Saturday, November 11, 2017

courtesy of Box Office Mojo stats, it looks like My Little Pony has trampled mother! in global and domestic box office returns
Total Lifetime Grosses
Domestic: $17,800,004   40.4%
Foreign: $26,304,534   59.6%

Worldwide: $44,104,538
Total Lifetime Grosses
Domestic: $21,162,241   44.1%
Foreign: $26,799,493   55.9%

Worldwide: $47,961,734 

So it hasn't "trampled" in the sense of a giant difference, just that it's made more box office sales despite coming out two weeks later.

Naturally, the Aronofksy piece is the more respectable high-brow film critic-worthy discussion piece.  If mother! was intended to be a parable about climate change it's turned out to be one that has not inspired an especially big turn out compared to a live-action remake of a decades old cartoon.

So if a film is going to be a parable about climate change what's the incentive of spending about thirty-five million dollars creating such a cinematic parable if people at The New Yorker are alternately going to say that the film could only be such by dint of directorial fiat (Richard Brody) or that the nature of the intended parable suggests a failure to understand the nature of parable itself and that Aronofsky seems to keep coming back to parables where women have to be abused in some way to drive the point home (Alexandra Schwartz).

But if the old art religion has been superceded in the entertainment and publishing industries by something more meta, like an art religion of criticism that is a newer, higher more metacritical art religion; if the meta-art religion is criticism then mother! is a winner because it gave film critics and film school instructors and students something to write about, while a remake of a twenty-year old animated film does not do so in the same way, still less another more recent release that also beat mother in global box office, if by a hoof.

But for the meta-art religion of film criticism we don't have to ask which film is the mother! of us all this year, that would be Beauty and the Beast. At least until, perhaps, another Star Wars topples the queen from the throne, if that actually transpires.  We'll get to find out.

But then, just to take an obstreperous stance this weekend as I'm hoping to show some friends Samurai Jack season 5 this weekend, Adorno once quoted a writer who said there's such a thing as good bad art and bad good art.  There are cartoons that are more substantial in what they have to say about the human condition than live action films that are purportedly higher brow. 

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