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Box Office flops from a writer's perspective.

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review,    

There are plenty of flops in the theater and plenty successes, but for those of us outside the system it's a rare thing to hear what the reaction to anything other than a success is Sean Hood recently sat for an interview about such a failure with his recently penned "Conan the Barbarian" remake.

He tells of the slow denial nearing the release date and the disappointment thereafter, "The Friday night of the release is like the Tuesday night of an election. ‘Exit polls' are taken of people leaving the theater, and estimated box office numbers start leaking out in the afternoon, like early ballot returns. You are glued to your computer, clicking wildly over websites, chatting nonstop with peers, and calling anyone and everyone to find out what they've heard. Have any numbers come back yet? That's when your stomach starts to drop."

Then he goes on to tell of the compromises which lessen the quality of the script by saying, "I know that those who have read my Conan shooting script agree that much of the work I did on story and character never made it to screen. I myself know that given the difficulties of rewriting a script in the middle of production, I did work that I can be proud of. But it's still much like doing great work on a losing campaign. All anyone in the general public knows, all anyone in the industry remembers, is the flop. A loss is a loss."

All in all it's a cautionary tale about passing judgment on writers' work (Michael Bay is one to throw the writers under the bus for "Transformers 2", for instance). Most of it may have been edited, tweaked or wreaked by the producers and directors. Typically it's not exactly what the writer handed over and their hands are tied on the matter.

On a side note, this can sometimes, though I imagine rare, be a positive. I've read parts of the original "Jacob's Ladder" screenplay and while a good read I don't believe it would have translated to the screen as well as the altered version of the screenplay did, especially with the effects of the time.

We can only hope that at some point Hollywood sees more of the value that writers have and allow more flexibility and control to the people who are providing them the ideas that are the very seed of a production.

You can read the whole commentary HERE.

Source of the Bitter: JAS

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