Four Easy Tips for Creating a Summer Movie Flop

By Peter Moorman, Staff Writer

Hollywood is perplexed.

Traditionally, summertime has been a high point in box office receipts for Hollywood. However, this summer, moviegoers have been served a disappointing number of box-office flops.

Here’s a list of four tips to ensure that your Hollywood summer blockbuster movie bombs at the box office.

1. Fill the Dialogue with Excessive Profanity

Filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro spent a reported $200 million on PACIFIC RIM, only to see it pull in just under $37.3 million in its opening weekend. The movie garnered a PG-13 rating from the MPAA, thanks in large part to the 27 obscenities and profanities. Money was left on the table of this otherwise fun film due to the strong foul language. Sitting next to your child while actors take the Lord’s name in vain isn’t the ideal that most American parents envision for their Saturday afternoons. According to MOVIEGUIDE®’s annual box office stats, movies with no foul language bring in more than $22 million more on average than movies with heavy foul language. The family movie DESPICABLE ME 2, with no foul language, brought in $83.5 million in its opening weekend compared to PACIFIC RIM’S $37.3 million.

2. Promote a Pagan Worldview and Sprinkle in Elements of Political Correctness

THE LONE RANGER has been the most publicized box-office disaster of the summer so far. With two big name actors Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, critics thought this movie would surely do well. Hollywood forgot that there’s a large portion of America that attends church weekly and salutes the American flag. They don’t want to spend money on movies like LONE RANGER that promote pagan mysticism and politically correct, Anti-American values. DESPICABLE ME 2, which promoted the traditional definition of family included no politically correct ideology or revisionist history, opened the same day as THE LONE RANGER but brought in $54 million more over the July 4th weekend and cost half as much to make!

3. Push Anti-Americanism and Depict Patriotism in a Bad Light

Movies promoting a strong Anti-American and/or anti-patriotic (APAP plus APAPAP) viewpoint averaged only $22.6 million at the box office in 2012, but movies with strong Pro-American and/or patriotic content (PP plus PPP) averaged $104 million at the box office. Who would have thought Americans prefer movies that don’t tarnish their country’s image? Sony’s most expensive film of the summer, WHITE HOUSE DOWN, had a production budget of over $150 million but only brought in $24 million on its opening weekend. However, Warner Bros. Pictures’ Superman hit, MAN OF STEEL, with its very Pro-American view of American life, made more than $116.6 million in its first weekend!!!

4. Avoid Any Mention of Christianity or Jesus Christ

RIPD and AFTER EARTH were two of the biggest bombs this summer. RIPD brought in $12 million on its opening weekend and had a $130 million production budget while AFTER EARTH brought in a dismal $27 million on its opening weekend and had a $130 million production budget as well. In addition to the millions in losses these movies provided for their respective studios, AFTER EARTH and RIPD also shared the commonality of avoiding any reference to the Christian faith, but instead promoted a humanist worldview (AFTER EARTH) and a pagan worldview (RIPD). Last year’s faith-filled movie LES MISÉRABLES brought in over $400 million worldwide and History Channel’s THE BIBLE miniseries was the most watched entertainment show on Cable TV this year. America’s 239 million self-identified Christians prefer movies or entertainment that’s spiritually uplifting and that affirms their basic Christian values.

Sadly, mistakes like THE LONE RANGER are made year after year, but there is a manual explaining how to make a movie people actually want to see. MOVIEGUIDE® Publisher Dr. Ted Baehr’s filmmaking book, HOW TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD (WITHOUT LOSING YOUR SOUL) is a great resource for anybody trying to make it in Hollywood. It contains documented evidence from MOVIEGUIDE®’s Annual Economic Report to the Entertainment Industry along with practical tips and advice from seasoned producers, directors, and writers. Dr. Baehr also offers a five-day day intensive quarterly filmmaking workshop to help moviemakers avoid the mistakes listed above.

Note:  MOVIEGUIDE® Editor Tom Snyder, Ph.D. contributed some research to this article.

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