Fox - You've Sunk to a New Low
by Alex Billington
June 6, 2007
I've had a bone to pick with 20th Century Fox for a long time now. Back in late June of 2006 I wrote an article titled Oh Fox, How We Loathe You. Now a year later they've had their chance to convince me otherwise and make me a believer, but as of yesterday, Fox has sunk to a new low. If you haven't already read it, go read the news - Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer will be rated PG! They did it with Eragon, they're doing it with Fantastic Four 2, and it will be done to Live Free or Die Hard - they're destroying good films only to turn a higher profit with lower MPAA ratings, which will all soon bite them in the ass, yet again.
There will be those who stand up and defend the studio that in their golden days put out classics like Star Wars, Independence Day, and Home Alone, but now they've taken a nose dive straight into Hollywood hell. I can't speak for all of their films, but if you take a look at their line-up in the last six or so months, as well as what's coming up the rest of the year, you'll start to realize even the future looks grim.
From the end of last year until now they've put out all of these terrible films: Eragon, Deck the Halls, Night at the Museum (yes, it was a terrible movie), Epic Movie, Firehouse Dog, and Pathfinder. Give or take Night at the Museum, all of those were considered flops at the box office, too.
Coming up they've got Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Live Free or Die Hard, The Comebacks, The Dark Is Rising, Hitman, and Alien vs. Predator 2: No Peace On Earth. The only few coming up that may not be as bad as the rest are The Simpsons Movie, James Wan's Death Sentence, and Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, but for all we know they could butcher these into PG-rated disasters, too.
It seems like what's happening is that they're struggling to earn more money in an increasingly competitive movie industry, and instead of considering the quality of films, they only consider the earnings. As any good business should consider, profit comes first, but in Hollywood and the film industry that's a touchy subject when most critics and, for that matter, most people in general dislike a film. With a few exceptions to the rule, that general dislike turns it into a box office failure and an attempt to broaden the audience instead results in a loss. Somehow they believe, or people keep going to see the movies, that by chopping up a film to get a lower MPAA rating and broaden the audience it will result in higher earnings, and sometimes it does. But any rightful movie fanatic knows that they're destroying what little hope these movies had to begin with.
The only good thing Fox has going at all is their Fox Searchlight division, which puts out independent and limited releases. They've always made the perfect purchases at Sundance and other film festivals and put out the likes of both Little Miss Sunshine and The Last King of Scotland last year. They're the only redeeming factor to the Fox corporation as a whole, but I still count them separate from those who head up the real studio and are responsible for all of the disasters mentioned so far.
Unless some big changes happen and some new people take control, Fox has sunk as low as any studio can be in my opinion. They're the corporation that's causing the most harm in the movie industry, both in theaters (with complaints that theaters shouldn't show such low quality films at all) and in general with the negative opinion they're building for their films. They can try and continue to believe that butchering films like this will result in higher profits, but we'll let the box office numbers prove that they're wrong. Good luck on success, Fox.