Sex Doesnt Sell To U.S. Movie Audiences

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by MisterMark, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. MisterMark

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    From: The Advocate (news magazine)
    March 24, 2005

    You can laugh about it. Fantasize about it. Be punished or killed for it. But what you can't do is take sex seriously at the movies. Look at the numbers on sexy movies. The list of box-office casualties is long. Both versions of Lolita died at the box office, along with Striptease, Showgirls, Henry and June, Crash, The Brown Bunny, The People vs. Larry Flynt, Crimes of Passion, Wonderland, and Original Sin. Boosted by raves, the 1998 porn-world flick Boogie Nights topped out at $26 million. Even when Warner Bros. Pictures sold Eyes Wide Shut as a groundbreaking sex event movie starring Tom Cruise and his then-wife Nicole Kidman, audiences blinked. "People get itchy about straightforward sexuality," Universal Pictures publicity executive Michael Moses says.

    More: http://www.advocate.com/new_news.asp?ID=15511&sd=03/24/05
     
  2. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    Seems like going to the movies is a family event in the U.S. Families want to see G, PG or PG-13 at most (blockbuster "R" movies are the exception,) and that's where Hollywood breaks the $$$ records.

    Hollywood has found that if they don't make the audience feel uncomfortable about being seen in a group of movie-goers they're going to make more money.
     
  3. Dr Rock

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    who lives in the east 'neath the willow tree? Sex
    pathetic, isn't it.

    I think it's just that Mr & Mrs Joe & Jane Average don't like being reminded how sad and boring their OWN sex lives are.

    uh, no offence to the married folks or nothing ;)
     
  4. mindseye

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    I don't think it's a matter of being 'itchy' about sexuality (although that has something to do with it) -- it's just that sex in and of itself doesn't make much of a movie. Really, who watches porn for the plot and the character development? Many of the movies you mentioned were bad movies (Flynt the notable exception).

    We live in a sex-negative culture, to be sure, but the movies cited don't really prove the Advocate's case.
     
  5. KinkGuy

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    Sex or no sex, the movie has to at the very least not suck, before people will shell out the $9 ticket price. Most of the "sexy" movies on that list, were crap any way you looked at them and the studios tried to save a bad investment by "selling the sex." Bottom line? Full frontals or not, it's gotta' have a good story line.
     
  6. Dr Rock

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    who lives in the east 'neath the willow tree? Sex
    are you kidding or just being sarcastic? check out the box office figures for some heaps of celluloid dreck such as Titanic.
     
  7. jonb

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    That's the problem with Hollywood. All style, no substance.
     
  8. SpeedoGuy

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    Sex may not sell much but violence sure does.

    SG
     
  9. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    No doubt about it, folks won't go see a movie with male full-frontal unless it's big. :p
     
  10. MisterMark

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    Just a note: The intro was written by The Advocate, not I. ;)
     
  11. Imported

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    orionsword57:
    But then you have TV (read the latest Time magazine on "has TV gone too far"), and many of the successful books written today. Sitting in a movie theater is a far less comfortable venue than reading or watching TV alone or with a trusted SO.
     
  12. BobLeeSwagger

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    I would take issue with some of the movies they hold up as examples of this alleged prudishness.

    Lolita is a story about pedophilia, which doesn't exactly qualify as sexy to most people. That's not a judgment on the story or the issues involved, but it's a good explanation for its lack of marketability.

    Striptease got poor reviews from most corners and I wouldn't call it very sexy. It was a star vehicle for Demi Moore to rile people up for fun and profit.

    Showgirls is possibly the least erotic movie I've ever seen, so painfully crappy and unarousing that they managed to make Gina Gershon unsexy, which is hard to do.

    Crash was an interested movie and I kind of liked it. (I'll see any David Cronenberg film because I know it's going to be weird.) But it concerned a car crash fetish. Not exactly mainstream material. Hell, I liked the movie and I don't even understand that kind of fetish.

    The Brown Bunny was universally disliked by everyone at the Cannes Film Festival, not exactly an anti-sex event. Ebert says the recut is much better, but its chances for wide distribution were dead on arrival.

    The problem with these movies wasn't that they were sexy. It was that they weren't that good and/or didn't appeal to a mainstream audience. Mainstream appeal is what gets box-office glory.
     
  13. jonb

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    Yeah, well, Lolita the novel is a classic. Movies based on classics don't do very well unless they're Disney musicals.

    Speaking of which, I should point out that Pocahontas is about pedophilia too; she was about Lo's age when Jamestown was founded.
     
  14. madame_zora

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    Oh silly, that doesn't count for brown people. Lolita was shocking because she was white! It has long been acceptable for people of darker ethnicities in servile positions to become willing or unwilling sexual partners for the white men they serve. Oh, it's also okay to assume servitude regardless of their position in their own culture, duh!
     
