Pools are closing, schools are starting up again, and the new football season has just begun. Summer is over, but planning for next summer’s blockbuster season is just beginning.
Capitalism is equal to successful manipulation, and blockbuster season screams capitalism—just like the sharing principles taught in elementary schools subliminally scream socialism. A successful summer movie will not put Academy Awards on a studio’s mantle (maybe the computer graphics department), but instead rob the wallets from families escaping a rained out beach day.
Here is my plan for creating the highest grossing summer blockbuster of all time. The only thing grosser than my income will be my artistic integrity.
1. My idea will not be original.
The same ridiculous number of fans who wait outside for new releases of their favorite book, will be guaranteed to be at midnight premieres of my movie. The highest grossing movie from this past summer, and a part of the highest grossing franchise in history, was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part Two. It was aided by a great trailer. This leads me to my next point.
2. Release an ambiguous trailer the summer before.
A trailer that is half sequences that lead to the title and constant short clips that cut to black will not get an audience excited; it will confuse them. The confusion created from a trailer that reveals nothing about my movie will drive bloggers and Internet users to learn more. Curiosity killed the cat, and curiosity will help pay for the mortgage on my new island. Now time for the casting.
3. Cast an Academy Award nominated actor, but not an actor who has won an Oscar.
Name dropping, but only to add credibility. A nominated actor wants to prove himself on the big stage, while the winning actor is busy acting in an Indie movie or on vacation. Good choices include Edward Norton and James Franco, but there is no better choice than Will Smith. I want someone as greedy as me. His willingness to typecast himself as a cocky but witty and sincere straight-shooting guy has made him the most bankable star in Hollywood. Speaking of bankable…
4. Make shrines to the prince of blockbusters: Michael Bay, and the king of moneymaking: James Cameron.
These two guys create movies only to make money, and do it better than anyone else. Large scale sets, computer graphic imaging, romances and explosions. There’s something for everyone. Three movies did this perfectly: Transformers, Avatar and Titanic.
Transformers follows all my criteria: it was an animated series in the ‘80s, and a trailer was released the summer before that did not reveal anything on the movie. Although there were no nominated actors, Shia LaBeouf was coming off a Disney TV show. Try telling me he didn’t have anything to prove.
What made Transformers so genius was the introduction to the monotonous underacting of Megan Fox. She could have bit her lower lip and looked into the camera, and she would’ve done everything Bay could have ever asked out of her. Sex appeal gave the men something to look forward to, and the origins as an animated series hooked the children. If only it had romance (Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox was more of a summer hookup than a summer romance), then everyone would have had something to look forward to.
While Avatar and Titanic were released in the winter, they are the two highest grossing movies of all time (without taking inflation into account, but hey, nothing says the spirit of capitalism like an increasingly weak dollar.) They were also unoriginal; Avatar was merely Pocahontas in space with pretty colors and a large scale production. The most underrated aspect of a money maker is romance.
For Titanic Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio were cute together, and it did not matter that the love interest in Avatar was an alien; she melted hearts and made me as confused sexually as when I watch a Ryan Gosling movie.
Romance is something for everyone. Women love the young couple, married men love seeing someone in love who is not their wife, and movie execs (like myself) love money. Everyone wins.
Lastly, to everyone who criticizes how blockbuster movies ruined the art of film making, making money is as American as it gets. In the words of Ron Swanson from NBC’s Parks and Recreation, “capitalism is God’s way of determining who is smart and who is poor.” God bless America.