Does story really matter when it comes to tentpole movies? If you look at how well Transformers: Dark of the Moon has performed after the truly dismal Transformers: Revenge of the Moon, it's hard to argue that, yes, story does matter because who does it matter to? It doesn't matter to the people buying tickets because they're buying tickets to see Michael Bay blow some robot sh*t up, and not to watch Shia Labeouf's latest on-screen relationship blossom into something meaningful and longlasting for the character. But the average moviegoer doesn't want to admit that. I bet if you asked 100 moviegoers if story matters when it comes to big-budgeted tentpole movies, they'd say yes and mutter out something about The Dark Knight. And maybe some of them really do believe that no matter the scale of the film, story still matters. Unfortunately for them, Hollywood doesn't seem to think so.
While speaking at the Siggraph (Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques) conference, Walt Disney Animation Studios chief technical officer Andy Hendrickson essentially admitted that story doesn't matter when it comes to big tentpole movies.
"People say 'It's all about the story,'" Hendrickson said. "When you're making tentpole films, bullshit." Hendrickson showed a chart of the top 12 all-time domestic grossers, and noted every one is a spectacle film. Of his own studio's "Alice in Wonderland," which is on the list, he said: "The story isn't very good, but visual spectacle brought people in droves. And Johnny Depp didn't hurt." [Variety]
What do you think? Is he right? Is story important anymore when it comes to these giant summer tentpole flicks, or is the visual spectacle alone what sells you on seeing it?