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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Inventive animation shows up summer’s big-budget blockbuster flops

It has become a summer holiday tradition now to go and see the latest big blockbuster movie.

People of a certain age (cough, cough) can possibly remember going to their local flea-pit to see the latest James Bond epic.

The latest Bond was usually released to coincide with the annual glut of bored teenagers and damp families at the end of their tether at Pontin’s and Butlin’s holiday camps.

There wasn’t much else by way of competition.

Nowadays there’s a stampede of multi-million dollar, effects-laden and OTT movies to choose from.

Most of them are aimed at youngsters and teenagers who can’t or won’t be weaned off a diet of shoot ‘em up, kill ‘em all computer games.

So we have The Lone Ranger, Pacific Rim, Man of Steel, After Earth and World War Z . The first two are not expected to make enough money to cover production and promotion costs.

The last two are just about covering costs.

Then there’s the supernatural Ryan Reynolds cop movie RIPD which cost around £80m and took just £10m on its opening three days in America.

Movie giants Steven Spielberg and George Lucas have warned that the industry is in “meltdown” as a result of spiralling costs.

The Lone Ranger, starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer cost an estimated £163 million, but is predicted to lose Disney £60m. Pacific Rim cost an estimated £125m to produce, with a global marketing budget of £115m. It took £24m on its opening weekend in the US and only £34m from 38 markets around the world.

At the fluffier, supposedly younger end of the market is the latest Monsters University movie and Despicable Me 2.

Both cartoons, but by all accounts they are funnier, more thought-provoking and bizarrely more emotionally involving.

Sometimes, less is more.

Throwing money at big explosions doesn’t guarantee a hit.

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