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It’s time for more mathematics after some data gathering. This time we will take a deeper look on the performance of the movies on both the financial end and also the critical end of the business, with more advanced math than the previous article to keep things interesting.

On the financial side, I have decided to use the first six weeks of a film domestic running life in the cinema instead of the full life because some of them are still in the theaters. Six weeks should give us enough time to differentiate between the film’s financial performance clear enough and should be pretty accurate as there’s not going to be much surprise from seventh week onward. Let’s give it the term “6W”.

For the films without critic ratings, it will be considered as “0” in my critical ratings calculation. A bit harsh but it’s unfair to others no matter whatever number I put aside from that.

Movie Performance

2H 2011

  • Top 3 Highest 6W Gross: Fallout($519,808,474), Sepulveda($342,313,643), Sandman($322,278,486)
  • Top 3 Lowest 6W Gross: Contention($54,372,732), Siren($60,480,626), L.A. Noire 2($76,119,813)
  • Highest Critical Score: Fallout(90.00), Sandman(85.30), Wild Horses(84.90)
  • Lowest Critical Score: The League of Dumba$$ Dogs(1.00), The Lunch Monster Movie(21.50), Shriek(28.00)
  • 6W Gross Average: $172,518,002
  • Critical Average: 44.42
  • Above 6W Gross Average: 14 films
  • Below 6W Gross Average: 26 films
  • Above Critical Average: 24 films
  • Below Critical Average: 16 films

1H 2012

  • Highest 6W Gross: Speak Like A Child($331,867,977), The X-Files: The Willmore File($246,626,644), The Massacre: Conspiracy Theorum($206,356,586)
  • Lowest 6W Gross: Fatal Frame: Moonchild($50,093,652), Fawlty Towers($63,884,605), Even If The World Ends($66,332,561)
  • Highest Critical Score: Speak Like A Child(93.50), Transylvana(92.10), Still Life(87.00)
  • Lowest Critical Score: Dexter(1.00), Scream 5(2.20), Elder Scrolls: A Dance in Fire(15.40)
  • 6W Gross Average: $125,028,719
  • Critical Average: 50.84
  • Above 6W Gross Average: 19 films
  • Below 6W Gross Average: 20 films
  • Above Critical Average: 21 films
  • Below Critical Average: 18 films

While the first half of 2012 sees some decent improvement on the critical rating, which is up 14.45%, shows that the quality of the films is indeed improving. However, the grossing figure isn’t what a studio would want, dropping over a quarter with a rate of 27.53%. Not really a healthy rate if you consider that the ratio between the critical gain and the gross drop is roughly 1:2. So, one needs to drop around 2% of gross just to gain 1% of critic score, which is bad as the 2% is a drop and keeping it at a minimum of 1:1 will be at least more acceptable in a way of equal trade. Of course, a double increase will be the best scenario but that isn’t what we have right now.

On the other hand, one can explain it by looking at the top 3 of 2H 2011, they are just too huge of blockbusters, which leads to an overall increase of the average. This is further proven by the fact that only 14 films are above the average with 26 under average. The top few really are on another level, forcing the average to rise above the standard 20 above and 20 below. Another factor is that we have a lot of new production companies starting up in 1H 2012 so it’s only fair to gross a bit less due to the limitation of ad budgets, which can be obtained by purchasing items from shopping and new production companies don’t really have much of them in the mean time. One more reason in my own opinion is the lack of huge movies. Fallout and Sandman really gave you a WOW feeling, and we are not really finding too much of that in the 1H of 2012. The scale of movies, as showcased in my previous “HTG Fun With Math“, does contribute to my lack of huge movie viewpoint as in this semiannual we have more shorts than features and shorts normally tend to gross less. An abnormal example will be Sepulveda, top 2 grossing movie in 2H 2011.

On the good side, despite the higher critical average in 1H 2012, more than half of the films are able to top it so props to the overall performance in that half of the year. Let’s hope that the top 3 lowest critical score can be higher next time to retain a higher critical average. Going by the top 3, we can see that the scale of critical rating in 1H 2012 is wider, with a range of 93.50 – 1.00 and higher/lower on both end of top 3. That indicates perhaps a higher variety of scores but perhaps more scores are on the 60-70 range or maybe the lower scores are sticking to the 30-40 range instead of too many in the 20-30 range. It is a good sight for a writing game since critical score probably matters more here.

With such a low average on the grossing side, I believe we can raise it back up by the end of the year and I hope that the critical average can at the very least, retain itself. In the next article, we will examine more in depth the studio and production company performances.

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Today, Brittany Snow was confirmed as the latest graduate of the prestigious Hollywood High School to grace the silver screen. She will be the star of rookie producer KillerCroc’s film, Terror Shark, financed by Catalyst Studios.

“I’m really excited about the film. I love all those cheesy monster movies and Terror Shark’s going to be so much fun,” Snow told the Times over the phone.

