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Forums - Discs & Movies - "Mass Appeal" ruining films? 

11th March 2005 7:13  #1

Horatio Hornblower Member Join Date: June 2004 Location: United States Posts: 143
"Mass Appeal" ruining films?
I actually bumped into this topic on one of the DVD commentaries, but thought it would be better suited to the forums, so Ill paste it here. Someone was saying that making movies PG-13 and by using the "Mass Appeal" mentality, studios are ruining the Horror genre. I think this is becoming a major problem in ALL genres, and this is what I replied. What do YOU all think?
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Man, I cant agree ENOUGH about the "appealing to a broader audience" affecting and watering down films. Alien vs. Predator was a great example to use Matt....just look at the original films in each franchise, and you just have to wonder why the studios think that by making a film with "mass appeal" in mind is going to somehow make it better.

And its in EVERY genre nowadays, and happening within well-established franchises. In fact, (and not to start an off-topic debate) theres alot of people that still swear the reason that Star Trek: Nemesis was MADE the way it was---and the resulting poor box office results compared to the previous films---was instead of drawing from the successful series for a storyline, they went for this "mass appeal" mentality and came up with a whole new, somewhat diluted villian for the film. Altho I liked Nemesis, it is another example of a movie that could have been much better if it was made for the FANS, not for a "new, massive audience." And its the same reason that Paramount is saying their next Trek film is going to use a cast that will not be connected to any previous series at ALL. Instead of going back to what works, Paramount is stuck in that ridiculous mentality that by making a generic, standalone film, it will bring in new customers.

New customers will not go into a theater to see something simply because its "made for everyone," they will go because they heard from others thats its a GOOD film. Khan is a perfect example of that.

Sorry to go into the Trek as an example, but its relevant to this problem with studios nowadays and is the reason that both The Grudge and The Ring---while decent movies imho---could have been much better and performed much better if they were made with THE GENRES FANS in mind, the way movies USED to be made.

Anyways, thats my take on the subject, lol. Tongue

12th March 2005 8:53  #2

John Oaks Senior Member Join Date: October 2004 Location: United States Posts: 951
This is what I think regarding horror movies:
The problem is all these stupid "teen" horror movies that they make nowadays. All usually targeted at the teen demographic. What about us adults? I sometimes wish there weren't even any kids or teens in a horror movie. These kids don't have respect for horror movies and they see it more as a comedic genre. Horror is something I take very seriously and it pisses me off when someone starts laughing or making fun of a horror movie because they think its funny. The last "serious" horror movie that I remember watching was 28 Days Later which was a pretty good zombie movie with nothing funny going on. Movies like this is what we need more of. Unfortunately, everytime a new horror movie comes out, there's always have to be some kind of comedy thrown in or else they think that its going to flop and no one will see it.

I hope Romero's Land of the Dead doesn't dissapoint!

20th March 2005 10:52  #3

Worst Nightmare Senior Member Join Date: July 2002 Location: Australia Posts: 6,706 Send a message via AIM to Worst Nightmare Send a message via ICQ to Worst Nightmare Send a message via MSN to Worst Nightmare Send a message via Yahoo to Worst Nightmare Send a message via Google to Worst Nightmare
This is where I think the Aussie system of classification works really well with the M and MA ratings:
M - Not recomended for people under 15 years
MA - Persons under 15 years are not permited unless with parent or guardian.
These allow just a little more scope for film makers - especially the M rating.

4th June 2006 18:11  #4

stanton heck Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,098
Yes! Horror Movies should be "R" rated and not PG-13. Do you think "Porkys","Americqn Pie","The Wedding Crashers" would of made more money if they were cut into PG-13 movies? I don't think so. ( Yes I know PG-13 was not around when Porkys was released in 1982)

4th June 2006 22:31  #5

Darren Russell Member Join Date: June 2004 Location: United States Posts: 208
Yes, mass appeal is definitely ruining movies. Studios looking to fill as many seats as possible, in an apparent effort to recoup their expenses, only leads to some dismal movies.  
Horror movies should definitely be rated "R", not "PG-13".

6th June 2006 21:54  #6

Adrian Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,305
I really don't think "Mass Appeal" has much to do with it.  Would Alien vs. Predator have been any better as an R-rated movie?  I seriously doubt it.  We are just in the doldrums of creativity in Hollywood right now.  Hollywood seriously needs some fresh creative blood.

