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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Super Money

Someone asked about profitability in another entry, so I responded in – surprise! – excessive depth. Then someone sent me this link to an IGN video about Sam Jackson not doing Iron Man 2 over, he says, money.
To quote the quoting of the video:
“I would love to do it. I’m not sure that they would love for me to do it. It seems as though they’re having money problems,” Jackson said with a grin. He continued by saying, “they’re caught up in the economic crisis also. Iron Man 1 didn’t make much money, so they can’t afford to pay the rest of us anymore.”
And so… here is my look at some of last year’s dollars and nonsense…
If The Dark Knight was “just” double the movie that Batman Begins was, it would have been modestly profitable and WB would have had a bad year by most standards.
As I have written before, take away TDK and WB’s “super” year looks almost exactly like Fox’s “disastrous” year.
Iron Man was another case where the value to Paramount was not nearly what it is perceived to be. $60 million of pure profit is great. But if that

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92 Responses to “Super Money”

  1. Joe Leydon says:

    Just curious: Has anyone tried to crunch the numbers to find whether movie budgets are exceeding, or at the same level as, the inflation rate? I mean, if, say, a movie cost $2 million to make back in the 1960s, would it cost, what, $50 million today? More? Less? I recall Charlton Heston claiming as early as the 1980s that it would no longer be financially feasible to make “Ben-Hur” because the exact same movie would cost something like $200 million to make (again, in the 1980s).

  2. David Poland says:

    Inflation makes a dollar about 6.1x what it was in 1969.
    So a $2 million movie would cost, by that standard alone, about $12.2 million today.

  3. Martin S says:

    So between two films grossing about $850 million worldwide, the profit for the primary risk taker (about a $500 million investment) was probably around $50 million, all in.
    Dave – where are you getting 500Mil for Marvel or should risk taker be risk takerS? Paramount and Universal covered P&A/Distribution, plus the DVD costs. By every account I’ve seen, Marvel spent around 300 of their 500 Merrill Lynch credit line. If they spent the full nut, they’d be on the block – and they’re not. This is the core reason Terence Howard and Jackson are out and Rourke got low-balled. Costs have to stay within the realm of the first one because the Lynch line, while being honored, has a substantial shot of not being renewed by BoA.

  4. LYT says:

    Looks like we can expect more musicals!
    I imagine Hannah Montana: The Movie will probably be quite profitable too.

  5. IOIOIOI says:

    Marvel’s low-balling of people is fucking dumb. While they can get away with Terrance Howard, because his performance was apparently the most disliked in all of the first film. It’s ridiculous to not pay Jackson as FURY! I mean, dudes, you had to pay this man likeness rights, and you will not pay him for the movie? Really?
    Do not even get me started on the ridiculousness of low-balling Rourke. It’s all just tacky. Sure business comes before tacky, but get things done. If you do that… everyone will be able to forget the whole “MARVEL IS BEING CHEAP” thing. Before they sit down to watch IM2.
    Oh yeah; there’s no reason why these fucking super-hero pictures are costing this fucking much in the first place. CGI has advanced to the point, that you do not need ILM, IMAGEWORKS, or even fucking WETA to do quality effects. Outsource that shit to the Canucks and Frenchies, and make it for a bargain!

  6. leahnz says:

    why don’t you shut your face, io, you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. and when did you and lex luthor do the interchange? i already miss that obnoxious late-night binge drinking bastard. at least he could talk flicks.
    (and don’t bother calling me a cunt or whatever, cause i don’t give a shit)

  7. Joe Leydon says:

    Leahnz: Do you kiss your mother with that dirty mouth?

  8. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Thanks DP for writing about this side of things however I think when you make comments like this
    “As I have written before, take away TDK and WB’s “super” year looks almost exactly like Fox’s “disastrous” year.”
    the rest of your post becomes nullified. It is what it is. It’s how the books look at the end of the year for each studio. You can’t say ‘what if’ about every studio hit or miss. Whats the point of doing that?
    IO you have no clue. CG is rapingly expensive. If it ain’t ILM, DD or WETA doing it, then you should expect to add months to any other cheapo outfit attempting that sort of blockbuster workload.
    Now go and watch Sky Captain again.

  9. Martin S says:

    IO – bragging rights do not come with unknown VFX houses. Producers and companies want to tout they are working with the top names because it adds credibility amongst agents, talent, and whatnot. It can help sign talent for a current project or create interest on a future one.
    As for low-balling talent – Jackson, Howard and Rourke do not put enough asses in seats to justify seven figures. Jackson’s crappy choices diluted his cred, with SOAP as the cherry. The man has talent, but he’s been overexposed for way too long.
    Also, it’s hard to follow the logic of signing big paychecks for supporting talent and then scrimp on the VFX. People are coming to see IM and Downey. Everything else is secondary. These aren’t dramas, including TDK.

  10. LYT says:

    Is everyone here aware that Mickey Rourke is actually going to wrestle at WrestleMania in March? There’s sure to be a sweet payday in that.
    His opponent will be Chris Jericho, who quit wrestling a few years back to focus on acting and music, then came back to great fanfare about a year ago.

  11. Martin S says:

    Boam – you’ve actually made IO’s underlying point. CG doesn’t have to be this expensive, but because post is perpetually crushed and rushed, it’s a 24/7 workload. WETA proves with projects like The Host, that VFX budgets are mainly due to bad management. That’s what happened to IM and Inc. Hulk; two 125Mil budgets knocked to the 150 range because of faulty timetables. I can’t count how many conversations I’ve had with post people that lament what could have been if not for the rush job.

  12. jeffmcm says:

    Are you saying that The Host was a well-managed movie (that’s what I’m guessing, since it has very good FX on what must have been a relatively small budget)?

  13. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Martin S – yes and no . CG is expensive whether its rushed or not. Studios can’t wait around for a small well managed team to produce the goods over 5yrs. Faulty timetables come from producers who put ignorant buddies in charge of VFX teams and directors who constantly change their minds during post, adding $$$ and time.

