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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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Old 01-12-2010, 05:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: How do we avoid the third act curse?

The problem is that none of the movies franchises were stable for the third film. Either studios begin to tamper with the final product, or the director leaves.

Spiderman 3 - Raimi was forced to add villains and had a hard time making it dark on top of other crap he put in it

Batman Forever - Tim Burton leaves and is replaced by Schumacher. Burton's original script for the film is heavily tampered with.

X-men 3: Brian Singer is replaced by Brett Ratner. Do I need to say more?

Superman 3: Richard Donner was already gone and producers once again ripped this film to shreds.

Blade: Trinity - different directors with different visions had done all three Blade films so it was bound for trouble.

It takes one united vision (and near complete creative control) to create a great and successful trilogy. It's as simple as that.

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Old 01-13-2010, 07:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: How do we avoid the third act curse?

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It takes one united vision (and near complete creative control) to create a great and successful trilogy. It's as simple as that.

^^^

Qft. close thread.

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Old 01-13-2010, 10:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: How do we avoid the third act curse?

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Originally Posted by Parker Wayne View Post
The problem is that none of the movies franchises were stable for the third film. Either studios begin to tamper with the final product, or the director leaves.

Spiderman 3 - Raimi was forced to add villains and had a hard time making it dark on top of other crap he put in it

Batman Forever - Tim Burton leaves and is replaced by Schumacher. Burton's original script for the film is heavily tampered with.

X-men 3: Brian Singer is replaced by Brett Ratner. Do I need to say more?

Superman 3: Richard Donner was already gone and producers once again ripped this film to shreds.

Blade: Trinity - different directors with different visions had done all three Blade films so it was bound for trouble.

It takes one united vision (and near complete creative control) to create a great and successful trilogy. It's as simple as that.
I would agree with you overall. Right now all hope lies (once again) with Batman, as it is the only film franchise currently in a position to overcome the curse. I would like to see a franchise spawn four worthwhile films, but that seems less & less likely. Especially with the Spider-Man reboot. I was hoping that Raimi & Co. could pick up the pieces & redeem the mistakes made with the forced incorporation of Venom. But now we'll never know if that was possible.

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Old 01-13-2010, 10:48 AM   #5
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Default Re: How do we avoid the third act curse?

I hope that when it comes to Nolan's Batman, Warner Bros continues to do what it has been doing so far, letting Nolan do his thing. I will never understand why Sony decided to interfere with Spider-Man after the second film. People say that it was because of Batman Begins, but considering how successful Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 were critically and financially, that reason makes no sense. I hope Nolan prevails, if he does it.

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Old 01-13-2010, 04:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: How do we avoid the third act curse?

I agree with Chris Wallace's theories. Studios need to let writers and directors do their thing and tell a good story.

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Old 01-13-2010, 04:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: How do we avoid the third act curse?

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I agree with Chris Wallace's theories. Studios need to let writers and directors do their thing and tell a good story.
That's moreso Parker Wayne's argument, not that I disagree with him.

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Old 01-13-2010, 06:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: How do we avoid the third act curse?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker Wayne View Post
The problem is that none of the movies franchises were stable for the third film. Either studios begin to tamper with the final product, or the director leaves.

Spiderman 3 - Raimi was forced to add villains and had a hard time making it dark on top of other crap he put in it

Batman Forever - Tim Burton leaves and is replaced by Schumacher. Burton's original script for the film is heavily tampered with.

X-men 3: Brian Singer is replaced by Brett Ratner. Do I need to say more?

Superman 3: Richard Donner was already gone and producers once again ripped this film to shreds.

Blade: Trinity - different directors with different visions had done all three Blade films so it was bound for trouble.

It takes one united vision (and near complete creative control) to create a great and successful trilogy. It's as simple as that.
You're absolutely right. There needs to be less interference, and more stability. I wish I could add more, but you already said it better.

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Old 01-13-2010, 06:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: How do we avoid the third act curse?

I don't know which is funnier to me; that I posted this thread mere days before the Spidey reboot was announced or that it didn't get any replies until after said announcement. I think that the reboot hysteria and the 3rd act curse go hand in hand. I honestly fear it's gonna get to a point where they won't even bother making superhero franchises or sequels anymore; everybody'll get signed to one movie, it'll get made, & then regardless of how that movie performs, they'll scrap everything & start over.
I actually think some people on these boards would like that.

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Old 01-13-2010, 06:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: How do we avoid the third act curse?

I don't know which is funnier to me; that I posted this thread mere days before the Spidey reboot was announced or that it didn't get any replies until after said announcement. I think that the reboot hysteria and the 3rd act curse go hand in hand. I honestly fear it's gonna get to a point where they won't even bother making superhero franchises or sequels anymore; everybody'll get signed to one movie, it'll get made, & then regardless of how that movie performs, they'll scrap everything & start over.
I actually think some people on these boards would like that.

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Old 01-13-2010, 06:23 PM   #11
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Default Re: How do we avoid the third act curse?

