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Topic: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

I had a thought recently, what if Licence To Kill was released in autumn of 1989 instead of the summer?

My thought was since the summer of 1989 had so many other squeals such as Ghostbusters II, Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, and Lethal Weapon II competing against Licence To Kill autumn would be a better time for it since movie releases at this point of a given year tend to not to be high profile big budget films. Also imagine that United Artists was able to give the film a decent marketing budget instead of the lackluster one we got. I feel that had this happened Licence To Kill would have been more successful at the box office.

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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

Would have been worse. Batman was released then.

..................http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/Asp9mmSIG-1-2.jpg...............

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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

Well, it was a lesson learned as after LTK Eon never released a Bond film in the summer season again. They've been autumn releases ever since, excepting the upcoming Bond 25 of course although it was originally scheduled for the autumn.

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"The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).

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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

Asp9mm wrote:

Would have been worse. Batman was released then.

Batman was released on June 19, 1989. LTK was released less than a month later.

In answer to the original question, LTK would have certainly made more money had it been released in the fall. But it would have also needed a better marketing campaign to break even with TLD.

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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

It was a lot later in the UK.  My ticket was for 09 September.

..................http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/Asp9mmSIG-1-2.jpg...............

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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

Releasing it in autumn would not have made the movie any better  ajb007/biggrin

President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.
-------Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!------
FIRST TO DISCOVER substantial evidence that Chew Mee is in fact not totally nude in the TMWTGG pool scenes!

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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

Asp9mm wrote:

It was a lot later in the UK.  My ticket was for 09 September.

The IMDB reports that Batman's UK opening was August 11. Keep in mind that films stayed in theaters much longer back then. My US ticket for Batman is dated October 4.

Higgins wrote:

Releasing it in autumn would not have made the movie any better  ajb007/biggrin

Luckily it was already pretty good. Better written than Batman as well, though I love both films.

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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

@ ASP 9mm, Having worked in a cinema, it is still common for some movies if they are popular to have extended run today as well. At the cinema I worked at Birdman got an extended run once it started getting awards buzz. 

@Revelator, In my mind, if LTK have the same marketing budget that TLD gotten it would have helped it make more money. Many a James Bond scholar has mentioned that LTK had a poor marketing plan, along with a small budget for marketing the movie itself was a big reason why it underperformed at the box office.

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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

PPK 7.65mm wrote:

@ ASP 9mm, Having worked in a cinema, it is still common for some movies if they are popular to have extended run today as well. At the cinema I worked at Birdman got an extended run once it started getting awards buzz. 

@Revelator, In my mind, if LTK have the same marketing budget that TLD gotten it would have helped it make more money. Many a James Bond scholar has mentioned that LTK had a poor marketing plan, along with a small budget for marketing the movie itself was a big reason why it underperformed at the box office.

LTK is a very odd movie. Great performance by TD and a trailblazer for the harder Bond that would follow Brosnan but lacking key elements. It looked cheap but had a great Villain and strong female lead. Its disjointed.

Of that of which we cannot speak we must pass over in silence- Ludwig Wittgenstein.

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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

There might have been a problem had the LTK release date been set as late in the year as Christmas.

On November 27 1989, Avianca Flight 203, a Colombian domestic flight, was destroyed by a bomb in an assassination attempt by Pablo Escobar on presidential candidate Cesar Gaviria. In fact, Gaviria was not on the flight but all passengers and crew were killed, including some U.S. citizens.

As would have been reasonably plain in 1989, Franz Sanchez's character was, at least in part, based on Escobar, whose drug cartel, violence and trafficking to the U.S. made him especially notorious. Had LTK been scheduled for a release date after November, a minor sub-plot of the film might have been considered distasteful: Sanchez has Stinger missiles because he is threatening to bring down an American airliner unless the DEA lays off him. This unforeseen rub against reality, of sorts, might have required some further editing of the film, focussed on the expository dialogue between Pam and Bond about Sanchez's threat; the bombing of Avienca Flight 203 might have been considered too recent a tragedy for that particular sub-plot of the film to remain intact. As it is, in this respect the film seems almost, with hindsight, disturbingly if fleetingly prescient.

Last edited by Shady Tree (7th Aug 2019 13:02)

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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

I was a teenager in the 80s.  Going to the mall and going to the movies is what we did as a matter of routine.  There was no shortage of audiences for films back then, and I sat in many a packed theater, even for lesser films, or stood in line just to get a ticket.  The problem with Licence to Kill was not when it was released.  It simply was not a great Bond film.

For starters, it was far too derivative.  It seemed like a Miami Vice episode, and by the end of the 80s, people were pretty tired of all the Latin American drug dealer TV shows and movies.  It also couldn't make up its mind about whether to be a more hard-hitting, adult-oriented film or one for the kids, with the corny jokes and cardboard characters.  To be sure, there are some good moments in the movie, including the torture scene with Bond.  Dalton turns in a fine performance.  But the two female leads were unappealing, and that didn't help.

Dalton's previous effort was a far better film, but he didn't pull audiences in the way he should have.  Licence to Kill lacked the scope and romance of that film -- it was grimy and cheap looking, even though it had a fair budget. 

Fans don't get this, but general audiences were turned off by it.  All the marketing in the world wasn't going to convince them otherwise.

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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

A movie's lack of quality or originality has no correlation to box office--if it did, neither Moonraker nor Die Another Day would have been hits. The merits or defects of LTK as a movie have very little relevance to the topic of this thread.
The fact that LTK had to deal with underwhelming performance of its predecessor and was released at a period when many American competing franchises were in full swing suggests that poor marketing would have doomed the movie. General audiences don't have the opportunity to be "turned off" by a film they've barely encountered, especially if it's released at a time when newer franchises are getting the attention. 
I have no doubt that the film would have made more money--and perhaps have enjoyed a modest success--if it had been released in the fall and been granted a larger marketing budget with better posters and trailers.

