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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

X-Files Producer Blames The Dark Knight

I feel bad for X-Files fans. I really do. Having never been a follower of the show, I can't say I was very emotionally invested when the sequel no one was asking for, The X-Files: I Want to Believe, pulled a Hindenberg at the box office last summer, raking in a meager $21 million domestic against a $30 million budget. In fact, I would've been surprised by any other outcome.

But this week, Chris Carter's co-producer and co-writer Frank Spotnitz added salt to the wound by going on a delusional rant in an interview with the Toronto Sun. See, it wasn't X-Files' fault that no one came out to see the flick. Whose fault was it? Why, Batman's, of course:

"Our theatrical performance this past summer notwithstanding, I think The X-Files is still a natural for theatrical release. We just opened the wrong week. The week after The Dark Knight, I think, was just not the right week for us.

"I think it was especially brutal to us because we weren't counter-programming. We weren't Mamma Mia! or Step Brothers. We were a little dark scary movie coming in the fumes, in the exhaust, of this mammoth machine that was The Dark Knight. And I don't think we had a chance!"


See, kids? It had nothing to do with the ill will generated among the fan base by a disastrous final season on television. Or with the ten year gap since the last X-Files movie, which made almost ten times as much. Or with the X-Files' almost complete disappearance from the popular consciousness since the series ended. Or with the decision not to make the film about the main storyline that the fans actually cared about. Or with the fact that The Dark Knight was one of the best-reviewed movies of the year, and I Want to Believe...wasn't.

No, they just picked the wrong weekend. I'm sure X-Files 3: The Search for an Audience will do much better.

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12 comments:

Ryne said...

"X-Files 3: The Search for an Audience"

Best. Line. Ever.

tara said...

oh, vault of horror, why do you hurt me so?
I knew all these things about my beloved x-files, I just...didn't want to know.

Jonathan "JR" said...

Maybe Chris Carter can write a Lone Gunmen movie where they explore the conspiracy against X-Files 2.

B-Sol said...

So sorry, Tara :-(

Don't worry...the truth is still out there...

whoissecretdubai said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
GFS3 said...

The problem: the movie was terrible. Why didn't it expand on the alien story rather than go back to monster of the week?

I was a HUGE fan of the series, but the movies have been bland, bad, and uninteresting.

gord said...

Yeah I think the film/series really shot itself in the foot by making a film that appealed to no one.

There wasn't enough character development to rope in new fans and have them care, and not enough fan service or explanation of the last 7 or so years to satisfy long time fans.

I saw it in theaters and was utterly disappointed, but having just watched it again last night with lowered expectations it really wasn't so bad. Not great, but not a total disaster.

And to be fair, while it only made $21mill domestically, it has made $68mill total worldwide.

B-Sol said...

True, it did make a profit internationally, but that's still an atrocious number.

gord said...

Doubling your profit is not an atrocious number.

The domestic numbers suck sure, but at the end of the day, a profit's a profit.

Besides, don't most Hollywood movies do better overseas?

Mr. Cavin said...

"Besides, don't most Hollywood movies do better overseas?"

Yep. Most do. And X-Files made a lot more profit than you're giving it credit for, since most Hollywood movies (and certainly this sequel) make back their production and advertising costs in licensing and distribution fees. Most big movies have broken even, might've made a little profit, before they are ever shown to anyone.

But then again, a flop can be demonstrated by all sorts of yardsticks. In Hollywood, where so many profit points are doled out in contractual obligation, and all the backers are publicly traded, stockholders and talent pay attention to performance targets. That target isn't profit but profit growth over projection, a goal the X-Files clearly did not come close to meeting. Its shortfall in regard to exceeding expected profit (a figure less than none for sure) really is an atrocious number, I imagine.

B-Sol said...

Right, I meant the domestic number. Yes, most movies do make a profit nowadays thanks to overseas distribution. Thankfully for Chris Carter!

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