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How to Kill a Franchise


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#1 KHergesheimer

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 08:51 PM

I've been a life long Bond fan. Love the recent run from Criag and Mendes and huge amount of respect for the Wilsons and Broccolis for all they do to keep us fans happy. This franchise could easily have take a serious wrong turn, and notwithstanding a few bad moves from time to time, Eon continues to deliver.

Having said all that, I do think Eon need to seriously rethink how they manage the ebb and flow of Bond news. For the most part major franchises keeps their fans continuously updated and teased on the lastest news and developments. Even a opaque photo tweeted counts. As for us Bond fans....we've had absolutely nothing since Spectre. Nearly two years of complete silence.

If Eon want to raise another generation of Bond fans they will need to do much better....there's too much competition out there from Marvel, Star Wars and any number of competing franchises. Every Harry Potter seems to have more going on these days. Wait until Disney resurrects Indiana Jones in a few years. I'm sure they are thinking above and beyond a one off film.

I secretly hope Disney buys half of Eon, who knows maybe Barabara and Michal have decided to sell the entire thing.

Disney gets how to breathe life into a franchise, please fans, make money, extend the universe...all without sacrificing great quality. And who wouldn't want a great James Bond attraction at a Disney park? We could do much worse.

But a plea from a life long fan to Eon: please give us some news before we all lose interest and move on. This really isn't fair on us.

#2 Orion

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 09:00 PM

Bond has had Star Wars movies to contend with since 1977 - 5 out of 7 Star Wars movies being released in the same year as a Bond movie, and this has come up alot - 1989, 2002 and 2012 being times where the franchise had heavy blockbuster competition in my life time, and the franchise was 27 years old by that time - Bond, once they get past this current round of studio nonsense, will survive and thrive.



#3 Trevelyan 006

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 09:27 PM

I understand completely, but have to kind of disagree. 

 

Personally, I find a release more effective with radio silence. With the Bond franchise, fans have learned to stay above water and generate our own hype. That's how Bond operates, in the shadows. Personally, it is easy for me to get sick of hearing about a movie that is promoted for two year before it sees a release. I much prefer the six month influx of extreme excitement that the Bond films have perfected in their promotional campaigns. Not to mention, the media finds enough ways to make up their own silly tabloid announcements for Bond. We get to laugh for a few months before the real fun begins! 

 

I have faith. Besides, Disney owns enough. I like that EON is still a family affair.



#4 Tiin007

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 02:07 AM

I understand completely, but have to kind of disagree. 

 

Personally, I find a release more effective with radio silence. With the Bond franchise, fans have learned to stay above water and generate our own hype. That's how Bond operates, in the shadows. Personally, it is easy for me to get sick of hearing about a movie that is promoted for two year before it sees a release. I much prefer the six month influx of extreme excitement that the Bond films have perfected in their promotional campaigns. Not to mention, the media finds enough ways to make up their own silly tabloid announcements for Bond. We get to laugh for a few months before the real fun begins! 

 

I have faith. Besides, Disney owns enough. I like that EON is still a family affair.

 

You know, I've never thought of it that way, but you certainly have a point. 

 

The random tidbits regarding the upcoming Star Wars Episode VIII have not really generated much hype from me personally (and I say this as a life-long Star Wars fan). For some strange reason, the time from when a Bond film commences filming until its release is way more exciting to me. 

 

That being said, the Bond franchise really needs to resume a regular release schedule with the next actor. If they go back to the every other year schedule, then we'd have a year of radio silence followed by a year of hype. Seems like a good trade off. 



#5 Dustin

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 03:38 AM

Mod note: double thread deleted.

#6 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 05:03 AM

I have to agree: EON is conducting PR-business as if it still was the 80´s.

 

Sure, the Bond brand is strong in itself: when you announce a film people will notice.  But how long will this actually work?

 

You have to "feed the machine" these days in order to compete for the attention of the audience which matters the most: young males.  Those will decide whether the Bond brand will be considered strong and relevant in the next decades.

 

It would be a shame if they started to consider Bond only as something their dads or grandpas liked.

 

That´s why EON has to act now and develop a plan how to move forward.

 

First: they need an actor who is a willing accomplice and ambassador for the series.



#7 KHergesheimer

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 08:47 AM

I think for those of us from the pre-Internet era we are used to long periods of silence and anticipation. I don't think digital natives are used to such a slow cadence of news. I've got three teenage boys, and you'd think they would be Bond fanatics due to their Dad being one, but they could care less. There just isn't enough on-going buzz and excitement to get them feverishly anticipating the next installment. Completely different with Marvel, Star Wars, Game of Thrones and so on. The kids all talk endlessly about it.