  14. IOIOIOI says:

    So I am either an idiot or I have a point? You fucking people are so confusing. I will go and watch Sky Captain, Sin City, Dawn Remake and The Spirit again. Hell; I will go and watch Serenity again, and note the FX houses who made one of the better space battles on film over the last few years, were not big names.
    Leah: Martin works in this industry, and I can PAY FUCKING ATTENTION… YOU ASS. There are ways to keep films under budget with certain FX houses. If you listen to one fucking Zack fucking Synder commentary. You get the point, and that motherfucker lives on a green screen. So fuck you lady, and you fucking love of Titanic. Fuck you both… right square in the arse!
    Martin: It has nothing to do with putting people in the seats as much as it has to do with making the RIGHT CASTING CALL. Everyone can downplay the role of geeks all they want, but people like you are not blabbing about these films endlessly. It’s the geeks. It’s the geeks who talk to their friends, co-workers, and fellow students, and their word of mouth exist. You do not want word of mouth to get out to a layperson, that Marvel is cheap.
    Again; those names do not put asses in the seat, but people can watch DVDs. They can listen to commentaries. They can watch featurettes. They can read mag articles and articles online. This all creates a big SWIRL of BULLSHIT, that engulfs a film before cameras every role.
    Having the attitude that you are CHEAP out there. Does not make you look good. It’s that simple.
    Marvel really do not look good right now. It’s their right to save, but it’s also everyone else’s right to call them “CHEAP.” Which they are, and it will bite them in the arse until IM2 shuts that down, but that’s next year. Do Marvel really want a fucking year of stories telling the world how FUCKING CHEAP THEY ARE?

  15. Roman says:

    “He continued by saying, “they’re caught up in the economic crisis also. Iron Man 1 didn’t make much money, so they can’t afford to pay the rest of us anymore.”
    Show of hands, who thought that he was being sarcastic?
    And Martin, VFX are not the only department where the schedule is being rashed. If it wasn’t the quick turnaround than most movies wouldn’t even be finished in the first place. Not everyone can afford to be James Cameron’s Avatar and take five years to finish the visual effects. And even when they can it can still be a risky proposition in terms of the bottom line because there’s nothing quite as expensive .
    Things can only be optimized so much logistically. Very few “big” directors like Spielberg are so capable that they were Historically able to save noticible cash by keeping budgets in check while still deliviring spectacles and even they know how marginalized these things can be. We can strive to be efficient but fact is movies have historically been messy and complicated enterprises and so loses are anavoidable. But believe me, up until very recently the difference between a $125 million picture and $150 million picture was a minor one and one that studios were willing to overlook (by the way that difference is not just from VFX work but from the related departments too, you cannot separate them if they are linked, especially if it’s due to reshoots or other production based changes).
    Nowdays though, this 10-15% difference could well be a difference between a money loser and a breakeven film. And the studios are more likely to balk (look at Tintin delays). It’s like David said, everyone is living on margins.
    (Aranofsky dealt with similar situation by changing the very scope of his film. The result was a still visually stunning work, done for way less, one a more personal scale that still felt big but, ironically was marginalized in other areas, including advertising. Or maybe it was just too dense. But he DID cut down on VFX work and that DID shrink his budget. The VFX are expensive and if you can’t avoid it. This is why independents stay out of this genre more than almost any other. However, if you take a risk to keep the scale and pick a cheaper vender or outsource your work than you ran an even higher risk of having a crappy looking film, or something that is two or more years behind and that will kill the movie completely (it’s not what killed Delgo but did it ever contribute). Not saying it will always be like this always and optimizations cannot be found elsewhere but it is, in my eyes, a higher risk and not one Studios should take.)
    Still, for most it takes nothing short of a technological revolution to save real dough. Sometimes even those who work in Post don’t understant the big picture.
    Another side of it though, is that technological innovation (or a perceived technological) innovation raises the costs too. Someone does something with it and ups his game and many others have to follow it too. This is especially true in the beginning where the cost of entry is very high (think 3D as one example, the numbers of movies in production versus number of screens, how early the studio jumped on it and how it led to the feud between theater owners and studios. Then ask yourself why they even did this in the first place.)
    This is another demonstration of IO’s shallowness, (also that of Martin and the like) (taking that risk of calling someone out again). He throws big words and places blame but, imo, by and large he just doesn’t get it.

  16. Roman says:

    Just wanted to finish this sentence:
    “And even when they can it can still be a risky proposition in terms of the bottom line because there’s nothing quite as expensive as an extra day of production. Sure there are tradeoffs but, seriously, as a rule of thumb there’s nothing quite as expensive as an extra day of production. Beyond that I would have to be a producer to make that call.”
    And to respond to the newer comment. Nobody listens to DVD commentaries (Roffle). People lie on DVD commentaries (Double roffle).
    On a serious note,
    For every blue screen success story there are two or more that fail (seriously). Most green screen movies still look like crap (Spy Kids). And blue screen does not always mean cheap (Sky Captain). More importanly though, for most VFX movies being made being made in the same kind of all blue screen environment of the kind mentioned above is not really an option. Two extremes (sin city and avatar are too extremy) and most cannot look like 300.

  17. IOIOIOI says:

    Roman: you lack the balls to tell us how much you hate Chud and Devin. Until you ball up there yung’un. You really… say it for me Julianne Moore from Magnola; “SHUT THE FUCK UP.”

  18. IOIOIOI says:

    One more time because I think it needs clarification. Roman; you really got to shut the fuck up. Leah might be a six-fingered Kiwi, but she’s at least clever.

  19. leahnz says:

    apologies for the excessive profanity, my last nerve got the better of me, my bad.
    io, i have no idea what martin does for a living but i suspect my belly button lint knows more about making movies than you ever will.
    ‘Not everyone can afford to be James Cameron’s Avatar and take five years to finish the visual effects’
    roman, i don’t know where you get five years from – if you’re just exaggerating for effect then disregard the following – but fyi, principal photography/mo-cap on ‘avatar’ was completed at the end of summer ’08 (our summer, with some pic-up shots done in the interim) giving digital a less than two year window to complete what is arguably the most mind-boggling complex cgi ever to be put on film.

