Thursday, March 29, 2012

Reel Facts & Opinions: The Invasion of THE AVENGERS

FACT: Joss Whedon’s long-awaited, big-nuts superhero team-up film THE AVENGERS has been chosen to close the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival on April 28th.

The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2002 and traditionally has a lineup of independent films, documentaries, narrative features and shorts, and a program of family-friendly films. Its main goal has been to bring independent filmmaking to a wide audience.

Last year’s festival was closed out by Edward Burns’ THE NEWLYWEDS, an independently produced film with a budget of $9,000. By comparison, THE AVENGERS is being produced by Marvel Studios with a budget of $220 million, and has a top-heavy cast in the form of Robert Downey Jr., Sam Jackson, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, and Chris Hemsworth.

OPINION: Clearly, Marvel is looking to get out of the gate in a flash by invading the quaint confines of Tribeca. With the festival closing on April 28th and THE AVENGERS’ official release date May 4th, they are looking to generate early positive buzz which will hopefully bring in more asses to the theatres.

With movie attendance down every year, we can’t blame Marvel too much for looking to get out early. That, and with this year being the ultimate war between comic-book movies (DC Comics’ THE DARK KNIGHT RISES opens after THE AVENGERS), a few days really does mean a lot. And it’s probably good for Tribeca; they likely will be seeing a huge spike in attendance this year.

But at what expense?

With Tribeca being a quaint showcase with friendly competition, this very much feels like Barry Bonds hitting home runs in a little league park. The tiny films with their micro-budgets will be swallowed alive and whole by Iron Man and his millions. If this plan works out for all parties, then we can likely expect Tribeca to be invaded by big studios every year. That sort of end-game goes against everything the festival has stood for. As someone who has had some moderate success in indie-film, this Blogger would prefer Bonds to sit this one out.

What say you?

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