Speaking about her time at Hollywood High School, she commented that now was the right time to move on; “I don’t want to be a teenager for the rest of my life. I’m in my twenties now so it makes sense to move into more challenging roles. And there’s nothing more challenging than a giant shark coming at you with lasers coming out it’s eyes!”

There was a lot of competition for the role, with names such as Kaley Cuoco and Sarah Roemer rumored to have been in the mix. Random FX, head of Catalyst Studios, explains; “The role of Sally probably took the longest, because she’s not a Barbie in a bikini, running, screaming and bouncing every time there’s a shark on screen. It’s a tough role, with depth, and I had a lot of girls contact me about the script. When I heard about Brittany’s availability, though, the choice became a lot simpler. I knew straight away we’d found our Sally.”

KillerCroc agreed, telling us that “Brittany’s a great actress and really threw herself into the role. When I saw what she was capable of, I wrote scenes that would push her even more, physically and mentally.”

The rest of the cast has also been announced. Paul Wesley, of Vampire Diaries fame, will play Miss Snow’s love interest, and they are supported by Erick Avari, Toby Jones, Tahmoh Penikett and Dave Franco.

Terror Shark is directed by cult director Stuart Gordon, who is perhaps best known for Re-Animator. The movie comes out worldwide on Friday 28 September.

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Tomorrow will mark a historic day in the eight year lifespan of HTG as My Last Sunrise hits theaters.

As some of you might know, the movie has has the longest period of development in Hollywood’s history with the first talk about the project occurring in the late 1800s after Eadward Muybridge revealed his “Horse in Motion”. While talks died out for a long time following that marvel of technology, they returned once again during the height of the silent film era in the 1920s when Charlie Chaplin expressed interest in taking a dramatic turn with the role of Edmund Bayley, a homeless vampire that wants to have one last meal. Who would have been Chaplin’s “tasty last meal”, non other than Greta Garbo.

After the introduction of the “talking picture” the movie got shelved again. The script was pitched and ditched for years, going through the hands of generations of the great Teufel family of writers. The original story changed and morphed and changed back again, always telling the tragic story of Edmund Bayley, but different eras sometimes brought big changes.

In the thirties he was an undead gangster and in the forties the project morphed into a musical with Cary Grant and a happy ending where love turns Edmund human and the last song is in the sunlight. The fifties saw the movie get much darker with Humphrey Bogart as an ex-detective who must fight the urges of a femme fetal vampire who wanted to make him her last meal. Talk about twisting the concept on its head, eh?

The sixties saw the project drop into the lap of the master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock who wanted James Stewart in the role. Stewart passed and instead shot two back to back westerns that would become classics.  Hitchcock would morph his ideas of a bad man in the shadows longing for the end into a series of spy thrillers, saying “For spies, any day could be their last day.” Would this be the last day for My Last Sunrise?

No, of course not or we would not be talking about the movie in this article! In the seventies the movie got trippy. Instead of being a homeless vampire, Edmund was a dirty Hippy tripping on LSD and only thought he was a vampire. The script ended up being cut down from a feature film to a short film due to the the racy content and when Donald Sutherland, who had been cast as Edmund, refused to do the role unless he was fully naked the whole time. Production ultimately had to be shut down when the production team spent the whole budget on LSD.

The movie got very close to being made in the eighties when rocker Billy Idol was cast as a vampire with bleached blond hair. Alexander Corp, the studio behind the project canceled the film due to disagreements about said hair. “A vampire with bleached blond hair will never work!” the studio head reportedly shouted at the writer/producer, “Never! What’s next, you want Edmund to have a soul? A vampire with a soul! Foolish! Foolish I say!”

In the nineties the movie was ignored, just as people tried to ignore everything that came before. Thankfully in 2007, Teufel revived the project as a possible entry into a Short Film Contest held by Cassy. It was to be a 10 page script bringing the story back to the original idea of a homeless/ageless vampire who wants one last meal before his death. The movie was not finished for the contest. Development continued and it expanded into a short feature and was scheduled for release on September 24th or 2010. The movie now featured Jensen Ackles as the lead, with Blake Lively as Amy Greenwich, Wes Craven producing and the studio behind it was 21st Century Cat Pictures. Production halted, it missed the release date, and the movie went back to the drawing board. 21st Century Cat would try again in July of 2011, but it was another misfire. Something just was not right.

Two years later and the time is finally right! Tomorrow My Last Sunrise will finally be released in theaters worldwide. What was once a short is now a 99 page feature film. As with the 2010 attempt Jensen Ackles is Edmund Bailey. Blake Lively is out as Amy and was replaced by Margot Robbie. Billy Idol who was almost Bailey in the eighties is in the final movie as the Redcoat. Scott Bairstow, M.C. Gainey, and Crispin Freeman fill out the rest of the roles. Christophe Gans directed the movie for 21st Century Cat.