  20. IOIOIOI says:

    Leah: I know more just about everything than you ever will. This is what I mean: unprovoked attacks. So you want to attack me you one-tited jackylneck? Good. It gives me a reason to insult you, your kid, and your fucking family.
    You act cool.
    We will be cool.
    You act like a fool.
    I PITY THE FOOL THAT COMES AGAINST ME!
    I PITY HIM OR HER!

  21. Roman says:

    IO, do you honestly think that I owe you or anybody else an explanation on CHUD?
    This was just a one off comment and yet another thing that you cannot let go off.
    This is not the place to persue those kinds of things and I can do it via many other channels if I chose too. Unlike you I do not come here for petty bickering, my time is too valubale and I think I owe so much to Poland. You are an idiot if you think I pay any attention to what you write in a serious way and the only reason I even brought up your name is to make a particular point.
    If you do not have the brain to stay on topic and reply directly than just stay out. I am yet to see a single post from you that isn’t about blowing your own horn and is not filled with repetative and needless profanities. Stop talking to me and I will be very glad to ignore you. So just stop.
    Leah,
    As for Avatar, it was in development as yearly as late 05. Years before they started shooting they spend time on developing the technology to support those mind-boggling CGI effects everyone’s expecting. So it’s not just the 2 years you are counting since the end of filming. This is irellevent anyway, since even a two year window isn’t something most can afford.

  22. IOIOIOI says:

    Roman: I remembered who you were… sword and pen. Sorry there mook. I am not going to stop. Why? I proved that point previously. You are being an ass to me. If you are going to be an asshole. Someone should point out; “Hey; you are being an asshole!”
    So you can feel you owe Heat something, but you called out a fellow poster on this blog. If you lack the gumption to back up your statements. You should fucking leave.
    Why? How can we take anyone seriously, that lacks the ability to back up their own statements? You are a coward, you are a sissypants, and you really need to figuratevly shut the fuck up.
    Oh yeah: I STAYED ON TOPIC IN THIS VERY FUCKING THREAD! Until that three-toed Kiwi decided to jump me for no reason, then I had to take matters into my own hands. This is how things work. Remember it in the future.

  23. IOIOIOI says:

    Oh yeah people, remember this: NO ONE LIKES A BITCH! This should the motto of this blog.

  24. leahnz says:

    roman, you said ‘take 5 years to finish the visual effects’ so i assumed from the word ‘finish’ you meant post. the mo-cap tech for ‘avatar’ was already well established at digital, but the innovative 3d is cameron’s baby. to quote that ‘hollywood’ pigeon in ‘bolt’ (yes, i still get dragged to the kid flicks), ‘it’s gonna be huge, man, huge!’ (or a train-wreck, but i’m betting on cameron and the lads to pull one out of the fire)
    and to quote ace ventura in ‘pet detective’: ‘i’m in psychoville and io’s the mayor’.
    don’t mention my kid again you grammar-mangling menace, you are easily the most insulting person ever to have posted on this blog and you talk about ‘unprovoked attacks’? your vile posts a while back to noah, who kept his cool in the face of unspeakable idiocy, were so messed up, i don’t understand why lex takes so much shit but you seem to skate by unscathed. david poland must have a serious soft spot for you. (and did i mention not to mention my boy again? there is a line you do not cross and that crosses it)

  25. Hallick says:

    Am I the only one here tired to the bone and marrow of watching interesting points start adding up to a fascinating discussion just before someone or another apparently goes off their ritalin and turns the whole thread into a goddamn Jerry Springer transcript?
    Just asking in case there’s a better blog somewhere I should be redirecting my time towards.

  26. IOIOIOI says:

    Leah: Heat gets the joke. You seem to think that everything that I wrote to Noah was intended to be taken seriously. Did you miss the ending of that discussion? It was nothing more than he and I busting balls, and it came to a ridiculous end. This is what happens. You seem to not get it.
    You also seem to think that you missing the joke, gives you the right to attack me. The insulting nick to an FX artist has stated some of the vilest things ever on this blog to me, and he did not even throw me under the bus. Yet you took it on yourself to state I am an idiot, and derailed the entire fucking discussion.
    If you want to have lines. You can have them, but I will cross them. Why? Remember: no one likes a bitch. So we should all try to follow Hal, but you had to stir the pot. Unfortunately for you; I am the motherfucker who picks up the pot, throws it at the wall, and says; “IT LOOKS LIKE I JUST PEED IN YOUR OEROES!”

  27. Hallick says:

    “Unfortunately for you; I am the motherfucker who picks up the pot, throws it at the wall, and says; ‘IT LOOKS LIKE I JUST PEED IN YOUR OEROES!'”
    Picturing this scenario, with the final word spoken EXACTLY as you just wrote it, is splitting my sides in every direction right now.

  28. Hallick says:

    And is Chris Burke still alive for a dramatic recreation? Please, please, please GOD tell me yes.

  29. IOIOIOI says:

    If he’s not. I know a guy who knows a guy, and we can bring him back from the dead. It will cost a couple of bucks, but he accepts Itunes gift cards. So that’s something.

  30. christian says:

    Funny how CG was supposed to make sfx more accesible but it seems to makes films doubly expensive and often lose ingenuity by the need to pixelize every part of every fake room. CG has achieved wonders, but it’s become a lazy lazy tool.
    Bring back stop-motion and front-projection!

  31. Noah says:

    Leah, you’re a beacon of sanity in here. Please do not allow certain people to get you to lose your cool. It’s really not worth it. The way I look at it is this: the people who come to this blog thinking that everyone gets their “jokes” or that they’re “running shit” are unspeakably sad. I think we all find ourselves engaged in that idiocy from time to time, trying our best to impart some kind of civility into the situation; but when we are continually rebuffed and have horrible, offensive (and in your case misogynistic) words thrown back at us, my best advice is to just ignore it.
    This is an open forum and sometimes that entails allowing the maniacs to have their voice; it’s just like democracy in that way. The best that I think we can all hope for, though, is that our opinions reach one another while the zealots scream at the top of their lungs. Your voice is one of the best on this blog, don’t let the lunatics get you down.