7th June 2006 1:12  #7

stanton heck Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,098
Well would "Pulp Fiction" or "Kill Bill" be any better if they were PG-13? NO!  Did you know that "Alien VS Predator" was filmed as an "R" rated movie?  That movie suffered because it was edited down.  The over-the top violence would of made it more "fun"

15th June 2006 17:39  #8

Cheddar J. Cheese Member Join Date: October 2004 Location: Canada Posts: 1,492
Unfortunately up here in Canada, it doesn't matter if it's rated are or not, kids are allowed in. So many inappropriate laughs...

16th June 2006 14:37  #9

Adrian Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,305
stanton heck wrote: Well would "Pulp Fiction" or "Kill Bill" be any better if they were PG-13? NO!  Did you know that "Alien VS Predator" was filmed as an "R" rated movie?  That movie suffered because it was edited down.  The over-the top violence would of made it more "fun"

I've seen the unrated version and it is really no better.  Violence and gore cannot overcome a p**s poor script and even worse directing.

19th June 2006 7:31  #10

alex77014 Member Join Date: June 2006 Location: United States Posts: 187 Send a message via Yahoo to alex77014
cinema has so many levels of wrongness nowadays.  it seems that many of todays movies are produced just for mass appeal.  so many of todays stories are dumbed down for the general public.  don't get me wrong...i feel there is a difference between dumbed down and low brow.  I can appreciate low brow when that is the expectation.  i.e. dumb and dumber is low brow...dumb and dumberer was dumbed down.  there's also the problem with redundancy/unoriginality.  we see all these remakes...and it really feels like hollywood has run out of ideas.  for instance...m. night shyamalan's the village would've been a good movie if not for the lame ending.  he threw in a twist just for the sake of a twist.  I had heard of a new movie idea from tyrese gibson...he wrote a script about a black "mr. belvedere."  now c'mon...how lame is that!!!  and avp...that was just horrible...that was as bad as predator 2.  I don't think that a rating change would've helped that movie at all.    

19th June 2006 7:32  #11

alex77014 Member Join Date: June 2006 Location: United States Posts: 187 Send a message via Yahoo to alex77014
another instance was van helsing...man...that move had a chance at greatness...and it so just fell flat.  I remember being so amped up to the see that movie...and when I left the theatre...i felt like I had reseen the village...i left the theatre saying, "what the f***?"  jackman was the only cool thing in the entire movie...and please don't get me started on frankentstein!!!

19th June 2006 14:12  #12

Adrian Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,305
alex77014 wrote: cinema has so many levels of wrongness nowadays.  it seems that many of todays movies are produced just for mass appeal.  so many of todays stories are dumbed down for the general public.  don't get me wrong...i feel there is a difference between dumbed down and low brow.  

There's a very obvious problem with your presumption there.  If movies were dumbed down for the general public, then the general public would go out and see them!  These days movie going is almost becoming a niche market.

19th June 2006 23:01  #13

Intergalactic Ponce Member Join Date: April 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,151
alex77014 wrote: another instance was van helsing...man...that move had a chance at greatness...and it so just fell flat.  I remember being so amped up to the see that movie...and when I left the theatre...i felt like I had reseen the village...i left the theatre saying, "what the f***?"  jackman was the only cool thing in the entire movie...and please don't get me started on frankentstein!!!

What was wrong with Van Helsing could be seen in an exhibitors screening I worked on before the film was even completed. I was looking forward to this film and was interested to see some behind the scenes stuff and unfinished sequences. That was until Steven Summers came onscreen talking about the film and all the cool stuff that was going to be in it. He described these hand held spinning spiked wheels that Hugh Jackman was going to use against the various 'bad guys' in the film (implying lots of Blade-like action, you know... BLOOD and GORE) only to cut the nuts of the whole enterprise by saying 'obviously this will be a PG-13 so there won't be any blood or gore'. Why design a motorised flesh trashing weapon only to then pull back from showing it in action. There we had it. That was the underlying stupidity running through the entire approach to the film in general and as such, the results months later were as expected. Absolute Shoite!

20th June 2006 2:50  #14

alex77014 Member Join Date: June 2006 Location: United States Posts: 187 Send a message via Yahoo to alex77014
ok...then explain meet the fockers...madagascar...adam sandler's the longest yard???  I seriously doubt most of their 150-200+ million state-side boxoffice was due to repeat business.  and i.m.o.h.o. anything jennifer lopez is in has been dumbed down.  