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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

Revelator wrote:

A movie's lack of quality or originality has no correlation to box office--if it did, neither Moonraker nor Die Another Day would have been hits. The merits or defects of LTK as a movie have very little relevance to the topic of this thread.
The fact that LTK had to deal with underwhelming performance of its predecessor and was released at a period when many American competing franchises were in full swing suggests that poor marketing would have doomed the movie. General audiences don't have the opportunity to be "turned off" by a film they've barely encountered, especially if it's released at a time when newer franchises are getting the attention. 
I have no doubt that the film would have made more money--and perhaps have enjoyed a modest success--if it had been released in the fall and been granted a larger marketing budget with better posters and trailers.

Except I was around then when people talked about what a turkey Licence to Kill was.  All the commercials in the world wouldn't have changed that, any more than they did for that awful Star Trek movie released the same year.  Licence to Kill was aimed at us, and we weren't going to see it and neither were our parents.  Many of us who did see it, didn't see it again.  You can doubt the actual history all you want, but I was there.

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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

Revelator wrote:

A movie's lack of quality or originality has no correlation to box office--if it did, neither Moonraker nor Die Another Day would have been hits.

That -particularly in the case of Moonraker - is a pretty subjective statement.

I was a teenager in 1979 and people were raving about how good MR was.
If TB was the epitome of the Connery Bonds, Moonraker was Moore‘s.

Back in the day, MR was State of Art, Moore was never more popular and the pre-internet word of mouth could not have been any better.
I am pretty sure that everybody who saw it back in 1979 will agree with me on that

President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.
-------Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!------
FIRST TO DISCOVER substantial evidence that Chew Mee is in fact not totally nude in the TMWTGG pool scenes!

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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

Yes, I saw MR in 1979 and agree with Higgins.

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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

Me too, people literally queued around the cinema to get to see it, like TSWLM before it. It was huge.

"How was your lamb?" "Skewered. One sympathises."

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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

Barbel wrote:

Yes, I saw MR in 1979 and agree with Higgins.

Who are you and what have you done to the real Barbel?  ajb007/amazed

President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.
-------Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!------
FIRST TO DISCOVER substantial evidence that Chew Mee is in fact not totally nude in the TMWTGG pool scenes!

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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

Yes I too remember MR in 79, I was an extremely  handsome
Young teen  and everyone  was talking about the new Bond
Film.

“I didn’t lose a friend, I just realised I never had one.”

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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

Is it possible Gassy Man's experience was more the American experience of LTK? If I remember correctly it was mainly the American market LTK did badly in, the rest of the world did better. I was a teenager in 1989 too, and I don't remember any negative talk aboout the film.

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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

Here in Germany, Dalton was very unpopular and most of the fans where not happy with his movies.
It was consensus that Moore had been too old, but Dalton was regarded to be too mousy in comparison.

But it was before internet fora and most of us relied on professional reviewers(tv, newspapers, magazines) and same-minded friends.

President of the 'Misty Eyes Club'.
-------Dalton - the weak and weepy Bond!------
FIRST TO DISCOVER substantial evidence that Chew Mee is in fact not totally nude in the TMWTGG pool scenes!

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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

I remember people my age with TLD and LTK posters on their walls and positive word-of-mouth about Dalton. I'm sure he wasn't as popular as Moore was earlier, but my friends and I didn't really watch action movies at the cinema back then.

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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

In the US I didn't sense that audiences were taken with Dalton. He seemed to lack star power for American audiences. I have never understood why. I saw both TLD and LTK in the cinema and loved both of them.

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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

Number24 wrote:

Is it possible Gassy Man's experience was more the American experience of LTK? If I remember correctly it was mainly the American market LTK did badly in, the rest of the world did better. I was a teenager in 1989 too, and I don't remember any negative talk aboout the film.

I'd say that's pretty much true.  Americans never really took to Dalton as Bond -- I believe it was Saturday Night Live that compared him to Joe Camel, the mascot for a popular brand of cigarettes. 

The funny thing is that critics were relatively kind to the film here.  Some even thought it was better than The Living Daylights and a good direction for the franchise.  So, it was audiences that rejected the movie. 

A telltale sign, if I recall correctly, is that it was distributed through one of the lesser movie chains, AMC.  They tended to have more screens but carried movies not expected to do as much box office.  The premium movie chains at the time did not carry it here, at least where I was.  The same thing happened with the Star Trek film.  That means someone decided even before marketing that the film was not likely to do much box office.

Another sign is the home video market.  Licence to Kill made it to the bargain bin pretty quickly. 

Moonraker was a gigantic hit, so much so that For Your Eyes Only was a shock.  I saw it with my best friend and his dad, and the three of us came out of the theater not quite sure we'd seen a Bond movie, not because it was bad -- it's certainly one of the better -- but because it was so earthbound compared to the megahit epic that was Moonraker.  Americans loved that movie, camp and all, and the fantasy space age angle of the film was no problem for audiences.

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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

Despite the dislike of Moonraker these days, I had always thought it was one of the most popular Bond films before the internet told me otherwise. In the 1990s whenever it came on television, my parents had it on.

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Re: What if Licence To Kill was released in the autumn of 1989?

Higgins wrote:
Barbel wrote:

Yes, I saw MR in 1979 and agree with Higgins.

Who are you and what have you done to the real Barbel?  ajb007/amazed

ajb007/lol  ajb007/lol  ajb007/lol
Why, nothing at all- she's right here.  ajb007/bond