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Whedon Calls Death Knell For Firefly 641

Ant writes "Entertainment Weekly is reporting on the end of Firefly." From the article: "Alas, Whedon's fond memories are also tainted by Serenity's status as a franchise nonstarter; despite Universal's best marketing efforts, the film only mustered $25 million. 'In the end, it was what it was: a tough sell,' says Whedon, adding that it appears the Firefly saga has reached its conclusion. He has no regrets -- and he's moving on."
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Whedon Calls Death Knell For Firefly

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  • Just a thought.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by I_Strahd ( 791299 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @04:50PM (#14303291)
    Or a question really, then a thought.
    Why go straight to a movie? Why not back to television. With a movie you only have one chance at redemption. With a series you have several. Make a few more episodes, get picked up by the SciFi channel and let it ride. I loved the Firefly series, but I didn't care for the movie. Yeah, it had great parts (so do some ugly hookers), but overall it both sucked and blowed!!

    I guess I will be looking for that made for TV movie of Angel. And don't tell me it will never happen, because I already know. :(


    I guess that stuff like this is the reason they make scotch.
    • by kwalker ( 1383 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @04:59PM (#14303401) Journal
      Because Fox owns the rights to the TV series, yes still. That's why it was made into a movie. Whedon was trying to keep it going
    • Re:No rights for it (Score:5, Informative)

      by Psykechan ( 255694 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @05:04PM (#14303460)
      Fox had the rights to the TV show and would not allow it to be made. Universal optioned the rights to a movie but couldn't use the name Firefly which is why they used the name "Serenity".

      It would've been wonderful for more episodes of the show but the moguls wouldn't have it.

      Ah well, it was a great show and it was fun while it lasted. I've got no regrets for supporting the show as much as I had.

      You can't take the sky from me.
      • by DavidRawling ( 864446 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @05:12PM (#14303556)

        We won't make it and we can't take the chance that someone else will make it, it will be a success and we will be shown to have made yet another bad decision.

        If we don't want it no-one can have it.

        • by schon ( 31600 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @05:15PM (#14303586)
          Actually, it's more like "We won't make it, and we won't allow anyone else to make it, because it's ours. We don't care that it might make or lose money for someone else. It's our football, and nobody else gets to play with it."

          This is the standard attitude among publishers of pretty much anything.
          • Actually, it's more like "We won't make it, and we won't allow anyone else to make it, because it's ours. We don't care that it might make or lose money for someone else. It's our football, and nobody else gets to play with it."

            Come on. It sucks that the show is dead, but Mr. Whedon did make a deal, and he did make a lot of money. When Josh sold Firefly to Fox he was just coming from Buffy and Angel, both very succesful (Buffy more so, of course.) I guarantee his deal was for six figures, if not seven.
          • by maxpublic ( 450413 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @03:54AM (#14307309) Homepage
            There's more to it than that. If you've been involved with the industry then you know that personal politics, whims, and downright mean-spiritedness have a great deal to do with cancellations and refusals to sell as well. This is an industry where profit often *isn't* the bottom line and where individuals will often torpedo working projects to push a personal agenda, or simply to stick it to someone they don't like.

            For example, it's a rather well-known (in the industry) fact that "Dark Angel" wasn't cancelled due to ratings but because a certain powerful executive (a woman who still works in the business) harbored a very public hatred of Jessica Alba. Public in the sense of that it made the rounds in business as a recurring bit of gossip, not public in the sense that you, Joe Smith, know about it. She made it one of her primary goals to sink that show any way she could. What's mildly amusing about this is that she's acquired a reputation for doing this sort of thing, and at least a half-dozen cancellations are attributed to her vindictiveness because the shows featured a woman she didn't like. Not that she doesn't like Ms. Alba because of some unpleasant personal interaction (they've never met, to my knowledge), but because Ms. Alba is extraordinarily gorgeous - and she despises gorgeous women. Especially strong-willed gorgeous women, and most of all strong-willed gorgeous women that fellow male executives drool over and talk about to each other within the range of this vipers hearing.

            No names, but her pecadillos have reached the point where a bit of google searching can turn up the very same info I've just related, along with some of the shows that've been on her hit list (apart from "Dark Angel").

