Suppose another American company/director wants to try again

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Suppose another American company/director wants to try again

Postby TerranigmaFreak » Sat Aug 01, 2009 12:23 pm

Why must the movie be a big budget 100+ million production? I was rewatching Cloverfield the other day and the movie was well made with a small budget (not sure how much). I heard the Underworld movies were also pretty low on budget and they were successful. I mean, since Godzilla's considered low budget to Americans, why not try making low budget American Godzilla movies instead? They can probably still sell a toyline to go with it.

This is just a hypothetical question. We all know it's not happening either way.
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Postby The Dark Uniter » Sat Aug 01, 2009 12:33 pm

Well, if us Americans can sit down and write a good, indept story that doesn't relay on alot of CGI special effects, I say go for it! I mean granted the 1998 is a bomb and consider to many Godzilla fans as the worst Godzilla movie ever, but I'm sure we can produce a good Godzilla film. First thing's first. Come up with an original story. Then get Toho approval and maybe start an Japanese -American production. I don't think we need American actors and its more natural to have Japanese actors since Godzilla is a Japanese series and no its more natural for to them to speak Japanese whether than English as I noticed that American remakes have Japanese actors speak English. So... that's my thoughts so far! :)
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Postby Gojiraknight » Sat Aug 01, 2009 12:45 pm

When you have a character with instant name recognition like Godzilla you don't settle for a $50 million budget for a $100 million gross. You invest more to make more. Your goal is to make a multimillion dollar franchise that will keep the studio churning for 5-10 years.

Sometimes this strategy works (Transformers, Spider-Man), sometimes it doesn't (Superman Returns, GINO). And the popularity of the established character in question really doesn't have a lot to do with it, surprisingly. I'd argue that Superman is more popular than Spider-Man and that Godzilla is more popular than Transformers. But those pictures respective grosses were, obviously, considerably higher.

Cloverfield and Underworld got away with smaller budgets because they were untested properties. No one expected them to be huge tentpole pictures. And they weren't. It's rare these days that studio will sink way more than $100 million on something that doesn't promise a nice return on investment. And the best way to get a nice return on investment is to have a preestablished property.

Long story short, no one in Hollywood is going to make a low-budget, Spring release Godzilla movie. They'll either go all out or not go at all.
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Postby The Dark Uniter » Sat Aug 01, 2009 12:53 pm

Cloverfield and Underworld got away with smaller budgets because they were untested properties.
.
I have to disagree. Cloverfield was already tested. Like it had that handheld home movie effect that was used since the 80's and more recently The Blair Witch Project, Diary of the Dead and Cloverfield.
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Postby Destroysall » Sat Aug 01, 2009 1:38 pm

After GINO, I'm pretty sure Toho will not lend any more rights, other than them, to anyone in making a new Godzilla film.
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Postby TerranigmaFreak » Sat Aug 01, 2009 2:58 pm

When you have a character with instant name recognition like Godzilla you don't settle for a $50 million budget for a $100 million gross. You invest more to make more. Your goal is to make a multimillion dollar franchise that will keep the studio churning for 5-10 years.


This is what I was afraid of.

I know the invest more to make more strategy, but the risks are also greater. Maybe they could use 50 million to make the movie while another 50 million to promote it. I don't run a movie studio, so I wouldn't know.
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Postby DannyBeane » Sat Aug 01, 2009 3:09 pm

With a 2 year production cycle and a 30 million dollar budget, I think a top notch Godzilla movie could be made that would be a smash hit. Of course the advertising would have to probably be double what the budget was but I think it would be possible.
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Postby StarhunterNebulaM » Sat Aug 01, 2009 3:13 pm

I am sure it would work if done right. Good cast, director and story are key elements to a good action movie. I would say though leave it to the Japanese and remake a American monster movie or come up with a new one. I am sure Godzilla will come out again.
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Postby Destroysall » Sat Aug 01, 2009 3:44 pm

StarhunterNebulaM wrote:I am sure it would work if done right. Good cast, director and story are key elements to a good action movie. I would say though leave it to the Japanese and remake a American monster movie or come up with a new one. I am sure Godzilla will come out again.


I agree. I want Godzilla back but I do think we should leave it to the Japanese. I'm just hoping that they would take some more time with their movies.
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Postby DannyBeane » Sat Aug 01, 2009 4:08 pm

I dunno. Just because GINO was a disaster doesn't mean America can't properly handle a Godzilla movie. After all Batman and Robin supposedly killed off Batman but look at Batman Begins and TDK
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Postby lhb412 » Sat Aug 01, 2009 4:39 pm

I would love to see a co-production. Half English speaking/ half Japanese cast with a bigger budget for a nicely rendered CGI Godzilla you could have an accessable flick.


