26

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

Higgins wrote:

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.

And that is anecdotal evidence. I was around when LTK was around and most of the people I talked said it was pretty good. That's also anecdotal evidence. Returning to the main point, Die Another Day was a big hit, but was there much buzz about it being a good film?

Gassy Man wrote:

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.

 

Not so much rejected as neglected. It's easy for a film to get lost in the shuffle if it's from an aging foreign franchise that's surrounded by newer domestic ones that are much better promoted.

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...That means someone decided even before marketing that the film was not likely to do much box office.

Someone from marketing or someone from United Artists/MGM? And was AMC the sole theater chain that played the film in the US?

27

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

Nah, audiences heard it stunk and stayed away, at least where I was in the U S.  No amount of ads proclaiming, "This movie does not stink" likely would have changed that.  If all it took was better marketing, that Star Trek film would have been a hit.

In those days, people talked and phoned each other about movies.  Licence to Kill got bad word of mouth from a lot of people.  Movies were cheap, and people picked from the lot at multiplexes.  People were less concerned about wasting money than time.

This article summarizes some of the feelings. 

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat- … se-1224180

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

Gassy Man wrote:

Nah, audiences heard it stunk and stayed away, at least where I was in the U S.  No amount of ads proclaiming, "This movie does not stink" likely would have changed that.  If all it took was better marketing, that Star Trek film would have been a hit.

In those days, people talked and phoned each other about movies.  Licence to Kill got bad word of mouth from a lot of people.  Movies were cheap, and people picked from the lot at multiplexes.  People were less concerned about wasting money than time.

This article summarizes some of the feelings. 

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat- … se-1224180

I remember the summer of '89 vividly and it's quite true American audiences really didn't give a s**t about the new Bond film.
They were about as excited for LTK as they were the Karate Kid sequel that year. I felt like one of the film's only supporters seeing it in the cinema multiple times. Mostly empty seats, though the few audience members did perk up and cheer at the water ski bit and the wheelie stunt. Just about everyone I knew skipped this one in the cinemas.

Although the marketing was extremely weak and the posters looked last minute,  the general vibe was LTK just didn't feel like a Bond film. Even when the film hit the video stores for rental, multiple copies sat on the shelves untouched while everyone was renting INDY 3 and LETHAL WEAPON 2
.

I had a friend who was a big action movie fan: Van Damme, Arnold, Stallone, etc. He had never seen a Bond film before and I picked LICENCE.   He liked it and thought it had great action and stunts. So I showed him the other Bond films.  This was a guy who really wasn't interested in movies made before he was born, yet the Connery Bonds clicked for him.
Although something like LTK was more up his alley, he enjoyed GF, DAF and NSNA far more.

29

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

Revelator wrote:

And that is anecdotal evidence. I was around when LTK was around and most of the people I talked said it was pretty good. That's also anecdotal evidence. Returning to the main point, Die Another Day was a big hit, but was there much buzz about it being a good film?

Not anecdotal evidence.
Just go back to recent movie magazines and newspapers, audiences and professional critics all endorsed MR.

And it seems that Barbel C&D and Matt all confirmed this.

Just because you don‘t like what we are telling you doesn‘t make our experiences ‚anecdotal‘.

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!

30

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

ToTheRight wrote:
Gassy Man wrote:

Nah, audiences heard it stunk and stayed away, at least where I was in the U S.  No amount of ads proclaiming, "This movie does not stink" likely would have changed that.  If all it took was better marketing, that Star Trek film would have been a hit.

In those days, people talked and phoned each other about movies.  Licence to Kill got bad word of mouth from a lot of people.  Movies were cheap, and people picked from the lot at multiplexes.  People were less concerned about wasting money than time.

This article summarizes some of the feelings. 