So my main point is that the game has changed. For the older generations extended periods of silence may seem fine as we are used to it. And we will go see the next film regardless. For the younger generation they just move on. And while they may still see the film, I doubt they will have any interest in seeing it twice, buying the merchandise, purchasing and downloading the film or soundtrack and so on. Eon shouldn't take anything for granted. They really need to rethink the future of the franchise and how they remain relevant with all the other options kids have these days. And rather than just thinking of the next film, what is the long term strategy and territory around Bond. All these other franchises have long term plans and narratives in place, while we seem to have last minute scripts and a total dependency on one actor.

I could be wrong, and I'm sure Eon are smart enough to interrogate the data on these subjects, and may feel comfortable that their approach works. Let's hope so.

#8 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 11:30 AM

There sure is a generational problem arising in the way the Craig era has been handled.

 

EON has banked on strong nostalgia, quoting the Bond film history at large - and that worked well... for the older audiences and critics.

 

But those will not make up the segment that is important for the future survival of the series.

 

It is high time to start anew with a clear release schedule for the next decade. 



#9 MISALA1994

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 04:32 PM

It is high time to start anew with a clear release schedule for the next decade.

Agreed.

#10 Gobi-1

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 11:39 PM

I agree with a lot of points everyone has made and I think both "radio silence" and "feeding the beast" are both valid ways for promoting a franchise. I just think Bond needs to find a better balance between the two. Bond has such a massive legacy EON/MGM can put out tons of material about the previous Bond films, the actors, the filmmakers, etc., while dropping a few teases as to what's next. Bond has always been great at adapting to changing tastes with film audiences but I think they really need to up their game when it comes to social media and the modern fandom communities.

 

I have recently been to two comicbook/fan conventions here in Texas in the last few months, one in Dallas and one in Houston, and there is an amazing number of incredibly active fanbases for hundreds of films, books, comics, tv shows, and games. Plus all of them were well represented with multiple merchandising opportunities from the sellers on the con floor. I actively looked for James Bond swag, hoping to find a hat or t-shirt but the only 007 stuff I came across at these comic cons was one seller who had new unopened Bond trading cards in their dollar discount bin. I bought an entire stack and told the seller I appreciated them having some Bond related merchandise because I was disappointed how little I saw.

 

Who knows maybe it is a generation gap and if so EON needs to do a better job of closing that gap and remaining an active with their fan base. The passing of Roger Moore generated a lot of goodwill for the franchise. I'd like to see EON do more things like the double feature re-release or using the Bond franchise to help promote a worthy charity like UNICEF.  Moore events like that (not necessarily timed to honor the passing of a Bond star) will keep the franchise active and fresh in people's mind between films.



#11 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 06:21 AM

There is a generation gap already, indeed.  And EON needs to close that gap as soon as possible.



#12 Simon

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 07:00 AM

Completely disagree.  Bond has been absent for long periods and when there is news with meaningful content, there is an audience.

 

What would be worse would be a flow of noise with zero content which, in time, would surely annoy in ways radio silence could only dream of.  For me, real news, not noise.



#13 Dustin

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 11:58 AM

True, there is an audience whenever there is news. But the attention span is by far not what it used to be. Take Craig returning - or not? - for example: if there was today a press release (or a conference even) that announced Craig returning in BOND 25 the buzz would be fierce, but only for a limited time. And I dare say the bigger part of the public would not particularly care.

At the moment the search for a new Bond - regardless if necessary since Eon tend to know what and who they want - would likely create more public awareness than Craig's return would.

We live in times that demand a somewhat different approach to public relations, not necessarily so much as quantity is concerned as presence. And here even small things would go a long way. The leaking of crumbs to guys like Bamigboye fills their columns - but only for a day or two. And as long as nothing is confirmed, well, nothing is confirmed. So to much of the public Bond isn't present during doldrums.

#14 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 12:51 PM

Exactly.  

 

Bond still is an event.  But it is in danger of becoming an event for the older generation.  And they are not the ones which will keep the series afloat.



#15 Dustin

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 03:49 PM

If we assume that BOND 25 will take off sometime in 2018, possibly with a release date aiming for late 2018 to late 2019, then that film will have to reach out to a new generation of fans aged - roughly - between ten and 16 in 2019. Meaning they would be now between eight and 14.

Now if we look at that age bracket James Bond is of course known to them. Some will have seen SPECTRE, most will have seen older Bond films. But with only a much smaller number of them Bond has become a major passion. The competition is fierce and often has the advantage of approaching their target audience by various means, films, comics, books, games.

Mind you, James Bond films are not targeted especially for kids. But without them you will have a hard time keeping them competitive in the medium and long run. And from, say, 16 to 20 or 25 even Bond films are not necessarily the big sensational entertainment either - other attractions often have a stronger pull during those years.

So in effect if you don't reach out to the kids now you will have a harder time reaching the twentysomething's later.

#16 Tiin007

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 04:45 PM

This is why we need a more consistent and regular release schedule. 

 

Wouldn't it be nice if, for Bond #7, the first two or three films in the era were released in consecutive years? 



#17 Dustin

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 05:12 PM

I struggle to imagine this, three films in three years. It would be an approach Eon has always tried to avoid once their series had taken off.

