The great divide between film critics and film audience
If you took a good look at Dwayne Johnson last week’s tweet, you’ll be reminded of something that is as old as… The film business itself.
“Yay positive upticks. Fans LOVE the movie. Critics HATE it. What a glaring disconnect. People just want to laugh & have fun“. #Baywatch, the movie star wrote and defended the movie he’s staring in.
Now being one of the 2 lead stars in the Baywatch movie, it’s his job to do that. To defend the movies honor if you will. But he does make a solid point on one part of the Twitter post. I’m referring to the „glaring disconnect“ part. There is a great barrier between film critic opinions and audience opinions when I comes to ticket sales. Baywatch and its biggest rival for Memorial Day opening, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales both flopped at the box office. The film version of the 90’s show Baywatch earned just $18,503,871 in his opening weekend, while the 5-th installment of Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise earned $62,983,253.
And if you go to Rotten Tomatoes there is also a great divide between critic’s consensus and that of the audience. 72% of the audience score said that they liked Dead Men Tell No Tales while that percent for Baywatch is good 70%. You’ll notice for instance, the ratio of Snatched (the Goldie Hawn/Amy Schumer comedy) is 36 % (critics) and 34% (audience). Sure, film studios like to put the blame for the poor performance at the box office and even poorer reviews on the aggregator sites like Rotten Tomatoes, it’s not the case at all.
Monster Trucks also failed to attract audiences (and critics) this year, King Arthur: The Legend Of The Sword was panned and forgotten quickly, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul and Power Rangers’s sequel might just happen thanks to increase in toy sales. Power Rangers reboot also had a moderate earning at the box office and mixed reviews from the film critics.
And while the reboots, remakes and many sequels of the famous franchises are mainly made for profit and nostalgia, there is also an abundance of reboots, remakes and sequels at the moment. Which is fine for the most part but when it comes to paying the money and sitting for 2 hours in a movie theaters, critics and fans are not easily amused nor impressed.
It’s been mentioned before, but it’s worth emphasizing again. The former base their decisions and reviews on their education, expertise and experience about film criticism, while the latter are going to see the Baywatch movie just because were either fans of the TV show or are just looking for a good time to spent 2 hours. As both a film critic/film journalist and an audience member I have to emphasize… We are not snooty, unrealistic or condescending elitist in our expectations or opinions. We don’t expect Baywatch to be Oscar worthy. So does the audience too. But we do expect to be good. So does the audience too, and the two movies (Baywatch and Dead Men Tell No Tales were apparently not).
One other possible reason for the disappointing ticket sales and poor reviews is the fact that we as an audience are fed up and saturated with low quality sequels and reboots of the really same old story. Currently the only franchises that can get away with it and their movies are still in demand are Transformers (Transformers: The Last Knight is opening this month) and Fast and Furious franchise (The Fate of the Furious earned more than a billion dollars since the premiere in April).
Critics and audiences alike are eager for something new, fresh, original and fun but most importantly something good to watch at the movies. On that note I can’t wait and see the critic’s and fan response of The Mummy’s reboot, Despicable Me 3, Transformers: The Last Knight, Cars 3 at this month releases in theaters. Are they going to be just another flops, or are they going to be somewhat different and dare to say GOOD?