Sunday, June 07, 2009

Land of the Lost Revenue

Well, not that long ago I termed the new $100 million dollar Will Ferrell film Land of the Lost a total failure of imagination. And now, general audiences seem to agree with that assessment.

E Online
reports that Land of the Lost "debuted with an estimated $7 million Friday, prompting the box-office-tracking Exhibitor Relations to pronounce the $100 million Will Ferrell extravaganza "the first bomb of summer."" (And special thanks to Marx Pyle for the link to the news.)

All I can say is...It's nice to know that good taste isn't entirely...extinct.

I'm gratified that those movie-goers who grew up with the Saturday morning TV series collectively turned their noses up at a cynical enterprise designed purely to poke fun at the memory of a production that was quite sincere, and quite special. Land of the Lost (the TV series) wasn't expensive and it didn't have a big budget. But it had heart and was written with intelligence, care and humanity. It deserved better than a "remake" by those who couldn't see anything except dated special effects.

Transforming the beloved Land of the Lost into a stupid, mocking Will Ferrell comedy was one of the worst ideas I've heard in a long time, especially when a great Lost World/Jurassic Park-style thriller could have been created in its place, given just the tiniest, most microscopic sliver of imagination. The movie's eventual approach was poorly conceived even in terms of marketing: exactly who was this movie designed to appeal to? The longtime fans whose faces were to be spit in? Young audiences who had never before heard of Land of the Lost? Or those multitudinous fans of Anchorman who also just happened to love dinosaurs?

I mourn for Land of the Lost (and creators Sid and Marty Krofft) that such a potentially valuable genre property was developed in such a snarky, disrespectful, irreverent manner and that the long-term up-shot is that there will be no movie franchise. But at the same time, Land of the Lost's complete and utter failure to draw audiences may at least discourage studios from taking the disrespectful Will Ferrell approach to other beloved genre franchises.

Let's hope so.


  1. Anonymous5:35 PM

    I kind of suspect that Sci-Fi's recent marathon airings of the old series may have helped keep the ticket sales down. Surely I wasn't the only person who watched most of it (Had a hard time paying attention after all the rather odd changes in season 3) for the simple reason of having been born too late to catch the original run.

  2. I watched the original series and while it had hokey special affects it was cool. I took my kids to see Will Ferrell's version and was majorly disappointed. Aside from one or two funny moments, his version is the fumbling, bumbling movie of the summer season.

  3. Thanks for commenting anonymous and Microbus.

    I know some people are upset with me for coming down so hard on Land of the Lost (the re-imagination), claiming that I demanded a reverance for the property that wasn't even applied to the Bible (in Monty Python's Life of Brian).

    Not so.

    My point is that this movie is brand-fraud, it's a bait and switch. (After all, Life of Brian wasn't titled: The Bible)

    If Will Ferrell wanted to appear in an updating of The Monster Squad, or Big John/Little John (both comedies), I wouldn't necessarily be against him updating those Saturday morning comedic properties. Comedies would be updated as...comedies.

    But Land of the Lost had more potential for a serious movie (or serious TV show) than just about any kid's show in history.

    It could have been amazing. And now we'll never see it...thanks to this cynical fiasco that traded on a beloved name.