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat- … se-1224180

I remember the summer of '89 vividly and it's quite true American audiences really didn't give a s**t about the new Bond film.
They were about as excited for LTK as they were the Karate Kid sequel that year. I felt like one of the film's only supporters seeing it in the cinema multiple times. Mostly empty seats, though the few audience members did perk up and cheer at the water ski bit and the wheelie stunt. Just about everyone I knew skipped this one in the cinemas.

Although the marketing was extremely weak and the posters looked last minute,  the general vibe was LTK just didn't feel like a Bond film. Even when the film hit the video stores for rental, multiple copies sat on the shelves untouched while everyone was renting INDY 3 and LETHAL WEAPON 2
.

I had a friend who was a big action movie fan: Van Damme, Arnold, Stallone, etc. He had never seen a Bond film before and I picked LICENCE.   He liked it and thought it had great action and stunts. So I showed him the other Bond films.  This was a guy who really wasn't interested in movies made before he was born, yet the Connery Bonds clicked for him.
Although something like LTK was more up his alley, he enjoyed GF, DAF and NSNA far more.

Right?  Americans didn't care for Dalton as Bond, and the whole Latin American drug kingpin angle was played out by the time the movie made it to theaters.  By that point, the TV show Miami Vice was about to be cancelled, and Licence to Kill was justifiably compared to it.

Marketing can impact a film's success, but in those days, word of mouth was far more powerful.  And it got either bad word of mouth or none at all.  The theater I saw it in was less than half full, and this was soon after it opened.  No multi-million-dollar ad campaign would have saved it.

31

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

Part of the problem was that LTK was a departure from the established formula - no grand set-pieces like TSWLM or MR, no grand scheme for world domination by the villain, no witty one-liners, and the overhang of the AIDS-era which meant downplaying the usual plethora of ‘Bond girls’ again. By today’s standards due partly to the DC grittier era, this is what we’re used to, but back in ‘89 it just seemed like an underwhelming entry in the series. And not to mention Dalton’s strange Dracula hairdo in the casino scenes.  ajb007/biggrin

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

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

Charmed & Dangerous wrote:

Part of the problem was that LTK was a departure from the established formula - no grand set-pieces like TSWLM or MR, no grand scheme for world domination by the villain, no witty one-liners, and the overhang of the AIDS-era which meant downplaying the usual plethora of ‘Bond girls’ again. By today’s standards due partly to the DC grittier era, this is what we’re used to, but back in ‘89 it just seemed like an underwhelming entry in the series. And not to mention Dalton’s strange Dracula hairdo in the casino scenes.  ajb007/biggrin

Yep.  In those days, people still had the expectation that a Bond film be "big."  They could see what Licence to Kill offered on the small screen, in pretty much the same way.  There was no reason to go to the movies for it.  Even some fans in those days felt the same.

33

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

Higgins wrote:

Not anecdotal evidence. Just go back to recent movie magazines and newspapers, audiences and professional critics all endorsed MR. And it seems that Barbel C&D and Matt all confirmed this. Just because you don‘t like what we are telling you doesn‘t make our experiences ‚anecdotal‘.

Sorry but it does--look up the definition of "anecdotal evidence" if you disagree. Quantifiable audience reaction is measured by things like test screenings (and interestingly, LTK had the best of any Bond film up till then). I doubt that professional critics endorsed MR by the way--any trawl through the reviews should turn up negative ones, like the New Yorker's. And since LTK didn't do badly with the critics either, the point is moot.

Gassy Man wrote:

In those days, people talked and phoned each other about movies. Licence to Kill got bad word of mouth from a lot of people...Marketing can impact a film's success, but in those days, word of mouth was far more powerful.

And these days, people talk and text each other about movies all over the internet, which means word of mouth should be even more powerful, since it can spread far more quickly. And yet marketing budgets have done the opposite of decline. Furthermore, I think in even in 1989 word of mouth was worth far less than marketing. If you don't believe that, the marketing budgets for Batman and its cohort should speak loudly enough.