I mean, Star Trek was fun, adventurous, crowd-pleasing sci fi. I could see a Godzilla movie like that.
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Postby Gojiraknight » Sat Aug 01, 2009 7:33 pm

Hope you all are in a reading mood!

I have to disagree. Cloverfield was already tested. Like it had that handheld home movie effect that was used since the 80's and more recently The Blair Witch Project, Diary of the Dead and Cloverfield.


Cloverfield was a tested filmmaking strategy (Blair Witch-esque "shaky cam") but not a preexisted creative property. The Cloverfield monster had not been featured in any media prior to the release of that film. Thus it was an original property. For example, Schindler's List was B & W, a tested storytelling style. But B & W is not a established property. It's just a filmmaking strategy.

With a 2 year production cycle and a 30 million dollar budget, I think a top notch Godzilla movie could be made that would be a smash hit. Of course the advertising would have to probably be double what the budget was but I think it would be possible.


It's certainly possible but big studios don't think that way. Again, with a preestablished property that doesn't require a lot of audience introduction (everyone knows who Godzilla is and what he's about) a studio will want to get the most bang for its buck.

And really, can you blame them?

After all, you could probably make a perfectly good Batman flick for $50 million. But wouldn't you prefer the $200 million "The Dark Knight", which brought in ONE BILLION world wide? As a fan I know I would and I am positive a studio would as well.

I would love to see a co-production. Half English speaking/ half Japanese cast with a bigger budget for a nicely rendered CGI Godzilla you could have an accessable flick.


A mass audience isn't going to line up for a tentpole movie with half the cast being foreign speaking. Either a.) Because it would require subtitles, which would turn off the teenagers and families who are the bread and butter of tentpole pictures or b.) Because it would be dubbed which, again, wouldn't appeal to a mass audience.


What we have to bear in mind is that studios make essentially three kinds of movies 1.) Summer tentpoles, 2.) Fall/Winter Art flicks and 3.) Spring star vehicles.

Now with the increasing lack of bankable stars the 3rd is going to become rarer and rarer. Consequently the other two will become a bigger deal because tentpoles make the money that keep the studios running and the art flicks provide the prestige.

With a preestablished property like Godzilla, recognized the world over, you are wasting your time and money making a lower budget picture. If you're going to do it, you're going to do it big. That's why we'll likely never see a low to moderately budgeted Star Wars, POTC, Batman, Superman, Transformers, etc. Because the studios need those movies to be big money earners. And the best way to have a big money earner is with a bankable property which you can throw huge sums of money at and know it will pay back in huge profits.

The problem is that after GINO the idea of Godzilla franchise being bankable is a tough sell. This is compounded by the fact that so many in the movie industry only associate Godzilla with cheesy effects. Because in Hollywood, even if a movie is terrible like Transformers, it still has legitimacy so long as it has great special effects.

The Batman & Robin --> BB and TDK analogy does hold some weight. However Batman was a blockbusting film juggernaut before B&R screwed everything up. WB knew they had a bankable franchise on their hands, it just went off the rails and needed a chance to correct itself. Because GINO was the first in the series, and a terrible movie, Godzilla never had the chance to proof himself a bankable franchise.

But bear this in mind; GINO had the biggest opening weekend in 1998. It may have been lower than Sony wanted, but that was only because it opened on a Wendesday and the stinch had already permeated. Likewise Sony's barometer of success (biggest opening weekend ever) was unrealistic in alot of ways because that would require it top JP2, the sequel to a movie that was already huge hits.

Godzilla as a franchise is a potential financial juggernaut. Because really, if a blatantly bad movie about toy robots that turn into cars can make $400 million, than can't a movie about a huge bad@$$ monster that fights other huge bad@$$ monsters do the same if not better?
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Postby kpa » Sat Aug 01, 2009 8:30 pm

ALLOSAURZ wrote:With a 2 year production cycle and a 30 million dollar budget, I think a top notch Godzilla movie could be made that would be a smash hit. Of course the advertising would have to probably be double what the budget was but I think it would be possible.


$15 million per year to cover production would be incredibly low for a studio FX movie in Hollywood. I can't see that amount supporting supporting the crew and facilities needed to make even a decent (let alone "top notch") Godzilla film in America..

