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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Would you enjoy an action/comic-book movie franchise that gave us two or four small movies in a single year rather than one huge one every four years?

Today’s question is inspired by something Duncan Black — aka Atrios — wrote at his blog Eschaton recently:

Obviously I’m just a stupid blogger and people in Hollywood really understand the money, but I’ve been puzzled for awhile why no one has bothered to try to introduce a modern serial concept in theaters. On the teevee they manage (for some shows) to produce 13-20 50 minute episodes with reasonably high production values on teevee budgets. You’d think they could manage 2 1:45 minute movies, released every six months or so, on a bigger but non-blockbuster movie budget. I guess my question is why produce one blockbuster giant budget Batman movie every 4 years when you could release 2 per year. These would be smaller movies in terms of action and special effects, but given the ability to save costs in other ways (reusing sets, marketing, etc) they wouldn’t have to be that much smaller.

Probably all a dumb idea, just curious why it hasn’t been tried.

It’s not a dumb idea at all. In fact, it’s brilliant. For the estimated $125 million that was spent to produce X-Men: First Class, for instance, we could have had two $62 million movies, or four $31 million movies. Yes, they’d be smaller movies… but it’s the characters we love, isn’t it, before the enormous FX? I know I’d rather spend more time with James McAvoy’s Charles Xavier and Michael Fassbender’s Erik Lehnsherr, even if it meant giving up a few explosions. And it might mean we could get to know some of the other mutant characters better than a single movie allows time for.

Of course, such a serialization of movies would make them more like TV, and Hollywood is doing its damnedest — such as going IMAX and 3D — to differentiate itself from TV these days. So this will probably never happen. But it’s interesting to think about?

Would you enjoy an action/comic-book movie franchise that gave us two or four small movies in a single year rather than one huge one every four years? If not, why not?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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