Warner Bros. has yanked the plug on the robbie film, cancelling the project just two weeks before it was set to begin production. Filmmakers were reportedly’stunned’ by the shocking news that Robert Pattinson would take his own life on the eve of filming.
The ‘Twilight’ actor was due to begin filming the boxing-themed adventure ‘Robbie’ on Saturday, but tragically took his own life on Friday night. He was only 28. Production on the Warner Bros. movie has now been halted whilst the film’s producers and the studio’s top brass decide how to proceed.
Pattinson was set to portray the titular character, a London bus driver who moonlights as a boxer and is recruited by a shady club owner to take on British gangsters in a series of fights. He was also set to co-star alongside Rosie Day and John Boyega as his on-screen father, a role he assumed in the ‘Twilight’ movies. We’ll miss you, Robert. We’ll miss you.
Most Popular Film Genres Leads To The Biggest Box Office Gains
Looking to increase their bottom line, movie studios will often opt to cash in on a film’s popularity rather than build on a consistent theme or plot. Case in point: most of the big-budget movies gaining the most traction at the box office are all ensemble comedies about a group of friends going on a series of vacations (think: ‘Neighbors’, ‘Get Smart’, ‘Four Weddings’, and most notably, ‘Girls’.)
As a result, summer becomes a bit of a madhouse as movie studios scramble to get their new releases in front of audiences.
It’s all fun and games until you’ve got a string of similar hits, at which point you find yourself in a bit of a ‘creative drift’, trying to come up with ideas that aren’t ripped off from other successful films. ‘Creative drift’ is when the individual parts of a film don’t necessarily cohere into an engaging whole, resulting in a disjointed and messy product.
The problem is that once you’ve got a few creative drifts under your belt, it gets hard to decide where to draw the line. With ‘Robbie’ and ‘Girls’ director Katherine Fox’s latest film, ‘Sorry We Missed You’, both starring Rebel Wilson, hitting cinemas in 2021, it seems that audiences are tired of uneventful outings and are looking for something more. Fox admitted that “at the end of the day, we are just trying to make good, entertaining films,” but added that she wants to give moviegoers “more than one or two surprises.” If you’re looking for a ‘safe’ movie bet, go for an ensemble comedy about a group of friends going on a vacation; you can bet they’ll all have something to say about each other, and that will make for some pretty entertaining moments.
Even before ‘Robbie’ was given the heave-ho, the director spoke out against the increasing number of actors taking their own lives, often using their platforms to speak out against the stigma that surrounds the topic. It’s an incredibly important issue, particularly as people are more inclined to seek help these days than they’ve ever been before.
“We’re living in a culture where celebrities are more likely to be influenced by their own feelings than they are to be ambassadors for help. It can be really frustrating when a film or TV show raises awareness about a topic and then the very person they’re raising awareness about ends up killing themselves. I’m not suggesting that suicide is contagious, but I think it can be a risk factor. In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted 24/7 for those struggling with suicidal thoughts; they are the ultimate safety net for those who need help.
What Else Is Coming Soon?
Apart from the above, here’s a quick rundown of some other notable movies slated for release in the next few months.
- ‘The Meg’ (June 12th)
- ‘Men in Black 4’ (June 14th)
- ‘Honey 2’ (June 21st)
- ‘The Land’ (July 4th)
- ‘The Hustle’ (July 11th)
- ‘Knock Down Dead’ (August 8th)
If you’ve got a keen eye and can spot a trend, you could make a pretty penny investing in pre-release films. The trick is finding the right niche market to appeal to; we discussed this in more detail in our article ‘Top-Notch Blu-Rays That Will Never Be On DVD’. Maybe it’s a movie that’s been sitting on the shelf for a while and you feel it deserves a revisit. Maybe it’s the year’s hottest indie flick that you want to see on the big screen. Whatever the reason, if you’re looking to invest in pre-release films, watch out for titles that are trending upwards as a result of positive buzz or early box office results. We looked into the fate of some truly classic films before their release and was deeply moved by the results. While we were incredibly sad that ‘Gone With the Wind’ did not do well at the box office upon its initial release in 1939, the film is now considered a classic and continues to make money for its owners, the Walt Disney Company. The financially distressed studio, Fox, was eventually bought out by Disney, which continues to own the rights to this classic film. However, ‘Gone With the Wind’ was distributed by the studio for 75 years before its 2016 rerelease, and became one of the most profitable films of all time; in fact, it made back almost all of its $11M production budget in the first weekend alone (and still made $14.8M after 56 years). So while it’s true that sometimes the old ways are the best, sometimes they can be horribly inefficient. In this case, they ensured that ‘Gone With the Wind’ would never go out of print (until Disney decided to digitally restore the film and make it available on demand).
What Is The Future Of Film?
The future of film is constantly evolving, as new technology brings with it new ways to consume media. Right now, the industry is in a bit of a state of flux as we’ve seen above, with huge amounts of investment in new projects as studios try to figure out how to cater to increasingly digital audiences. It’s all about the platform: in the near future, television is expected to play a more prominent role in our lives than ever before, even eclipsing the internet as a source of news and entertainment. As a result, fewer people are going to cinemas to see movies. According to a survey conducted last year, only 16% of people said they would definitely go to the cinema to see a film in the next six months. The numbers show a marked decline from the 22% who said they would definitely go in the previous year. The future of film is murky at best.