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Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story (2021)


mrbellamy
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13 minutes ago, TheUlyssesian said:

 Who was this made for? 

 

People that love musicals, broadway ... La La Land was a huge succes.

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9 minutes ago, AC1 said:

 

People that love musicals, broadway ... La La Land was a huge succes.

 

Then why is it a box office calamity losing hundreds of millions of dollars in a massive write down?

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You can't predict what will be a hit, nothing is a given, unless it's Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Nolan, James Bond, The Fast and The Furious, Marvel, and maybe Villeneuve, ..

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Then why spend 100 million dollars on an unsure thing in a genre that does not always perform well with no stars and a movie no one is asking a remake of?

 

It is almost like tempting fate to be a failure.

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I think at this point Spielberg is doing whatever he feels like, regardless of box-office.

 

Either that or he'll do a super mega sure-fire box office hit for his next movie (after Fablemans) to compensate for this.

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4 minutes ago, TheUlyssesian said:

Then why spend 100 million dollars on an unsure thing in a genre that does not always perform well with no stars and a movie no one is asking a remake of?

 

It is almost like tempting fate to be a failure.

 

That has been the case with Spielberg for quite some time now. I believe he makes a deal: "If you let me make this movie, I'll give you another Indy." 

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1 minute ago, TheUlyssesian said:

He did not want to do the hard work of creating a musical from the ground up.

Well he did it once but then got cold feet.

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2 hours ago, TheUlyssesian said:

 

As a fan of Spielberg, I am not sure this was a good use of either his time or his clout. I would much rather he gotten some other of his dream projects funded and made like The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara etc.


literally anything was a better use of his time. Honestly, this picture sounds like he owed someone a favour. 

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3 hours ago, TheUlyssesian said:

It would have been a gigantic failure regardless. The problem for this movie is not timing - but its existence. Who was this made for? No one. Nobody asked for it. You can't make a product with zero demand and then wonder why it did not sell. 

 

 

 

I believe you're looking for the Matrix Resurrections thread.

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11 minutes ago, Nick1Ø66 said:

I believe you're looking for the Matrix Resurrections thread.

 

Isn't that movie doing good buisness?

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8 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

 

Isn't that movie doing good buisness?

 

If by "doing good business" you mean "it's a colossal flop", well then, yes, it's doing gangbusters!

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9 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

Isn't that movie doing good buisness?

It really isn't. Its box office has been utterly terrible so far.

 

https://www.boxofficemojo.com/release/rl2175304193/?ref_=bo_hm_RECENT_WEEKEND_WIDGET_5

 

It will earn less at the BO than Wonder Woman 1984.

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1 minute ago, Chen G. said:

Haven't been following it at all, so...

 

We don't expect you to have been. You've got JWFan's Amazon LOTR portfolio.

 

Your reporting on said future flop, incidentally, has been seriously lacking as of late. Have you been into the Gaffer's home brew?

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5 minutes ago, Nick1Ø66 said:

You've got JWFan's Amazon LOTR portfolio

 

That mostly just fulfills my love of doing detective-work. I haven't been doing it quite like that since I worked for Israeli IAF Intelligence!

 

5 minutes ago, Nick1Ø66 said:

Your reporting on said future flop, incidentally, has been seriously lacking as of late.

 

Ahem! 

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15 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

 

That mostly just fulfills my love of doing detective-work. I haven't been doing it quite like that since I worked for Israeli IAF Intelligence!

 

 

Ahem! 

 

Pictures of stairs? So we've established there are stairs in Middle-earth?

 

Israeli Intelligence? Show me behind the scenes pictures of Gale Gadot in the army, then maybe I'll be impressed. ;)  

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44 minutes ago, Nick1Ø66 said:

 

I believe you're looking for the Matrix Resurrections thread.

 

This is no different. Both movies will lose a lot of money.

 

Both were totally unnecessary. 

 

I like one of them.

 

But I am thrilled by the failure of both.

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5 hours ago, Edmilson said:

Disney should've dated it for AFTER Spiderman, not before it. Then, it could've performed like The Greatest Showman. As it is, it's Sing 2 who is acting like the only competitor to No Way Home, not WSS.

