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Discussion in 'Fantasy Worlds' started by Sir Didymus, Aug 13, 2002.

  1. Sir Didymus

    Sir Didymus Well-Known Member

    Here is a question that I need an answer to. I LOVE Labyrinth. It is a great movie. So why didn't it do well when it came out? Who couldn't like this movie? Does anyone know why? Did The Dark Crystal do well when it first came out?

    Sir Didymus
  2. Jackie

    Jackie Well-Known Member

    Box office flops. GOod movies, just flops.
  3. Cantus Rock

    Cantus Rock Well-Known Member

    Because my friend. Intelligently made movies don't usually do well. Even Dark Crystal, an easy to follow plot and lovable characters (and that amazingly awesome trick with the glass ball...I swear the movie takes 4 hours for me to watch because I just watch that over and over and over), is too good to be accepted by the masses. Its not normal fun and fluff the Henson was known for. Thats why the Storyteller (possibly one of the best shows ever made) only had 9 episodes. Its horrible, the savy the masses lack.

  4. Sir Didymus

    Sir Didymus Well-Known Member

    Don't call me stupid, but whats the Box Office? I know im kinda dumb, but I'm not very smart about this kinda stuff. I'm watching Dark Crystal know and I just LOVE Kira. She's my favorite Gelfling. The music is also really good.

    Sir Didymus
  5. Jackie

    Jackie Well-Known Member

    It's the office shaped like a box.
  6. Joseph

    Joseph Well-Known Member

    Its the movie theatre.
  7. Cantus Rock

    Cantus Rock Well-Known Member

    Yeah...its basically what movie people say when they report the initial earnings of a movie. "How well the movie did at the box office." Or, "It made 3.5 Million at the box office." Stuff like that.

  8. Sir Didymus

    Sir Didymus Well-Known Member

    So Why didn't Labyrinth do well? Did people not want to see it or something?

    Sir Didymus
  9. Cantus Rock

    Cantus Rock Well-Known Member

    Like I said before, it was too out of the normal realm of movie stupidity. It wasn't dumb enough for most people. The people of the world today are blubbering idiots. There are very few exceptions (I think it would be right to say that nearly everyone on this board is part of the small percentage of intelligent life-forms on earth).

    I mean, look at Austin Powers movies. Obvious, blatent, stupid humor. What happens? Its a HUGE Success!! This is what the people can understand! STUPIDITY!!! Labyrinth; too intelligent. Now you might be saying to yourself "Too intelligent? I thought it was all pretty easy to understand..." Yes, it was easy to understand. But it was just too well made for the common idiot.

    Movie success is measures in 2 ways. 1) How many people see it initially. Not many people did, because it just didn't look like "their type of movie" (aka dumb junk). and 2) How many people see the movie more than once in the theater. Not many people did this either. Because, when they saw it, it was just too well made, and it didn't hit home with them. Which brings me to my final point.

    People lack imagination. They can only comprehend 2 types of things; real things(ie. live actors), and obviously fake things(ie. the Muppet Show. Obviously puppets, so everything is OK). When the lines are blurred, people just can't deal with it. Why? Because my friend. Bottom line:

    People are Stupid.

  10. Chilly Down

    Chilly Down Well-Known Member

    I understand people's impassioned reaction to the box-office failure of these films. But while "people like stupid stuff" explains the failure of some smart movies and the success of other movies like "Mr. Deeds," it fails to explain why good movies, like "Monsters, Inc." or, say, "The Muppet Movie" become hits.

    I've done no research on the following hypothesis, so don't take it as fact, but here's what I think happened. People went to The Dark Crystal knowing it was a "Jim Henson film" -- and that's all they knew about it. If they read the reviews, if they watched the commercials more closely, they might have been more informed. But a lot of people don't take the time and effort to figure that out. "Jim Henson? That's good enough for me. I love that cute Muppet stuff." So parents around the world brought their kids to see the movie...and five minutes into it, these little creatures have their souls sucked out by hideous, large, deformed skeletal birds. Parents brought their shrieking, crying kids out of the movie theater and demanded a refund.

    When Jim directed Labyrinth, he added things into the film that are absent from Dark Crystal: comedy, music, and human stars for the audience to relate to. (For that reason, IMHO, Labyrinth is a much stronger film.) But it didn't matter. Parents saw the commercials and said, "Oh, no. I remember what happened the LAST time I brought my kids to one of THOSE Jim Henson movies!" So as a result, it bombed as well.

