Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tuesday Talkback: High-concept bombs

This week's Tuesday Talkback comes from fellow blogger Kristy at MSP:

Can you think of any high concept movies that exploited their high concept in trailers that bombed in the B.O.?

I know high concept is subjective but my friend and I were going over a bunch of movies with really cool concepts and that had good trailers that exploited those and they all seemed to do really well. I find that trailers now I watch them then I turn to my husband and I say "So what was that movie about?" Because they seemed to be about funny moments or explosions but not really the concept which is the reason I go see movies.

Well folks? Have at it.


  1. Mr & Mrs Smith. Great concept... no story.

  2. My Super Ex-Girlfriend.

    Great concept. Great cast. Trailer hit all the high points ... directed by Ivan Reitman.

    Terrible movie that bombed.

  3. Evan Almighty. Most recent Will Ferrell movies.

  4. Uh-oh... now you've done it TL. Call SNAKES a bomb and former studio exec Jeff Katz will be along any minute now to lecture us on how it actually was quite successful. Seriously. Ask him about it on Twitter (@KatzMoney.) It's kinda fun seeing him get irked everytime the LA Times uses it as an example of a bust.

    But yeah, some REALLY good calls here. I'd totally forgotten about MY SUPER EX-GIRLFRIEND. I disagree with MR & MRS. SMITH, though. As I recall that did quite well. Will Ferrel's SEMI-PRO totally belongs on this list, though. And if I was a betting man, I'd say that Steve Carell's DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS is going to stall too.

  5. Every one of M. Night's movies?

    Except for Signs...because we didn't know better then.

  6. MR & MRS SMITH made nearly $500m at the worldwide box office, so pretty good earnings.

    Most Eddie Muprhy films could fit in I guess. MEET DAVE, IMAGINE THAT, PLUTO NASH. Jackie Chan movies too, like THE TUXEDO and THE SPY NEXT DOOR. All high concept movies, but I dont remember if their trailers were great or not.

    Just thinking, DRILLBIT TAYLOR? Pretty good concept, pretty bad movie.

  7. Sorry folks, read too fast and was thinking of films that sounded great from the concept/trailer but turned out to be rubbish, rather than bombed financially.

    Would suggest box office might have had tabloid interest to thank rather than story, but that might just be a pathetic attempt to pretend to be right anyway ;)

  8. A lot of movies with good concepts bomb, but sometimes if you go back and look at the trailers all the trailer only show "ha-ha" moments because mostly likely it's not a good movie lol

    But it seems to me that films with high concepts that actually SHOW that in a trailer, usually do well. Some examples to me in various genres include Taken, The Proposal, Disturbia, Saw (the first one -- I went to see this when it first came out based on a logline ONLY, there was only like 3 people in the theater, this was before it blew up big), 21. I thought Mr. and Mrs. Smith had a great concept and exploited it and it did well. Anyways the list could go on.

    So I guess to answer the question I asked I'd have to go through a lot of old trailers to see how the movies are portrayed.

    I just find trailers to be so caught up in showing the funny moments or explosions they forget to show what the movie is even about. I hate watching a comedy when I've seen all the funny parts in the trailer. It drives me nuts!

  9. Mr. and Mrs. Smith may have made a lot of money, but I found it a terrible movie (I read the script too).

    I absolutely agree with Claire -- no story, just set ups for mindless action.

    I just watched "The Secret In Their Eyes," the Argentinian film which won best foreign film at the Oscars this year. I don't believe Hollywood as it is currently set up is capable of making such a brilliant, resonant film, aimed at adults, not teenagers. And all for two million dollars.