            This is not an unusual thing. Many shows do just fine ratings-wise, yet get cancelled despite the fact that they make money. The reasons are usually rooted in the malicious behavior of executives more enamored of power than of money. Others are appalling (e.g., "Enterprise") but are kept because someone on the show (in this case, Berman) knows where some very, very embarrassing bodies are buried.

            When it comes to television, don't attribute to stupidity what can instead be ascribed to petty evil. Nine times of out ten the reasons are firmly rooted in petty evil.

            Max
    • by Orne ( 144925 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @05:17PM (#14303603) Homepage
      Other than Joss not having the rights to the show (as mentioned above), I had heard that the episodes were on the order of a $1 mil / each to film and release.

      Double-checking, I'm wrong, it's $2 million per episode [petitionspot.com] in production costs for Firefly... That's almost as much as ABC's Lost, and there they have a huge audience and marketing engine behind the show. They only got $38 mil total for the Serenity [boxofficemojo.com] movie, about $ 3/4 mil short of the public production costs.

      In my humble opinion, Joss should be seeking to release an adult-level animated series, similar to WB's Batman, or even an anime-style futuristic romp. The level of detail, varied scenery, and scale of the sets are just too big for production offices these days, and if you can't film it, you can certainly draw it.

      • by chandoni ( 28843 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @05:32PM (#14303782) Homepage
        An anime-style series? He could call it Grave of the Firefly.
      • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @05:48PM (#14303984)

        Double-checking, I'm wrong, it's $2 million per episode in production costs for Firefly... That's almost as much as ABC's Lost, and there they have a huge audience and marketing engine behind the show.

        It's interesting you should make that comparison. It is very hard to rate the popularity of TV shows, since there is no direct purchase involved. Nielson type ratings are questionable in reliability. DVD purchases are actually one of the best measures. If you take a look at Amazon's top DVD sales for today you'll find that Lost is the second most popular TV series... right behind Firefly which is the most purchased TV series. Now, the price of Lost is higher than Firefly by about 25%, and they don't have specific statistics on how many have sold total. Nonetheless I think the runaway popularity of Firefly DVD sales speaks to its potential as a show that has an audience willing to support those production costs, if only given that option.

      • by Martin Blank ( 154261 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @06:55PM (#14304623) Homepage Journal
        That $38 million is the box office take, which includes the cut that the theaters get. The actual amount that the studio got was significantly lower, and so there's a lot of ground to be made up on a DVD release. It would have to sell many millions of copies in order to fill in the gap.
    • Sadly, it had a LOT of competition for screen time. It was only in theaters for a few weeks, which didn't give it much time for repeat viewers to build up sales. I remember wanting to go see it for a 4th time, and it wasn't playing anywhere, AND it wasn't in the cheap theaters yet either, that was weird.
      • Don't give up on it yet. Firefly fans need to buy the DVD when it comes out to show the companies how they can REALLY make money off the series. Of course, Fox would probably be too stubborn to part with TV rights no matter how much money was waved under their noses. :-(

        So we have to make this movie a MOVIE success on DVD, or it's curtains for the series for good.
      • I had that problem too, i wanted to take someone to see it but it was no where to be found by then. If you dont hammer the box office the first week nowdays you're history. Even with an order of magnatude more screens than the good old days, they dont last any longer than they used to :(

        It's tough to sell your friends on a movie thats gone by the time you convince anyone to see it.

        Despite Universal best efforts, i think i only saw one or two trailers for it. And they werent really very compelling trailers a
  • Ironic timing.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by aapold ( 753705 ) * on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @04:51PM (#14303298) Homepage Journal
    I mean, announce the death the day the DVD comes out? DVD sales of the show was what picked it back up in the first place...
    • by JWW ( 79176 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @04:58PM (#14303392)
      Of course you could be cynical about it.

      Joss realizes that this news will get out to the rabid fans IMMEDIATELY BEFORE RELEASE OF THE DVD... Is it coincedence?? I don't think so.
    • by tedgyz ( 515156 ) *
      Perhaps not so ironic.

      Viral marketing?

      Bueller?
    • Re:Ironic timing.... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by seasleepy ( 651293 ) <seasleepy.gmail@com> on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @11:38PM (#14306467)
      It's actually more columnist goes overboard and puts words in someone's mouth.