  32. IOIOIOI says:

    Fuck you Noah. Nice new article, but fuck you asshole. If you want to refer to me. Refer to me. This is the problem with the blog: you and yours think you are better than me and mine, when you are worse.
    The above post is the most offensive statement in this entire fucking blog right now. It’s offensive because a 24 year-old kid has his head so far up his fucking ass, that he thinks a two tongued kiwi is a beacon of sanity. She’s a bitch, you’re an asshole, and Roman is acting like fuck. That’s what’s happening, and you blame me? FUCK YOU.
    Again: the worst statement every posted on this blog was aimed at me. Leah attacked me for no other reason than she disagreed with me. If you support that Noah. You are a bitch. Remember boy: NO ONE LIKES A BITCH.
    What’s the fuck is wrong with some of you. Why are you so fucking whack? Were you raised wrong? This has to be the only conclusion because no one on the nets are as rude and as contemptable as you lot. I guess that I come here in the feable hope, that you lot would change. It seems with post by that 24 year-old fucktard, that you are getting more idiotic BY THE FUCKING DAY!
    Jo Beth: let them know what’s up.
    “What’s wrong with you? What’s happened to you?”
    The idea that you — person not worth of the name NOAH — would post such a post is mind-boggling to me. You really think you and yours are good people. You’re funny. You make me laugh.

  33. IOIOIOI says:

    http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/10020
    AO nails it. I figured there was a reason I liked that guy.

  34. Noah says:

    When you use the word “bitch,” that’s the most offensive thing on this blog. It is a word that has been used for centuries to demean women, referring to them as subordinate dogs. For you to repeat that word in here, on a public forum, and direct it to a woman would be called sexual harassment if this were the real world. I don’t care what you say about me, okay? I’m a bitch, I’m an asshole, I’m a douchebag, I’m a skinny douchebag, I’m a young douchebag, blah blah blah, it’s boring. But if there is one thing that I can impart to you, it’s this: please do not, I repeat DO NOT, refer to a woman on this blog as a “bitch.” Use one of your creative names like “fucktard” if you like, but grow the fuck up dude.

  35. leahnz says:

    thanks noah, i know i lost my zen, the steam has been building up in my head for a while now reading io’s abusive rants and when i read ‘fucking weta’ the steam blew out my ears with a loud hiss and a roar.
    io, i attacked you not because i disagree with you but because you’re an abusive wanker who has been making this blog a living hell lately, and i let you get under my skin like a creepy crawly in a horror movie. i apologise to the other people here for losing the plot in this thread. you, however, are insufferable; your ‘it’s not me it’s you lot’ persecution complex is scary; and to call the OTHER bloggers here rude and contemptible is fucking laughable.

  36. jeffmcm says:

    Hallick, Noah, Leah: you guys are all fucking awesome. I literally laughed out loud at Hallick’s 10:38 post.
    IOI, you’re under 24, I’m pretty sure, right? This’ll make me your next target, but:
    What the fuck is wrong with you?

  37. marychan says:

    I believe that GET SMART is reasonable profitable for Warner Bros.
    Warner Bros is developing a sequel of GET SMART; Warner Bros wouldn’t do it if GET SMART isn’t profitable.

  38. Tofu says:

    “As I have written before, take away TDK and WB’s “super” year looks almost exactly like Fox’s “disastrous” year.”
    This is right outta the Gene Siskel line of thinking. Remove an element, and suddenly it doesn’t work. Well, guess what? It’s still there, and it still works. Taking away The Dark Knight ignores that Harry Potter was moved because of The Dark Knight’s success, and thus would have provided yet another billion right there.

  39. Biscuits says:

    I’m sorry. You guys can bicker all you want. I rarely post here, but I just don’t understand Poland’s basic point. It violates every rule of general economics that I can think of.
    Iron Man made money. Define it however you want. Poland claims Paramount will make less than 60 million dollars on it. I think we can all agree that is significantly undervaluing the longterm value of the property for Paramount, but okay, fine. 60 million dollar is 60 million dollars. Paramount’s yearly financial product is irrelevant. If they want to make another 60 mil, they pay Jackson and the rest of the creative team. And make no mistake, Jackson is now part of the creative team. The rest of Paramount’s financial year is completely, undeniably irrelevant. If they want to risk it with another creative team, if they want another Jaws II situation (although granted, it could always pay off and become a 2 Fast 2 Furious, but therein lies the risk) then they can hire whoever they want as Nick Fury. If not, pay the man. If you didn’t want to pay the man, don’t hire him as an almost completely irrelevant post-credits cameo. I mean, I have zero sympathy for those suits at Marvel right now.
    And trying to present the situation macro-economically in the context of Paramount’s “overall year” is such an absurdly specious argument that I can’t even begin to understand it. Paramount’s relative success or failure outside of Iron Man is so unrelated to the negotiations over Iron Man 2 itself that even bringing it up is so laughably misguided and misdirected I don’t even know where to start. And this is coming from a guy who repeatedly chastises Nikki Finke as a reporter who just regurgitates her sources’ opinions. I mean, that’s like claiming Warners can’t afford to give Chris Nolan a raise for Batman 3 because WB just had to lay off some of their employees.
    Seriously? That’s your position? Honestly? You honestly want to call out Samuel L. Jackson for holding out for his payday? You honestly think a 250K offer to Mickey Rourke as one of the two principle villains in what will be a 500K worldwide BO grosser at the absolute minimum is fair market value? Okay, fine, tell Brad Grey or Maisel or whoever is selling you that line of bullshit hello and thanks for the nice lunch and call it a day, man.

  40. Biscuits says:

    And by the way, I know that Marvel and not Paramount is the entity that will be paying Jackson and Favreau and Downey and the rest of them. I’m just illustrating a basic economic principle, which is that this statement…
    “Iron Man was another case where the value to Paramount was not nearly what it is perceived to be. $60 million of pure profit is great. But if that

  41. jeffmcm says:

    This is the thing –
    If Nick Fury isn’t in Iron Man 2, 90% of the people who see it aren’t going to care. And that 10% who do care are the hard-core fanboy crowd, who’ll still see it anyway.
    They can’t lose Downey, obviously. It would be tough for them to lose Favreau, and they don’t want to lose Paltrow. But those are the only talent that they need to keep (which is why they could comfortably swap out Howard). But it’s not like Nick Fury is Alfred to Iron Man’s Batman, or Lois to his Superman.
    The rest? Not a big deal.

