Max Landis Is A Giant Human Baby

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For anyone who missed Max Landis crying like a baby, and getting lots of unwarranted media attention for it, there are the tweets. Basically, Max Landis wasn’t happy his film landed 6th at the box office, and was the worst of the three new wide openers. He has an out-of-touch opinion of the movie he wrote, which has gotten a B- Cinemascore from audiences, a 46% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 6.6 on IMDB. Very underwhelming stuff. Probably anyone who was mildly interested in the film saw the lukewarm reception and said “I’ll wait for rental.”

You made an ultraviolent stoner action-comedy, which in itself is a pretty small genre. Pineapple Express is probably one of the best known “exceptions” to this category having limited appeal, and it only made 87M domestic. It didn’t even break the 100M mark. Jesse Eisenberg had already been in this genre before, with the disappointing 30 Minutes Or Less, which opened slightly better than American Ultra with 13M, and a 37M final take. In fact, Jesse Eisenberg might have been the problem. He rarely opens a film on his own name, and almost always needs to be a part of an ensemble (Now You See Me, Zombieland, Adventureland). The films he usually tries to open on his own are either 30 Minutes Or Less, or indie films like Night Moves. I suppose you could count The Social Network, in which he was technically the lead and the biggest star, but that’s a film inflated by a ton of awards buzz and director David Fincher. I don’t think people went to see The Social Network just because Jesse Eisenberg was in it. Kristen Stewart, his co-star, has spent so long in the Twilight franchise, that basically her only non-indie opener has been Snow White and the Huntsman, which is arguably a franchise film (since everyone was already familiar with the source material), and wasn’t really opened based on Stewart’s name alone. She’s basically unproven as an opener.

And lets be honest. All of us that know films know that there are certain times throughout the year where films are typically dumped. Late August/September has traditionally been one of those times, as attendance always drops a lot when kids go back to school. The studio had little to no faith in this film from the start, and dumped it at the end of August hoping it might just barely make enough money to cover the P&A.

Max Landis cries about original ideas, but is his idea even that original? Isn’t his idea basically a stoner version of The Bourne Identity? It’s even based loosely on a real life agency, MK Ultra. So, what’s his deal?

Original ideas, like Inside Out, Home, Spy, Trainwreck, Get Hard, and San Andreas have had no problem getting viewers this year. And, I’d argue even sequels like Pitch Perfect 2 should get a few points, as they’re sequels based on original films. Beyond that, there’s always an original concept somewhere. There was originally a book by Michael Crichton called Jurassic Park, an old TV series called Mission Impossible, and a couple of guys driving cars Fast and Furiously.

So, Max Landis, perhaps before you take to twitter to lament the current state of filmmmaking, you should do some introspective search and make sure there aren’t problems within. Go home, Max Landis. You’re drunk.

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