I'm not surprised that the two board members who hate LTK the most are convinced there's no way it could have been anything but a flop. Speaking as someone who likes the film, I think it probably would never have been a blockbuster, but under the right conditions it might have matched the gross of TLD or AVTAK (which hardly had good word of mouth or reviews) and avoided financial failure. Those conditions include a fall release to avoid crowding from newer franchises--something almost every subsequent Bond film has done--and better marketing that emphasized the film's strengths.

The Hollywood Reporter article states "Where audiences blanched at Dalton's Bond killing bad men in cold blood in Licence to Kill, they seemed to all but root for (or, at the very least, let slide) Craig's Bond dispatching baddies in a similar fashion. Blame this on the early aughts turning away from the explosions-first, Joel Silver-excess of '80s action movies to present fans with more relatable, more realistic, portrayals of the extraordinary heroes headlining our favorite franchises."

While I am happy to agree that LTK was ahead of its time, I also note that mass audiences in '89 clapped for a Batman that was radically different, darker (and considerably more lethal) than the hit Batman of the 60s. Since the mass audience did not consist of comic book nerds, one should grant the film's marketing blitz sold the idea of a grimmer, darker Batman to a public more familiar with the Adam West version. That is what good marketing does, and that is what LTK did not have.

34

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

Revelator wrote:

I'm not surprised that the two board members who hate LTK the most are convinced there's no way it could have been anything but a flop.

ajb007/lol  ajb007/lol
Well, what do you expect?
It‘s a crap movie featuring a crap actor who has gotten almost fired before that one.

Reception was not good and you just can‘t accept that the movie was not right for the time and the audience. You still dream about a giant marketing budget or later screening would have saved the day - dream on.

And no matter how much you hate MR, it was received very well and made record numbers in an after-TB area. And the marketing budget or premiere month had only little to do it. It was just a great movie back then and still is!

I‘d watch it over TLD everyday and twice on sundays.

Last edited by Higgins (6th Sep 2019 20:44)

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!

35

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

Higgins wrote:

Reception was not good and you just can‘t accept that the movie was not right for the time and the audience. You still dream about a giant marketing budget or later screening would have saved the day - dream on.

As I wrote earlier, I don't think it would been a blockbuster, since Dalton's first film hadn't endeared him to Americans and his second was a break from the Bond formula, but under better conditions it might have matched the gross of TLD or AVTAK (which hardly had good word of mouth or reviews) and avoided financial failure. The facts that almost all of the later Bond films opened in the fall and had bigger and better marketing speak for themselves.

And no matter how much you hate MR, it was received very well and made record numbers in an after-TB area. And the marketing budget or premiere month had only little to do it. It was just a great movie back then and still is!

Really? Then why does it have such a mixed--if not low--reputation among Bond fans? And the fact that Die Another Day was a very big hit (pretty much as big as CR) put another dent in the quality=word of mouth=box office equation.

36

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

MR gets a lot of criticism from ‚recent‘ Bond fans who grew up with DC‘s interpretation and can‘t understand why the 007 franchise was highly successful in the late 70s.

Back then, you had to go to cinemas to see great movies, there was no VCR, no DVD and stuff we even didn‘t have the 007 movies on tv until the 90s.

MR was absolutely over-the top for a Fleming traditionalist, but almost noone cared how faithful the Moore Bonds where to the novel. As you still stress out the ‚anecdotical evidence‘, you clearly have no idea how big it was back then - and you have read several first-hand opinions already.

Continue to create alternative facts - it‘s kind of entertaining to see

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!

37

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

Revelator, Moonraker was not just a huge hit, it was a cultural phenomenon.  Its camp may seem odd to some fans, especially those who weren't around then, but it was made only 10 years after the Batman TV series and two years after Star Wars.  The glitzy, comedic, larger-than-life story is what the world -- and especially the United States -- needed during a period of economical malaise.  Strange as it may seem, its juvenile optimism about technology was actually uplifting to a lot of people, as was its turn-your-brain-off fantasy.  There were too many real problems in the world, and Moonraker offered simplistic but digestible solutions to many of them.

