MCN Blogs
Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar

Dear Chris Noth: Critics Killed SATC? Seriously?

Apparently Chris Noth, aka Mr. Big of the Sex and the City franchise, thinks the power of the film critic pen is strong enough kill off any future SATC movies. New York Magazine caught up with Noth at the premiere for Jack Goes Boating, where he had these words of wisdom to share about SATC’s future sequel prospects:

“It’s over. The franchise is dead. The press killed it. Your magazine fucking killed it. New York Magazine. It’s like all the critics got together and said, ‘This franchise must die.’ Because they all had the exact same review. It’s like they didn’t see the movie. Got any more gum?”

Um, wait a minute. Aren’t we always being told how irrelevant film critics are? Now all of a sudden we’re collectively being blamed for the demise of SATC? I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I did see SATC2. And it was just not a good movie.

But in spite of it being not a very good movie, SATC2 still made $95 million domestic and another $193 million foreign (off a bloated $100 million budget, but still). I can think of a couple better places to lay the blame for there being no more SATC sequels in the works, such as:

1) Bloated production costs, which likely include salary demands that are just too high to be justified;

2) The script, which for the last film in particular, was just wretchedly bad;

3) People like me, who were at least somewhat fans of the TV series, growing weary of Carrie’s incessant whining and general unwillingness to GROW UP already and be satisfied with her TWO NYC apartments and rich, attentive, loving husband. Criminy, Carrie. Go live it up in the projects for a while, or even blue-collar middle America on a tight budget, and then come to us with your whiny BS.

4) Audiences generally, and the female audience in particular, being fed up with SATC’s shallow materialism and male-centric view.

There are times, I think, when the voice of critics can make a real difference to a film — particularly in championing smaller films that might otherwise get lost in the Hollywood shuffle. But for big franchises like SATC, or Spider-Man, or Transformers? Critics don’t make or break those films, period. These movies need to do one thing and one thing only: Make the movie the fans want to see, over and over, and you will keep making money and keep making sequels. Ride it for as long as you can, lather, rinse, repeat … if the fans grow tired eventually and move onto something else, so be it.

SATC had a long, long ride. Be glad for the success it had, but seriously … don’t look to critics for the reasons the ride is over.

P.S. Lindy West’s review of SATC2 is still one of the funniest film reviews I’ve ever read.

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4 Responses to “Dear Chris Noth: Critics Killed SATC? Seriously?”

  1. Holy crap, that Lindy West review is AWESOME.

    Also, STFU Chris Noth.

  2. Maxim says:

    In what way, exactly were the audiences fed up? Last I checked, the movie still made a sizable profit, big budget and all.

    I am not advocating that the franchise is continued. I am just pointing out the truth that, at $290 million worldwide, there’s still audience for the franchise out there.

  3. Beat me to it… Point being, the second film was more profitable than any number of films (Salt, Last Airbender, GI Joe) that are probably getting sequels, so the blame lies in Warner Bros for killing a series while it was still making money for them. Cut the budget to $75 million and don’t open it on a friggin family-friendly holiday weekend, and part 3 would have been just fine.

  4. Maxim says:

    Hear, hear.

    Even if the series was to take another dip in gross next time out, there is still profit to be made. Especially if they actually make a movie worthy of the finer moments in the TV show.

    The blame really does lie on WB for giving up so easily.

Quote Unquotesee all »

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