      From the guy himself (with typical sarcasm):
      All right, now I have to jump in and set the record straight. EW is a fine rag, but they do take things out of context. Obviously when I said I had 'closure', what I meant was "I hate Serenity, I hated Firefly, I think my fans are stupid and Nathan Fillion smells like turnips." But EW's always got to put some weird negative spin on it. But so we're clear once and for all: If you read a quote saying "I'd love to do more in this 'verse with these actors in any medium" all I'm saying is that Nathan has a turnipy odor. It's not his fault, he doesn't eat a lot of them but everyone else in the cast noticed it and tht's not really something I'm prepared to deal with any more. And Jewel said outright she wouldn't do scenes with him except stuff like the SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER funeral scene which was outside in a high SPOILER wind. So if I do manage to find another incarnation for my beloved creation, it will have been totally against my will.

      I hope that clears everything up. Oh, and when I say I want to do a Spike movie, it means I have a bunion on my toe.

      -joss (by which I mean Tim)

      (no, actually me.)

      @whedonesque [whedonesque.com]

      If you want something more verifiably him, I posted a couple of quotes [slashdot.org] from newspaper interviews a couple of hours ago and quite a bit farther down the page.
  • by CyberLord Seven ( 525173 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @04:51PM (#14303299)
    ...I already have the "Firefly" DVD and I will be buying the "Serenity" DVD today after work.
    Hmmmm. You don't think they timed this, do you?
  • by thatguywhoiam ( 524290 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @04:52PM (#14303310)
    Dammit! I was hoping Firefly would be the perfect test-case for the iTunes episode-selling model. I think its perfect for situations like this - if the fans really want it, they can vote directly with their dollars, and the hell with the myopic networks. Alas, a little too late it would seem.
    • I don't use iTunes but I would if I could get new eps of Firefly.. Do they offer any preorder service? Why not toss out a Preorder Firefly S2E1 and see what kind of responce it gets? I'd assume if they get the ball rolling future episodes would be cheaper since sets are made etc etc
    • I was hoping Firefly would be the perfect test-case for the iTunes episode-selling model.

      Jesus Hairy Christ, a thousand times yes! I will pay $10 per episode no problem for Firefly. Is there anyone at Fox listening?!?!?! I will wager there are perhaps 50,000 others exactly like me, and 100,000 more who will pay $2 per episode. If they can find a way to cut their production budgets a tad (and why not? they've already shot a bunch of footage they can use for stock; they've already made the CGI models and tex

      • by TychoCelchuuu ( 835690 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @09:55PM (#14305902) Journal
        Is there anyone at Fox listening?!?!?

        Haha, good one. Seriously though, they're sitting on Firefly RIGHT NOW. Even if they were listening, they're not going to be swayed by a bunch of people saying "I'll pay 10 bucks!" They still probably blame the show's failure on the show itself instead of all that wacky episode order timeslot crap they pulled, and remember, this is Fox we're talking about. They cancelled Family Guy and Futurama, and they fought tooth and nail to stop Star Wars (Star Freaking Wars, the first one) from ever being made. They're not #1 when it comes to doing things that fans would love.

  • But, Serenity was not all it could, or should have been.

    The series had a lot of potential, and in trying to please too many folks, the movie lacked the ability to measure up to it.

    I saw it once, and would rather watch the episodes of the TV show...
  • I agree it's atough sell. But why didn't he wait until after the holidays. My hope was the DVD sets would help get some extra revenue. In retrospect I should have bought one!
  • by ErikTheRed ( 162431 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @04:54PM (#14303339) Homepage
    Oh come on, he happens to make this statement on the very day the DVD is set to be released? Sounds like a marketing gimmick to me... If the DVD sales are amazing - and they might be, considering the cult status of the show - he can then announce a miraculous comeback.

    Personally, I liked the show, I really liked the movie, and I can see why both failed in the financial sense (bad marketing for both, episodes out of order and plot development much too slow in the show).
    • Oh come on, he happens to make this statement on the very day the DVD is set to be released? Sounds like a marketing gimmick to me... If the DVD sales are amazing - and they might be, considering the cult status of the show - he can then announce a miraculous comeback.