I was in grade school then, and I recall our pretending to be Moonraker 1, 2, 3, etc. on the swingsets at school, and most of us hadn't even seen the movie.  One of the kids brought a metal Moonraker shuttle to school and we all oo'd and ahh'd.

For the record, I don't hate Licence to Kill.  It's one of those examples of an idea being better than the execution.  As I've written before, portions of it are actually good.  It wasn't the Bond movie audiences at the time wanted to see, at least not large numbers of people, and therefore a miscalculation.  It's also an uneven film.  For all the talk about grounding Bond in the real world, people seem to forget the campy, over-the-top televangelist played by Wayne Newton, as well as the laughably amateurish acting by Talisa Soto (people literally laughed at her in the theater when I saw the movie).  It featured a cast of capable but certainly not A-list actors -- among them, Anthony Zerbe and Don Stroud, quite familiar at the time for guest roles in TV shows and crap movies -- which didn't do much to assure audiences they would be seeing a topnotch film.  It may have aged better because, taken out of its context, it can be appreciated for what it tried to do, but nothing was going to salvage it then.  That it took almost 20 years for the Craig Bonds to come along is pretty good evidence of that.  The Living Daylights was a better movie, and even it didn't capture the audience's imagination strongly.

You seem fixated on marketing somehow being more important than all the other factors people have suggested.  Consider this, then:  The marketing budget for Skyfall was $75 million.  The marketing budget for Spectre was more than $100 million.  Even adjusting for inflation, Spectre outspent Skyfall by millions, and yet Spectre did less box office -- even less adjusting for inflation.  If marketing was so important, why the disparity?  What other factors contributed to this difference?

The 1989 Batman film was a juggernaut, but to compare it to Bond isn't quite fair.  For starters, the Batman comic book predates Bond, as do the various incarnations.  The 1960s film was an absolute phenomenon.  It changed tastes across any number of media, including film and TV.  The funny thing is I'm old enough to remember when the Batman film was first announced in the early 1980s.  At that point, several people were involved -- I recall the name Michael Uslan from one of the articles I'd read in Starlog magazine.  Fans were waiting literally for years for a film of a property that had existed in multiple forms for decades.

Then Tim Burton came along.  First, he announced that Bill Murray was under consideration, and then he named Michael Keaton as the actor who would be taking the role.  To say many people were baffled or dismayed is an understatement.  Not only could people not imagine these actors in the role, but they feared another camp attempt at the character (though if you watch the movie today, it seems to have more in common with the 1960s series than the minimalist films produced in the 2000s).  This was not some guerilla marketing effort -- this was a bunch of Hollywood people who seemed to be dooming a troubled project right from the start.

I actually saw the first TV commercial for the completed film -- it was the three-minute or so trailer, and if I recall correctly, it was shown during Saturday Night Live.  It was particularly brilliant because it lacked any narration.  People's attention was captured not just by the production design but by the fact that the movie looked far from a disaster.  While the trailer was misleading -- it suggested the film would be even darker and more violent than it actually was -- the film looked good.  More importantly, it reassured people that Batman wouldn't be treated as a joke.

So, this was not marketing being used to polish a turd and convince the audience to come see it.  This was marketing that addressed a genuine apprehension a lot of people had that the movie was going to be a disaster when it clearly wasn't.  And it was such a well known property that even the movie posters did little more than show the bat emblem.  People were going to go see Batman regardless (and did, even as the reviews were mixed).  The Batman franchise was considerably older and more developed than the Bond one, and the last time anyone had seen Batman on the big screen was 20 years earlier, not two, as in the case of Bond.