I think this thread cursed the Spidey franchise! Damn you Chris! You ruined it for us all!

*runs away crying*

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Old 01-13-2010, 06:37 PM   #12
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Default Re: How do we avoid the third act curse?

You know I dont really blame Ratner at all for Xmen3.

I blame Fox. I think Ratner did a good job for what he had to work with. Ridiculous studio guidelines leading to a fanboy frenzy, a production that was basically in chaos, a tight shooting schedule with brief post production with a nonegotiable deadline.

Im no fan of Ratners at all. Just saying I was suprised he go the film done in the time he did, and I dont really blame him for it being such a disappointment.

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Old 01-14-2010, 07:04 AM   #13
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Default Re: How do we avoid the third act curse?

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You know I dont really blame Ratner at all for Xmen3.

I blame Fox. I think Ratner did a good job for what he had to work with. Ridiculous studio guidelines leading to a fanboy frenzy, a production that was basically in chaos, a tight shooting schedule with brief post production and with and nonegotiable deadline.

Im no fan of Ratners at all. Just saying I was suprised he go the film done in the time he did, and I dont really blame him for it being such a disappointment.
I've felt that way for years.

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Old 01-14-2010, 09:15 AM   #14
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Default Re: How do we avoid the third act curse?

Same here. But for a lot of people, they just didn't like Ratner, and when the film fell below their expectations, it was easy to blame him, ignoring a multitude of factors that very few directors could have overcome.

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Old 01-14-2010, 10:23 AM   #15
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Default Re: How do we avoid the third act curse?

Ratner was a substitute teacher called in to teach from a preset curriculum.

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Old 01-14-2010, 01:16 PM   #16
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Default Re: How do we avoid the third act curse?

well, flame me all you guys want, but I like X3 & SM3.

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Old 01-14-2010, 03:15 PM   #17
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Default Re: How do we avoid the third act curse?

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well, flame me all you guys want, but I like X3 & SM3.
So? I like them as well. Doesn't change the fact that neither franchise escaped the 3rd act curse. One got rebooted & the other went into prequels. At this point I think it's only a matter of time before we see "X-Men: Reborn".

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Old 01-14-2010, 03:42 PM   #18
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So? I like them as well. Doesn't change the fact that neither franchise escaped the 3rd act curse. One got rebooted & the other went into prequels. At this point I think it's only a matter of time before we see "X-Men: Reborn".
what I'm saying is that IMO, the 3rd movie curse, is due to corporate wanting to butt-in their stupid ideas. happens all the time. So, while FOX and SONY failed, I really think Brett/Sam didn't.

plus, it's extremely unpopular to like them

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Old 01-14-2010, 03:44 PM   #19
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How do we avoid the third act curse?
You call Peter Jackson and Paul Greengrass for advice

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Old 01-14-2010, 04:19 PM   #20
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You call Peter Jackson and Paul Greengrass for advice
In their cases they were adapting a trilogy of books, so they had a little bit of a leg up. Of course The Bourne movies are different from the books, but I think it deserves mention still. Greengrass and Jackson also had a really good degree of control. In the cases that Chris mentioned, the studio changed things up.

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Old 01-14-2010, 04:45 PM   #21
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Default Re: How do we avoid the third act curse?

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what I'm saying is that IMO, the 3rd movie curse, is due to corporate wanting to butt-in their stupid ideas. happens all the time. So, while FOX and SONY failed, I really think Brett/Sam didn't.

plus, it's extremely unpopular to like them
I think that's what everybody has been saying.

I think rebooting Spiderman is a dumb idea. The general audience might not know it's supposed to be a reboot. People were confused enough over Hulk and Incredible Hulk.

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Old 01-14-2010, 05:09 PM   #22
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Default Re: How do we avoid the third act curse?

Hell, some people were confused over "Batman Begins", despite an 8-year hiatus.

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Old 01-14-2010, 05:22 PM   #23
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Default Re: How do we avoid the third act curse?

"what I'm saying is that IMO, the 3rd movie curse, is due to corporate wanting to butt-in their stupid ideas."

Very true.

Supposedly WB gave Nolan a list of things they'd like to see in Batman3, but I dont think its gotten to a point where theyre saying "you have to do this".

Thats the difference.

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Old 01-14-2010, 05:24 PM   #24
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Default Re: How do we avoid the third act curse?

So far. Maybe they'll learn from Sony & Fox's mistakes. Maybe.

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Old 01-15-2010, 03:17 PM   #25
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Default Re: How do we avoid the third act curse?

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I agree with Chris Wallace's theories. Studios need to let writers and directors do their thing and tell a good story.
One thing that people are missing from my point is that there needs to be a single united vision to create a memorable trilogy. Do not forget how important the producer is to projects. The producer needs to be on the same page as the director. The producer needs to also see the director's vision in order to be a benefactor in it.

I believe that the producer should suggest their ideas and help the director on creating a solid trilogy, but the problem is that producers and execs force their ideas upon directors instead of talking it out.

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