Mamo 410: Jurassic WTF?

Mamo!

Jurassic World has emerged as a surprise forerunner to take the summer box office crown, and Mamo has no idea why. We call in a consult from the Dew Over himself, Jamie Dew, to try to sort out what happened on the island…

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Matthew Fabb
Guest

Quotes from the Deadline box office link:
“Those audiences polled by CinemaScore on Friday screamed a loud ‘A’ for the fourth Jurassic Park film.”

“Insiders cite that the under-30 group for JW are out tonight in a similar proportion to the original 1993 Jurassic Park. What does that mean? It means that this installment has found a completely new, young audience. The assumption would be that the original under 30 audience for this classic franchise got older.”

“According to Rentrak’s PostTrak service, auds gave JW a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars with a 73% definite recommend — the highest Rentrak has measured across all audience demos. Last night’s audience was 53% under 25 and mostly guys at 62%. A third of the crowd turned up because of they’re fans of the Jurassic Park franchise.”

So basically it’s not nostalgia but new audiences liking Jurassic World. Or perhaps it could be summed up that there are a lot of people out there who like dinosaurs and think they make really frightening monsters. That even if it’s a bad movie, people get a kick out of seeing big CGI dinosaurs on the screen. When it comes down to it, it might just be as simple as that.

Andrew James
Admin

This.

I was looking at LetterBoxd ratings and although not the perfect algorithm (or whatever math), I noticed that the younger the reviewer, the higher the score; i.e. the people that don’t have the same connection to the original trilogy as the older folks are simply going to like it more.

I’m (almost) 40 and I’m going to savage the movie on the Cinecast next week for so many reasons.

Sean Kelly
Guest

I’m 33 and I gave the film 4 stars on Letterboxd (and I should add that I have a HUGE connection with the original).

Andrew James
Admin

I’m not saying someone who is older can’t like it (or someone who is younger can’t hate it), I’m just saying that in general, that seemed to be the trend in my personal LetterBoxd feed of people I follow.

antho42
Guest

Jurassic Park is milliniels’ version of Star Wars. This is the first nonGen X nostalgia franchise.

Sean Kelly
Guest

Of course, someone of my age can be described as either a late Gen-Xer or an early Millennial depending on which definition you read.

Sean Kelly
Guest

Even though I ranked it 6th on my list, in hindsight it’s not that surprising to me.

Voncaster
Guest

I just got back from Jurassic World. It was not a masterpiece of cinema, it does not measure up to the original Jurassic Park, but I had a good time with it.

The overly cynical view of this podcast bother me a bit.

Jurassic World is mere product, cooked up by Universal Studios execs to hit the right demographic. There was some comment along the lines of the movie doesn’t have to be good, it just has to exist.

I fail to see how Jurassic World is materially different than any other summer blockbuster.

When Josh Whedon makes Avengers 2, MAMO won’t be nearly as dismissive. With Avengers, the movie going audience can be respected for seeing the movie. But with Jurassic World, its Universal collecting money from the suckers who pay to see a mediocre movie. Is at at least possible that some people simply prefer their popcorn movies in a different flavor? Some folks like dinosaurs more than they like superheroes in colored underwear.

Is there really a big quality gap between Avengers 2, Furious 7 and Jurassic World? Enough to classify the audience that sees Jurassic World as mere sheep who go to see movies to pass the time, but have no perception of what does or does not make a good movie.

Andrew James
Admin

Sorry to be that guy, but it’s JOSS Whedon.

And I can’t speak to Avengers 2, but for some very objective reasons/observations, Furious 7 is a far better sequel to its predecessors than J-World is; at the very least for doing a few different things. J-World is basically a remake of JP1 and JP3 combined.

Voncaster
Guest

I guess the principal sentiment from MAMO that bothers me is this general argument. Jurassic World made a lot of money. But we, the movie aficionados, think its bad. We genuinely cannot figure out why people like it. Therefore the studio making the movie doesn’t care if its good or bad. And the public seeing the movie can’t distinguish a good movie from a bad movie.

Alternatively, a much simpler explanation is people have different tastes in movies. A movie that you do not enjoy does not mean that its objectively bad.

Jurassic World is not a masterpiece from my vantage. Its probably in 3.5 out 5 territory for me. But I enjoyed my time with the movie, while I acknowledge that it has script problems. On the plus side, the attraction of a Jurassic movie is dinosaurs on the loose terrorizing people. I thought between Indominus Rex, the raptors, the flying dinosaurs, and the water dinosaur that there was plenty there to deliver on that promise. I thought the Jurassic World theme park, had some nice touches to make it seem like a functioning theme park. The gentle giants rids for kids, the corporate sponsorships and the pressure to bring in newer and better attractions (every zoo has this problem). I also liked Pratt and Bryce-Dallas Howard in the principle roles. I do wish the ending was tighter, but I like my visit to Jurassic World.

Avengers 2, Furious 7, and Jurassic World are all PG-13 mass market movies. I enjoy my mass market movie in dinosaur (or Star Wars) flavor most. But I don’t believe that there is huge gaps in quality between the films.

The entire super hero genre is boring to me and I’m not a Joss Wheden fan. I don’t hate they guy, but I don’t worship him either. Disney and Marvel have setup a sequence of super hero movies where one leads right to the next. I’m patently uninterested in seeing a movie that is simply a setup of the next movie. Its been what 10 years or more since the last Jurassic movie? Universal is hardly running it into the ground at this point. We will see if sequels 2, 3, and 4 get setup or if they are content with this revisiting.