      Actually I think this could have a negative effect on sales. The fanboys were already planning to buy multiple copies of the DVD (as gifts to family, friends, strangers on the street-corner...), all in hopes of pushing sales high enough to get
  • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @04:55PM (#14303360)
    > 'In the end, it was what it was: a tough sell,' says Whedon, adding that it appears the Firefly saga has reached its conclusion.

    "It was a leaf on the wind." *CRUNCH*

    • by pcgabe ( 712924 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @07:37PM (#14304994) Homepage Journal
      (from Hand Puppet Movie Theatre [jerrythefr...ctions.com])

      Wash: Oh yeah? I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I soar!
      Giant Spike: You're a dead leaf now, dude.
      Wash: *TOTALLY UNEXPECTED IMPALEMENT*
      Fans: ...WHAT.
      Zoe: No way did that just happen. Simon can fix this!
      Fans: OMGWTFFJDIAJDJASKDJAKLDJA
      Mal: Run like hell now, strangle Joss Whedon later!
      Fans: *WEEP*
  • Well, (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sheetrock ( 152993 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @04:59PM (#14303400) Homepage Journal
    I know a lot of people found themselves enthralled in the whole "cowboys in space" theme, but why I cannot fathom.

    Sci-Fi is about breaking the constraints and tired plots of conventional stories. This means fantastic things like aliens, robots, artificial intelligence and time travel. Not rehashing the stale concept that the rest of the universe really isn't so different from home and we'll never really evolve past the emotions and biases we've got right now.

    • Re:Well, (Score:5, Insightful)

      by egypt_jimbob ( 889197 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @05:07PM (#14303503) Homepage Journal
      I know a lot of people found themselves enthralled in the whole "cowboys in space" theme, but why I cannot fathom.

      It's not just "cowboys in space". It's about a man who is struggling to stay true to his heart. It's about the crew that grows up around him. It's about extreme civil disobedience in an opressed society. It's about doing what's necessary and about doing what's right. Space is just the scenery.
      • by jd ( 1658 )
        You can set a soap opera anywhere. You can set a soap opera in a few rooms, costing next to nothing, and get exactly the same content. In consequence, most studios are going to opt to pay $2 per episode over $2 million. If you want something set in space (which means the cost is going to be high), you need content that justifies that cost. That means the Universe it is set in needs to be crucial - otherwise, what's the point in having it there? It also means the science has to grip people enough that the au
    • Re:Well, (Score:3, Insightful)

      by KingSkippus ( 799657 ) *

      This is one of the things that made Firefly so great. These days, aliens, robots, artificial intelligence and time travel are the tired plots of conventional stories, and the concept that the universe really isn't so different from home and we'll never really evolve past the emotions and biases we've got right now was a very new and different presentation of our future. It's a refreshing take on the genre that I always thought they pulled off brilliantly.

      I hope that this is just a marketing gimmick, but

    • Re:Well, (Score:3, Insightful)

      by localman ( 111171 )
      Nothing to do with cowboys in space. It's not about genre. It's about character development and good dialogue. And please don't come back with other examples of character development and good dialogue in sci-fi. It's not the olympics you know, there's no competition for a single gold medal. We can have any number of good shows on TV in a given genre.

      Oh, wait... I guess we can't.

      Cheers.
  • I guess (Score:5, Funny)

    by ThePiMan2003 ( 676665 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @05:02PM (#14303443)
    I guess you can stop the signal :(.
  • Text of TFA (Score:3, Informative)

    by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @05:03PM (#14303452) Journal
    When Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon looks back on 2005, he can take comfort in knowing that his film-directing debut, the sci-fi Western Serenity, resurrected his canceled-too-soon cult classic TV series Firefly, and was also one of the year's best-reviewed movies.

    ''I should say I'm above reading reviews,'' he says. ''But I would be lying.'' Alas, Whedon's fond memories are also tainted by Serenity's status as a franchise nonstarter; despite Universal's best marketing efforts, the film only mustered $25 million. ''In the end, it was what it was: a tough sell,'' says Whedon, adding that it appears the Firefly saga has reached its conclusion.