 

Awards eligibility though... I assume the cutoff was some time in December. 

 

And I guess, even though he's not directing it, Indy 5 will be Spielberg's "apology film" to Disney so they can recover their losses on WSS. That should turn a reasonably healthy profit.

 

For whatever reason I can't see Spielberg making any more of those types of films himself. He seems focused on ticking off bucket list projects nowadays. 

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What else would be a bucket list project now after a musical and a movie about his parents?

 

I guess James Bond was an old dream of his, pre-Indy. Maybe they'll get him to do the next one lmao.

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He's been attached to so many non-starters, it's really hard to say. 

 

I thought Edgardo Mortara must have been a personal project for him. They only canned it because they couldn't find the right child actor. 

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There's a pretty sweet article on wikipedia showing every film Spielberg was attached to that never got made (or got made by someone else).  It's very thorough and interesting!

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Spielberg's_unrealized_projects

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Huh you're right, a surprising omission from the list!

 

That one was the one I was most looking forward to for the Williams score we'd get from it; The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara and Robopocalypse were the ones I was most looking forward to for the films themselves (and the scores)

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10 minutes ago, mrbellamy said:

It's missing the Montezuma movie which always seemed like the coolest one. 

 

I think that's been retooled as a TV series, not sure anyone's picked it up yet though. Javier Bardem was still attached in some capacity. 

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3 hours ago, crypto said:

I thought Edgardo Mortara must have been a personal project for him. They only canned it because they couldn't find the right child actor. 

 

I still can't believe this was the reason he dropped it. There's *no way* they couldn't find the right child actor.

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10 minutes ago, Muad'Dib said:

 

I still can't believe this was the reason he dropped it. There's *no way* they couldn't find the right child actor.

 

They even had an Italian production office ready to go. From memory they were building sets before it all got scrapped.

 

IIRC Robopocalpyse was quite close to production as well, before the plug got pulled. Wasn't Michael Bay attached to direct after Spielberg departed?

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3 hours ago, mrbellamy said:

It's missing the Montezuma movie which always seemed like the coolest one. 

 

Ah yes one. When I made my post, this is the one I wanted to mention rather than killing but I remembered it as Monumenta and try and google what I might, I couldn't find the name, so I went with Killing. :D

 

41 minutes ago, Muad'Dib said:

 

I still can't believe this was the reason he dropped it. There's *no way* they couldn't find the right child actor.

 

30 minutes ago, crypto said:

 

They even had an Italian production office ready to go. From memory they were building sets before it all got scrapped.

 

IIRC Robopocalpyse was quite close to production as well, before the plug got pulled. Wasn't Michael Bay attached to direct after Spielberg departed?

 

Killing and Robopocalypse were very very close. Robopocalypse came down to the script. If Speilberg wanted to make it, he did have everything lined up. He decided at the last moment that he did not like the script and so pulled the plug.  Killing really did come down to casting. And you will be surprised, this is sometimes an issue for multi-lingual roles. Landa in Inglorious Bastards was supposedly meant for Dicaprio but I wonder if that would have worked out. The part requires fluency in 4 languages with a majority of the scenes taking place not in English. Tarantino had the same problem, he thought he would shelf it if he couldn't cast Landa. He feared he had written an unplayable part. He then found Waltz.

 

Also another thing I noticed - bless his heart, Spielberg is EXTREMELY economical.

https://screenrant.com/steven-spielbergs-biggest-budget-movies/

 

Take a look at his budgets. Not one in the routine 200-250 range that the average superhero movie costs.

 

So this man is very old school, likes to come in on schedule on budget, and as a professional always deliver a profit for his financiers. One of the reasons he pulled Robo is because he thought it might be too expensive and turn a loss.

 

WSS is the bigges failure of his career in the sense this is the movie that will lose the most money out of any movie he has ever made. Surely that's got to hurt him a bit.

 

You really have to wonder, such a careful smart director really miscalculated on this one. 