Will the movie be worth the wait? Head to the theater tomorrow to find out! Either way, it will be a historic date in HTG’s history.

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GOLIATHUS: If you can only choose one of your own films, which one would you choose?

DARK HORSE: What like the best one? or my favourite one? I’m keen on all of them I guess. They’re all first drafts and all need work. I figured I’d put them on the shelf after HTG and return to them in a year. Give the well some time to refill itself. I want to write something very small, and very simple. Just a few characters. Then get it published. I like doing edgy, dark stuff but there’s not always a market for it. I think only a few people even went to see “All Fall Down”. In fact, I’m very sure it’s flopping. It’s a lot like in real life where it’s all about getting the biggest gross in the opening weekend. I’m not too disheartened by that. It’s as good as I could make it. I properly exhausted myself for that one. Sometimes these things don’t find an audience. And again, I want to be able to do both sides of the spectrum. I’d love to do a romantic comedy.

GOLIATHUS: If I am not wrong, you are an Englishman, right? Is a British series of films in your plan if you decide to not quit HTG so soon?

DARK HORSE: Haha. I don’t think so. As many of us are writers we all get to a point when we realize what we’re writing is really about ourselves. I think if I lived somewhere else for how many years perhaps I’d be able to write about my hometown because I’d have perspective. I believe a lot of writers create things to get away from a harsh reality. I’m not saying my reality is harsh. I’d just rather write about something that is exotic and foreign to me.

GOLIATHUS: I have heard that you canceled a few projects, mind to share a little about them?

DARK HORSE: Yeah, it got to a point when I didn’t want to be in the game anymore. I originally signed up for the main four – Let’s Get Lost, All Fall Down, Never Look Back, Kill the Wicked. After that I was always going to leave. But we all get writing blocks and sometimes I like to write something while writing something else – as a means of getting that main thing time to breath and grow.

The other projects included a dramady starring some of my favourite underrated actors – Malkovich, Bacon, Liotta, Woods. It was to be directed by Alexander Payne. The second was an untitled Stanley Kubrick project and would be a kind of counter-cultural film from the 1970s. This would have De Niro, Pacino, Nicholson and Hoffman. All at their career peak. This would have been an acting masterclass.

Last but not least, was a potential James Bond film with Michael Fassbender as the lead. Also, responding to the misogynistic and sexist backlash from Let’s Get Lost I was going to team up with Kaitlynn to do a a woman’s picture – it would of had Charlize Theron, Rachel Mcadams, Marion Cotillard and Jessica Chastain. It would have been about waitresses trapped in their cafe during a rainstorm and coming to terms with love and loss.

GOLIATHUS: My initial suggestion is to ask you to take a break and return in the future but I doubt I can change your mind as of now. Still, any plan of returning to this game if you have time in future? Or does this game not feel like something you will play in the future?

DARK HORSE: Who knows. I don’t like to put a cross through anything. I’m always open. Right now I don’t feel like signing any contracts to stay on. Since I joined the game in late April I’ve pretty much spent summer hard at work doing script after script. I thought HTG would be a great way of getting these scripts finished and done for a deadline. I wanted to churn one out a month. There is chaos in creation and pretty much each film I did kept getting delayed. I’m a bit of perfectionist and wasn’t always prepared to hand in a script.

GOLIATHUS: Any improvement you would want to see in this game?

DARK HORSE: I know nobody likes critics, but my one advice to critics is to do their own research before criticizing a thing. I’d also recommend to read the thing twice like real critics. If you’re going to criticize someone’s writing to have errors and spelling mistakes… etc. Please check your own review a couple times before publishing. Second criticism is that Dwayne Johnson should never win an acting award even in a fictional game. It would never happen in real life or in fantasyland.

GOLIATHUS: Last question, anything you would like to add on?

DARK HORSE: No. Again… I’ve had a grand time with you bunch of ragamuffins… It’s been a wonderful 5-6 months. I wish everyone the best. Also, Pedro… Sorry for being such a headache. You’re a good man.

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Last month Lake Hope Features and unbb24 Productions presented audiences with Being Stan Martin, a fun romantic comedy that stars Jesse Eisenberg, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Chris Tucker, Quantum, Ken Jeong, and Steve Martin. Now we have the official soundtrack for the movie and it is as lighthearted as the movie itself! Check it out…

Being Stan Martin Soundtrack

  1. “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter
  2. “Domino” by Jessie J
  3. “If You Had My Love” by Jennifer Lopez
  4. “Borderline” by Madonna
  5. “This Love” by Maroon 5
  6. “One Thing” by One Direction
  7. “Everything” by Michael Buble
  8. “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera
  9. “Without You” by David Guetta ft. Usher
  10. “Glad You Came” by The Wanted
  11. “I Just Called to Say I Love You”by Stevie Wonder
  12. “Stay Here Forever” by Jewel
  13. “Closing Time” by Semisonic

You can currently watch Being Stan Martin in HTG Theaters worldwide!

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