Monday, 29 September 2014

'Why did Dredd fail at the box office?' essay research.

A futuristic police officer in armour and a helmet that covers all but his mouth stands on the corner of a building roof with a gun in his hand as large tower blocks burn behind him. Above the man reads a tagline "Judgment is Coming".

Pre Production

1) Who were the films producer, distributor and script writer? (try and find other films by these groups)
It was produced by the studio DNA Films, IM Global and Reliance Entertainment. It was distributed by Lionsgate and Entertainment Film Distributors. The screenplay is by Alex Garland.
Other films that were distributed by Lionsgate include The Hunger Games films and Kick-Ass. Films distributed by Entertainment Film Distributors include 17 Again & Stormbreaker.
DNA Films also produced films such as Never Let Me Go and Love Actually. IM Global have produced films including Walking On Sunshine and Insidious. Reliance Entertainment have produced films like War Horse and The Help.
Alex Garland wrote the screenplay for films such as Never Let Me Go and 28 Days Later.
2) Who are Lionsgate (who owns them?)
They are a Canadian-American entertainment company. As of 2013 it is the most commercially successful mini major film and television distribution company in North America and it is the 7th most profitable movie studio. Jon Feltheimer is the CEO of this company.
3) Who are IM Global (who owns them?)
It is one of the leading financing, sales and distribution companies in the world, championing a wide variety of cinema, including art house, mainstream commercial, genre fare and foreign language. Stuart Ford founded the company in 2007 and is the CEO of it.
4) Who are DNA films (who owns them and who partnered with them?)
They are a British film production company, one of the UK's most successful ones. It is run by Andrew Macdonald and his producing partner Allon Reich. It partnered with Fox Searchlight back in 2003 when it locked a $50 million joint venture with them to make British films for worldwide distribution.
5) How was the funding for DNA originally split?
$25 million was pushed into the pot from Fox Searchlight and $25 million of production finance was put in from DNA Films, from which it was previously awarded by the Arts Council of England.
6)Why did they need to maintain their relationship with Fox Searchlight?
Projects were greenlit directly by DNA and then benefited from a guaranteed release commitment from Fox. Their partnership has had a stream of critical and commercial successes, such as 'Sunshine' and '28 Weeks Later'. Allon Reich says that they have an 'incredibly close relationship with Searchlight' and that 'they're like gold dust. We value them'.
7) When did Lionsgate announce their three picture deal with IM Global?
During November 2010.
8) Where did Carl Urban announce his role in Dredd? Why might this have helped attract the film's target audience?
He disclosed, in July 2010, at Comic Con to that he had been offered the lead role in Dredd. At comic con people are interested in action/futuristic films, so this would make them interested to see it. Also Urban is in Star Trek which many people at Comic Con are extremely interested in, so they are probably fans of his and would want to see him in Dredd.
9) How much money did Dredd make from pre sales (this is people buying the right to show your film)?
It made $30 million in foreign pre-sales.
10) How much did a distributer pay for the rights to show the film in the UK?
A deal was made for $7 million with the distribution company Entertainment Film Distributors.
11) Where was the movie filmed?
It was shot on location in Cape Town (South Africa) and Johannesburg (South Africa). The opening scenes were filmed in Oriental City Shopping Centre (Colindale, North London). They chose to film it in South Africa because of the lowered cost of employing crew and cast compared to employing them in locations such as North America and Europe, and also government incentives that offered to rebate up to 25% of the production costs.
12) Who starred in the film?
Karl Urban starred as Judge Dredd. Urban most likely has a big fan following due to appearance in films with massive fan followings such as Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness as Dr. Leonard 'Bones' McVoy, and Eomer in the second and third films in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Olivia Thirlby stars as Judge Cassandra Anderson. Thirlby is known for her roles in Oscar-winning film Juno, and the Darkest Hour. She has been described by Vanity Fair in 2008 as one of 'Hollywood's New Wave' so people might want to see what she does next and therefore be interested in going to see this film.
13) Who directed the film?
Pete Travis directed Dredd. He is known for directing projects such as Omagh, Vantage Point and episodes of Cold Feet. He won two awards for Omagh- in 2004 he won the Discovery Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and in 2005 he won a British Academy Television Award for Best Single Drama. Travis' success as a director might make people interested in seeing what he does next, and knowing that his previous work has won awards they may be more likely to come and see Dredd as they might think that it will be just as good as his other work.
14) What is its source material?
The film is based on the comic strip Judge Dredd by 2000 AD and its character created by Carlos Ezquerra and John Wagner. This comic strip is the longest running in the magazine 2000 AD- suggesting that it is very popular and has fans. It has been featured in the magazine ever since it's second issue in 1977. Dredd was named the 7th greatest comic character by the magazine Empire, and in 2011 he was ranked 35th in the top 100 comic book heroes, by IGN.


1) When was the 'lawgiver' gun built and designed?
It was built and designed in 2010, it was developed as a fully operational weapon, based on a 9mm firing system, capable of being changed from automatic to semi-auto fire and firing ammunition. It is Dredd's signature weapon.
2) During which other UK film was the 'slo mo' sequences designed?
Never Let Me Go
3) How did the film makers feel about making an 18 certificate film?
They didn't really care too much about the certification, it was what it was. It was an independent film, the distributors 'know what they're buying, they make their own judgement how much they're going to pay for it based on the certification they know it will have'. So the film makers didn't feel any pressure, if the film was made differently perhaps they would have pressure from a studio- but this way there was never a problem.
4) How long did it take to film Dredd?
Filming began on the 12th November 2010 and lasted for 13 weeks.
5) Which camera was used to film Dredd?
They shot entirely digitally, in scope, using RED MX cameras and SI2KS, Phantom Flex highspeed and multiple rigs shooting at the same time on first and second unit.
6) Why did they need to create new camera rigs?
They built new camera rigs to take the audience very close to the action.