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@TheUlyssesian

I'm not sure if he "miscalculated". Many directors have many reasons for wanting to make a particular film. Perhaps it was just released at the wrong time?

Many great films fell at the wayside, financially, because they happened to be released alongside a mega-hit. Case in point: BLADE RUNNER, and THE THING. Look what they were up against.

If anything, the release date was unfortunate. Maybe if it was released last year, it would have cleaned up. I guess we'll never know.

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They should have released it for holiday 2019. Disney wanted it to be Holiday 2020 because they had Rise of Skywalker for Holiday 2019 and Avatar for Holiday 2021 and had nothing for 2020.

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35 minutes ago, Naïve Old Fart said:

I'm not sure if he "miscalculated". Many directors have many reasons for wanting to make a particular film. Perhaps it was just released at the wrong time?

Many great films fell at the wayside, financially, because they happened to be released alongside a mega-hit. Case in point: BLADE RUNNER, and THE THING. Look what they were up against.

If anything, the release date was unfortunate. Maybe if it was released last year, it would have cleaned up. I guess we'll never know.

 

Not sure if we still can take those things into account, Richard. In the early '80s people were open to other see movies than Spider-Man. They certainly would have gone to see the latest Spielberg. If there was a reason why they avoided Blade Runner and The Thing it was because people preferred feel-good movies or lighthearted action movies where the muscular hero had funny oneliners.

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1 hour ago, AC1 said:

If there was a reason why they avoided Blade Runner and The Thing it was because people preferred feel-good movies or lighthearted action movies where the muscular hero had funny oneliners.

Not sure if much has changed(?)

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Well, Spielberg's still very much recognised but he doesn't draw the masses in like he used to.

 

Maybe he'll do a superhero film eventually, I seem to recall he was developing that Blackhaws thingie some time ago.

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59 minutes ago, WampaRat said:

Not sure if much has changed(?)

 

With today? No, but I was talking about the change that took place from '70s to the '80s. 

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3 hours ago, Naïve Old Fart said:

@TheUlyssesian

I'm not sure if he "miscalculated". Many directors have many reasons for wanting to make a particular film. Perhaps it was just released at the wrong time?

Many great films fell at the wayside, financially, because they happened to be released alongside a mega-hit. Case in point: BLADE RUNNER, and THE THING. Look what they were up against.

If anything, the release date was unfortunate. Maybe if it was released last year, it would have cleaned up. I guess we'll never know.

 

That other films failed isn't a justification for your film failing. It is never a good result. And I mean - Blade Runner is one of the greatest films ever made - completely in a different universe. WSS2021 at the end of the day is the needless remake of a cinema classic. So not really analogous.

 

As to the release time - we have already stated repeatedly in this thread that the release date had nothing to do with the failure. We know for a fact that young people - given a product they like - are going out IN DROVES. Spiderman is performing as if there wasn't a pandemic in sight. Look at Sing 2, Encanto and Ghostbusters etc.

 

So the pandemic cannot be an excuse. 

 

The stated goal of this film - its mission statement and the reason it even received a blockbuster production and marketing budget is because it was precisely made for young people - for the Spiderman crowd. It has young people in the lead roles - some of them youtube stars, it is about the lives of young people about young love and has those liberal activist pieties appealing to young people. It was heavily marketed to young people - with a not a penny spared in promotion.

 

It STILL failed. The conclusion is - there wasn't demand for this product at all. None. Zilch. Nada. There are think pieces being written about who Speilberg even made this movie for? The answer is really damning. The answer is himself. It very much is a personal vanity project. No one asked for this movie. No one. For 99.99% of the people who want to see a version of WSS, the original is good enough. There was literally no reason to make this film, not at this budget level, and certainly not before investigating if the young people they made it for had even the slightest interest in this.

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1 minute ago, TheUlyssesian said:

 

 

It STILL failed. The conclusion is - there wasn't demand for this product at all. 

 

I don't understand this. There was no demand for The Godfather, Rocky, Star Wars, Alien, Seven or Schindler's List either.

 

Outside their craving for even more superhero movies, the people have nothing to demand. 

