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Shaderhacker
11-03-2005, 02:49 AM
All:

I'm not going to name any names, but I recently got the chance to view a very good story concept for an unnamed company which got rejected for production by the higher ups. With the recent CG features that have come out this year, I am also embarassed by the lackluster plots of these movies. On top of that, from what I've been hearing about other CG films yet to be released, some also seem to be uninspiring and just plain milking an old idea or a concept. So I've sat down for a few minutes and asked myself - "What's going on here?" I've only come to one conclusion. I think that most of these stories are being greenlit because of a handful of people's tastes (if that). The problem with this is that one important man's sweet taste might be bitter in the majority of people's mouths.

If a lot of these larger studios would allow some democracy in deciding what concepts get greenlit and which ones sit on the shelf, perhaps there would be better story-driven CG features coming out. It seems that everyone waits for Pixar to come out with a good story-driven CG feature. Why? Is it the technology? The animation? The presentation? No. It's probably because more than a few people (perhaps even children) influences the decisions of those in charge..

It's all so frustrating actually..especially when you work at such places...

What do you think?


-M

leigh
11-03-2005, 03:01 AM
Hey, the stuff is still putting bums into cinema seats... so why change anything? Millions of people flock to the theatres for brainless entertainment, so why change a formula that sells?

I keep reading stuff this year about declining ticket sales and such but I've not noticed any empty cinemas around these parts.

JeffPalmer
11-03-2005, 03:02 AM
Most blockbusters regardless of full CG or not have horrible stories. There are always gems out there CG or not. You would think that putting so much time and effort into a CG flick they would make sure it has a solid script but like any other film, most of its all about the $ though.

Edit: Darn you Leigh, you said what i was going to add to my post. We as an American whole eat up the poo thats in the theaters, so like Leigh says, why change it? At least thats what the Execs see.

Shaderhacker
11-03-2005, 03:29 AM
I keep reading stuff this year about declining ticket sales and such but I've not noticed any empty cinemas around these parts.

Hmm.. that may be true, but it still is weak. Just think of even more money they'd make if they put out some good content!!

I've been studying the rottentomatoes.com for months now on new films that come out. It seems that the trend is that movies gain "legs" if they have fresh ratings. So for example, Saw II came out and really did good in it's first weekend. However, the reviews are terrible. That leads me to believe that the movie won't last long at all. So even though the homeless flocked to see it, it will disappear from the theatres very quickly because it wasn't deemed very good according to the media. If the movie was actually good, it would make even more money by staying in the theatres longer.

So if I were the man-in-charge at a company that makes CG features, I'd make damn sure that I concentrate on the story so that the movie "sticks". The more it "sticks" - the more money it makes.

-M

opreska
11-03-2005, 03:38 AM
I agree with what's being said, it puts people into seats. Sometimes I feel you could put just about anything on screen, hype it up with the media and it will sell. Besides, creating art/film for the masses is usually dumbed down. I remember my fine arts drawing teacher always preached against creating art for the masses. He always belittled comic books, mtv, most blockbuster movies etc. Art is a language, it sends its message. Is the message worth while? Is it smart? Do you really care if everybody "gets it." Does it matter....Well, if you invest a ton of money, you better hope most people "get it." I've heard a saying, " Hollywood is just high school with a shit load of money."

Brettzies
11-03-2005, 05:03 AM
It seems that everyone waits for Pixar to come out with a good story-driven CG feature. Why? Is it the technology? The animation? The presentation? No. It's probably because more than a few people (perhaps even children) influences the decisions of those in charge.. I think you are right, but not everyone can afford to be Pixar. They were pioneers and that goes a long way to writing your own ticket and not letting things suck because of politics or some other bs in the process.

However, there have only been around 20 cg features and 14 have all made over $100 million domestic.

Cg feature is a huge endeavor, even for the modest films, so picking the right "one" to do is no easy task. I'm sure at Pixar they toil over it for eons. Take a look at the top 15 and ask yourself which ones did you truly not enjoy. And if so, was it a financial dud, or did it make a lot of money?

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/genres/chart/?id=computeranimation.htm

As for who decides what gets made. I don't know, I have my opinions about suits who sit in offices and watch artists work towards their success, bringing a project in early or under budget, or whatever. But there are nice people too, so in the end who frickin' knows? You have the money and the power or position, then you call the shots, that's just the way it goes. I understand your frustration however.