  42. Joe Leydon says:

    With all due respect to Sam Jackson — unless Marvel has done some massive revisionist tinkering with the “Avengers” mythos over the years, Nick Fury really had nothing to do with the original assembling of super heroes. At the time the first “Avengers” team united — Thor, Hulk (briefly), Iron Man, Ant Man/Giant Man, Wasp and, eventually, Captain America — Nick Fury, a WWII vet, was busy with his SHIELD organization, fighting the bad guys of HYDRA. Now, I haven’t read the comics in decades, and for all I know, they’ve gone all “Batman Begins” and reformulated the basic “Origin” story. But — again, apologies to Mr. Jackson — I can see where Marvel might feel they can very easily go ahead without him.

  43. Joe Leydon says:

    Add to above: Might this be why Tony Stark, not Nick Fury, appears at the end of the last Hulk movie?

  44. The Big Perm says:

    “If they want to make another $60 mil they pay Jackson?” Jeff is right, no one’s going to see Iron Man for Jackson. He may be a very nice plus, but he’s not the draw.
    $250,000 is probably more than Rourke has been paid for anything in awhile. So while he’d be in a huge movie, they’re not selling it on his name. I’d love him to do it, because he’s always greatand seeing him and Downey together would be a lot of fun. But is he really worth, say, a million bucks?

  45. hcat says:

    David might be forgetting that the whole reason these films were put into existance is to sell lunchboxes and sleeping bags. While Universal took a bath on the first Hulk film, Marvel made out like a bandit merchindising those Hulk Hands. Some factory in backwater asia is probably setting up the mold right now to make the two million plastic Thor Hammers that will be gracing Target and Wal-Mart shelves next summer.
    Not forgetting the cheap direct to video cartoons and probable increase in comic book sales, any money these films make for Marvel is gravy. The movies simply act as a very expensive PR campaign for the properties.

  46. Joe Leydon says:

    HCAT: I wish they would have had all these properties back in the ’70s. Then I might have been able to purchase a Francois Truffaut action figure for Close Encounters of the Third kind.

  47. IOIOIOI says:

    Noah: Fuck you, bitch. Remember: No one likes a DOUCHEY NOAH!
    Jeff: I am trying to figure out what in the fuck is wrong with you? Seriously; how fucking daft are some of people, and why are you so daft?
    Leah: Under your skin? I have barely had 10 interactions with you on this blog in the last 4 years. So please get a fucking handle on your situation.
    Biscuits: Indeed.
    Joe: You obviously do not pay attention. They are called the ULTIMATES aka THE AVENGERS. They were assembled by Nick Fury (Who Marvel BASED ON SAM JACKSON AND PAID HIM LIKENESS RIGHTS) in order to take down the Hulk. Who was actually being controlled by Loki. It’s right there on the Wikipedia.
    So Marvel are deciding to CHEAP OUT on a guy, that they as a COMIC BOOK ENTITY BASED THIS VERSION OF NICK FURY ON! Do any of you troglodytes understand how monumentally cheap this is? Seriously; Marvel are acting like a bunch of cheap fucks. If they do not want the word to get around to the laypeople. They better fucking spend the money in order to make money. That’s how it works. Who MARVEL are ignoring this fact remains a mystery like Jeff McMahon’s diet.

  48. hcat says:

    I would buy a line of famous director action figures, especially if I could pull a cord on Blake Edwards and hear him say “and then the waiter gets pushed into the pool.”
    But what I would really like to see on the market are sets of baseball-like cards with original movie poster art on them. Throw some basic stats and cast names on the back and sell them ten to a pack with a stick of gum. Since DVD covers favor the floating heads of the cast some really strong work is getting lost. Think of the excitement of tearing open a pack and exclaiming “I got a Saul Bass!!!”

  49. hcat says:

    IOIOIO- Joe said right in his post that he was simply remembering the original avengers and wasn’t aware of any revamp. That someone of his, um, maturity would not be up to date of the workings of the Marvel Universe is hardly shocking. I am sure that 80% of the people that went to see Iron Man are not comic collectors and will hardly notice or care if Jackson isn’t around for the sequals.
    And I asked this before to the Marvel purists out there. Isn’t Downey’s Tony Stark a departure from the comics? I only have a slight familiarity I have with the comic but Stark always came off as more of a driven Hard-Ass than a millionare play-boy. Yes the booze is still there but wasn’t he darker in the comics. Not complaining because the movie was fun but this is the sort of thing comics fans seem to harp on and was wondering why I haven’t heard a single complaint.

  50. Hallick says:

    “AO nails it. I figured there was a reason I liked that guy.”
    In that same discussion, David Denby seemed to be nailing his foot to his mouth. What in God’s green hell was he talking about in regards to Benjamin Button? He seemed angered by the fact that the movie chose to follow the story of a man aging backwards than the “richer” story of people just aging like they usually do. I can understand critics taking the film’s conceit to task for falling short of its own aspirations (e.g., Benjamin’s too much of a cypher, he doesn’t show any growth as a personality, there isn’t much chemistry between the leads, etc); but getting offended by a fantastical idea in and of itself seemed doddering on his part, if not plain crotchety. Does Denby have any capacity whatsoever to process the “what if…?” ideas in movies?