Word of mouth was different in the days before the Internet.  As much as people think blogging, texting, or posting online is the same thing as actual face-to-face conversation, it's not.  In the case of the Internet, we actually have to seek sites out for much of the information.  Spontaneous conversations around the dinner table or while waiting in line at restaurants or whatever -- common in the 1980s -- don't happen as much today as people are plugged into their digital devices, even while standing next to flesh-and-blood human beings.  The fact that so much money is spent on marketing suggests that just texting or emailing people doesn't work.  But word of mouth has been proven time and again to be among the more powerful -- if not the most powerful -- forms of marketing.  Just take Marketing 101 for that.

Regardless, Licence to Kill just didn't do it. It didn't in the theaters, it didn't in the home video market, and 30 years later, it still doesn't do much except for the hardcore fans who love it.  And that's fine.  But a revisionist history of a mostly middling film won't change that.

Last edited by Gassy Man (7th Sep 2019 04:12)

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

Higgins wrote:

MR gets a lot of criticism from ‚recent‘ Bond fans who grew up with DC‘s interpretation and can‘t understand why the 007 franchise was highly successful in the late 70s.

Back then, you had to go to cinemas to see great movies, there was no VCR, no DVD and stuff we even didn‘t have the 007 movies on tv until the 90s.

MR was absolutely over-the top for a Fleming traditionalist, but almost noone cared how faithful the Moore Bonds where to the novel. As you still stress out the ‚anecdotical evidence‘, you clearly have no idea how big it was back then - and you have read several first-hand opinions already.

Continue to create alternative facts - it‘s kind of entertaining to see

ajb007/martini

39

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

I was too young to see LTK when it came out, but I know my parents did not see it. I am not sure if they saw any of the Bond films in the cinema after Moonraker, but probably a few. They saw most of the 1980s films on television. They rented GoldenEye and didn’t like it, and I think that was the end of Bond for them. I recall about a decade ago LTK was on television at my cousin’s house and my father sat down to watch when he saw a Bond film was on. He remarked that it didn’t seem at all familiar but was surprised at how great it was. I think we all see things differently as time has passed. Some things seem better, some worse.

40

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

Actually you could see Bond on TV in the 70s , at least in the US.......but not as frequent as today

41

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

Higgins wrote:
Revelator wrote:

And that is anecdotal evidence. I was around when LTK was around and most of the people I talked said it was pretty good. That's also anecdotal evidence. Returning to the main point, Die Another Day was a big hit, but was there much buzz about it being a good film?

Not anecdotal evidence.
Just go back to recent movie magazines and newspapers, audiences and professional critics all endorsed MR.

And it seems that Barbel C&D and Matt all confirmed this.

Just because you don‘t like what we are telling you doesn‘t make our experiences ‚anecdotal‘.

Well. if Barbel, C&D and Matt all confirm this, then I guess no one else should have an opinion  ajb007/rolleyes .

I like Dalton as much as you do Higgins, but if you actually care to watch LTK as a Bond film then maybe you would appreciate it for what it is.  You can rant and rave all you like about box office takings and the like but that doesn't necessarily make it a great film.  And why should a film (of any genre) have to conform with what is happening at that present time?

For mine, Moonraker (as a Bond film) is as bad as Die Another Day.

"Everyone knows rock n' roll attained perfection in 1974; It's a scientific fact". -  Homer J Simpson

42

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

That was not Revelator‘s point.

His thesis or question was, that if there where a good marketing campaign for LTK, it would have been far more successful.

He founds this argument on his observation that such a bad movie as Moonraker was such a commercial success just by polishing it with a large marketing campaign.
His argument that MR needed the marketing campaign is, that it was widely badly received by critics and audiences, so if a turd like MR can be made successfully by marketing, that should be even easier with a (in his opinion) good movie like LTK.

If MR is good or not, is personal taste, but it was a huge success and very much liked by the audience back then, so his premise is wrong and makes the entire speculation irrelevant.
While TLD was a bit more successful because of the long break after AVTAK and some people wanted to see the new direction and the new guy, LTK was even worse because audiences did not want to see Dalton again. It‘s that simple.