2006 will defintely be an interesting year for cg features though. Could be more bombs then blockbusters, and maybe a surprise or two?

Lunatique
11-03-2005, 05:27 AM
Hmm.. that may be true, but it still is weak. Just think of even more money they'd make if they put out some good content!!


You might be giving too much credit to the average taste of the mainstream population. Remember, studios aim for the lowest common denominator most of the time, because that what's proven to sell. Go look at the DVD or CD or book collection of the average person (IF they even have a collection at all)--I'm not talking about people who are artists or film buffs or hardcore gamers--I'm talking about the average Joe or Jane you'd bump into on the street--They don't exactly have very good taste. Chances are, your top 10 favorite films are movies they've never even heard of, and their top 10 favorite movies will make you want to gag. Why do you think shallow pop sensatiions sell millions while the truly talented and creative visionaries can barely sell a small handful of CD's online from their own websites? It's not always the studio's fault--the sad truth is, the average human being is quite an unremarkable creature--with very bland taste in everything--they are the ones the studios are targeting--not you, not me, not our colleagues. In fact, if you look through some of the threads right here at cgtalk, you'll notice that even some of us have pretty horrible taste.

MCronin
11-03-2005, 05:32 AM
If a lot of these larger studios would allow some democracy in deciding what concepts get greenlit and which ones sit on the shelf, perhaps there would be better story-driven CG features coming out.

I think there needs to be less democracy for lack of a better word. What I see are movies being built by focus groups and committees. Good ideas turn to bland, try to please everyone and offend noone mush. I often wonder what the point is in hiring writers and directors if there are a room full of MBAs rewriting parts of the script, and major decisions about direction and story are being determined by the response some 8 year old kid wrote on a questionaire in a test screening. What needs to happen in many cases is the producers and money men need to just step back and say "I hired these writers and directors because I trusted their vision" and just let the creative people they hired execute. They need to stop second and triple guessing every little tiny creative decision that is made. The producer should be relegated to the role of making certain deadlines are met, bills are paid, and schedules are adhered to. The creative decisions should be left to creative people. The producers should offer their insight about he creative process, but handing down these creative mandates based on this herd mentality is what is destroying many of these movies. They also need to hammer the script out completely before production starts. There should be no question what exactly th movie is about once production has started.

I think that's really all there is to it.

MisfitAnimator
11-03-2005, 05:37 AM
Look at the number of studios wanting to make animated features: Blur, The Orphanage, Sony, and a half dozen other small studios scrambling to make a feature so they can get in on the "market." I bet a lot of major studios (or guys with a lot of money) are looking for a studio with an idea, any idea, just so they can get in on it. After several years of bad animated movies, the smaller ones will go belly up and the ones that are left standing will be the ones with a good story idea.

Just my 2 cents.

Lunatique
11-03-2005, 05:44 AM
What needs to happen in many cases is the producers and money men need to just step back and say "I hired these writers and directors because I trusted their vision" and just let the creative people they hired execute. They need to stop second and triple guessing every little tiny creative decision that is made.

Abso****inglutely. Couldn't agree more.

Most of the best films ever made were directly because of the unique creative vision of the writer and director--not because of boardroom meetings and screen test polls. You don't see novelists or composers or painters or photographers..etc having to put up with the same crap (but then again, not nearly as much money is at stake, and they usually do have to answer to an editor or director or agent--but at least that's one person, not a roomful).

I wonder if there are any hard evidences of boardroom meetings and screening polls that had changed a film significantly, and as the result turned out a masterpiece and a boxoffice smash.

MCronin
11-03-2005, 05:55 AM
I wonder if there are any hard evidences of boardroom meetings and screening polls that had changed a film significantly, and as the result turned out a masterpiece and a boxoffice smash.

Well I can't offer any hard evidence, but I think everyone who has worked on film or game projects for a bit of time has seen what was a good idea or shaping up to be a good idea destroyed by an overbearing group of producers or input from focus groups that was taken as gospel. You have these moments where you see decisions being made that are completely out of your control and are obviously destructive and you think "Who the **** is running this monkey farm?" I personally think focus groups and wishy-washy producers with creative aspirations almost destroyed Midway's legacy as a game developer. It's good to see they seem to be on the rebound.

