June 22, 2015
EP. 77 — Secret Rules that Determine if a Movie is Successful
Last year, of the ten highest grossing films at the American box office, nine were adaptations of one of the following: a Marvel property, a Disney property, a line of toys or a fantasy novel. You could easily guess what movies these were – your X-Men, your Hobbits, your Legos and Transformers – but what was that one outlier, that one movie that didn’t fit the mold of mass-produced comic book movies or animated films? That movie was in fact the highest grossing film of last year, and it was an adaptation itself, ‘American Sniper.’
As you would assume, ‘American Sniper’ wasn’t the runaway hit overseas as it was in the States, but neither were the rest of the films from the American top 10. Every major foreign market only featured a small handful of American blockbusters in their top 10. The rest of the spots in each country went to smaller adult comedies and dramas, the types of movies we almost never see atop our box office. Why is that, and where are those movies in America? It feels like we’re told in the US that the reason we only have blockbuster movies here is because the rest of the world craves big, American spectacle. Then why does it feel like our main exports are comic book movies that half of the world doesn’t even really want to see?
This week on the podcast, Jack O’Brien is joined by Cracked editors David Bell and Josh Sargent to discuss the seeming disparity between the size and the quality of modern-day blockbusters, their effectiveness internationally, and how the process of developing movies has changed over the last hundred years.
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January 26, 2020
Freedom sucks…and that is why we have to defend it. Because our democracy involves doing a lot of stuff that takes energy, takes time, and lacks that Michael Bay Quality that only a surprise missile launch can provide. So on this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt and special guest Jason Pargin (who writes for Cracked as David Wong) are exploring the ways being afraid of everything (an easy action) can stop us from being free. Discover the decades-long tradition of some Americans wanting to give up everything in exchange for not needing to think, the centuries-long tradition of people inciting fake panics, and the reasonable ways you can help change things for the better.
January 19, 2020
How’s your local shopping mall doing? Have you checked on it lately? Swing by sometime, because its department store might’ve turned into a call center or a hospital or a go-kart track. On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by the one and only Kai Ryssdal (Marketplace, Make Me Smart) for a look at surprising, strange, and shocking stories from all over the U.S. economy. Discover an international pig flu, a 26-word statement that built the modern Internet, and more amazing ways cash is ruling everything around you. By the way, if you’re an American listener, you spent the past few years funding an astonishingly huge bailout. Surprise! Listen for details!
January 12, 2020
Movies, TV, gaming: three things that are theoretically a waste of time. Oh sure, they deliver value in the art sense, and comfort in the goofing-off sense. But what if they’re more valuable than that? What if consuming shows and playing video games (accidentally) turns people into real-life heroes? On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by comedians/writers Caitlin Gill and Alex Watt for a look at the surprising number of times that exact thing happened. They’ll explore stories of regular people who saved a life thanks to skills gained randomly from cartoons, sitcoms, ‘World Of Warcraft’, and more silly entertainment.