  51. David Poland says:

    Biscuits… you can’t look at just the micro or the macro… you need to keep in mind that both are in play all the time.
    You can try to avoid my point all you like, but there is a huge difference between owning a $600 million grosser and getting paid a distribution fee on a $600 million grosser. The whole point of the tentpoles were to create room for everything else under that tent… like the losses.
    Would it be better for Paramount to NOT have had Iron Man? No. Duh. But does it indicate that the studio had a truly great year? No. Duh. And the same with Indiana Jones and the same with Kung Fu Panda.
    Moreover, there are opportunity costs associated with making money just on distribution and not having your own product being built in-house. The studio has lost its main driver in the Gray era, DreamWorks. So what now? The answer will be seen in Stra Trek and GI Joe.
    And hcat, while I know that the merchandising matters, the Hulk hands didn’t sell this year like they did the first time around. Not close… since they were no longer a new (brilliant) gimmick. There are certainly examples where the merchandise changes the equationin a big way. But there were surely more Iron Man toys sold than Hulk this year. And still, not what Marvel is selling to its investors.

  52. Joe Leydon says:

    I bet Mickey Rourke makes more than $250,000 for appearing at Wrestlemania — which is, quite literally, front-page news here in Houston today.
    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/hoffman/6233483.html

  53. hcat says:

    While the Hands did not sell as many this time around Marvel did publicly say that merchandising was the reason they were going back to the Hulk well so soon after the initial debacle.
    I agree that is not only what Marvel is selling to investors, and this is getting off the topic which was actually about Paramount, but when you are speaking about the investment in the movies and the potential returns from that investment I was saying that all the revenue streams need to be taken into account.
    Just as Cars did not do the Box Office of, for example, Monsters Inc., it was a more profitable property due to the merchindising that is still selling well three years after it’s release.

  54. christian says:

    IO, why do you come here? You hate everybody, you bring nothing to the table but hate, and you act like you’re 18 going on 15. Why not go hang at AICN so you can vent your Sternisms all day and night? Noah called you out and took you home. In your sad little boy parlance, NO ONE LIKES A BITCH. That would be you.
    As for Warner Brothers, here’s Harlan Ellison to break it down for you David:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj5IV23g-fE

  55. storymark says:

    The cloth Hulk hands last year weren’t nearly as cool as the rubber ones from the first flick.

  56. Roman says:

    In that same discussion, David Denby seemed to be nailing his foot to his mouth. What in God’s green hell was he talking about in regards to Benjamin Button? He seemed angered by the fact that the movie chose to follow the story of a man aging backwards than the “richer” story of people just aging like they usually do. I can understand critics taking the film’s conceit to task for falling short of its own aspirations (e.g., Benjamin’s too much of a cypher, he doesn’t show any growth as a personality, there isn’t much chemistry between the leads, etc); but getting offended by a fantastical idea in and of itself seemed doddering on his part, if not plain crotchety. Does Denby have any capacity whatsoever to process the “what if…?” ideas in movies?”
    Hallick, some people just don’t get it. Roger Ebert didn’t get it either. In their minds, these people are so inflexible that they cannot understand the merits of the current premise and therefore refuse to accept it at all. By comparing it to another “hypothetical” movie and calling that movie “better” they totally miss out on everything that’s good about what they are seing now. And their reasons are often so shallow that it makes you wonder how these people became critics in the first place.

  57. polarbear2 says:

    If Marvel is just in it for the merchandising, then how come there was damn all Iron Man merchandise on the shelves last summer? There was loads of Hulk crap, but not a single R. Downey Jr. action figure.
    And why is there outrage about them shortchanging Mickey Rourke. We don’t even know what character he is supposed to play, so why is he suddenly the only actor under consideration? There are always dozens of other actors out there who are just as good, and a lot cheaper. If they want Oscar caliber prestige, why not hire Michael Shannon and Richard Jenkins to play the bad guys.
    Two years ago these outraged fans would have been pissed off at Marvel for going bargain basement with RDJr., instead of paying top dollar for Tom Cruise. That turned out all right in the end, didn’t it?

  58. Jeremy King says:

    You know what I hate in a message board that is mostly populated by angry men? When there is one woman who posts, and gets in the same petty name-calling argument about bullshit that has happened a million other times in other threads, and half the dudes on the board swoop in to defend her like they’re fucking Prince Valiant or something. Newsflash: Lowering yourself to calling another dude a “cunt” is stupid and mindless, and lowering yourself to calling a woman a “bitch” is stupid and mindless, and one is not more enlightened or acceptable than the other, so save the fucking “Don’t worry pretty lady I’LL defend you!” horseshit please.

  59. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    OT: Jeremy thats a pretty fair assessment. When I see that sort of unnecessary defending, I always think of those ‘angry men’ who protest loudly about sin and then in their alone time, manhandle prostitutes and later flagellate themselves raw watching the sickest most degrading porn imaginable.
    Another thread derailed.

  60. jeffmcm says:

    How is my diet related to anything? INSULTS HAVE TO BE RELEVANT TO MAKE SENSE.

  61. leahnz says:

    to jeremy king and jbd, who agreed with him (both of whom just derailed this thread again):
    checking in briefly post-carnage, since i am the ‘one woman’ in question (even tho i’m not the only female who posts here) i feel compelled to say: only one person entered the fray with io and i and that was noah, and the reason he did so is because i used him as an example of someone who io had abused recently and io denied it, trying to make light of it like i was the unreasonable one, so noah stepped in to try to calm me down and call out io on his bullshit.
    nobody ‘swooped in’ to defend me, most of the people here either know i can take care of myself or couldn’t give a crap, which is fine by me. no one called anyone a ‘cunt’; if you bother to actually read comments instead of skimming, i said to io, ‘don’t bother calling me a cunt’ because io has called me and others that name many a time and it’s old hat (and to be honest it doesn’t even bother me, maybe it’s a cultural thing).
    if you actually read the comments, any other posts were directed at io, not in my defence but about his general ongoing vileness and psychotic behaviour here; if anyone so much as breathes at io the wrong way it’s ‘go time’ for him, like a paranoid, foul-mouthed kid in the sandbox. i’ll also point out that the reason i got really incensed is because io brought my kid into it, proclaiming he was going to insult my boy, which is beyond the pale. i don’t know if either of you are parents, but if so, think about it.
    finally, there are many instances of people coming to the aid of male commenters in io’s line of fire, it has nothing to do with gender or chivalry, just people sticking up for one another, sick of io’s seething tirades. so both your comments are misplaced (apart from the derailment of the thread, which was my doing, i admit; i snapped, but it’s not like i make a habit of venting my spleen on other bloggers here) and noah doesn’t deserved to get thumped for trying to calm me down, so lay off.