Post production

1) What issue affected the films editing?
The director of the film Pete Travis was stopped from taking part in the editing process as he had creative disagreements with the producers and executives. This disagreement was to do with a disapproval over the footage that Travis was providing. Alex Garland then took over the editing process, his contribution was so great that he could seek co-director credit- yet he had never directed a film before nor had he been in charge of filming. Travis still followed the progress of the film and Garland did not seek a co-director credit, and they both released a statement saying this and that they had agreed on an 'unorthodox collaboration' before production began.
2) Distribution and marketing
A comic book was published as a prequel to the film, following the life of Ma-Ma before the film begins and how she ends up taking over the Slo-Mo operation. It is written by Matt Smith (the Judge Dredd Magazine editor), drawn by 2000 AD artist Henry Flint and was released in September 2012. This would raise awareness in fans of the comic book of the film.

In August 2012 there was a viral advertising site, 'Dredd Report', launched which satirised the Drudge Report. The site had a video that talked about the use of Slo-Mo and it contained links to news about the film. This once again got people interested in the film, and finding out more about it via the links, and it also got people talking about it.

There was also an exclusive film poster released by Mondo, to promote the film's appearance at the 2012 Fantastic Fest in September that year, featuring artwork by Jock. This got people who were interested in art notice the film poster and perhaps want to go and see it, also the film was aimed at aficionados and people that are interested in art may come under this type of audience.

Distributor Lionsgate contributed $25 million to print costs & advertising.
3) How many cinemas was Dredd released in and how many ONLY showed it in 3D?
It was released in 2506 cinemas, only 2200 of these showed it only in 3D. This would not profit the film very much as they spent a lot of money on making it for 3D yet not all cinemas were showing it only 3D and the audience still have the option to see it in 2D in 306 cinemas. People are less likely to go and see it 3D as it costs them too much, and as the majority of cinemas were only showing it in 3D they would be unlikely to go and see it.
4) How did producers begin promoting Dredd3D?
They began marketing it at Comic-Con in 2012 to its core under-25 male demo.
5) What viral marketing campaign did the producers use for Dredd?
Lionsgate partnered with the publisher 2000AD and Motion Comic to make an online comic-strip prequel to the film following Ma-Ma's life before the film begins, and what led the character up to the life she now lives in the film.
6) The film premiered at Fantastic Fest, what is it and why would this appeal to the films target audience?
Fantastic Fest is an annual film festival that focuses on genre films such as horror, fantasy, cult, Asian, action and science fiction. It hosts many directors, writers and actors- established and unknown. There are 'special screenings' where the audience doesn't know what the film will be that they're watching until moments before it starts. These people are clearly aficionados- the group which the film is aimed at- and they are interested in the genre of film that Dredd is, and therefore it would appeal to them.
7) Which awards did the films marketing campaign win?
The film's marketing campaign won a Golden Trailer Award for Best Thriller TV Spot for the trailer 'Big Addicted' and it also got nominations for other awards such as Best Action Poster, Best Action TV Spot, Best Graphics in a TV Spot, Most Original TV Spot, Best Music TV Spot & Most Original Poster for the Dredd motion poster.
8) How much money did the film gross at the box office & what was it's budget?
$41 million and it's budget was $45 million.
9) What unusual step did the film's UK distributors take to ensure people watched in 3D?
Some cinemas requested for 2D prints for patrons and these were denied by Lionsgate. If people can't see it in 2D that means that they have to pay for a more expensive ticket (to go and see it in 3D) therefore making more profit- if the distributors are right about Dredd's ability to attract crowds.
10) What percentage of audiences are physically incapable of seeing a 3D image?
12-30% of audience members cannot properly perceive images in 3D because of a medical conditions.
11) What % of light is lost in a 3D film?
30% light is lost in a 3D film, there are also sometimes blurred edges surrounding moving objects and a lot of seemingly 2D scenes in 3D films (therefore making it pointless to see a film in 3D).
12) Which film was Dredd unfortunate to be released after?
Gareth Evans' The Raid which has an extremely similar storyline which seems a lot better compared to Dredd with its highly choreographed fight routines which makes the fights in Dredd look like they're stomping around in boots, and the dark wit gets lost amidst all the destruction.
13) In the UK which position in the DVD charts did Dredd occupy?
Number 1.
14) What might this show about the decision to allow only a 3D release
This may have been a good decision in the long run because although it did not do as well as hoped at the box office more people made up for that by buying it on DVD as this allows them to see it in 2D, which is what they wanted to do originally but they couldn't as most cinemas were only showing it in 3D.
15) In the US which audience demographic was the largest?
The largest audience demographic in North America on the opening weekend were people over the age of 25 (69%) and males (75%).
16) How many units did Dredd sell on DVD/BluRay in the US?
17) How much money did this bring in?
The film was estimated to have earned $10 million in home media sales in North America by September 2013.
18) Length of cinema run in the US?
42 days.

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