Edge Of Tomorrow and the future of stand-alone sci-fi

Feature Ryan Lambie 12 Jun 2014 - 05:59

Despite great reviews, Edge Of Tomorrow has struggled. What does that mean for the future of stand-alone sci-fi films, we wonder...

Five years ago, sci-fi cinema enjoyed a remarkable period of critical and financial success. Avatar came out at the end of 2009, made billions, garnered nine Oscar nominations, and won three. District 9 had emerged that same summer, where it made more than $200m and received four Oscar nominations. Then there was Moon, Duncan Jones' low-budget genre film which launched his filmmaking career.

In the summer of 2010, along came Inception - Christopher Nolan's high-concept sci-fi thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Ahead of its release, Nolan's industry clout was at its height following the financial success and acclaim of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Yet Inception was seen by many as a risky undertaking - a $160m passion project Nolan had managed to set up  because Warner was so keen to have him make a third Batman film.

The writer Mark Harris, in his 2011 article The Day The Movies Died for GQ magazine, wrote of the scepticism which led up to Inception's debut in cinemas. "After it started to screen, the party line changed: 'It's too smart for the room, too smart for the summer, too smart for the audience...'"

Those sceptics were soon proved wrong. Inception made more than $800m, and like Avatar and District 9, joined that small club of genre films with Oscar recognition: it was nominated for eight Academy Awards, and won three.

Films such as Avatar, District 9 and Inception appeared to prove that there was a ready market for stand-alone genre films - the latter pair, in particular, seemed to indicate that such films aimed at an older audience could still sell tickets. 

A range of varied and (often) highly entertaining SF films followed after the launch of Inception. Monsters, Skyline, The Adjustment Bureau, Battle: Los Angeles, Limitless, Source Code and Super 8 in 2011, to name a few. Super 8 managed to make more than $250m from a $50m budget, which isn't a bad feat for a film without a major star attached.

Without films like Avatar, District 9 and Inception, it's arguably less likely that Hollywood studios would have put up the money for the legion stand-alone films which followed. Take for example, director Joseph Kosinski's Oblivion - a project which began as a much smaller concept, before Tom Cruise signed up for the project and its budget expanded to $120m. When we spoke to Kosinski last year, he cited as Avatar as the "ultimate example" of a successful stand-alone science fiction movie.

"If I was doing something based on another movie - either a sequel to another movie, or based on a well-known property - it would be a little easier," Kosinski told us. "But then an original story is difficult, and then an original story with a high budget is probably the hardest level. Luckily, there's been some really successful films that have been original - Avatar, obviously, being the ultimate example, so I knew I needed a movie star."

Such films as Elysium and After Earth followed a not dissimilar model to Inception and Oblivion: if you're going to make an expensive, original sci-fi film, you need a name attached. Having Leonardo DiCaprio was one major factor in Inception's success in 2011, and Tom Cruise's name arguably helped Oblivion at the box-office, particularly overseas. 

Yet big names don't always help. Despite Matt Damon and Jodie Foster's billing in Elysium, the film didn't make a great deal more than District 9 had back in 2009. M Night Shyamalan's After Earth failed to make much of an impression in cinemas, despite the usually reliable star presence of Will Smith. Something similar happened in 2014, with Transcendence, starring Johnny Depp, making just $79m worldwide - a fair amount less than its $100m budget.

Now, you could argue that a mixture of negative reviews and bad press took their toll on these films. But what are we to make of Doug Liman's Edge Of Tomorrow? The reviews for Liman's film, based on a Japanese novel, were largely positive - it's currently rated 90 per cent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes - yet it only managed to get to number three at the US box office on its opening weekend.

So what happened? In all likelihood, it was a mixture of a difficult-to-market concept (Edge Of Tomorrow looked far more generic in trailers than it did on the big screen) and unexpectedly tough competition: Disney's Maleficent proved to be popular enough to hold onto the number two spot in the charts, while the teen romance The Fault In Our Stars turned out to be the surprise hit of the summer so far, taking $48m on its opening weekend.

As Rob wrote earlier this week, a major film starring Tom Cruise found itself cast as the underdog at the summer box office - a disappointing state of affairs, given just how darkly funny and entertaining Edge Of Tomorrow proved to be. Although by no means flawless, Edge Of Tomorrow is an example of how entertaining a high-concept studio action film can be. 

The reality, of course, is that expensive science fiction films - particularly ones that are either entirely original, or adapted from books that few moviegoers have heard of, as Edge Of Tomorrow was - are always a risk. Cast your eye over the lower-budget genre films of the past year or so, and it's clear that the genre is still popular. Films such as Chronicle, Looper, The Purge and this year's Her all did well when you compare their takings to their more modest budgets; The Purge was especially successful, given that it made almost $90m from a $3m investment.

The real worry is that the slow business of something like Edge Of Tomorrow will make studio executives think twice before risking their investors' money on another stand-alone genre film in the future. When the Wachowski's own original sci-fi film, Jupiter Ascending, was shoved from its July 2014 to 2015, it was reported that Edge Of Tomorrow's lack of box office impact was to blame. Warner Bros, fearful of having two misfires in one summer, decided to push Jupiter Ascending back to February the following year.

There are some rays of hope on the horizon, however. Christopher Nolan's next film, Interstellar, is due for release in November, and it follows a not dissimilar pattern to Inception: a major star in the lead (Matthew McConaughey), a sci-fi concept (this time about travelling through wormholes in space), and a sterling supporting cast. Then there's Neill Blomkamp's next film, the sci-fi comedy Chappie, which sounds like something of a return to the director's quirkier, more independent roots, with a lower budget ($60m) and a script co-written by his District 9 collaborator, Terri Tatchell.

Between them, Nolan and Blomkamp did much to convince ever-cautious studios that original science fiction is worthy of investment. If Interstellar and Chappie are as good as we're hoping they'll be, maybe they can do the same thing again very soon.

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Inception was crap too.

You know what though? I don't care. Tom Cruise is awesome (and can act, as proven in Edge of Tomorrow) and doesn't seem to be nerved by the current state of scifi movies. So he will continue to churn out good scifi flicks which I will continue to devour. Case closed. ^^

I think the problem with Edge of Tomorrow in the states was Tom Cruise. He seems to be out of favour over there recently, I'm from the UK so I have no idea why, could any of our US geek brethren shed any light why this seems to be the case? I was thinking possibly his Scientology beliefs? Am I right, wrong or stupid for even asking?

I like Tom Cruise but most people do not for numerous reasons, be it his relationship, his Scientology or some dud films he has been in recently. I think EoT is failing because of his presence.

no doubt negative press tom cruise receive due to his scientology beliefs is the only reason.his overseas box office is less effected because of less us media presence overseas.tom cruise is the last legend of holywood. and media destroyed his domestic box office. EOT is excellent movie far far better then stupid sequels like x men, captain america,spiderman

i'm not a fan of cruise but having nothing against him, i really enjoyed his performance in edge of tomorrow

not sure avatar can be classed as sci-fi

I think this is the only logical conclusion. Cruise himself is deservedly tainted and his recent run of films which, while enjoyable, haven't been altogether memorable, have led to a backlash.

No. No it wasn't.

Deservedly Tainted? Why's that?

One of the most overrated pieces of nonsense ever. I think there is a King Midas thing going on here; if you say you didn't like Inception it means you didn't understand it and are therefore stupid.

Agreed, Edge of Tomorrow, for me, made up for X Men DOFP and Spiderman 2. Tom Cruise actually looked like he was having fun, something I haven't seen in a while.

Dude. Anything that has both Michelle Rodriguez AND VTOL gunships in it is automatically scifi.

You sound stupid. ^^

There are a number of potential reasons for his fall from favour.... the ridiculousness of his Oprah Winfrey appearance which saw him jump up and down on a sofa declaring his love for Katie Holmes, the then disintegration and allegations of his break up from Holmes supposedly brought about by his Scientology beliefs, his affiliation to that crack pot religion in general and his general change from being the nations original beloved homeboy on campus skidding around in his underwear to Bob Seger, to the crack pot with a Napoleon complex he is these days. Plus, its safe to say his global appeal has been eclipsed by a 'Jackman' sized star as well as other brighter things in the Hollywood universe with others on the way (here's looking at you Chris Pratt). Our Tom just ain't the box office draw he used to be.

I'm all in favour of standalone sci-fi films as opposed to attempting to get into a franchise or a TV series that'll take ages to catch up with. District 9 is one of my favourite sci-fi films, even though I don't really care much for the genre on the whole. I generally prefer "near future" or "alternate present" types of sci-fi such as Inception, Monsters, Her etc anyway. I guess that's one of the reasons I personally can't be bothered with Edge of Tomorrow - the trailers portray it as some sort of big, dumb "pew pew shoot the aliens" fest.

But the other major factor is Tom Cruise. I think there's only two or three films of his that I can watch and forget that he's the star. I can't bring myself to sit through two hours of another action film of him smouldering at the camera and saying "I am not a hero/solider/cop/lollipop man" (delete as appropriate) before doing something that only the aforementioned would do.

I'm surprised Gravity was not mentioned in that article.

I think 'realism' has a lot to do with the current trend which Nolan kicked off with Batman begins.

The whole idea of something being more grounded and 'real' seems to be something more and more people are wanting in their films.

I think that's why a film like Gravity succeeded. It was set in space, but it was something that seemed feasible.

The whole idea of Live.Die.Repeat may have put a lot of people off I feel.

I didn't think Inception was as good as everyone makes out, it was definitely overrated but still a good film. Personally I prefer Prestige

What would you class it as?

It's a film set on another planet with Aliens, space ships, tech that hasn't been invented and a fuel source that doesn't exist.

Actually, now I look at it, it does seem more Rom-Com.

I really enjoyed this film ( saw it on the 7th June) and am eagerly awaiting a tin box bluray release like I couldn't find for Oblivion, which I caved in to and purchased from Tesco yesterday ( another great film...but no tin case...DOH ).
There are quite a few "Cruise" movies I like....EOT, Oblivion, War of the Worlds, M.I. series, Last Samurai, Valkyrie and of course, Rock of Ages.
More like Oblivion and Edge of Tomorrow please Mr Cruise....and if you're going to make more M.I. films, drop Simon Pegg and the comic relief...PLEASE !

Cruise is the problem here. Some people (myself included) just don;t like him and the chances of me seeing this film are affected by this (despite having read the book it is based on a few yeard ago).

After Earth is the same thing. No idea if it is any good but enough people dislike Will Smith's pushing of his kids that the film is affected by it.

A "name" is useful only to the extent they don;t have negative baggage coming along.

I love SciFi - the problem is it's so easy to do badly, but when done well there is no better

Or maybe Period-Drama.

There is also the Brad Bird directed Tomorrowland that comes out next year, but there is a lack of original movies coming out in the future. Give it a few years and everyone will be tired of the same sequels coming out and then a smart sci if movie will come out.

Maybe it's a mixture of things - the cost of cinema is near extortionate now - for 2 of us to go will set us back almost £20, so you have to be more careful which films to see. People have less free time also, sometimes you just miss movies through lack of time. And Tom... He's not a reason to go and see a movie these days, who is? I want to see this film but I also want to see Xmen, Guardians.... I can always catch up with Edge of tomorrow on Sky.

Ah millennials.. Always adamant it's there opinion or nothing at all. It's so cute....

I'm in my forties!

Market every non-sequel, non-tween, non-superhero movie as a found footage/based on true events horror. Bums on seats guaranteed.

I agree, when ever I see Tom or Will on the poster I give it a miss and maybe catch it on sky...


Are you sure you're thinking of Midas? Guy who turned everything he touched to gold? Wouldn't The Emperor's New Clothes be a more apt analogy?

Thing is, in this case the Emperor actually is wearing really nice clothes and only someone who thought the Emperor was King Midas in disguise wouldn't be able to see them. Because, you know, gold...

Simply put it failed due to a complete a lack of marketing. I don't know maybe they did market it but did it badly. In any case phe complaints popping up in the last few days about it not doing well is the first time I've even heard about this movie.

Is anyone else a bit sick of the way Hollywood thinks it's only worth releasing movies in the summer? There is at least one big movie a week at the moment, and TBH, I don't want to go to the cinema every week. This will be followed by a several months of nothing decent coming out. Most people will deliberately avoid some movies so there is actually something to watch on DVD/Blu-ray in a couple of months. I only really go into Manchester to watch movies down th'IMAX these days, and there have been so many movies out, they haven't been able to fit DOFP in yet.

Also, big movie stars are as much of a liability as a selling point these days. In times of austerity, it's a bit distasteful to pay someone £20m+ for a couple of months work. Every star brings some baggage with them that is just as likely to put punters off as attract them (Yep, I can't stand Tom Cruise either, so as soon as i heard about this movie, I knew I wouldn't go and see it). Casting (relative) unknowns seems to be a much safer bet these days, and makes a studio more money.

As usual, Marvel seems to be leading the way

pocahontas with aliens and tech does not equate to sci-fi imho

I agree with this whole summer business. It's why Bond comes out in November or that sort of time now. Less competition. I'm haven't seen Godzilla or DOFP yet. My wife loves Tom Cruise films! I like Sci-Fi. Guess what we saw. There is too much to see in such a short space of time. I have a child to take care of! When I was single with my Cineworld unlimited card I could go 3 times a week easy! I'm lucky if I get one film a month in now and I will sit through most crap.

It's science-fiction, it's just not hard sci-fi. Google the term 'Mohrs Scale'.

There are more national holidays and bank holidays throughout the summer months, hence people are perceived to have more free time, hence can go to the cinema more. I may be wrong but i'm pretty sure that's how it works. I personally always thought it made more sense to release them over the non summer months when the weather is potentially worse. Nobody wants to sit in a dark cinema when its beaming out!

Aw crap, you're right I've gotten my fables crossed

Edge Of Tomorrow wasn't a perfect film, but it was ENTERTAINING. I liked the use of editing to show the numerous times Cruise relived his day. Cruise did a wonderful job of showing the progression of his character. You could see him changing as he was figuring out more and more what was going on. He was believable. There was a sense that all involved in the film were having fun in telling their somewhat serious sic-fi film. Moments like the overweight fighter going au natural or Blunt pulling out her gun every time Cruise's body broke helped add enjoyment throughout.

Don't forget a sic-fi film SURELY to entertain in May, 2015...Brad Bird's "Tomorrowland."

Ah, Battle: LA. I liked that movie. There was talk of a sequel and it did enough at the box office, so where is it? Same goes for the sequel to TRON: Legacy that has the same director as Oblivion, where is that movie?

jamesthemod Good one. I am here for the comments less for the articles.

Can't tell if that's sarcastic or not! ha-ha.

I think he means Cronk's New Groove.

For a second I thought you were American and I pictured a theater packed with hobos. Shopping carts all in the parking lot, popcorn popping over barrels what's got fire in em, GET YOUR FEET OFF THE BACK OF MY NEW BED!

WHAT!? I'll rip out your ENDOCRINE SYSTEM!!!

Bums. Heh heh

The 7th June??? How many moons does your planet have?!

My cousin described it as being like the matrix!


I strongly believe stand-alone sci-fi can work if Hollywood would be content to scope down the production and focus more on the story. District 9 was made on a $30M budget, but killed it because the story was original and smartly played on the themes of apartheid in South Africa. Inception was expensive but it was smart, unique and used the effects to propel the story instead of serving as a backdrop. How many extravagant spaceship crashes or building collapses do the studios think people will tolerate? About as many as you can cram into your established franchises, and that's it. It was a spectacle the first time, but the viewer fatigue sets in immediately. Elysium and Oblivion were both beautifully done films, but the story was bland and felt padded by the effects. Monsters and Moon, on the other hand, were terrific stories done for pennies by comparison. We need more of that, and less of the endless Transformers franchise (as amusing as those films can be when they hit HBO.)

No mention of DREDD in this article? Ten years in the cubes, creep.

I love sci-fi films. And i love action films. But i refuse to see anything with Tom Cruise in it. And Will Smith for that matter. Quit trying to shove Tom Cruise down our throats.

I will see nothing with Tom Cruise in it. He is a terrible actor. Case closed.

Plus, he's a terrible actor.

Agreed. Tom Cruise/Will Smith = me not seeing that movie.

"Last legend of holywood." Ha. Guy's a terrible actor. In twenty years nobody will remember him.

i don't think anyone is trying to shove cruise down our throats, he simply has a penchant for sci-fi films and has starred in some very decent ones tbf, his consistency should be admired if anything

Because he sucks.

Yeah but it sucks for me because i would have totally gone to see Oblivion or After Earth or Edge of Tomorrow (terrible title btw) if it weren't for Tom Cruise/Will Smith. I'm the perfect audience for these types of films-- i love sci-fi, i love action, and i love visual effects-- but i am not the perfect audience for Tom Cruise or Will Smith vanity projects.

Disgraceful. Cubes would be too easy on these perps- a stretch on Titan is in order...

My theory: reviews don't matter much anymore. Oh sure it helps to have a huge buzz behind a film but most customers make their mind up way before that point. It's the trailers that matter and when you look at the films listed as performing below expectations they've had fairly weak trailers. Edge of Tomorrow looked like a sci-fi Groundhog Day, Elysium didn't seem to offer much new, After Earth... was a MNS movie with Will Smith's son that annoyed even in trailer form.

Let's be honest, going to a cinema isn't a cheap or even particularly pleasant undertaking these days. If there's any doubt at all in punters minds they'll likely wait for it to hit Netflix in a year or two and watch on a nice big TV in comfy chairs in a room that's probably darker than most modern multiplexes. The promotional work for these big sci-fi films just hasn't been good enough in recent years to overcome that. When it does (Avatar, Inception, Gravity to name but three) the films do gangbusters.

No one's "shoving" Cruise down our throats. Of course, it's your choice if you don't want to see any of his films--but honestly, EDGE OF TOMORROW was superb. Even with Cruise in it...and frankly, I _liked_ him in this film.

And the majority of reviews from critics and audience feedback for this film are very favorable.

That's too bad, because honestly, I loved the film. And I'm a lover of the book "All You Need Is Kill". It's too bad that, like you said, it will be people's _perception_ of Cruise that will keep them away, because EOT is a pretty damned good film. Even some who dislike Cruise have given the movie high marks.

He's not terrible in this (EOT) but hey, that's just my 2-cents. I don't have a mad-on for Cruise anyway.

But that also means you cannot give an informed opinion on the films that he's been in, including this one.

I think the problem here is not the film/films but how people perceive the people in it. I like Tom Cruise in general when it comes to movies but his personal life and public behavior mar his image - as noted by the comments. People who refuse to see a movie based on who is in it though, are childish and narrow-minded in my opinion. A part of me will pity them that they have missed a great viewing experience because of it.

The movie, however, is fantastic, pretty intense and well acted. Easily Cruise's best film to date. Totally recommend it.

Jesus Katie, we know your marriage to Tom is over but surely you have better things to do than be on DoG comments system. #notfoolinganyone

I don't care much for cruise either. But he dies a lot in the movie, pretty hillairiously sometimes. He did this film well.

Well, if Cruise keeps doing films like Edge of Tomorrow and Oblivion, I'll keep going to see them. He seems to be best suited to sci-fi.

I'm pissed off. Edge of Tomorrow is a very decent film but people want to watch crap like Maleficent. *sigh

One thing that cannot be said of Tom Cruise is that he's a terrible actor. If he were his career would be going the way of Arnie's by now. It isn't.

Gravity isn't sci-fi

You're missing out on an excellent film. In fact, you'll miss out a lot of great films if you decide not to watch a movie based on the actors. Does it bother you so much that your enjoyment of the film would be completely affected by their presence?

Wow. You're missing out on an excellent movie. Very close-minded of you.

It would have performed better as a November/December awards-season contender similar to Avatar. Although Tom Cruise was likely a factor in the film's lackluster performance, being released alongside The Fault in Our Stars certainly doesn't help.

He's always back.

Sci-fi is doing just fine, and it always will do. No other genre has such an impassioned and active fan base. If sci-fi vanished overnight, comic-con would be held at a holiday inn.

Elysium struggled because it was a train wreck, and a massive comedown from District 9. Oblivion was ok, but it wasn't *that* great. After Earth was laughable, but it gave us one of the best "honest trailers" ever on youtube.
Mediocre films are mediocre films, irrespective of their genre, and these days news travels fast.

People have also learned that reviews can be misleading for a variety of reasons, or simply come from a viewpoint fairly different from their own, and there is no other genre where people have been burned so badly by misleading reviews and dishonest marketing.

I would not say 'Her' is sci-fi either, but that was mentioned in the article.

I would say it was a Drama/Romance. But I can see why it can be classed as sci-fi. However, it was clearly not marketed as a sci-fi film.

Everyone has their own opinion of what is classed as sci-fi. It used to mean things like Star Wars, or Star Trek, but now it has a much more broader meaning.

I went back and forth with Gravity when I first saw it, is it sci-fi, is it not?

The lines are blurred on that one, but I lean towards to the Sci-fi side.

Wow, your term of sci-fi seems incredibly precise.

Eh, i just don't like Tom Cruise so i wouldn't enjoy it anyway. That's why i wish he'd stop making these sci-fi movies that i would definitely go see if he weren't in them.


Think it's a combination of a couple of things -
Here in the UK, you had 4 major blockbusters in the shape of Godzilla, Xmen, Maleficent and Edge of Tomorrow all released within 2 weeks of each other....whilst 'I' have no issue doing a double bill or even going to the cinema every night of the week, there's only so many times Joe Public's gonna go to the cinema in this short time span. Unfortunately, Edge of Tomorrow was the one that didn't stand out for them.
I also think, especially when the first trailer emerged for EOT, that there was a general dismissive thought of "didn't Tom Cruise save the future for us around this time last year?" From the trailer alone, it also seemed thematically similar to 'Source Code' and came across as a bit redundant, perception-wise?(Not saying that's what I think of EOT, just how it was perceived).
And lastly, I do think Tom Cruise outside of being an actor and what the public know about that doesn't help. When he's on form, he's a very good actor, however, his work in Oblivion just didn't work for me....it felt like I was getting a view at a demo reel of a 50 yr old man desperately trying to prove that he's 25, and in his attempts to prove that he's still got it and can basically still run with the young'uns, it took me out of the film completely. When all you get is a vanity performance, you then can't help but focus on his other well documented extra curriculars, so to speak. Tom Cruise playing the role of someone close to his age that isn't married to someone half his age, would probably result in a more believable performance that people would want to spend time watching.

Another thing I think he is going through the "William Shatner problem" period of his career. (In Wrath of Khan Shatner who had turned fifty didn't want to be portrayed as that age preferring to see himself as a Male lead in his thirties- in the end they persuaded him to accept that he had just turned forty in the film timeline.)

Cruise hasn't accepted the fact he has reached his fifties and that requires an adjustment in his career.

