Renegade Rant: Can World War Z Survive at the Box Office?

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Mike Fleming Jr. from Deadline got a chance to see World War Z, a movie that many people assume will be a horrible box office flop. Between the fans of the book who have damned the movie sight unseen, and the Internet audience who has followed the behind-the-scenes controversy and assumes that means failure, this movie faces a tough time when it hits next month. However, Fleming has some encouraging words.

“I can honestly say that it’s better than good; try a rocking, smart, pulse-pounding big-scale pandemic with raging zombies, tension and the kind of hero star turn Pitt hasn’t done in a long time,” Fleming writes.

World War ZNow, Fleming admits upfront he is not a film critic, and is mainly an entertainment journalist, but you know, I don’t think that matters. He is someone who loves movies and he said he really enjoyed World War Z.

That has me at least a little curious.

Look, World War Z is a book about the world after the zombie epidemic. It is from the point of view of a man setting out to learn how it happened, so we can find a way to bring the world back to normal. The trailers so far look like a movie about a zombie outbreak and people running from and fighting zombies. There is nothing wrong with that, but that is not what makes the book great.

Second, the ending was re-shot, and truth be told, rumors are that was because the original ending really sucked. However, in his piece, Fleming said that Paramount spent $15 million to shoot the new ending in order to make the movie better, and all that got them was more people saying that it was going to suck. He has a point about how that doesn’t seem fair, since they were trying to fix their movie.

But, is it too late now? He compared it to the bad hype heading into John Carter and Battleship, which killed both of those movies American box office totals. That was tragic because John Carter is a damn good movie and the marketing fools killed the box office by not advertising it properly. Anyone who says John Carter was a bad movie is wrong.

World War Z movieSo, what happens if World War Z is a great movie and Brad Pitt is at the top of his game? With the advance dread from the audience, there is honestly no way this movie will get the respect it deserves. It is too far past that point, and that is just sad. People should not care about the bad press and the behind the scenes drama, they should care about whether the movie is good or not.

I don’t know if World War Z will really be a good movie, but I believe in giving it a chance and waiting to see what people say AFTER they see it. Anyone who bashes a movie sight unseen really doesn’t know what they are talking about anyway.

Source: Deadline

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About the Author

Shawn S. Lealos
Shawn is a film critic with over 25 years of experience in print and online media. He is a member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle and loves everything from critically acclaimed movies to B-level action flicks.
  • Caliber_Voorhees

    My only beef is that the zombies move like a mass, and can climb each other. It’s a bit ridiculous. I understand wanting to “ramp” up the zombie and such, but the 28 Days Later/Dawn of the Dead [2004] versions are perfect.

  • I’m a bit indifferent towards the movie. It’s highly unlikely that it will meet the expectations of the people who loved the book, but it could recover from the pre-release doubt in the same way that I Am Legend accomplished enough to rise above it and nothing more.

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