I personally prefer LTK over TLD because I like the Florida/Key West/Miami Vice vibe and Carey Lowell was just gorgeous.

Last edited by Higgins (7th Sep 2019 12:09)

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!

43

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

Yes, the validity of the premise is important.  What makes any movie watchable is subjective and even personal tastes toward any specific film can change in time.  For Bond films, tastes also diverge among regular vs. die-hard fans, and die-hard fans are further subdivided by preferences of Bond actors, format/formula, Fleming factor, etc. and I think it's the latter that's being argued as to what makes a Bond movie "good" or a "good turd."

The box office argument has limits and it's stupid to imply that if someone doesn't join the crowd mentality then there's something wrong with that person.  In a practical sense, good Bond box office ensures longevity for the series.  But I will not relinquish my personal tastes and preferences to the masses, with which I can happily disagree as long I can continue watching Bond movies.

"...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....

44

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

I was around in 1969 when OHMSS was released. The word on the street then was that it was not a good Bond film- it was too long, there was too much love story and not enough gadgets, and the new fella was no match for the real James Bond. Over the years its reputation has grown and it is often cited as one of the best of the series, if not the best.

I was around in 1979 when MR was released. The word on the street then was that it was a good Bond film- lots of laughs, lots of gadgets, great escapism, Moore was riding the personal success of TSWLM and had much audience goodwill. Over the years its reputation has diminished and it is often cited as one of the worst of the series, if not the worst.

I was around in 1989 when LTK was released. There was general apathy and it wasn't much discussed when there were plenty more exciting films to go see. Dalton didn't make much of an impression with non-Bond fans and neither did this film. Over the years its reputation has grown (though not as much as OHMSS), especially with those who see it as a forerunner to the Craig movies in its approach.

My point is, as 007 himself said in the most recent movie, it's all a matter of perspective. I also suspect a certain amount of bandwagon jumping going on. There are those who have read that, say, OHMSS is a great movie and their opinions of it are starting from that viewpoint. There aren't many who've seen the series unfold in real time and whose opinions were formed along the way rather than retrospectively, and that does make a difference. (And even I'm not old enough to have seen them from the very beginning  ajb007/smile  ).

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

superado wrote:

The box office argument has limits and it's stupid to imply that if someone doesn't join the crowd mentality then there's something wrong with that person.  In a practical sense, good Bond box office ensures longevity for the series.  But I will not relinquish my personal tastes and preferences to the masses, with which I can happily disagree as long I can continue watching Bond movies.


That‘s also not the point.

Revelator‘s point was that MR was a financial success because of the heavy marketing, regardless that in his opinion, audiences did not welcome the movie back then.

That is not correct.

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!

46

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

Higgins wrote:
superado wrote:

The box office argument has limits and it's stupid to imply that if someone doesn't join the crowd mentality then there's something wrong with that person.  In a practical sense, good Bond box office ensures longevity for the series.  But I will not relinquish my personal tastes and preferences to the masses, with which I can happily disagree as long I can continue watching Bond movies.


That‘s also not the point.

Revelator‘s point was that MR was a financial success because of the heavy marketing, regardless that in his opinion, audiences did not welcome the movie back then.

That is not correct.

Sorry, so much minutiae to tread through, but if that is indeed what he said, then it is untrue.  If generally people did not welcome the movie, it would not have been the financial success it became.  I'm a believer of marketing and the science behind it, but to affect an outcome like that falls in the realm of the supernatural.

"...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....

47

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

About anecdotal arguments since there’s also been a lot of talk about this, and yes, just as there's been anecdotal arguments ad nauseam on this thread…expansive and complex subjects such as a movie’s production, marketing campaign and market performance are not defined by one person or a group’s musings of their feelings and experiences.  If anything, these affirm the data, not the other way around, and they're not necessarily the trending or most popular opinions.  Personal experience or even that of someone's circle’s can possibly reflect the dissenting view of a matter; in other words, personal experience and observations do not validate or invalidate the larger argument.