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8 minutes ago, AC1 said:

 

I don't understand this. There was no demand for The Godfather, Rocky, Star Wars, Alien, Seven or Schindler's List either.

 

Outside their craving for even more superhero movies, the people have nothing to demand. 

 

Demand is a representative word. And again whipping out Godfather, Star Wars etc. are extreme examples. It implies WSS 2021 is somehow comparable to them it is not.

 

I think it is to do with IP. Those films were creating IP, WSS2021 was using it. Usages of IP are invariably commercial in nature.

 

As has already been stated above, if Speilberg wanted to put in the hard word and create a musical from scratch, he would have done so. Instead he chose a successful IP, to remake an already existing musical.

 

So when you are leveraging IP, producing content with commercial outlooks, working with blockbuster budgets, you definitely factor in demand.

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5 minutes ago, TheUlyssesian said:

And again whipping out Godfather, Star Wars etc. are extreme examples.

 

And they're not even such extreme examples.

 

Both The Godfather and Star Wars were primed to make lots of money, and their respective filmmakers knew this as they were making them. Anything else is just revisionist history trying to give those films a "little-engine-that-could" aura.

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14 minutes ago, TheUlyssesian said:

 

Demand is a representative word. And again whipping out Godfather, Star Wars etc. are extreme examples. It implies WSS 2021 is somehow comparable to them it is not.

 

I think it is to do with IP. Those films were creating IP, WSS2021 was using it. Usages of IP are invariably commercial in nature.

 

As has already been stated above, if Speilberg wanted to put in the hard word and create a musical from scratch, he would have done so. Instead he chose a successful IP, to remake an already existing musical.

 

So when you are leveraging IP, producing content with commercial outlooks, working with blockbuster budgets, you definitely factor in demand.

 

I can cite 'extreme examples' all day long. There is no demand, unless it's a sequel to a succesful movie, or when you want to copy another movie's success. People are not that creative that they decide what directors should make.

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9 minutes ago, AC1 said:

 

I can cite 'extreme examples' all day long. There is no demand, unless it's a sequel to a succesful movie, or when you want to copy another movie's success. People are not that creative.

 

This movie was definitely copying another movie's success in that regard - going by your criterion. There had been recent musical hits that made money and the original movie was a blockbuster and the WSS on broadway has also made bank. Hence this movie version.

 

And again, this movie is exploiting a known IP for commercial reasons. And it failed at the commercial part.

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4 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

 

And they're not even such extreme examples.

 

Both The Godfather and Star Wars were primed to make lots of money, and their respective filmmakers knew this as they were making them. Anything else is just revisionist history trying to give those films a "little-engine-that-could" aura.

 

You can only hope that people will come and see you movie but there was no demand. In fact, in the case of Star Wars, the sci-fi genre usually didn't do well at the box-office. 

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17 minutes ago, TheUlyssesian said:

 It implies WSS 2021 is somehow comparable to them it is not.

Every film is comparable, to every other film... until it's released.

 

 

 

31 minutes ago, AC1 said:

Outside their craving for even more superhero movies, the people have nothing to demand. 

 

This. THIS!!!

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Just now, TheUlyssesian said:

 

This movie was definitely copying another movie's success in that regard - going by your criterion.

 

That's why I thought it would have a chance (perhaps not a monster hit but certainly not the failure it turned out to be). It had some things going for it:

 

- La La Land was a big hit. Musicals are hip again!

- The title West Side Story sounds familiar. There is name recognition.

- Spielberg is a big name (even though not as big as it once was)

- But most of all, there is an audience for musicals

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4 minutes ago, AC1 said:

 

That's why I thought it would have a chance (perhaps not a monster hit but certainly not the failure it turned out to be). It had some things going for it:

 

- La La Land was a big hit. Musicals are hip again!

- The title West Side Story sounds familiar. There is name recognition.

- Spielberg is a big name (even though not as big as it once was)

- But most of all, there is an audience for musicals


LLL, The Greatest Showman, and Les Mis all had big name actors involved. WSS didn’t. That was going to introduce its appeal immediately. 

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