AmbiDextrose
11-03-2005, 06:05 AM
Reminds me of how Mel Gibson went about making "The Passion". He wanted to tell a well-known story the way he wanted so he put his money where his mouth was, produced it, directed it. Not even the Pope could dissuade him from the brutality depicted nor from an envisioned backlash from Jewish community (which never actually materialized).

I think the film was successful because it didn't pull any punches in depicting the raw violence that was prevalent during that time nor the palpable suffering Mary underwent as she watched her son die a slow and painful death.

kraal
11-03-2005, 06:17 AM
there is a famous script writting book that explains this ( i am not at my bookshelf so i cant tell you the name) but it states that is you plan on being artistic or creative the hollywood is not the place to sell you script...all editors look for something that they know will sell. sequals, remakes , tv shows into movies ect.... something that has a guaranteed audience like a book or a true story. to think that you are inovative and original will never get you a job in hollywood...... unless you can convince someone with clout to be in or back your movie such as a bruce willis ect....

Lorecanth
11-03-2005, 06:17 AM
Lunatique,
I couldn't agree more. I just got back from a SEMA (car equipment makers) party that easily cost 3 mil. That was entertained by free alcohol, music, and motorcross. With easily millions being spent on the event.

We all choose our enviorments, ours promotes the recognition of such things as logical story structure and appreciation of a good well devised plot. If you're coming though from a world of just "How big is that Amp?" or for that matter any other world, you just won't be able to distinguish between the two.

I think it ultimatly comes down to acceptence or rejection of our chosen role as commercial artists.

Leigh makes a valid point of if it gets butt in the seat then great!. Personally I lean towards the other side of the argument, that we as artists are responsible for not only reflecting our culture but shaping it.

The end reality of that though is that I won't get to work on the next Sin City film. I'm stuck in vegas trying to hold down a day job while I pursue my own dreams.

AmbiDextrose
11-03-2005, 06:27 AM
there is a famous script writting book that explains this ( i am not at my bookshelf so i cant tell you the name) but it states that is you plan on being artistic or creative the hollywood is not the place to sell you script

There's also a quote (through i can't, for the life of me, remember who said it) that said: "If you want to sell great stories, write a book."

I couldn't agree more- except for a few exceptions, in the last five years, I've probably been more entertained by a good book (e.g. "Guns, Germs and Steel") or graphic novel than anything on the T.V. or in theaters.

Bentagon
11-03-2005, 07:10 AM
I wonder if there are any hard evidences of boardroom meetings and screening polls that had changed a film significantly, and as the result turned out a masterpiece and a boxoffice smash.I know this happened to Aladdin... but can't say I heard anything like this about a CG Movie.

You and MCronin are spot on, there should be more power to the artists. But unfortunately, taking risks seems to be a thing of the past - and hardly only in the entertainment industry.

- Benjamin

Lunatique
11-03-2005, 07:23 AM
You guys wants to know what's really disheartening?

A game company I worked at years ago was owned by a guy that's a passionate gamer. He even wrote his college thesis on video games, and is a kickass Quake player--one of the best I've ever seen. He is a FPS nut, and that's his favorite genre, but to this date, he's never even tried to make a FPS. Why? Because he knows that sports games sell, and as a company owner, he can't let his own preferences get in the way of making money. Even when he openly asked the staff to submit ideas for prototyping an original game (we were doing only licensed games at the time), he picked the safest, most mainstream ideas of the bunch to prototype. This just goes to show you--when it's your own money and your own company at stake, you make decisions based on a whole different set of circumstances.

AmbiDextrose
11-03-2005, 07:32 AM
You guys wants to know what's really disheartening?

A game company I worked at years ago was owned by a guy that's a passionate gamer. He even wrote his college thesis on video games, and is a kickass Quake player--one of the best I've ever seen. He is a FPS nut, and that's his favorite genre, but to this date, he's never even tried to make a FPS. Why? Because he knows that sports games sell, and as a company owner, he can't let his own preferences get in the way of making money. Even when he openly asked the staff to submit ideas for prototyping an original game (we were doing only licensed games at the time), he picked the safest, most mainstream ideas of the bunch to prototype. This just goes to show you--when it's your own money and your own company at stake, you make decisions based on a whole different set of circumstances.