Regarding MR, LTK and the Summer of 89 blockbusters, I too was old enough when these movies were released and remember the “buzz."  But I’m smart enough to know that there’s more to these beyond what I could observe and it's likely each cinematic success and failure has an interesting story BASED ON FACTS on what happened.

"...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....

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

you guys are writing longer posts than I do, I cant read all that!

Gassy Man wrote:

... Moonraker was not just a huge hit, it was a cultural phenomenon.  Its camp may seem odd to some fans, especially those who weren't around then, but it was made only 10 years after the Batman TV series and two years after Star Wars.  ...

This is true, ...Spy.../Moonraker were a very huge one/two punch that made the Bond franchise as fashionable as it ever has been in my lifetime.
So successful, that Don Adams was able to make a full length Get Smart feature film the next year (it was dreadful, as I recall), and it had a precredits sequence that was a parody of Moonraker's fight-for-the-parachute sequence.
Critics at the time said the idea of parodying Moonraker was redundant.


Anecdotally, me and my school chums flocked to see Moonraker, having all loved the previous film, only to realise it was really corny and we'd "outgrown" this sort of thing.

I actually think the reputation of Moonraker has improved over the years. At the time, I certainly did not appreciate (a) it had John Barry music, (b) a better villain, and (c) a better written leading lady character, just that it was the exact same plot and gimmicks as the previous film, just more expensive and stoopider. As a thirteen year old, I was already cynical about these sort of sequels. And that was the general feeling amongst my schoolchums and the newspaper critics at the time, too.

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

and re License to Kill, again anecdotally:
I didnt see it at the time because I was an artfilm snob in those days. I preferred to see clever stylish films like Wings of Desire or the Cook the Thief His Wife and Her Lover (and those were generally shown in civilised repertory cinemas, not dehumanising megaplexes).
I hadn't seen the previous two films and didn't know anybody who did.

Of all those competing action films mentioned, Batman was the only one I did see, and that's because (a) I'm a comic book nerd, and (b) Tim Burton was an artfilm director. If Tim Burton'd done the new James Bond movie, me and all my snobby friends would have run to see that too!

But all the marketting in the world would not have made any difference to me. I didn't watch teevee, and the repertory houses I frequented every week would not have carried the trailer.
Releasing LtK in a different month wouldn't have changed that either.

Reviews at the time I remember were very good. I don't think it's true the film has been reappraised, I think it was always respected by the critics as the kind of back-to-roots revamp the franchise needed, it's just mass audiences don't care what the critics say, and I'd already moved on to other interests.

Last edited by caractacus potts (7th Sep 2019 15:19)

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

and speaking of anecdotal, here's a funny thing:
when Goldeneye finally came out six years later, I went to see it because my roommates wanted to see it. I was living with three women: one Women's Studies major and two Poli Sci majors, the three of them were always denouncing patriarchal conspiracies everywhere.
But they were the ones who wanted to see the new James Bond move because... Remington Steele! I never heard of him, not watching teevee.

I said "I always wanted to travel the world and have adventures and blow up the villain's headquarters, just like James Bond"
and it was the Women's Studies major who actually said "...and I always wanted to be with ... Remington Steele!!' and she swooned and sighed and clutched her hands as she said this.

So the casting of Brosnan definitely helped bring one huge segment of a new audience into the theatres.


There was a lot of hype round Goldeneye, it was the most fashionable time to be a Bond fan since the heights of Moonraker, yet something must have been lacking in the actual content, because once again I didn't know anybody else who saw the next two followups, regardless of the desirability of Remington Steele.
(I was once again hooked though and have been a hardcore Bond-junky ever since)