  62. IOIOIOI says:

    Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah.
    Christian: I asked the same of you during the primary last year. Remember how you acted Secretary of State fan? Whose her boss now?
    Hcat: Downey’s Stark is very much in line with recent incarnations of the character. He’s the more modern version of Iron Man. Which is a good thing.
    The merchandising in terms of toys are now saddled with Hasbro. Who seem to be going out of their way to piss off the collectors who buy these toys, and even the little kids who would like quality figures. Except the Hasbro figures suck ass. So the merchandising end for Marvel on these movies is going to be pegwarmer heavy over the next few years.

  63. Gus Petch says:

    Roman, I’m glad you pointed out Ebert’s clueless critique of Benjamin Button, which, like Denby’s, boils down to “but people can’t age backwards!” This is from someone who’s praised movies about time travel, elves, gorgeous women falling for schlubby unsuccessful guys, and thousands of other impossibilities. There are faults with Benjamin Button, but “people can’t age backwards” isn’t one of them.

  64. jeffmcm says:

    Ebert also seems to have forgotten the concept of ‘metaphor’.

  65. Tofu says:

    If Marvel is just in it for the merchandising, then how come there was damn all Iron Man merchandise on the shelves last summer?

    Two years ago these outraged fans would have been pissed off at Marvel for going bargain basement with RDJr., instead of paying top dollar for Tom Cruise.

    Your bizarro world is a frightening one.

  66. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Leah, I didn’t mean to cause offense.
    Just wanted to point out that you didn’t need defending. Some of it was because you were a woman and whether you’ve noticed it or not, there actually has been some borderline pandering to you on this blog. Which when you think about it, is kinda more insulting than IOs insane hot air rants.
    How’s Miramar weather today?
    Okay, lets all get back to Hulk Hands discussion ; )

  67. IOIOIOI says:

    Thing hands were better.

  68. christian says:

    “Christian: I asked the same of you during the primary last year. Remember how you acted Secretary of State fan? Whose her boss now?”
    In your Kos-like parsing, you forget that I did not support Clinton as a candidate, but didn’t like the ugly snark that was passing for criticism. My posts and my blog show that repeatedly. And why should my complaints about your weird “liberal” misogyny prevent me from coming here? Unlike some, I don’t scream in caps to cleverly and incessantly tell anybody here to “fuck off douchebag” if we disagree.

  69. EthanG says:

    Here is what is utterly ridiculous about DP’s contention that reviews don’t matter and that Fox didn’t have a terrible year. DVD sales. DP talks about the importance of DVD sales, but never actually looks at any figures.
    And folks, there’s no denying it. Fox’s for 2008 (excluding possibly the animated Horton and Marley and Me) are absolutely dreadful. If your film has bad reviews, a lot of people may see it, but fewer people are likely to ever by or rent the DVD. Don’t believe me? Let’s look at the figures:
    First off, I do have to admit that the shiteous Alvin and the Chipmunks sold a bundle in 2008, and that it made the top 5 overall.
    Even Horton, the #10 film of 2008, suffered because of its dismal DVD release date (anyone heard of a little film called “The Dark Knight”) and is #18 for 2008 on DVD with $63 million. Profitable? Yes. But the fact Fox’s top DVD of 2008 overall among films released (again excluding Marley for now) was number 18…uhhh….yeah that’s telling.
    Fox’s number 3 selling DVD? 27 Dresses, which again overperformed despite the reviews…further evidence that the majority of female moviegoers are in need of a lobotomy. But this movie has only sold 43 million on DVD…and is 25th for the year.
    The next title? Jumper at #42, underperforming its theatrical release by quite a bit.
    So what happened to Fox’s moderate releases? The vaunted “What Happens In Vegas” is at under $30 million in DVD sales.
    Likewise “The Happening” is below $30 mil, while “Nim’s Island” and “Meet the Spartans” are at under $20 million and $15 million respectively.
    So while DP has taken up the fashionable cause of trying to tear down Hollywood box office stories, the cold stats show something different. While winter DVD releases could skew differently, Fox is a distant…and I mean DISTANT 6th in DVD sales from 2008. Warners, despite the supposedly not so “big difference” in box office, absolutely pulverizes it.

  70. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    OT: Christian is your site is Technicolor Dreams? I may dislike you on occasion here but I dig much of you and your site, if that makes any sense.

  71. IOIOIOI says:

    Christian: it’s an honest response to shitty responses. If you do not get that people curse one another out. You have your own website. Good for you, dawg.

  72. Roman says:

    “Roman, I’m glad you pointed out Ebert’s clueless critique of Benjamin Button, which, like Denby’s, boils down to “but people can’t age backwards!” This is from someone who’s praised movies about time travel, elves, gorgeous women falling for schlubby unsuccessful guys, and thousands of other impossibilities. There are faults with Benjamin Button, but “people can’t age backwards” isn’t one of them.”
    Thank you Gus. I agree with you completely. And thank you for something up his reaction so concisely This joins such other idiotic reviews like “A.I.” (but robots cannot feel!) and some others I’m forgetting.
    I have an unrelated question for people who might know this. Does anyone know why Harvey Weinstein is never nominated for movies he supposedly produces? What was special about the year he was nominated and won for “Shakespear in Love” as opposed to now?
    By this way, this question in no way advates that Harvey should be nominated. I’m just interested in knowing the answer.

  73. christian says:

    Aris and mystery: I hope you’re never accidently picked up and sent to one of our lawless foreign prisons by our government:
    “Kuwaiti-born Mr Masri was seized close to the Macedonian border as he headed towards Albania following what he has described as a row with his wife in Germany. After being held for three weeks in the Macedonian capital, Skopje, Mr Masri says he was beaten, handcuffed, blindfolded, drugged, and flown to a CIA prison in Afghanistan.
    Mr Masri alleges he was held in Afghanistan for five months, often in solitary confinement, while US agents interrogated him. He says he was beaten frequently, and told he was being held in “a country without laws”.
    Eventually, the Washington Post has reported, the CIA concluded they had simply made a mistake, and Mr Masri was returned to the Balkans, dumped close to where he was found, and eventually made his way back to Germany.”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4502986.stm

  74. christian says:

    Oops. Wrong thread.
    Yes, JBD, Technicolor Dreams is all me. And I do it for free;] Thank you for the shout-out. To quote Stuntman Mike, “You’re all right in my book!”