Furious 7, also holds no appeal for me. I have not seen any movie in this franchise apart from Tokyo Drifting. But I’ve read enough reviews and watched the trailers enough to know that Furious 7 is not high art either. A car the jumps from one skyscraper to another. I would love to know the script justification for that. I’m sure its solid. I’m sure Furious 7 is devoid of logic gaps and script problems that affect Jurassic World.

When someone enjoys Avengers or Furious 7, I don’t classify them as someone who doesn’t understand movies. But in the case of Jurassic World, that is the case that is made. I saw the same argument being made with Avatar. The movie is terrible, but the general public eats it up. The general public clearly doesn’t get movies. I hate that line of thought.

Thomas Wishloff
Guest

Could the issue be that the film is plethora of reused beats from three previous films, and that’s why it’s baffling that the film makes so much money and that people really like it? Like shouldn’t there some general fatigue?

Jonathan
Guest

Jurassic Park III came out in 2001. Just think about that for a second. That was 14 years ago. There is a whole generation of teenagers and kids who have never seen dinosaurs on the screen and parents, who as kids or young adults, loved the original. Nostalgia is playing a huge part in why this is so successful, along with the fact that is a film literally tapping into every demographic. I’m not sure why everybody is so surprised that this demolished the box office.

Voncaster
Guest

I agree Jonathan. Part of the success of Jurassic World has to be attributed to the fact that the franchise has had a low profile for a number of years, which makes its return exiting event. I also don’t think Jurassic World is anywhere near Indy IV levels of disappointment.

Nat Almirall
Guest

This is pretty astonishing, even given Chris Pratt’s rising and rising star. as the movie is so mediocre; they simply retread as many beats as possible from the first film.

Added to that, the effects are lousy and the design of the dinosaurs is bland; the characters are haphazard and, in the case of B.D. Wong, occasionally, wholly unnecessary; the storyline is muddled and confusing; and even the score is lame.

The only thing it gets right Is Jake Johnson, who still doesn’t really fit, and the “Verizon presents” line, which, while probably being spot on, is still handled with all the subtlety of stuffing fireworks up your neighbor’s cat. This isn’t even Spielberg-inspired, it’s Spielberg put through the manatees.

Jonathan
Guest

Speaking of Chris Pratt, of his last three movies that he starred:

The Lego Movie grossed nearly half a billion dollars worldwide.
Guardians of the Galaxy grossed nearly 800 million dollars worldwide.
And now this IN ITS FIRST WEEKEND grossed half a billion dollars.

Is Chris Pratt officially the new most bankable star in Hollywood?

Nat Almirall
Guest

According to the Hollywood Stock Exchange, he trades at $157.64 a share (and rising, of course, albeit somewhat slowly), while Jordana Brewster has him beat at $165.04 a share. The highest I see right now is Gal Godot at $213.78 per share.

devolutionary
Guest

Don’t forget he’s slated to be the next Indiana Jones as well. While he was written fairly poorly in Jurassic World, once he got on that motorcycle, he clearly “looked” the part of Indy.

Jonathan
Admin

Pratt is 36 years old… so if the next Indy were the come out in, say, 2018, that would make him the same age that Harrison Ford was when Raiders came out. I wonder if they’ll going to completely reboot the franchise in a new Indy universe or use the new actor as a continuation of the series (prequel? sequel?). Then again, I don’t know if I care at this point.

devolutionary
Guest

While Shia LaBeouf (where’s the beef?) was unfairly scapegoated in Kingdom of the Crystal Money (I didn’t think his role was that bad), at least they didn’t forge ahead with him instead.

Jonathan
Admin

Shia’s character was fine… naming him “Mutt” and making him Indy’s son? That rubbed me the wrong away. Then again, the entire movie rubbed me the wrong way (ahem… here’s my old scathing review: http://www.rowthree.com/2008/05/23/jonathans-review-indiana-jones-and-the-kingdom-of-the-crystal-skull/).

antho42
Guest

The worst part is the romance between Prat and Howard’s daughter– nonexistent romance. The dialogue was terrible, as well. Being meta does not automatically mean good writing. I still enjoyed the film, mind you.

Sean Kelly
Guest

After rewatching the original Jurassic Park on blu-ray the other night (as well as some of the special features), it is interesting to note that about 60% of the dinosaur action in the original film was done using animatronics created by Stan Winston, with the rest (presumably full movement shots) being CGI. In fact, Spielberg’s original plan was to use stop motion for the dinosaur movement, but he changed his mind when ILM demonstrated that they can do everything on computers.

Apparently, animatronics were still used in Jurassic World, but presumably the ratio between practical and CGI was much smaller this time around.

Sean Kelly
Guest

Looking at Box Office Mojo, I estimate that inflation and premium ticket prices played a big role in JURASSIC WORLD’s record-breaking gross this weekend.

Adjusted for inflation, the original JURASSIC PARK made about $700M domestically for its entire run. I doubt JURASSIC WORLD will match that, though it could come close.

Sean Kelly
Guest

I should probably add that I saw JURASSIC WORLD with a coupon that came with the JURASSIC PARK blu-ray, which subtracted $7.50 from the cost of the ticket.

Kurt
Guest

WallE, SpeedRacer, Jurassic World. Blockbuster films that have a sideline on chastising their own consumers for their consumption of said product. The first is a middle-of-the-road success, the second is a colossal bomb, the third a mega-success. It’s all in the execution, or, more realistically, in the marketing.

Never under-estimate Dinosaurs.

Kurt
Guest

BTW, I saw Inside Out today, and it is excellent. Seemingly effortless in its story, and if it is perhaps on the nose at times, it is so good at articulating its concept and paying it off in complex emotional ways, that I expect it is going to be a lot of peoples ‘favourite film’ in a few years. This is a return to the form and level that people expect from Pixar.

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