CinemaBlend Head Honcho Josh Tyler and I agree on so many things. We both think I’m worth every penny of the $140,000 a month he pays me; we both think baseball is a much better sport than boring old hockey (I went to a fight once and a hockey game broke out….hey oooooooo, am I right?); and we both believe in our heart of hearts that Juno is the best movie of this, nay, of any, generation.
That’s why I was literally hit-on-the-head-with-Anton-Chigur’s-cattle-bolt-thingy stunned to see that Josh thinks that it is possible to have too many The Dark Knight stories. I understand that Josh has been under a lot of stress what with Comic-con right around the corner and having to deal with Mack Rawden’s insane rantings, but come now. How can we have too many stories about The Dark Knight? It is the best movie of this, nay, of any, generation. Uh….I mean, it probably will be when I see it.
Josh does have a point. I have to say stuff like that since he signs the paychecks and decides who has to cover the next mixed-martial arts meets The OC movie and I don’t want it to be me. We probably don’t need daily stories that say the same thing as the last story but just slightly differently, but if there is something interesting that happens every day between now and the release date (July 18th, are you pumped? I am), I don’t care how many other stories we’ve covered, we should cover the hell out of it. One a day, five a day, ten a day, whatever it takes.
Josh probably wouldn’t disagree with that in theory, but let’s get some sense of how it’s working in practice. In the 26 days of June that have existed so far up to this point, do you know how many The Dark Knight stories this site has run in the news section? Seven. Using my higher math that’s about one every few days. Not outrageously low, but we are zeroing in on the opening date and everything. It’s just around the corner. You know how many Transformers 2 stories we’ve covered in June? Nine. Nine! Nine melon-farmer, muther-buster stories! Transformers sucked. I know people liked it and everything, but other than Shia LaBeouf doing what he could with some stupid dialogue and that hot chick, the whole thing was a pile of dungy dung from Dungville, USA. Even if it didn’t suck (and it did, hard), it’s not coming out until one year from today. One frickin’ year away – nine stories; three bloomin’ weeks – seven stories. I’m not sure what point that makes, but it just seems wrong to me.
Josh points out that no website operator wants to seem like a traffic whore. I think being a traffic whore is sort of the whole point of website operation. Getting people to visit your site, read it, and become fans of your crack writing staff, that whole thing. It worked for those guys over at Amazon.com, I think. Maybe not, they are probably still not making money. The point is, we shouldn’t base every decision on giving the people what they want (no snuff movies, porn, cooking demonstrations,) but when it falls within our basic area of interest (entertainment, movies, geeking out at cool superhero stuff) then let’s go full boar (or bore.)
Josh notes that the “big question” for him is if the Internet buzz will result in box office dollars. Let me answer that question, since he asked. Yes, it will. The only reason the question came up is, as Josh points out, Batman Begins, “barely managed to clear $200 million.” As soon as I read that I thought of Burns and Smithers at the end of the Harvard/Yale football game. Burns says to Smithers, “Honestly, Smithers, I don't know why Harvard even bothers to show up. They barely even won.” Then Smithers gets drunk and stumbles around for Burn’s amusement. Now that’s comedy! Back to the box office numbers. I know that Batman Begins, with a fairly dark storyline, didn’t earn as much as Spider-Man, but it shares that trait with…..well, every other movie ever released except six, so I’m not going to put it down for that. I am going to say that being one of the top 10 superhero movies of all time is usually considered a positive and earning $370 million worldwide demonstrates some interest in the movie that bodes well for the sequel. Assuming the sequel doesn’t suck, which is unlikely in this case. It’s not like George Lucas is directing it or anything.
I’m certainly not going to compare it to Snakes on a Plane and it’s $35 million in box office. That’s like comparing apples and something that is so different from apples it doesn’t even exist in the known world. The Dark Knight is going to make a buttload of money and there is a ton of interest in it and it’s not just a bunch of Internet geeks pushing something no one else cares about. This isn’t Speed Racer, it’s Bat-goddamn-man. It’s the Joker. It’s Heath Ledger and his recent death shooting heroin in Mary-Kate Olsen’s apartment (I may have some of the details wrong.) There are going to be plenty of people rushing out to see this and if it’s good, rushing out to see it again. Batman fans, Heath Ledger fans (hello girls age 12 to 17 and gay men who missed out on the first movie), action movie fans, slumming Marvel fans, lots of people. It’s not an Internet creation.
Josh said that “even the worst Dark Knight story we’ve ever written receives more reading than the best possible Indiana Jones or WALL-E article.” I appreciate being mentioned, but it then begs the question, why not more The Dark Knight stories. Get some good writers on them, not me of course, but we have a few. As the Kinks say, let’s give the people what they want. Or, at least, not try to not give them what they want.