Thirty years ago you could get away with making whatever country was in a disagreement with the United States into villains and there was never a problem. Why? Because foreign cinema markets hadn’t opened up to American ones in the same way they do now. Pandering to American audiences was expected because Americans comprised a majority of the box office dollars.
Worldwide grosses now comprise 70% of Hollywood’s theatrical revenues, with several emerging economies becoming critical components in profitable ventures. How is this important?
Or, more specifically, it’s remake which is getting some significant changes. The Red Dawn remake has been mired in post production hell for some time and now has an official reason for being delayed from the initial November 2010 release: new villains.
Per the L.A Times the invasion force has gone from being Chinese to North Korean, thus incurring an additional $1 million in digital effects costs to change symbols, et al.
Ain’t it Cool News had a follow up interview with Tripp Vinson, one of the film’s producers, for a statement on the situation, made per e-mail after a phone conversation:
“The changes made to Red Dawn in the last few weeks were made in consultation with military think tanks and people that specialize in game theory. Really smart people that spend their days constructing doomsday scenarios for our military and government. The type of people that know the limitations of the North Korean military. The type of people that can project a series of events that could lead to some very scary things happening to our Country. I can assure you, we listened well to those people, especially with regards to the capability of the North Korean military.”
Or, in other words, China is too big a market for us to make them the explicit villains so we’ll settle for a country that doesn’t make us much money. It gets more amusing (for lack of a better term) as he goes on, though:
“Red Dawn isn’t for everyone. So, if you are interested in seeing a movie filled with preachy political discussions – Red Dawn ain’t for you. If you love movies in which Americans are the bad guys – Red Dawn ain’t for you. If you get emotional watching daytime television – Red Dawn ain’t for you. If you’re a vegetarian – Red Dawn probably ain’t for you.
But! If you like meat with your potatoes, muscle cars that roar, tanks, guns and things blowing the fuck up by American’s kicking some Commie ass – then we have something special coming your way. ”
It seems a bit desperate and pandering in the same sort of way that the hype for The Expendables was or advertising for Miller Lite, the “if you’re not a manly manly manly man you won’t like this.” Considering the film doesn’t even have a specified release date yet this isn’t good news at all.
What do you think? Is changing villains from China into North Koreans an economic one at heart meant to preserve box office gross?
Tags: action, Adrianne Palicki, Chris Hemsworth, Isabel Lucas, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Josh Hutcherson, MGM, News, Red Dawn, remake, war
Source: Los Angeles Times