October 25, 2016
        Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar        

Going broke chasing boys: Why Disney ditched princesses and spent $300 million on John Carter

By Scott Mendelson

Hollywoodnews.com: If you’ve seen the trailer for the upcoming John Carter, you know that not only does it not look like it cost $300 million, but it so painfully feels like a Mad Libs male-driven fantasy blockbuster that it borders on parody. It’s no secret that Disney thinks it has a boy problem. One of the reasons it bought Marvel two years ago was to build up a slate of boy-friendly franchises. And the last two years have seen an almost embarrassing attempt to fashion boy-friendly franchises (Prince of Persia, Tron: Legacy, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, I Am Number Four, Fright Night, and Real Steel), only half of which were even as successful as their alleged flop The Princess and the Frog (which obviously grossed ‘just’ $267 million on a $105 million budget because it starred a character with a vagina). We can only ponder the reasons why Disney decided to outright state that they were never going to make another fairy-tale princess cartoon again, even after Tangled became their most successful non-Pixar toon since The Lion King, but I’m pretty sure Disney won’t be making such statements about boy-centric fantasy franchises anytime soon.

Now we have John Carter, which allegedly cost $300 million (if not more). It’s being released in March, where only one film (to be fair, Disney’s Alice In Wonderland) has ever even grossed $300 million. Hell, in all of January-through April, there have been just five $200 million grossers (The Passion of the Christ, Alice In Wonderland, How to Train Your Dragon, 300, and Fast Five). So you have yet another film that basically has to shatter all records regarding its release date in order to merely break even. But that’s okay, thinks Disney, because John Carter is a manly science fiction spectacle so it is surely worth risking the bank. Disney is so desperate to not only chase the young male demos that is willing to risk alienating the young female demos that has netted it billions of dollars over the many decades. What they fail to realize is that the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise (especially the first three films) was rooted in telling a story that crossed gender lines. All-told, the original trilogy actually revolved around Keira Knightley’s character, and her journey from daughter of privilege to outlaw pirate. I Am Number Four is a perfect example of this clear misunderstanding. Disney and Dreamworks decided to cash in on Twilight by making a variation told from the point of view of the super-powered teen boy, a story which turned the ‘Bella’ character into just another stock love interest to be sidelined for the third act.

To read more go to Mendelson’s Memo

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About Scott Mendelson

Mendelson's Memos: The basics - 30 years old, married with one child, currently residing in Woodland Hills, CA. I am simply a longtime film critic and pundit of sorts, especially in the realm of box office. The main content will be film reviews, trailer reviews, essays, and box office analysis and comparison. I also syndicate myself at The Huffington Post and Open Salon. I will update as often as my schedule allows. Yes, I'm on Facebook/Twitter/LinkIn, so feel free to find me there. All comments are appreciated, just be civil and try to keep a level discourse, as I will make every effort to do the same. Read more at Mendelson's Memos:

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