iF Magazine conducted an interview with the co-writer of X-Files: I Want to Believe, Frank Spotnitz. In it, Spotnitz talks about coming up with the story script for the film (with series creator Chris Carter), the origin of teh “werewolf” Internets photo fake-out (OMG!!1!ROFL), the film’s box office performance, and the inevitable “unrated” DVD.
As far as I’m concerned the X-Files is kind of a dead news horse, but this particular piece really irked me in that “our movie bombed this weekend so let’s try to make a bunch of excuses and not own up to the fact that it might’ve actually sucked” kind of way. Now, I didn’t see the X-Files movie becuase I stopped watching the X-Files TV show in 1995. That being said I’m not going to hand down any personal indictments on the film, but since no one I know who’s seen the film actually liked it, I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that it sucked.
The article begins with a spin on the movie’s failure to connect with audiences by suggesting that because it was a low-budge endeavor, X-Files will turn a profit for Fox long before Speed Racer ever makes it to the finish line. But if it truly did suck then who cares if it breaks even? Meet the Spartans will probably break even before Speed Racer.*
What kind of follows is a hilariously out-of-touch interview conducted by A. C. Ferrante, Editor in Chief at iF. My favorite Ferrante head-slapper is the part of the interview where he suggests to Spotnitz that Fox cocked up the marketing by not making it obvious that I Want to Believe was an X-Files movie.
I always felt that 20th Century Fox had a bit of a problem because they not only have the X-Men franchise, but also the X-Files franchise and in both cases, they used the big “X” to promote them both. That said, I’m almost wondering if using the “X” so prominent on posters, might have confused audiences.
Okay, first off, the X-Men movies has been insanely profitable for Fox. In fact, I’m willing to bet that if I Want to Believe really was marketed as X-Men 4, more people probably would’ve showed up to see it.
The marketing also seemed very intent on emphasizing this was a movie, not a TV series as if people would not understand it was a feature film.
But don’t forget, you’re talking about the same morons who thought this was an X-Men flick. Ferrante goes on to disprove the adage that there are no such things as dumb questions:
I’m still confused why the movie didn’t open up bigger than it should have. Do you think people weren’t aware of the movie or that The Dark Knight and Step Brothers chewed into your audience?
I’m not a genius or anything, but if Step Brothers opened big on July 25th while people were going to see TDK for the sixth time and not buying tickets to the X-Files movie… Well, maybe HST would call that “straight economics”. Or maybe the movie sucked? I would like to reiterate that I don’t know if it did because I didn’t see the movie, but I did read this shitty interview.
*And we should all be ashamed.