    He has no regrets and he's moving on. He's currently penning a Wonder Woman flick for Warner Bros., and has the thriller Goners set up at Universal; he'll direct whichever [To continue reading this article, you must be an EW Subscriber, EW Newsstand Buyer, or AOL Member. Please log in or subscribe below.] gets a green light first.

    Buffy's papa has more Slayerstuff in the pipeline as well: an ongoing comic book (''the eighth season we never made''), and possibly a series of DVD flicks focusing on characters like platinum bloodsucker Spike. As for Serenity, ''I have closure,'' he says. ''And now, I can have it in my home which means that finally I can actually stop working on it.''
    I broke it up into paragraphs to make it more readable
    • Re:Text of TFA (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dtfarmer ( 548183 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @07:05PM (#14304708) Homepage
      Joss Whedon quotes:

      ''I should say I'm above reading reviews,'' he says. ''But I would be lying.''
      ''In the end, it was what it was: a tough sell,'' says Whedon
      As for Serenity, ''I have closure,'' he says. ''And now, I can have it in my home which means that finally I can actually stop working on it.''


      Wow, how enlightening. Not a fucking word outta Joss's mouth about the end of Firefly (as opposed to Serenity - the movie.) Sure we have some screwball reporter's interpretation of whatever was said in the interview. Some say [whedonesque.com] the reporter is paraphrasing him when he said that even if there is no more Firefly, the movie at least has some closure. For the number of times Joss talked about ideas for the future (ex. about Jubal Early - "Oh, I know he survived.") and how DVD sales will help determine Firefly's future, it's hard to imagine him totally giving up on the Firefly universe. Until I see exactly what Joss said, I have a real hard time swallowing this story whole.

      On a side note, I am a rabid fan. Firefly is Joss Whedon's masterpiece so far. Astonishing X-Men is alright, Angel was good, and Buffy never really drew me in, but I do plan to watch my brother's copy of the series sometime. But if Joss is giving up on Firefly for good, he is throwing away the crown-fucking jewels , imho (which matters not, i am well aware...)

      Thanks for letting me rant. This article is just really ticking me off right now.
  • Firefly :: BSD? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GuruBuckaroo ( 833982 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @05:07PM (#14303492) Homepage

    Even Joss' comments must be taken with a grain of salt. I sincerly doubt that this will be the end of Firefly - considering that currenty, Amazon.com ranks Serenity as the #1 selling DVD, with the complete Firefly series coming in at #6 (again). DVD sales on this franchise are through the roof, and have been the fulcrum upon which the future of the franchise balances.

    Call me what you will, but I don't think we've heard the last of this yet.

    But of course, I could be wrong...

  • by JudgeFurious ( 455868 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @05:08PM (#14303516)
    It's not going to be Firefly but eventually we're going to see something that does fit into the niche that I see so many Firefly fans (I refuse to call you people "Browncoats") wishing their show could get into. That would be the "paid for by the fans" niche which I think we're heading for with some property eventually. Look at the fan made stuff being done for Star Trek New Voyages right now and think about how cheaply that's being made. Then look at the estimates for what it was going to cost those poor misguided bastards who wanted to finance another season of Enterprise. Somewhere in between those two numbers (much closer to the New Voyages price I'm sure) is going to be the spot where fans pay for their show.

      Production values won't be what you'd like them to be but they'll be damned close. Actors will get (low paying) work on these shows and some of them will go on to bigger and better things. It will be like a step below working in soaps or something.

      Firefly won't be the show that does this because it's owned by Fox and so you can't keep it alive without paying them. This business model doesn't allow for that or, at the very least it doesn't allow for it on the scale that Fox is expecting bank. It'll be more like Open Source Television.