Heh. That sounds like flipping (as in houses). The rule is "get your personal preference out of the way because you're in it to make money." I mean, it's like taking the magic out of the entire process or like the ball boy who really wants to be a big league slugger- you're working in the field you want to be in but you're still not doing what you really want to do. At that point, doesn't it become just another job?

TomerEp
11-03-2005, 08:07 AM
Its because the producers just pick the next HIT, and not pick the story by the way it is written :)

playmesumch00ns
11-03-2005, 08:50 AM
Exactly.

So many people on here bitch about not being able to be "artsistes" and how the "art form" has been ruined by greedy hollywood execs.

Bullshit.

If hollywood stopped making VFX blockbusters, I, and a lot of people here, would be out of a job. We'd actually have to work for a living rather than having a laugh doing something we enjoy!

If you work to talk film language with the rest of your film geek friends, go get a seaon ticket to an art-house cinema. Your local multiplex is not the place to do it!

ThE_JacO
11-03-2005, 09:26 AM
Hmm.. that may be true, but it still is weak. Just think of even more money they'd make if they put out some good content!!


true, which is exactly why decent movies like fight club, memento, batman begins, equilibrium etc, while being much better and less expensive then their crappy brainless counterparts, did so bad on screen right?

sorry, I'd like to see a brain required to enjoy at least 30% of the movies on screen, but the crowds just don't.

in the same way that not every book is easy to appreciate unless you're a literate, or Picasso is hard to enjoy as much as impressionism if you don't know how revolutionary he was...
not everybody gets good cinema.
most people would watch day after tomorrow over a good Alfred Hitchcock movie, and some of those aren't necessarily stupid.

don't make the mistake to think that every producer is stupid or that everybody has the same perception of what kind of cinema they consider entertaining or worth paying for.

LucentDreams
11-03-2005, 09:48 AM
scary,bujtworking closely with bob boyett the last few weeks,I've come to understand producer a lot better now,nad its funny we all complain about producers being money grubbers and putting profit before art etc, but the one thing we seem to forget about the producers role is they are just the ones with the final sayso, theya re the ones that make the projects happen in the first palce,good or bad story, its them that funds its development past the idea stage.

I'm sure most of us have had, or currently have a personal short project we work on and imagine one day finishin. why aren't we all getting these done, because we have to work on commercials and games and such to pay our bills and live. Its the saem basic thing when you think about it, granted theres a little mroe need for the money in msot our cases thent he rich producer, but as much as you may want to do your piece de resistance, you gotta make a profit on other things or you'll never get it done.

I thin a prime example ofthis is Cordell Barker and his last animatedshort, strange invaders. Took him 7+ years to make the short, partly because he was busy animating on commercials and such to help pay the bills and fund his project.

most of us wont' jump at the chance to have to do a cg tampon commercial but we'll do it cause it pays.

Bentagon
11-03-2005, 10:38 AM
true, which is exactly why decent movies like fight club, memento, batman begins, equilibrium etc, while being much better and less expensive then their crappy brainless counterparts, did so bad on screen right?

sorry, I'd like to see a brain required to enjoy at least 30% of the movies on screen, but the crowds just don't.

in the same way that not every book is easy to appreciate unless you're a literate, or Picasso is hard to enjoy as much as impressionism if you don't know how revolutionary he was...
not everybody gets good cinema.
most people would watch day after tomorrow over a good Alfred Hitchcock movie, and some of those aren't necessarily stupid.

don't make the mistake to think that every producer is stupid or that everybody has the same perception of what kind of cinema they consider entertaining or worth paying for.A well written film doesn't have to be a complex film. Beauty and the Beast or Lion King or Aladdin were way better written than most animated features today, and they're still the audience's favorites and sold millions and millions of DVD's and VHS's. And then I'm not even talking about the old Golden Age Disney ones.

- Benjamin

ThE_JacO
11-03-2005, 11:36 AM
A well written film doesn't have to be a complex film. Beauty and the Beast or Lion King or Aladdin were way better written than most animated features today, and they're still the audience's favorites and sold millions and millions of DVD's and VHS's. And then I'm not even talking about the old Golden Age Disney ones.

