I noticed something recently.
The Host bombed.
And when I say, “bombed,” it went down in a burning hellfire of “do not want.”
It proved a theory I’ve been forming for quite some time: it’s not who it is, it’s what it is.
Twilight was huge. It’s not because Stephanie Meyer wrote it. It’s because people loved the story. You can’t turn another Stephanie Meyer book, from a whole different genre, into a movie and expect the same people to go see it. The ones who loved the whole vampire/werewolf thing aren’t going to care about body-possessing aliens, or whatever the hell those things are (I haven’t read the book, and don’t really care to, which only proves my point).
You see, there are two kinds of people in this world:
Blind Fans: no matter what the author writes, the singer sings, the producer produces, or the actor acts, they will go see it. They will think it is wonderful and salivate over it. They will refuse to realize it sucks. Fortunately, this makes up a miniscule point of the population. (Or not; see the last presidential election.)
Everyone Else: who basically looks at something and says “make me care.” Yes, J.K. Rowling, I loved your Harry Potter books. Do I care that now you are writing boring, sleazy adult mystery novels? Nope! You know why? I don’t read boring, sleazy mystery novels, and I’m not going to start just because you wrote one. I’m not a fan of you. I’m a fan of one thing you wrote. You will not sell me other books unless you write in a genre I like to read. The same goes for everyone else. David Tennant, I enjoy your work – but if it isn’t a costume drama, Doctor Who, or a vampire movie, I don’t care to see it. I ain’t interested.
Hollywood has to be wondering why so many of their trillion dollar movies are bombing. Well, you’re not giving us what we want. You’re giving us what you think we want, and finding out, hey, you’re not the only alternative anymore. Why would a fantasy fan want to go see a badly-written movie in a genre they aren’t interested in when they can sit at home, play Dungeons & Dragons live with their buddies, and then marathon Game of Thrones?
While I’m at it, hey, Christian book distributors – why would I buy any of your Amish books when I can log on to Amazon.com with my Kindle and get a ton of self-published fantasy e-novels for a few bucks each?
It’s a changing world. Either Big Business is going to have to figure out how to take a much smaller slice of the proverbial entertainment pie, or it’s going to go under, because now, it’s all about giving the audience what it actually wants.