    So that's my theory, anyway. As for being too dark, Jim was, as usual, ahead of the curve -- this time, just a little too far ahead. In the '90s, we'd get Tim Burton's Batman, A Nightmare Before Christmas, The Crow, Farscape, etc. The world would eventually be ready for dark fantasy; it just wasn't prepared for it in the '80s. Keep in mind that the most successful Henson project in the '80s was Muppet Babies, which was a ratings hit and won multiple Emmys. Whenever he strayed from that path, as with The Jim Henson Hour, the audience turned its back.

    And for the record, I like Muppet Babies, and Dark Crystal is a little too oppressive for me even nowadays. I'm just trying to explain what I think were factors in these films not being more widely recieved.

    Hope this helps.
  11. Cantus Rock

    Cantus Rock Well-Known Member

    Yeah, part of that is what I said in my first attempt at explaining (I said it wasn't the normal Fluff and fun that people knew Henson for). There are parts I think are quite accurate, and some I don't fully agree with, but on the whole, good explaination. You gave me an explaination, and I didn't even need one! :) Good post

    Chilly Down Rock.

  12. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Fantasy pics are notoriously a tough sale. Labyrinth missed the mark, I believe, because there was no real sense of jeopardy. Loved the film, but the "silly battle" at the end really didn't sell me. I don't mean it needed to be bloody, have exposed violence or have anyone killed, but it just didn't have the right amount of suspense. It was all silliness, which even diluted the silly parts. The film's pacing was also slow. Still, I have to say I loved this film. The Dark Crystal, on the other hand, well...it was so brilliant that people didn't know what to make of it. That was my feeling when I saw it as a kid, but it was more a feeling of amazement. My Dad (who usually doesn't like such fare) took me to see it and even he liked the film!
  13. FellowWLover

    FellowWLover Well-Known Member

    As someone who went to see Dark Crystal in the theater *as* a child (ok well, pre-teen), I have to say that I totally agree with your hypothesis. I was really disappointed in DC at the time. I fully expected something light-hearted and Muppety, and about ten minutes into it, was like, "Huh?". Come to think of it, I now remember that I went to see it with kids that I "babysat" (with the mom around due to my age), and I think they were really afraid! DC may have been a good film, but it missed its audience, and by that, I don't mean that it was too "smart". For kids, it was just too scary, and for adults, that meant an unhappy movie experience. Adult Muppet fans just can't carry a film to box office success alone.

    As for Labyrinth, I went to see that with a friend, and we both liked it. However, let it be stated that, at the time, the only reason we were seeing it was for David Bowie. (Ok, so maybe I just wouldn't fess up to wanting to see Muppets too.) I was mildly miffed that there were not any "familiar" Muppets in it, but who had time to be concerned about that? I was too busy being jarred into adolescence by those striped pants. Haha.
  14. Jackie

    Jackie Well-Known Member

    With no expectations, good movies and good. :)
  15. Sir Didymus

    Sir Didymus Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the info guys. I agree, that The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth aren't exactly the kind of movies most people want to see. I still love them. They are great movies. I wasn't around when they came out, so I never heard about the box office stuff.

    Sir Didymus
  16. Chilly Down

    Chilly Down Well-Known Member


    I agree that there could have been a greater sense of peril at the end of the film. However, that in part supports my hypothesis that Jim was afraid of doing anything that might scare anyone the second time around. Ironically, it backfired on him twice: audiences at the time didn't see it because they assumed it was too dark, and Muppet fans watching now wish it were a little MORE dark than it is.

    I'm speaking in relative terms, though. I love the film just as it is. If I were writing and/or directing it myself, though, I think I would take a different approach.
  17. Jackie

    Jackie Well-Known Member

    They are perfect just the way they are! Not everyone likes them, but it doesn't matter, they still survived and enough people love them!
  18. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Yeah, it really is a shame about Labyrinth. There are so many fantastic parts in it. It gets a C+ in my book (no flames). That's from a basic film perspective. Dark Crystal gets a definite A from me though. One of the most imaginative films ever and one of my all time faves!
  19. BlueFrackle

    BlueFrackle Well-Known Member


    I always think that the part where Sarah jumps off of the Stairs to get Toby in the end of Labyrinth is going to start getting long and boring, But then i carry on watching and realise it doesnt.

    I love this movie with all my heart, I get sad, happy, mad and glad watching it everytime!

    I dont watch The Dark Crystal as much, But when i do watch it i love it !

    I have watched Labyrinth three times in the last few days, And Inside The Labyrinth (The Making).

    And now i am going to watch The Dark Crystal and The world of The Dark Crystal too !

    One thing about the movies i love is that i know they were made in England, it kinda makes me love them even more !

    See ya
  20. Sir Didymus

    Sir Didymus Well-Known Member

    I hafta say that I like The Dark Crystal a little bit more than Labyrinth. I love Kira. She is such a great "Human Puppet".

    Sir Didymus

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