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Skyline – An Inexpensive Lesson To Be Learnt

This article was written by Barry Steele.

For years, we have been screaming out at Hollywood that big budget effects do not a great movie make. CGI heavy movies though do tend to make a big noise at the box office, so can be considered very effective. The likes of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen have championed big computer animated set pieces at the expense of competent acting and coherent plot, and continue to get away with it.

The sizable budget usually extends to a big marketing push, which seems to be half the battle for box office success these days. We now seem to have reached a new level however. Skyline had the expensive looking effects, but didn’t even have the marketing push behind it. Consequently, it failed.

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  • Reed Martin November 29, 2010, 1:35 PM

    Re: “Skyline’s” failure at the box office, it may not be because it was a big budget SFX movie with zero marketing dollars behind it. I heard from every sci-fi fan who saw it that it was a TERRIBLE move with an extremely un-satisfying “Hey, it was all a dream!” ending that sent everyone out of the theater, angry and disappointed. In this era of Facebook and Twitter where everyone can post “Skyline S-U-X” to everyone they know and everyone on their SIM card (in case they have an old-style cellphone) bad word-of-mouth travels extremely fast and a movie can live or die by Friday night or even before opening night. So while some elements of “Skyline” looked like Halo: ODST or Mass Effect-2, the people who actually went to see it, hated it, and felt burned by the studio who sold them a bill of goods, and then (as audiences are keen to do) made it their life’s work to tell everyone they knew that the movie was awful and they should save their $10 dollars. So, it may be that this is the reason for the film’s failure, and not necessarily for its splashy special effects, which, after all, were not that expensive. EA’s “Dead Space-2” has better effects than movies like “Skyline” do, these days. — Reed Martin (NYU) http://amzn.to/a7O1qy