CLOVERFIELD had a no-name cast, used some creative tricks to keep the monster and large-scale destructiion FX to a minimum, was made and released in under a year (Paramount approved the film in Feb 2007 and it was released in Jan 2008), and still cost $25 million.
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Postby The Giant Pacific Octopus » Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:32 pm

GojiraKnight wrote:But bear this in mind; GINO had the biggest opening weekend in 1998.


True, but it had the biggest release and the biggest marketing campaign of 1998 to boot.
That "Size Does Matter" marketing campaign cost $50 million dollars (1998 funds. It would closer to $70 million today), and ran for a full year (it started in the spring of 97' and ran to the spring of 98'), so the biggest opening weekend of the year was to be expected.
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Postby The Dark Uniter » Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:07 pm

A mass audience isn't going to line up for a tentpole movie with half the cast being foreign speaking. Either a.) Because it would require subtitles, which would turn off the teenagers and families who are the bread and butter of tentpole pictures or b.) Because it would be dubbed which, again, wouldn't appeal to a mass audience.

Look at Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. That film was a Chinese, Hong Kong, American co production filmed in Chinese and it was widely known as one of the best films back in 2000 both audience and critic wise. I don't think just because a different language is spoken doesn't mean the movie wouldn't have a sells. Most of the sells would come from the fans. Look at Godzilla: Final Wars: It had a International production with Japanese and English spoken so it would be for the mass market. Also, foreign language is spoken in almost every American film in some point. For example, Iron Man. They are in the middle east. The Arabs are investigating Iron Man are speaking Arabic. Another good example is Slumdog Millionare. It was extremely successful in the Box Office and it was dual speakers in Hindi and English. The point is just because it has foregin speakers doesn't mean its a turn off for people to come see the movie.
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Postby walshiam » Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:39 am

Three things that will happen with the next film. It will be Japanese, it will be released in theaters, and it will be dubbed. Of coarse, we still have a while to wait.
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Postby DannyBeane » Sun Aug 02, 2009 3:20 am

kpa wrote:
ALLOSAURZ wrote:With a 2 year production cycle and a 30 million dollar budget, I think a top notch Godzilla movie could be made that would be a smash hit. Of course the advertising would have to probably be double what the budget was but I think it would be possible.


$15 million per year to cover production would be incredibly low for a studio FX movie in Hollywood. I can't see that amount supporting supporting the crew and facilities needed to make even a decent (let alone "top notch") Godzilla film in America..

CLOVERFIELD had a no-name cast, used some creative tricks to keep the monster and large-scale destructiion FX to a minimum, was made and released in under a year (Paramount approved the film in Feb 2007 and it was released in Jan 2008), and still cost $25 million.

30 million dollars maybe a little cheap.I dunno. I still think it would be possible to do it for 60- 70 million then. It would require a different mindset for the production company. I've seen some pretty polished movies with low budgets. It seems a lot of time why they aren't as successful is because they aren't given a proper theatrical release or properly marketed. The movie Outlander had solid spfx for most of the film and had a budget of about 50 million but tanked due to a limited release/marketing.
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Postby Gojiraknight » Sun Aug 02, 2009 4:22 pm

The Dark Uniter wrote:Look at Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. That film was a Chinese, Hong Kong, American co production filmed in Chinese and it was widely known as one of the best films back in 2000 both audience and critic wise. I don't think just because a different language is spoken doesn't mean the movie wouldn't have a sells. Most of the sells would come from the fans. Look at Godzilla: Final Wars: It had a International production with Japanese and English spoken so it would be for the mass market. Also, foreign language is spoken in almost every American film in some point. For example, Iron Man. They are in the middle east. The Arabs are investigating Iron Man are speaking Arabic. Another good example is Slumdog Millionare. It was extremely successful in the Box Office and it was dual speakers in Hindi and English. The point is just because it has foregin speakers doesn't mean its a turn off for people to come see the movie.


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon brought in $128,078,872, and only because it took off on the awards circuit. It wasn't meant to be a blockbuster it was just meant to garner prestige for the studio. Same with Slumdog Millionaire, which made $141,319,928.

That's not tentpole money. That's extremely successful art house fare. For comparison sake, GINO made $136,314,294 and was considered a major underperformer. Why? Because it was a tentpole picture. It was suppossed to make enough money to carry the studio throughtout the year.