20th June 2006 14:32  #15

adam roddis Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 100
just watch foreign films  from japan or korea because they go all out, thank god for takashi miike and park chan wook

20th June 2006 15:04  #16

Adrian Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,305
alex77014 wrote: ok...then explain meet the fockers...madagascar...adam sandler's the longest yard???  I seriously doubt most of their 150-200+ million state-side boxoffice was due to repeat business.  and i.m.o.h.o. anything jennifer lopez is in has been dumbed down.  

I hate to be the one the burst your own private reality, but just because you don't like a movie does not mean that it was dumbed down or made for mass appeal.  Meet the Fockers was a fairly good comedy and actually did well with word of mouth.  There are people that go see Adam Sandler movies, regardless of their quality.  And yes, they get a LOT of repeat business.  You don't believe me, read IMDB, and you will see a lot of people see his movies more than once.  Don't ask me, I don't understand it either.  Jennifer Lopez has her fans as well and she is nowhere as bad as most people make her out to be.  She just became a culture phenomenon with the whole Ben Affleck dating scene.

21st June 2006 3:30  #17

alex77014 Member Join Date: June 2006 Location: United States Posts: 187 Send a message via Yahoo to alex77014
meet the parents...good comedy...meet the fockers...dumbed down.  waterboy...low brow...the longest yard...dumbed down.  affleck added to her "game."  a star he did not make her.  for whatever reason...she was already a star.  sean combs is a more recognizeable name than affleck.  and in my opinion...it was affleck who attached himself to the lopez star.  you didn't burst my reality.  you haven't affected it to be honest.  both you and I have stated OPINION only.  your last statement could very well be my retort to you.  i.e.  just because you liked meet the fockers...that doesn't make it a good comedy.  like you said...THERE ARE PEOPLE THAT GO SEE ADAM SANDLER MOVIES, REGARDLESS OF THEIR QUALITY.  defend that against mass appeal or being dumbed down.  

21st June 2007 23:43  #18

stanton heck Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,098
Mass Appeal is terrible. Studios make more of them and less movies for adults. Its sad.  

Die HArd 4 is PG-13.  So it can sell more tickets.  

22nd June 2007 22:55  #19

darth raph Member Join Date: May 2006 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 142
Now I do not feel guilty about my rant on the AFI post!

23rd June 2007 3:40  #20

stanton heck Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,098
Mass Apeal is for TV not movies.  However Mass Apeal movies make more money

23rd June 2007 21:21  #21

Ken Murray Member Join Date: July 2005 Location: United States Posts: 156
I think that in some cases, it is hurting the movies themselves. The clearest current example is of course Live Free or Die Hard, which breaks franchise tradition with a PG-13 rating.  

24th June 2007 3:59  #22

stanton heck Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,098
Well I hope we see a huge return of R Rated movies.  SInce 300 did so well and Knocked UP I hope Hollywood will make more R Rated  movies

24th June 2007 8:27  #23

alex77014 Member Join Date: June 2006 Location: United States Posts: 187 Send a message via Yahoo to alex77014
there are pro's and con's to mass appeal.  would i have seen fight club (pleased) if brad pitt was not in it...probably not.  pulp fiction (pleased) w/o john travolta...probably not.  i saw the descent (pleased) just because of word of mouth.  gods and monsters (pleased)...again word of mouth.  the halloween franchise has been done to death...but i'm looking forward to rob zombie's version.  i saw the cider house rules (pleased) because of critic influence.  little children (pleased) because of internet buzz.  fantastic four (disappointed) because of jessica alba/mass appeal.  running with scissors (disappointed) because of the indie factor.  sin city (disappointed) because of the graphic factor/mass appeal...everyone was in it.  300 (pleased) because of the graphic factor and no one mainstream was in it.  40 year old virgin (pleased) because it was r rated.  knocked up (disappointed) critic praise & based off of the 40 year old virgin.  the break up (disappointed) because of mass appeal.  am i even in the right forum?  did this make sense?  i think i'm rambling now...  

24th June 2007 22:25  #24

stanton heck Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,098
Well Evan ALmighty was a PG sequel to the pg-13 Bruce ALmighty Original.  Because of the cost of Evan Universal edited down lots of jokes so they could get the "Church people".  The movie suffered because of it.  

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