When the economy tanks, people demand feel-good musicals and comedies. But Hollywood has already green-lit a slate of dystopian downers, in the wake of The Dark Knight. Are these bummer-fests doomed at the box-office?
The New York Times took a close look at Hollywood's upcoming roster of depressing movies and how box office sales could shape up, due to the cold hard recession many theater-goers are experiencing. Will the massive lay-offs and pay cuts hinder us from tuning into movies about the end of the world — simply because we can watch the world collapse comfortably from our sofas on CNN? Will escapism be the next Dark Knight, sales-wise?
Already, less-than-cheery movies such as The Changeling, Australia and Body of Lies have failed quite miserably at the box office, while lighter fare High School Musical 3 and Four Christmases soared after the stock market took its plunge.
Twilight (the home of shiny/dreamy vampires) cost practically a nickel to make, and raked in the profits by touting love and chastity instead of gruesome vampiric blood sucking.
But as many producers are now noticing all of the depressing epic scifi movies they green-lit before the financial end of days are now competing with real life problems audience members are going through. Will there still be love for super depressing scifi movieThe Book Of Eli, a sad tale about a barren post-apocalyptic Earth?
Universal Pictures is preparing accordingly, scrapping a planned Bobby Fisher drama. Instead, Universal is moving forward with the movie adaptation of the graphic novel Scott Pilgrim vs. The World with beloved Michael Cera.
Even the highly anticipated movie adaptation of Cormack McCarthy's The Road was pushed back — rumor has it, because it was deemed "too depressing" by test audiences. If you're looking for a happy-go-lucky The Road, then you may have to rewrite the entire thing or just wait until this whole financial mess passes us over.
So will dystopian fare make way for zombie musicals and or "Oops, My Wedding Is On The Apocalypse" dramedies? Here's hoping, but just keep that Zac Efron kid out of my scifi, unless you turn him into a centaur or something. And let's all keep our fingers crossed that they don't try and lighten Eli as it already has an amazing cast of Gary Oldman and Denzel Washington who were put on this Earth to strike terror and sadness in the hearts of movie-goers.