  15. BobLeeSwagger

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    Oh silly, that doesn't count for brown people. Lolita was shocking because she was white! It has long been acceptable for people of darker ethnicities in servile positions to become willing or unwilling sexual partners for the white men they serve. Oh, it's also okay to assume servitude regardless of their position in their own culture, duh!
    [post=294456]Quoted post[/post]​
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    I think the time period has more to do with it than the fact that Smith was white and she was native american. It was very common 400 years ago for women to be married in their teens to older men. When the life expectancy is only about 35, life's milestones come quicker. I'm not saying there wasn't any exploitation, because in that situation it couldn't possibly have been a marriage of equals. But it would not have been unusual for him to marry a white girl of a similar age either.
     
  16. B_DoubleMeatWhopper

    B_DoubleMeatWhopper New Member

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    I wouldn't say that Pocahontas is about pedophilia. That's like saying that Gilligan's Island is about the Professor's inventions. It's there, but it's not the focus. And if we consider the Disney version, it's not a documentary. Disney's adaptations of historical and literary stories are not known for being faithful to the source material.
     
  17. jonb

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    Yeah, but submissive women is a common theme in Di$ney movies. I'm not even sure if Lenape girls' marriages were arranged either.

    Either way, most twelve-year-olds aren't C-cups.
     
  18. madame_zora

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    Well, a few are- I was. It still doesn't mean we are ready to have relationships with adult men! Yes, I know very young teens were married to older men all the time, but I still think there was more of a tendancy to disregard the girl as a person if she also happens to be of a race other than white.

    Chimera, my father is from India, I thought my non-white status showed up well enough in my pics!
     
  19. jonb

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    But there is a racial double standard at work. Should I even mention all the boarding schools which have been caught pimping Indian kids off to white men. I'm sure some women too.

    Sometimes they're even more extreme about it: Last year a cardinal justified this missionary to Alaska's priestly pederasty by (falsely) claiming that the Eskimos did it all the time.
     
  20. madame_zora

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    Well, there's a difference between stating things that have actually happened and being racist. If someone has actually been accosted by someone of another race and they're telling their story, that's just reporting facts (as long as it is in fact their true story and not one made up to discredit others). In the case of our nation's history, it is no secret that white men purchased blacks from Africa to be brought here as slaves. Now, I know many will say that it was the black leaders who sold them, which is true, but they were filling a demand enabled by the white men, if whites weren't buying it wouldn't have happened. "White guilt" is not productive, but a clear understanding of how we came to be in the position we are now in culturally is important.

    The Brittish imperialists dominated India in her own land, but I don't resent the modern day English, because they have taken it on themselves to do some research and found their previous government's behavior to be wrong. When Mother Teresa died, the paper read "Today the world lost it's mother". She was a tiny little woman from Calcutta whose passion for seeking out the goodness in others infected us all. Mahatma Ghandi is well respected worldwide for his contributions to how we all viewed the world, he rubbed the Brittish's noses in the wrong of their own philosophies until they finally had no choice but to relent or face worldwide ridicule. Most of the British people had no idea this was even going on, but when they heard about it on the news they became enraged and called on their government to put an end to the atrocities. If I am idealistic (which I hope I am), it is because I prefer to believe in the purity of the human spirit above the potential for hate. Naive? Not necessarily so. Today in England I am treated well, in fact they seem to have a fascination with Indians. We are not there yet here in America wrt blacks, even though we've had quite a bit more time. The ongoing subclass status into which people of African decent have been forced is NOT over in most of our country, only how overt it is seems to tell another tale. Do I think the British had it easier than us? Probably, because this didn't occur on home soil, but I believe deeply in the dream of America. "Give us your tired, your poor, your hungry...". We have built a tremendous nation on these principles, but we have built it on the backs of Africans, Chinese, Native Americans (who frankly are still the group the government fears most because they have the most legitimate claims to the land.
    It is impossible to deny our abhorrent treatment of these peoples). To be truly great, we need to open up our hearts to the disenfranchised, or else we just become another generation in a long line of perpetrators. I prefer NOT to participate in the crimes of our forefathers.

    We can go on indefinitely expounding on human nature, but the question begs to be asked "What's the point?" and I must ask this now. MY point is that racism hurts us all and they sooner we grow past it, the better we will be as human beings. I feel (my personal belief) that aruging for our rights to be racists is a thing that brings glory to no one, peace to no one, and is lacking in any good purpose. I don't know you personally, nor could I guess your reasons for feeling the way you do, but your beliefs, at least the ones you've posted, are ideas that I reject wholesale from a humanistic perspective. There is no way for me to separate one segmented set of facts from the whole in which they developed, and maintain any sort of clarity. Always, I find it of more benefit to look at the situation as a whole and search in earnest for ways to amplify the good and decent potentialities in us all! If I am wrong to do so, I can live with that. Perhaps my creator will laugh at my frustration, but know my heart was in it.
     
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