- Benjamin

they weren't exactly original were they?
it's funny that the Disney flick considered by most the best since Disney's death, Lion King, was a blatant (and never admitted to) rip-off of one of Tezuka's most popular works and that they tryied to push for original.

beside that anyway, I fail to see how they were "well written" to be honest, I enjoyed aladdin and kinda liked lion king (although it felt like a stripped down version of Kimba, which aired in Italy when I was 8), but well written...

anyway, I agree that complex (which differs from complicated) doesn't necessarily mean better, and that you can do well with something simple, but simple and beautyful is a lot harder then complex and virtuous though, it's not like you're asking for an easy thing to do there :) not to mention that many not-complex great movies still tanked big time, mostly because not enough sets were exploded after the actors walked across them.

SuperMax
11-03-2005, 11:59 AM
too much story in so little time.

Not enough to build up character or feeling.

Slurry
11-03-2005, 12:49 PM
I think it becomes more about economics and less about having a story to tell. They know (or think they know) the animated feature market is hot right now but will crash eventually. So get a film in the theatre (any film) as fast as you can and make your cash before the market crashes.Unfortunately, flooding the theatres with crappy films is what makes it crash. When all the major studios (save a few) stop making animated films because there is not enough financial return, it certainly won't be good for the industry.
So I hope those who are feasting now save some food for the eventual famine.

Art :sad:


ps - and there is nothing that says a big fx blockbuster can't have a solid story too. *cough* matrix *cough* ;)

mummey
11-03-2005, 01:03 PM
All:

I'm not going to name any names, but I recently got the chance to view a very good story concept for an unnamed company which got rejected for production by the higher ups. With the recent CG features that have come out this year, I am also embarassed by the lackluster plots of these movies.

Now Now... Valiant wasn't THAT bad! ;)

Elucid Concepts
11-03-2005, 02:30 PM
Wow, Kai Pederson nailed it on the spot for me.

I got into CG to learn how to make CG movies, because I can't afford all the expensive movie equipment Hollywood owns. But in the end, I guess its because I believe I have a vision that could change the industry. Yea, big words from a guy whose still mucking around in Uni., trying to make a living, but everytime I watch a movie, and compare it with my own story... there is no comparison.

Sometimes its frustrating. I can't sit through two hours of absolute bull****, watching one after another movie come out, and the average chump going: "wow, did you see that? Holy crap, he did a backflip! A freaking backflip! OMFG!"

Heh, who knows. One day when I FINALLY finish the movie, I'll put it online. Free download, and I'll pay for it from my own pocket. I guess a vision that I center my life around is worth going backrupt for.

Matt_mg
11-03-2005, 03:02 PM
Humans are mediocre by nature and most of them like things in their image...

animateddave
11-03-2005, 03:19 PM
This thread could use a title mod edit, maybe add "pompous blowhards run amuck". :D

Shaderhacker
11-03-2005, 04:05 PM
Ok, alot of you guys are talking about wanting more power to the visionary people. This is still dangerous IMO because the person or persons may not produce original/clever content. Take for example Matrix Reloaded. Even though the Wachowski Brothers had free reign to create the story, they didn't do a good job with it.This movie had the potential to make BIG cash! But the critics slammed it for it's lackluster plot and story. As a result, bad word-of-mouth and hefty weekend-by-weekend drops in revenue. It couldn't even beat Pirates of the Carribean.

The point I'm trying to make is allowing the majority dictate what is good and what is not. Let's look at the Pixar films. On rottentomatoes, the *majority* of the reviewers liked their movies as indicated by the high scores they received. This indicates:

1) A good solid script.
2) Long-lasting appeal.
3) More money because the movie will have legs.

So imagine having a bunch of critics from all over the country coming to screenings and stating what they did/did not like about a screening of a movie on story reels. Couldn't this be a good thing as when the higher-ups here comments like, "it was like another rip-off of movie A or B." , they could change the script to fit a more original plot?

Look at Batman Begins. The consumers were probably exhausted because of the lame older Batman flicks and people probably weren't excited to see a new Batman film. However, because Batman Begins was soo good in the script and storyline, it garnered $200M+ because of it's reviews pushing it's time in the theatres. Word-of-mouth made the movie a hit!

I can tell you right now that silly plots, bad stories, too much gagginess, etc.. (even if they are jokes) are going to get slammed by critics. If the critics don't like the movie it's almost guaranteed not to have a long run in the theatres. Long runs = more cash!! Why don't the script/story writers realize this???