  75. Bob Violence says:

    Does anyone know why Harvey Weinstein is never nominated for movies he supposedly produces? What was special about the year he was nominated and won for “Shakespear in Love” as opposed to now?

    Because he’s almost always credited as executive producer and executive producers aren’t eligible for the Best Picture award. He had a producer credit on Shakespeare in Love.

  76. Roman says:

    That’s exactly what I thought. Thanks for confirming it, Bob.

  77. EthanG says:

    I’m so sorry I can’t drop this. When the top two Warner Brothers films outgross the top 8 Fox films on Dvd, it is not a small difference we are speaking of. Yes you can subtract one movie all you want…but you do the same to Alvin and the Chipmunks and you get almost the same result as taking “TDK” out of DVD sales. And Alvin and his furry, fuzzy friends do not have the box office clout of the Bat. But taking both films out essentially leaves the studios with the same DVD advantage. Another reason why, even taking TDK out of the equation, Fox had a damn bad year in comparison.

  78. Leah, you’re the best.
    It’s too hot to think though so my question is… how many people were really attached to Sam Jackson after his one-minute after-credits cameo, really?

  79. IOIOIOI says:

    Ethan: word. This is just how Heat works. He loves the fuzzy math. It gets him through the night. Those wonderful freakin nights.

  80. Triple Option says:

    I’m not speaking out of any specific context previously discussed here, but I can see why The Dark Knight would be removed when in comes to discussing or analyzing WB fiscal year performance. You wouldn’t remove as kinda “well, no, you got lucky that doesn’t really count” but because the numbers are so extraordinary, you would set it aside to valuate on it’s own. It’s not just knocking off the high and low and working w/median values. In the case of doing say a regression analysis or a film library valuation or future earnings projection, you don’t want an induplicable (???what

  81. jeffmcm says:

    Christian: “I don’t scream in caps to cleverly and incessantly tell anybody here to “fuck off douchebag” if we disagree.”
    IOI: “it’s an honest response to shitty responses.”
    Life is hard, isn’t it?

  82. storymark says:

    “If Marvel is just in it for the merchandising, then how come there was damn all Iron Man merchandise on the shelves last summer? There was loads of Hulk crap, but not a single R. Downey Jr. action figure….
    Two years ago these outraged fans would have been pissed off at Marvel for going bargain basement with RDJr., instead of paying top dollar for Tom Cruise. ”
    Very wrong on both counts. There were plenty of Iron Man and RDjr toys out on the shelves. Don’t know where you were looking, but there were a LOT.
    And a couple years ago, Cruise was attatched to the role, and the fans were very much against it. The casting of RDjr went over very well amongst that set.

  83. IOIOIOI says:

    Story: it’s difficult to explain these things to these folks. They simply do not get this genre of film.
    Jeff: this is why anyone who defends you is obviously wastomg their time. You constantly through in these psychological jab, that demonstrate how out of sorts you are. Seriously man, you need a check up from the neck up with the quickness. Go get a handle on your situation.

  84. The Big Perm says:

    Call him fat, IO!

  85. jeffmcm says:

    I’m sorry for all the people who have been wastomg their time.
    PS: IOI, you’re NOT BRITISH (‘out of sorts’).

  86. storymark says:

    Hate to tell ya, Jeff, but I’ve heard that phrase from a number of non-brits. Hell, untill you complained about it a couple weeks back, I’d never even heard to it referred to as a (capitol-B)”British” phrase. I think it’s safe to call that one just a phrase.

  87. jeffmcm says:

    Yeah, I know. Kneejerk reaction, but he does pepper his conversation with plenty of other affectations.

  88. David Poland says:

    It’s fascinating that the only stats you seem anxious to argue are negative (often minor) ones about Fox, EthanG.
    I assume that your guesses at DVD revenue are coming from some website that is guessing at the numbers, no?
    And in spite of your rage about this, my comparison of Fox’s year and WB’s year is offered in context and with a specific point.
    There is not a huge margin from the best and the worst year in this industry.
    The big point: DVD revenue is dropping and studios are spending too much… even on many of the perceived hits. The Dark Knight isn’t the biggest DVD release of the last two years, much less “ever.” That doesn’t make its accomplishments less impressive. But it makes the math for funding big movies much more problematic.
    Likewise, the ranking of 27 Dresses or What Happens In Vegas means NOTHING. How much did the film cost? How much did the film make? How muich did the film lose? Rankings of DVD sales are as relevant as ticket sales (in the most often used context). Not at all.
    Think more deeply.
    Whether you like it or not, What Happens In Vegas did better than Get Smart, even if Get Smart is higher on your DVD chart. GS cost 3x as much and made about 20% more all in.
    It’s not voodoo. It’s simple, clear, not mysterious math.
    Do you have something to say about what this entry is about or do you just want to snipe at one sentence I wrote and that it isn’t mean enough to Fox for you?

  89. offthemark says:

    “Of the top 20 movies last year, the most profitable films to the distributing studio were likely Mamma Mia! #1, TDK #2, Twilight #3, Sex & The City #4, and High School Musical 3 or Wanted #5. What do 5 of those 6 films (TDK the exception) have in common? Less than $80 million in production costs.”
    And what do for of those 6 have in common? A largely female demographic. I’m amazed that points been overlooked, though as a repressed anxiety, it might explain the nerd-boy/geek-head/comic-book-guy meltdown on this thread.

  90. offthemark says:

    that should have read “four of those six”. D’oh!

  91. Joe Leydon says:

    And 21 did pretty well, too, didn’t it, Dave?
    (Sorry — couldn’t resist.)

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon