Occasionally, I write movie reviews for a local online website which gets me into early screenings. At these early screenings, marketing companies bring in tons of people who usually win tickets or are signed up to get sporadic tickets inviting them to the show. Most of these people have to just find a seat while movie critics get reserved seats. Yesterday, I went to see The Mummy starring Tom Cruise, and when I got to my row of seats, a couple was sitting down at two reserved seats.
Too often Hollywood gets itself into a rut. The moment one studio finds a winning formula, genre, or theme, the others are soon to follow and they all copy each other so much it becomes cliche and boring. It’s only natural. If you see success in front of you, why not do the same thing and recreate it? The other issue is listening to focus groups or conventional wisdom as a compass for all your stories. It’s easy to pay strict adherence to story conventions and practices as if breaking them is forbidden and a one way trip to failure-town. One of these rules is: Don’t kill off your main characters.