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The Black Hole (1979)
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Bud Brewster
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Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 15027
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2022 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Mike, one of these days you're going to post a rave review of a movie I dislike, and I'm going to shout, "Hey, who is this imposter and what has he done with the real Pow!?" Shocked

Yes, The Black Hole was aptly named, because that's what it was for Disney — a bottomless pit, into which money was thrown that could have been used for better projects. Smile

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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)


Last edited by Bud Brewster on Sun Jun 19, 2022 3:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Pow
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Joined: 27 Sep 2014
Posts: 2763
Location: New York

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2022 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Disney Films by Leonard Maltin.

Disney's share of the U.S. and Canadian film market was eroding year by year---from 6 per cent in 1977 to 5 per cent in 1978 and 4 per cent in 1979. The film division's contribution to overall corporate profits fell even more sharply during the 1970s.

Disney executives were painfully aware of these statistics, and realized that something had to be done.

There was a lot riding on the studio's 1979 Christmas release.

Budgeted at a record $20 million, The Black Hole was the studio's answer to Star Wars and the flurry of interest it had generated in outer-space adventure.

For the first time, the studio shone its spotlight on its special effects wizard Peter Ellenshaw, promoting him as if he were the star of The Black Hole---which in a sense, he was. He designed and supervised the elaborate visual effects for this story.

That Christmas The Black Hole appeared---only to be greeted by a collective sigh of disappointment. For an epic film it seemed awfully flat, with dialogue left over from a 1950s B-movie.

The film as a whole was reminiscent of Disney's own 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, except it wasn't as entertaining. Worst of all, the climatic trip through a black hole was notably unexciting.

The film did boast superior special effects, by and large.

For some people, the saddest part was that Disney was jumping on a bandwagon instead of leading the parade. To others. it was a blow to find that the Disney team couldn't match the entertainment and expertise of its young competitors.

The Black Hole, released at the same time as another space saga, Star Trek---The Motion Picture, didn't fare that badly at the box office, taking in some $25 million domestically. That would have been a bonanza for a (typically) less expensive Disney film, but in this case it wasn't enough to recover costs---and it was many millions behind the outer-space competition.

Sidebar: Age old story, let's dazzle the audience with stunning special and visual effects while the story can be just average.

Sidebar: I'm also assuming that Disney was not talking to hotshot young writers and directors, such as Spielberg, and involving their much needed collaboration. Companies can become self-isolating within their culture that they oppose any new breaths of fresh air. And that can be the death knell for any business.
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