Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Why did Ex Machina succeed at the box office.

Why did Ex Machina succeed at the box office.

Ex Machina is a science fiction thriller about a programmer who is asked to help his employer administer the Turing test to an android with artificial intelligence. The film had elements of romance in it, such as the way one of the male characters (Caleb) feels for the main female characters (Ava) as well as heart break at the end when Caleb is left locked in a room he can not escape from. Even though this film was very successful for a British film (having a $15 million budget and reaching £36.9 million box office), many people argue that the film wasn't very good and it shouldn't have been as successful due to its lack of obedience to Mark Kermode's rule for a blockbuster film. This was because it lacked all aspects of a Hollywood film. some of these areas are; No CGI, little action, very few actors and it was very slow with a hard story to follow. However, it did make a $21 million profit. This film was aimed at a specific target group which was people who like sci-fi themed films and with little action. Ex Machina contained full frontal nudity which is strange for a 15 rated film. The reason this was allowed was because it wasn't in a sexual way but in an almost disturbing way. As the film did contain nudity and a small violent scene it meant that it could not be shown to people under the age of 15. this means that it wasn't a four quadrant film, loosing views. They could have made this film a four quadrant film by taking out all the violent scenes and nudity and only putting them on a DVD to sell separately. The reason that this film did so well considering these things is that it is unusual and there are only very few other films that are similar- 'AI', '2001' and 'blade runner'.
The film was marketed using viral marketing which meant that they lost no money through this process. The way they did this was by making a fake tinder profile that people in Texas would speak to online. when it was found out that the person wasn't real and in fact an AI, it caused a lot of up-rise with in the media, causing almost every one in the area to see. Making free marketing for the film- very clever. This actually related very well to the plot of the film because both are about proving that an AI could be confused  It was also marketed using posters, a trailer and through websites. They also saved money in this film by only used 2 locations in the entire film, Nathan's house is Norway and Caleb's office in London. Nathans house was in such a secure place which shows us how big of a secret this was, it is also an attempt to amaze the audience with all the technology. Another way they saved money was by not using CGI. They filmed Ava's robotic body by shooting each scene twice, once with Ava in it and the other without her, this was they could remove her torso and arms and still be able to see through her. They did this by 'penciling in' her torso, arms and legs to look robtic, which was probably very time consuming.

The film was made by Film 4, DNA films, Scott Rudin productions and Universal studios. All these companies have previously made huge films such as 'slum dog millionaire' from film 4, '28 days later' from DNA films and 'the girl with the dragon tattoo' from Scott Rudin productions. Universal studios have almost 200 successful films such as 'pitch perfect' and some of the fast and furious films. These make a large amount of profit, anywhere between $62.9 million and $1.512 billion. As universal studios where the part of it, this had a massive impact on making the film a success at the box office, as well as being responsible for getting it onto screens. It had a running time of 108 minutes and was in cinemas for 2 months. In the USA the film was originally shown in 4 cinemas on April 12th 2015 then increased largely to 1200 on April 24th then lastly to 2000. This is due to how the film was marketed, people had either witnessed the 'Ava tinder' experience or heard about it which got them interested. Ex Machina was produced by three people; Andrew McDonald- who is the founder of DNA films, Allon Reich and Alex Garland. Alex Garland also was the director of the film and the screen writer. This was his first time directing a film, but However, he had previously directed screen plays such as 28 days later and has written 3 novels; 'The coma', 'The beach' and 'The Tesseract'.

In the entire film there was only 7 actors. The main characters where Oscar Issac as Nathan, Domhnall Gleeson as Caleb, Alicia Vikanar as Ava and Sonoya Mizuno as Kyoko. None of these actors are known as of yet but Oscar Isaac and Domhnall Gleeson will be in the new star wars film in 2015- Star wars; Force awakens. Both Alicia Vikanar and Sonoya Mizuno where originally dancers and had trained at the royal ballet school. The film was released on January 21st in the UK  and April 10th in the US 2015 about the time the avengers was released. This was really cleverly done because releasing it when they did meant that a lot of people would be more interested in it as they are aimed at a similar target audience. When people stopped going to see the avengers then it was more of an opportunity for Ex Machina to get views.

In my opinion Ex Machina is a good film. I think it had a good story line, the script was really well written- thanks to Alex Garland, and the actors where really well casted, Each actor was perfect for their part. I think that this film was only a success because of these reasons and would have been completely different if it was a Hollywood film. However, i think the ending could've been better as it didn't give the audience any closure and left us thinking 'what happens next?'.

1 comment:

  1. Amy,

    This is an encouraging first attempt. You make a clear attempt to explain the potential problems with the film as well as the solutions the director and producers devised to avoid failure. You also attempt to highlight the differences bewteen US blockbusters and UK film.



    P1. Rather than say the 'film wasn't very good' argue instead that it seemed unlikely that it would make a profit owing to its unusual subject matter and its lack of adherence to Mark Kermode's rules for a blockbuster.

    Include details about the films release pattern (how many screens it was shown on in the US during its opening week), currently you don't specify which country these figures are for and why they altered the release patterm.

    Include details about who bought the distribution rights to the film.

    12/25 argument
    11/25 examples