the directors-don't necessarily agree with & so, they come in with less of the luster & passion they had the last time around-and it shows in their performances.
And I even believe that in some cases it has to do with the flaws of the first two movies; things the filmmakers got away with that audiences aren't as willing to forgive a third time. Especially in a movie that feels rushed, pressured & over-commercialized.
Thoughts?

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