And in case of Edge of Tomorrow the marketing just wasn't good. It looked a bit generic in the trailers although it's a lot funnier and smarter most of the time (the third act was a bit meh IMHO, but hey). Plus the title change from All you need is Kill to Edge of Tomorrow, which sounds more like a Drama or a B-Movie at best.
Plus the surprisingly successful contenders.
Tom Cruise is still a draw overseas, but in the US his name alone isn't enough anymore. Still more successful than Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Johnny Depp and Will Smith, but not near his prime. I guess he will do Mission Impossible 5 next as he needs a safe Box Office Hit.

I think SciFi movies will do fine in the next couple of years. Especially when Star Wars will hit big and the Avatar sequels will finally appear. The studios just won't spend that much money on original SciFi movies as they used to. But that's not a bad thing because the more money is involved, the more suits have a say in it.
Looking forward to Interstellar and Chappie. Science Fiction is a refreshing alternative to all the comic book movies and the only genre that can compete with them in sheer scale. Good times, regardless a few flops on the way.

I just watched _Edge of Tomorrow_ last night. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed _Oblivion_. But they're not "sit down and shove popcorn in your mouth" entertaining.

Sorry, I could have sworn he said Avatar had an original story. That movies premise is as worn out as a prostitutes bed sheets.

Personally, I enjoy watching SciFi and special effects movies at home on my Blu-Ray home cinema system and I know a few others do too so in my opinion, gone are the days of judging a movies success by its theatre numbers, a lot of people get the DVD or stream it.

I think it suffered coming out so close to Spiderman and X-Men and I don't think any individual movie star is big enough to carry a film against these massive franchises. Movies like this would do better coming out earlier or later in the year IMHO...

Awesome movie...go watch then compare.

I wonder if Tomorrowland counts as an original idea, since it's based on the section at Disneyland, a la Pirates of the Caribbean...

After Earth was a terrible vanity project directed by M Night Chameleon. Anything that man makes is a failure. It amazes me he is still given money to do anything creative. The Matt Damon movie received quite a bit of negative publicity for being socialist propaganda. (Which, regardless of what you think of the work, is exactly what it is) finally, we have the new Tom Cruise vehicle. I saw it on a whim and was very surprised by how good it was: that's a problem. Everyone is surprised it is good. The marketing for this movie has been terrible and did not accurately reflect the movie it was representing. (The same is true about RIPD, which the trailer made look goofy; I saw it on cable and thoroughly enjoyed it.) Bottom line: there are very clear reasons the pieces you describe failed that have nothing to do with their genre.

you will care when there are less (or none) of these movies because this one underperformed at the box office.

Which is the entire point of the article.

which you somehow missed.

While I enjoy you trying to read my mind and tell me my perceptions, I did not miss the point of the article - quite the contrary. What you seemed to miss, though, is my entire point - that I neither believe Tom Cruise movies will find no more production companies nor I would think the Cruisetrain is going to stop anyway or the other in the near future.

It's interesting that the whole enjoyment of a movie for you rests only on the shoulders of a single person in it.

I feel sorry for you. :/

Her is sci-fi because it deals with a speculative technology and how that said tech affects the world. Gravity is a real world drama/thriller.

Avatar IS sci fi. It belongs to the space opera sub genre. Just because it borrows its core plot from Pocahontas doesnt change it.

That is a shame Edge of Tomorrow is Good Film Enjoyed it ;-)

Sci-fi is fiction that speculates logically about the future. Her is 100% classic unquestionable sci-fi in every possible sense. Star Wars is not sci-fi.

Saw Edge of Tomorrow and enjoyed it. There were some very clever moments, but it was a small film set in the present (more or less) that felt like an indie with an outsize effects budget rather than epic sci-fi, which might explain some of the lack of impact in the popular culture. Avatar, with one of the worst scripts this side of a Seth McFarlane Oscar bit, was the very definition of epic in its scope and vision.

You can keep repeating your opinion, but you're coming off as a troll. You don't like him, we get it.

Personally I found his work in The Firm, Cocktail, Rain Man and even Oblivion to be first rate.