      Fans of Science Fiction should just get together and cut the studios out. It needs to be an original story. Nothing studio owned will work. The guys getting traffic doing Star Trek episodes for free are the place to start. If people can get together and make fan based shows like New Voyages then they can use that as a stepping stone to an original story Sci-Fi pay per episode series.
  • Very misleading (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kazzahdrane ( 882423 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @05:10PM (#14303536)
    This article has been linked to a lot over the past few days on various Firefly/Serenity boards. The quotes from Joss have clearly been taken out of context, a quick read-through of the other interviews he's given over the past few days show this. He's found closure because he got to tell the story he wanted to tell from the beginning. But he's said that if he had the chance to tell another story in the 'verse he turn right around and do it. Specifically, he's hinted that another movie would reveal that bounty hunter Jubal Early from the last episode of Firefly is very much alive. I'm a Browncoat but I don't stick my fingers in my ears and go "lalala I can't hear you" when people suggest the franchise has come to an end. But this article is simply trolling. FYI, Joss has confirmed that he's going to write another series of Serenity comics, and has been saying for months that the DVD sales of Serenity will determine whether the franchise will be seen on screens (big or small) in the future. EW are just quoting Joss out of context to stir up some contraversy. I for one am very unimpressed.
  • by seasleepy ( 651293 ) <seasleepy.gmail@com> on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @05:11PM (#14303540)
    This is a fairly misleading headline/summary/article stub. In (numerous) interviews over the past week or so, Joss says in most of them that any future Firefly/Serenity-age would depend on the DVD sales being particularly big.

    "It would depend on huge numbers from the DVD," writer/director Whedon allows. "Obviously, we are still shy of making our money back from the box office. But we are within shouting distance. Still, it would have to blow up pretty huge for a sequel to be called for.

    "Mind you, stranger things have happened. And they do seem to happen to me. So it's not like I'm shutting the door." -- Toronto Star interview [thestar.com]

    "The, um, the movie is finished. And the story is told. The world is not finished. There's more to tell, but that's always the case with everything I do and whether I get the chance to tell [it] or not it is up to somebody else. So I made sure that this movie had completion and didn't feel like a glorified prequel. It's its own piece and it wraps everything up. I have a sense of closure that I never had, and I can walk away satisfied. But if somebody tells me not to walk away, I'll turn right back around." -- Comcast Movies interview [comcast.net]

    This EW article seems to take the stance that since Whedon is working on projects other than Firefly/Serenity and is taking a realistic view towards their finances, he clearly has abandoned them, despite the fact that his other projects have been in the pipe for some time.
  • by ShatteredDream ( 636520 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @05:19PM (#14303623) Homepage
    Fox is the poster child for why the movie studios have problems. They had an executive who "didn't get it" with Family Guy ruin the original series by actively sabotaging its timing slots. Then it sells over a million DVD sets after Cartoon Network picks it up and does reruns. With Firefly, they put the damn series out of order and wonder why it failed miserably. A little hard to follow a linear story line without a linear scheduling... assholes.

    Some people think that a la carte cable is bad for consumers, but I'd gladly pay $30 for Sci-Fi, Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, the History Channel and MusicChoice. That'd be only $20 less than full digital cable, and if they'd throw in a "Sci-Fi 2, 3, 4" like they have with MTV, I'd glady go up to $40. The TV and movie studios are phenominally stupid, such as the case of Firefly where they spent obscene amounts of money producing it only to let some executive rip the sequence to shreds for shits and giggles.
    • I think you mean TV network, not movie studio (although they have one of those as well, of course). Otherwise you're dead on. What I can't figure is why Fox green-lights all these shows just to turn around and bury them? In many cases you hear rumors that Fox secretly hated a particular show (eg. Futurama, and possibly Firefly as well); if that's the case, why did they buy it in the first place?? And then of course they hold onto the TV production rights like pitbulls, so no one else can ressurrect the show
      • I think it's because we assume that the people that run large corporations are vastly more competent then they actually are. That's where you get all of these conspiracy theories and stories about hating a particular show.

        The truth is that they probably have no idea how to make a product work and they're just fishing around hoping to make it work out right for their bottom line. There's probably a good deal of petty squabbling and bureaucratic squabbling that gets things pushed around more than the merits
  • Marketing? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jace of Fuse! ( 72042 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @05:27PM (#14303709) Homepage
    "despite Universal's best marketing efforts, the film only mustered $25 million."

    I call bullshit on this one. Most people I know never heard of the movie. When I went to the theater, there was no movie poster nor a listing on the Marque. The screen number that it was showing in, rather than having a lit sign over the number, had a hand written tag taped to the light, and this is no "small" theater. This was the largest in the area.