The Iron Man analogy doesn't really work. There's a difference between a movie where some minor characters speak a foreign language, and a film in which at least half the cast speaks a foreign language. I just don't think an mass audience will go for that in a Godzilla movie.
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Postby kent » Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:01 pm

While being one of the few who likes 1998's Godzilla and disagreeing with some of the statements made on that movie in this thread, I can see a profitable Godzilla movie being made with, at the very least $50 million. But I still don't think that will do it. It would almost need to have a $90-$100 million budget to bring in one or two familiar actors to make the movie "legit" in the studio's eyes and to do massive CGI work with the monsters and destruction scenes. Travel expenses included.

The 1998 Godzilla movie was profitable. Sequels were set despite that it didn't produce the income Sony had hoped for, but it was enough for them to be thinking sequels. The reason why no sequels were made? Parts of the fandom cried foul and added to this ridiculous campaign that the 1998 film was the worst ever made when more than have of the actual Japanese franchise wreaking of something foul. I know most don't agree with me on this but that's my two cents.
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Postby kpa » Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:37 pm

Kent, Godzilla fandom isn't nearly big enough to make much of dent in a huge Hollywood production. I worked at Sony on the animated spin-off of GODZILLA and also spoke to friends at the studio while a sequel was being considered and learned there were several reasons why a second film wasn't made...

1. The 1998 GODZILLA wasn't nearly as profitable as Sony hoped/expected.
2. Ticket sales dropped 70% in the second week and another 50% by week three. That's hugely negative numbers for a planned franchise.
3. Because of the the tremendous drop in ticket sales, the theater chains told Sony they weren't particularly interested in a GODZILLA 2.
4. The word of mouth from critics and general audiences was extremely negative. Studios don't mind the complaints as long as people keep coming to see the movie, but that wasn't the case with GODZILLA.
5. After the performance of the first film, theater owners told Sony they weren't interested in a sequel. GODZILLA had the widest theatrical release in the US up to that point... there was no way a second film would get that kind of push from theaters.
6. Merchandising for GODZILLA sold so poorly that merchandisers and retailers rejected planned product lines for GODZILLA: THE SERIES despite the TV show doing very well in the ratings. Toho also told me that sales and requests for classic Godzilla products plummeted in the wake of G98. Sony knew that the second film would be a very hard sell to merchandisers.
7. With the exception of Taco Bell, the major ad campaigns (Kodak, Sprint, Duracell, Dreyer's, etc) tied in to G98 had not been successful. Sony realized that another source of revenue would not be available for GODZILLA 2.

Sony had optioned the Godzilla character for a trilogy and had spent millions developing the project so they had plans all along for sequels. They abandoned those plans because theater chains, advertisers, merchandisers, and the public made it clear they weren't happy with the first movie and would not spend money on a second one.
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Postby Legion » Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:48 pm

I wish I could make that a sig, Keith.

Lemme ask you this. After all of that how exactly did G2K find it's way into theaters the way it did?
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Postby Destroysall » Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:23 pm

Thank you Keith!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just out of curiosity Keith, any idea what the story of a sequel would have been like????

Legion wrote:Lemme ask you this. After all of that how exactly did G2K find it's way into theaters the way it did?


I know Keith would have a better answer, but I think that after the failure of GODZILLA, the original Big-G we all know was in demand. However, that is just an opinion of mine.
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Postby Legion » Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:27 pm

Destroysall wrote:
I know Keith would have a better answer, but I think that after the failure of GODZILLA, the original Big-G we all know was in demand. However, that is just an opinion of mine.


I don't think most of the mainstream really could differentiate. Godzilla was Godzilla and if a big budget Summer blockbuster couldn't do the job the odds are the Japanese version that everyone had been making fun of for decades wouldn't have been a huge draw either.

My guess is it was a sure thing because the film was pre-made and ready to go. I also heard something about Sony forcing G2K on theaters by using Spider-Man as a bargaining chip, or something like that.
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Postby godziwolf » Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:39 pm

Destroysall wrote:After GINO, I'm pretty sure Toho will not lend any more rights, other than them, to anyone in making a new Godzilla film.


I doubt Toho is all that concerned with the sanctity of Godzilla - only the profitability. Should a sufficiently lucrative offer come around, I think they'd jump at it.
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Postby TerranigmaFreak » Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:41 pm

Legion wrote:I wish I could make that a sig, Keith.

Lemme ask you this. After all of that how exactly did G2K find it's way into theaters the way it did?


That's an excellent question. I'd like to know about this myself.
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