Cybersurfing: Spotnitz blames Batman for X-Files film failure

Expressing understandable skepticism, ScFiCool.com links to an interview that writer-producer Frank Spotnitz gave to Blood-Disgusting.com, in which he blames THE DARK KNIGHT for the financial failure of X-FILES: FIGHT THE FUTURE.

“We […] had some indication that we were in for a rough time when THE DARK KNIGHT started to become the phenomenon that it is, and breaking records. THE DARK KNIGHT is a history making film at the box office, and we came out with our little dark film a week after. It was disappointing to be sure. But the film made something like 20 million domestically and close to 50 million overseas. That is very telling about what is happening in the domestic marketplace.”

As the SciFiCool post notes, Spotnitz is arguing that “you can blame the movie’s failure on THE DARK KNIGHT, and not on, you know, a stupid movie title and a generally generic serial killer storyline.”
Personally, what I find telling is that Spotnitz blames “the domestic marketplace” in the same breath with his talk of how well THE DARK KNIGHT did – which should be an indication that the domestic marketplace is hardly dead.
Also, I enjoy his reference to “our little dark film” being overshadowed by the big Hollywood blockbuster. This kind of argument mightring true when a bright, optimisitc crowd pleaser sets the tone for popular movies, but if anything the Batman flick proved that there was a huge audience apetite for dark films. I’m not sure that movie-ticket purchases are a zero-sum game: when a blockbuster draws audiences into theatres, they see posters and trailers for coming attractions, and that is good for business overall. If X-FILES could not cash in on that, the fault lies in itself, not in bat-filled skies.

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