    I'm not even going to defend the movie, because it had it's critics, but it's certainly far better in many ways to other very popular films this year, and it had a psychotic fanbase. The fact that I know several Firefly fans that didn't even KNOW the movie had already come and gone before they found out about the DVD just further goes toward making me think their "best marketing efforts" were utter rubbish.

    If I were the the paranoid type I'd say Hollywood intentionally made it a point to show fans with this movie that yelling loudly about the things you want to see will get you what you want. They tell YOU what you're going to watch, not the other way around. It's the only way they can use the media to brainwash the masses. It just doesn't work as well when we actually get some say so in the matter.
    • Re:Marketing? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @07:49PM (#14305092)
      IMDb shows it opened on 2,188 screens.

      Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: 3,858 screens.

      Now granted, no studio in their right mind would expect Serenity to need as many screens as something like a new Harry Potter movie, but that still doesn't compare too favourably, especially considering that it wasn't opening against much competition at the time. I think 'Flight Plan' was the big movie from the previous week - nothing major opened the same week as Serenity.
  • by Edunikki ( 677354 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @05:28PM (#14303729)
    I honestly can't remember the last time a Universal film did well. Even King Kong (which I saw today and is overlong and indulgent) is taking in below expectation. Warner and Disney and Fox all have their successes, but Universal and Paramount have both been struggling recently.

    Serenity got near to no publicity here. I go to the cinema most weeks through the Summer and only knew thw film was coming out because I read Slashdot and PA. Universal really didn't do their job here.
  • by Sheepdot ( 211478 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @05:29PM (#14303739) Journal
    If Firefly doesn't stop now, then how else are we going to have Firefly: The Next Generation here in twenty years, complete with the new River/Jane-daughter wise-cracking empath, a male companion, a cyborg mechanic, and the psychotic-chained-up Reaver named "Thudd" for comedic relief?
  • by MrP-(at work) ( 839979 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @05:41PM (#14303894)
    Before seeing it, I was hoping Serenity would have done better so wed get sequels or maybe even have Firefly come back to TV (although I never really beleived the latter would ever happen)

    That said, after seeing Serenity, I felt it is a great ending to Firefly.

    The big dark secret of the Alliance was revealed (although im sure there are others, and this finally explains the reevers), they're no longer going after Simon and River. We find out a bunch of stuff about River. River finally has a real place in the crew (as the new pilot) and it seems she is less insane now that the truth about the reevers was revealed

    While I'd love to find out more about Book, it seems pretty clear he was like the assassin in the movie before he became a shephard, i still feel Serenity was a good ending and it left me satisfied.

    The only part im sad about is it seems Joss had plans for 2 more and if thats true then there must have been more plot to explore but now we'll never know
    • The only part im sad about is it seems Joss had plans for 2 more and if thats true then there must have been more plot to explore but now we'll never know

      This reminds me of something which others here might find amusing... after having recently watched the Firefly episodes, the episode commentaries, and the movie, I somehow got the half-baked idea that Inara is a vampire, or a succubus, or some other sort of supernatural creature. Whedon's other shows, Buffy and Angel, are pretty obviously in the same unive
      • Well, in Serenity she is in the sunlight; also, having a vamipre or something supernatural(mystic) really doesn't fit in.
        Although, an "Inara" _is_ the Hindu goddess of rain and lightning and the Japanese god(dess) of rice/food :-)