Let's face it, initially nobody thought this series would go beyond six or maybe eight films, if that. Back then it was already a stretch by Eon to secure themselves the right to invent their own stories.

Today, there would have to be a much larger machine turning its cogs to have three films out in 36 months. Even the big players like Marvel have to go to considerable lengths to manage their output. With Bond I think the most one can expect would be a two year schedule, hardly anything more ambitious.

#18 Tiin007

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 05:32 PM

Well, with enough advance planning and the caveat that it would be a one time only experiment, I think it could be done. This would require significant stripping back when it comes to location hopping and budget, but I think the series is secure enough at this point in time-- even the least profitable Bond films fared fairly well in comparison to just about everything else out there. 

 

But I agree with you that a two year schedule is much more realistic-- and I would be thrilled if we were to return to this schedule for at least four or five consecutive films. 

 

I wonder if we'll ever again see a turnover in Bond actor with only a two year gap (like YOLT-OHMSS, DAF-LALD, and AVTAK-TLD). 



#19 Orion

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 08:11 PM

I should point out Marvel only expect the same people to have a new film in 2 years at best, they only get 2/3 films out a year by having several productions running at once. Expecting one production crew and one cast to have a film a year on that scale is asking for miracles. 



#20 Dustin

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 09:01 PM

Just so. Marvel films are actually four or five series wrapped into one bigger story-verse with occasional guest appearances by various players. Which also calls for manpower and production facilities in the region of three or four series.

For Bond it was already a major step to deliver a direct sequel with QOS - though it wouldn't have needed to be - and the experiment to tie all of Craig's Bond films together was unconvincing at best. I would say the Marvel approach (or whatever you want to call it) just isn't in Bond's DNA.

#21 Simon

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 06:55 PM

I read the Movie News on imdb.com.  I flick past a lot of it but over all, I thought the Avatar sequels were already being filmed.

 

Today I learn that the first sequel has yet to actually commence filming, and that we are, today, just marginally closer to something commencing...

 

I am so tired of hearing the same damn thing.  This is what I mean...  Too much talk, too little (obvious) action.



#22 Dustin

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 07:41 PM

That's a good example of the worst possible course, lots of buzz without any substance. Frankly, that's almost unavoidable in the industry since for every film produced there are easily ten that never leave the box.

#23 Simon

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 10:54 PM

But in the case of the Eon company, it IS avoidable, and has been so since their beginning of time.

 

When they have something to say, they say it.

 

I am completely sure that fella up above who demands news irrespective of there being any, would soon enough find it impossible to stomach an apparent lack of the aforementioned (obvious) action.  All of which is to say, I am happy with the status quo of their PR machine.



#24 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 05:13 AM

Stoking the fire I would say that the Broccoli/Saltzman-EON would handle PR today in the most astute manner... and they would be very interested in keeping the Bond machine running every two years.

 

Sometimes I get the feeliing from BB that she was hurt by the 80´s and 90´s "oh, it´s just Bond drivel"-image of the films in the media and therefore she wanted to make the films more "important" and "A-List-director-friendly".  Having done this with Craig, she is currently eager to branch out, producing other films, which her father, IMHO, would not have wanted for himself.



#25 Dustin

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 05:58 AM

I think most fans here do not argue the case of pointless media buzz for the sake of it. What people want is real and continuous progress, they would like to see the wheels of the machine turning, writers and directors hired, casting in the works, the lot and so on. Simon perfectly illustrated the case with what has become almost a white elephant of Hollywood lore, and that's hardly in anybody's interest.

However, the current way to handle things differs vastly from what we can observe with similarly professional outfits in the industry. In this respect there is still room for improvement, even when not all of the circumstances are within Eon's sphere of influence.

#26 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 24 June 2017 - 07:09 AM

Agreed.

 

I just doubt that MGM and any suitor for BOND 25-distribution would delay the dealmaking process if EON said: hey, we want to move forward.

 

It seems that EON is the party who steps on the brakes again and again.



#27 antovolk

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Posted 24 June 2017 - 02:24 PM

Looking back at the campaign for SPECTRE, one of the only things they did really right and on the level if not above the level other big films do marketing wise, is building the launches for the teaser and the full trailer into events - announcing the exact dates/times, countdowns and so on. For whatever reason they decided to keep that final trailer quiet....

But the rest of the stuff? Posters, TV spots and so on? Other news and updates? Was just a slow trickle through their social media, there's been absolutely no engagement with the general film community and outlets, and no visible engagement with fans at all. If they really want a 'keep it close to the chest/have stuff come oout only through themselves' approach, the model they should really be looking at is Nolan's films - and even they have been far more active in general.

There's so much potential with the subject matter for a great campaign that can engage fans online and offline. Like, for instance, Transformers did a fan event Q&A session with Bay and the cast that those in London could actually get tickets to (and see the film later that evening), why not have the same in the lead up to B25? Or the same for a trailer launch?






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