And then there's Tropic Thunder. Never let it be said the man has no sense of humour :)

You can tell how stars treated their colleagues at the height of their success by the way people do or don't rush to work with them when the chips are down. Nobody seems to be in rush to jump-start Arnie's stalling comeback.

He is one of the greatest actors in the world, trust me people may not remember you but him we will

While that is certainly true, I believe in the case Arnie v Tom it's the Governator's political stuns in California that removed him too far from cinema and the movie industry to actively evolve with it - like Cruise does/did.

When I look at Arnie's movies, they're all callbacks to the glorious 80s with a lot of muscles and explosions, but no brains. I think cinema has evolved since then - people want these still - but they also want story and intelligence. Case in point: Edge of Tomorrow. Awesome Mechs, explosions, one-liners and hot-as-fuck Emily Blunt - yet still something that makes you think after leaving the theater. Same goes for Oblivion and - to some(!) extend - MI4. Although granted that's a very small extend.

Arnie and Sly are stuck with their Expendables roles and profiles. They've missed the cinematic evolution - and now they can't draw money anymore.

If you don't like Tom Cruise, then that's even more reason to go see EoT, since you get to see him killed over and over and over and over and over again. :)

Dredd is a comic book adaptation, not an original film.

In many of the successes listed, there was a name attached, but often it was a director/writer. Chis Nolan had his Batman movies going into Inception. Avatar had James Cameron of the most financially successful movie of all time (plus a record of good sci-fi movies). District 9 is more likely than anything an anomaly, but if nothing else showed that good sci-fi will draw a certain audience, but increasing the budget may not necessarily increase the audience.

People may like actors, but it seems they're more likely to trust a writer/director with their money, especially when they have a proven track record of movies that are both good and enjoyable. Edge of Tomorrow was a well recieved Japanese light novel called "All you need to kill", adapted by 3(!) screenwriters, none of whom directed it. That just isn't the same as "the epic vision of one of the greatest storyteller's of our age" or whatever tagline you want to add to the latest James Cameron or Chris Nolan movie.

Also, Doug Liman's directing career is fairly inconsistent, he's spent most of his time as a producer, and has zero writing credits on anything. That doesn't necessarily mean anything, but it doesn't add any incentive to it either. A person looking at it and trying to decide if it's worth watching might see a decent book (maybe good, haven't read it) filtered through a studio lens, and placed in front of a director who'll follow studio instructions. Whether that's true is also beside the point. The point is, nothing I see makes me feel like I need to see it in theatres. If it shows up on Netflix in the future, I might watch it, maybe.

Edge Of Tomorrow is an adaptation too, not an original film.

For me personally, there were too many good movies in such a short span to warrant seeing this in the theater. Godzilla, DoFP, Maleficent, HtTD2. I'm not made out of time and money, and this is the film I chopped. I'm sure I will enjoy it once it hits HBO.

Completely agree with you on all counts. Cruise always seems to be looking at the strength of the story and quality of the audience experience doesn't he?

not, it wasnt sarcastic. I thumbed up your post

You chopped this to see Godzilla? Bad choice :)

I can only say: Do watch this. It's great! I liked it better than Oblivion and Elysium, two other recent big titles. And I liked both of these very much (saw Oblivion in the theater and on the same evening downloaded the cam because I just had to see it again).

I do get what you are saying, but for a sci-fi fan this really is a MUST SEE. It would be such a shame if you'd miss this.

You are missing the point. When he says stand-alone he does not refer to the originality of the story.

It's about movies such as X-men, Spiderman, Batman or even Transformers building on an existing universe. Even before the decision to make those movies was made they already had an existing world populated with characters and storylines to tap into. They already had a brand name, lettering, merchandise and all that. When you create a stand-alone movie you have to invent all that yourself.

Lego is playing that card in a very smart way; the Lego XYZ movies and games are tapping into two universes: the lego universe and the universe of the brand they are doing. So Lego Batman for example. People know Lego and they know Batman. Plus, Lego is non-threatening to the original brand.

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