        From what you have pointed out I would think more along the lines of genetic experiments/modifications(*).
        Stuff like this is mentioned in the series (not only River), it could easily explain old-age-but-young-looking and could also tie in nicely with the "Blue Sun" storyline.
        A
  • by Kazzahdrane ( 882423 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @08:09PM (#14305232)
    This is straight from Joss himself on Whedonesque: All right, now I have to jump in and set the record straight. EW is a fine rag, but they do take things out of context. Obviously when I said I had 'closure', what I meant was "I hate Serenity, I hated Firefly, I think my fans are stupid and Nathan Fillion smells like turnips." But EW's always got to put some weird negative spin on it. But so we're clear once and for all: If you read a quote saying "I'd love to do more in this 'verse with these actors in any medium" all I'm saying is that Nathan has a turnipy odor. It's not his fault, he doesn't eat a lot of them but everyone else in the cast noticed it and tht's not really something I'm prepared to deal with any more. And Jewel said outright she wouldn't do scenes with him except stuff like the SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER funeral scene which was outside in a high SPOILER wind. So if I do manage to find another incarnation for my beloved creation, it will have been totally against my will. I hope that clears everything up. Oh, and when I say I want to do a Spike movie, it means I have a bunion on my toe. -joss (by which I mean Tim) (no, actually me.) joss | December 21, 02:12 CET You see? EW can stop stirring up contraversy and just bugger off for all I care.
  • by JoeShmoe ( 90109 ) <askjoeshmoe@hotmail.com> on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @08:58PM (#14305537)
    Seriously, I remember when the first previews came out, and every time I tried to talk to anyone who was lucky enough to see it, when I asked them about it, all I got was a ashen-faced forlorn look. Evenually, when you learn that they kill off several characters, you can't help but think...WTF was Whedon smoking?

    Okay, I'm the last person to feel like we need to have cushy Star Trek rules where everyone lives that's a main character and only nameless red shirts die. I'm perfectly fine with major characters getting axed in a series...although you always hope it happens on the writer's terms and not because one of the actors dies (so sad, West Wing). But killing off a main character to fans is the like charging $20,000 on your credit card. That better be a damn spectactual investment that pays dividends in the long run that make up the cost. Otherwise, you've left a real goodwill vacuum.

    Personally, I was I think most upset that Shepard Book was killed off. He was a great character, an walking apparent contradiction between his current peacemaker role and apparently some military past life (showing his ID card to the Alliance doctors to get someone medical treatment). The character Book gave a nice calm anchor to provide sage advice and comfort. Who would take his place? Is Jayne going to wax poetic when they face some great evil? So, killing of Book...which I would totally accept on its own...was a really ballsy move. The only way to make up for it would be to introduce a new "father figure" or similar replacement. But the movie didn't do that, or even hint at it.

    Then they killed off Mr. Universe or whatever his name was, and a host of virtually every other bit character from the original series. This is the salt-the-earth style I'm talking about. Maybe none of those characters were worth a spit, but they were established coordinates on the Firefly roadmap. The movie only really introduced one new location, and it was devoid of human inhabitants. So it's like Firefly might as well be alone in the galaxy as far as relative relationships. If the movie had done well and a new series was greenlighted...it would have literally been like day one having to introduce a raft of new characters to replace all of the ones you wastefully killed off. Again, it could be done, but...only if the payoff is worth it.

    And finally, killing off Wash. And doing in the most offhanded, insulting "ooga boogy" way possible. "Well I guess we're all OKAYAAAAAAAAAAHOMG (die)" That was just crap writing. And Zoe who was willing to storm the citiadel of some well armed private army to save him, just turned and walked away leaving his corpse to well known reaver necrophiliacs? One person who saw and early screened said..."I would have totally bought his death 100% if like at his gravesite Zoe had calmed cut off her ring finger with wedding ring and left it on his grave" I totally agree. It was like he was a total minor character in how his death was handled. And, maybe he wasn't a major character, but his marriage to Zoe had to at least elevate him higher than Simon, River, or even Jewel.

    So, in my opinion, what killed Firefly is that as a mainstream movie, it didn't have the trite happy ending that the mainstream wants. And as a fan movie, it burned a season worth of fan goodwill for absolutely no reason at all. It had the plot of a mid-season extended episode, but it had the resolution of a series finale. And so, that's what it became. As a true Firefly fan...I honestly don't know if I would want whatever Firefly series would have had to follow that movie. If I were to close my eyes and dream at all now, it will be for a Firefly prequel about the war and the history Browncoats.

    Firefly, in the end, was like Cowboy Bebop...an amazing ride, but written in such a way that when its over...its over.

    - JoeShmoe
  • False (Score:5, Informative)

    by ThePepe ( 775625 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @09:33PM (#14305744)
    This little blurb seems completely contrary to

    http://whedonesque.com/comments/9027 [whedonesque.com] and

    http://www.aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=22059 [aintitcool.com] (look towards bottom of article).

"Given the choice between accomplishing something and just lying around, I'd rather lie around. No contest." -- Eric Clapton

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