-M

Pavlovich
11-03-2005, 04:09 PM
Humans are mediocre by nature and most of them like things in their image...

If you're ever in doubt about this statement, work a month in customer service. Grocery store, Fast food, doesnt matter. The AVERAGE HUMAN BEING is someone who will stop a 10 person line arguing over a 12 cent coupon for a product you don't sell, you never have sold, and you never will sell...and then they'll go out of their way to bitch to your manager to see if they can get you fired or at the very least reprimanded in public.

is anybody really surprised that brainless action filled big juggs movies are being filled to the brim with eager viewers? I think you're all forgetting who/what the AVERAGE HUMAN BEING is. Seriously, i'm pretty sure the United States alone is running at about 7-12% of it's actual potential--all because the AVERAGE is in reality such a low mark.

So next time you say you're average at something, replace the word "average" with "worthless waste of ignorant space" and re-evaluate. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Papa Lazarou
11-03-2005, 09:32 PM
I think a lot of people underestimate the amount of skills required to get a film finished and finished well. In our heads a lot of us will have come up with ideas and premises, that we may think are brilliant, maybe even visionary. It's an entirely different thing taking that idea to fully fleshed out reality. It takes a lot of technical knowledge, persistance and all kinds of interpersonal skills. I think most filmmakers start out with the best of intentions, but when there is so much money involved, and unforeseen complications arise, it is all too easy to lose sight of your vision. You can get bogged down and be in a position where you are unable to take a step back and see what's going wrong.

A lot of the films I have seen lately missed the mark. Some of them didn't miss it by all that much, but for some reason they failed to come alive for me. If they'd done just a few things a little different, they could've had a great movie. That's frustrating, but understandable. Then there's the other ones that you see, where you just wonder "what were they thinking?!". Obviously some filmmakers have strange ideas about what makes for good entertainment. The thing is, starting out, you can never know whether others will find your particular brand of humour funny. A comedian can get a good sense of whether his stuff is going over with the audience, but a filmmaker can't really tell untill it's really too late, and heaps of money have been squandered.

In ten years time we'll look back at this period and remember all the good films that came out and think "why can't they make them like they used to". All the trash that came out will be forgotten about. Some of the bad stuff will even acquire nostalgic appeal.

mangolass
11-03-2005, 10:28 PM
I can tell you right now that silly plots, bad stories, too much gagginess, etc.. (even if they are jokes) are going to get slammed by critics. If the critics don't like the movie it's almost guaranteed not to have a long run in the theatres. Long runs = more cash!! Why don't the script/story writers realize this???

Some films succeed critically, some financially ~ sometimes even both as in your example of pixar films ~ but they aren't automatically linked.

White Chicks (2004) ~ rottentomatoes 12% ~ $113 million worldwide
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/white_chicks/
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=whitechicks.htm

Hotel Rwanda (2004) ~ rottentomatoes 90% ~ $30 million worldwide
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/hotel_rwanda/
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=hotelrwanda.htm

LT

ArtisticVisions
11-03-2005, 10:29 PM
Go look at the DVD or CD or book collection of the average person (IF they even have a collection at all)--I'm not talking about people who are artists or film buffs or hardcore gamers--I'm talking about the average Joe or Jane you'd bump into on the street--They don't exactly have very good taste. Chances are, your top 10 favorite films are movies they've never even heard of, and their top 10 favorite movies will make you want to gag.
Boy, aint that the truth? :rolleyes:
(hell, you should see some of my friends' dvd collections - talk about "Oh my God, I'm gonna go blind!" mediocrity :argh: )

Papa Lazarou
11-03-2005, 11:32 PM
Several years of buying dvds "for the effects" or "for the animation" mean that my dvd collection has a lot of pretty embaressing additions also.

joshmckenzie
11-04-2005, 11:32 PM
Let's not forget that a large part of the interference from studio executives during a film's production comes from the fact that these films are given enormous budgets. Animated films have succumbed to this high cost of production as well. According to Box Office Mojo, The Incredibles cost $92 million, Robots cost $75 million, Treasure Planet an enormous $140 million (and we haven't even added the millions more set aside for marketing). When films cost so much, it's hardly a surprise that studios will do as much as they can to minimise any potential loss, be that through test screenings, focus groups, endless script reviews, production changes etc. (and yes I know, these changes often add to the cost of the final movie!)

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