There is a small, snivelling and flinching part of me that would rather not have his name inextricably linked with The Last Comic Book Movie Flop Of 2010. But, you know, I am today pretty much at peace with the whole thing. I’ve met fine people and I’ve learned many useful things, and that is the most you can ask of any walk.

Warren Ellis, explaining why buying his daughter a pony was the most important effect of RED becoming a movie.

BTW, we’ve heard many reports of RED tracking well, and despite the minuscule turnout at the NYCC WildStorm/RED panel — 22 people — it could turn out to be the kind of movie that doesn’t do well at Comic Con but does well in theaters. Or, it could be The Last Comic Book Movie Flop Of 2010.

Is anyone in the peanut gallery looking forward to RED?


  1. “Is anyone in the peanut gallery looking forward to Red?”

    Actually, yes I am. Though I don’t get out to the movies much nowadays, RED strikes me as the kind of fun escapism that I might enjoy with a tub of popcorn. Mind you, I’m totally unfamiliar with the comic, so whatever interest I have in the movie is coming from something other than its comics provenance.

  2. Yeah, I kind of am. But my mom is completely looking forward to “Red.” I think comics people might be missing the point – there’s an audience for stuff like “Space Cowboys” and “Wild Hogs” (the aging-boomers getting together for one last hurrah situation). But it’s not likely to be a young audience, nor one that cares about “Red” having been a comic book first.

  3. Saw it last week. It’s really a pretty good. Bruce is excellent in it as is Mirren and Brian Cox. Karl Urban is solid as well., Malkovich is well…Malkovich so that’s a plus. It was just pretty fun. It won’t be a huge box office monster, but I don’t think it’ll be a disaster either….

  4. The preview scenes with John Malkavich look really awful, but I’ve read some good things about the action (especially a fight scene between Bruce Willis and the guy from the LOTR).

  5. I was at Comic-Con all weekend and I had no idea there was a RED panel.

    The NYCC website for panels was very lame and confusing, as the site could only display 10 panels at a time, so creating a plan for the con was really damn time consuming.

    If Scott Pilgrim taught us anything it might be that doing well at Comic Con means you fail at the box office.

    And NYC might be a very different beast from San Diego.

    My gut, and the tracking data, tells me that the awesome cast and great commercials will make RED a success. Techland is full of the crazy.

  6. 1) Most people do not know this is a movie based on a comic book. So there might not be that prejudice when people decide to go see it.
    2) It doesn’t matter, the book will still sell.
    3) 86% on Rotten Tomatoes, with four top critics all liking it so far. The Village Voice does compare it to the GN, and likes the movie more.

    Is this really the last GN movie of the year? Nothing opening for the holidays?

  7. Thing is, viewers not knowing that it’s based on a comic book is much less important than producers knowing that it is. This is not to excuse the groupthink and focus-group mentality of production and marketing, mind you.

  8. a hokey comic book turned into aname dropping hokey film…pass, i’m looking forward to the royal mess that The Thing prequel will be.

  9. To second another poster, “Kick Ass” and “Scott Pilgrim” were both touted as the Second Coming at Comic Con, and both of them bombed hard, so if “Red” barely gets any notice at Comic Con but scores relatively well in theaters, I think this will force movie studios to reevaluate how much they actually WANT to appeal to the fans.

    And given the fact that “Red” appears to have improved its source material significantly, I wonder if what Ellis is worried about is not that the film will fail, but rather, that a bunch of people might decide that they prefer it to the comic book.

  10. I was at comic con all weekend, I read a number of comic blogs, I know ellis’s work in general, and I’ve never heard of this. If it got half as much advertizing as “frankenstein girl vs vampire girl” then I absolutely would have gone to see it.

  11. Oddly this is a film the whole family is looking forward to including my dad (a Bruce Willis fan though he had probs with Cop Out), my mum (who likes the look of Helen Mirren with a SMG), and my brothers who are just average comic-book geeks. We will definitely be seeing it during the first week.

  12. It looks like a fun flick to me! the original comic did not hit my radar, but I’m keen to check it out now.

    Van – I have plans on seeing it this weekend if you’d like to tag along. :)

  13. My non-comics reading wife really wants to see it. She had no idea it was based on a comic until I mentioned it. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have connected it to the Ellis comic without seeing it mentioned on comics news blogs. She just thinks it looks cool and funny.

  14. No disrespect to Cully Hamner, co-creator and artist on the original “Red” comic (and a nice guy who I enjoyed talking with in San Diego), but maybe the “Red” panel at NYCC might have had a few more people if it had one of the actors from the movie. Just became they didn’t have a huge turnout for the panel doesn’t mean there’s not interest in the film…

  15. Some of the more successful comic book movies have been ones that I’d guess that the audience didn’t know were based on comics, such as Men In Black and 300. The general audience not making that connection here may not translate to poor results.

  16. Yeah, I want to see it. Read the comics, and I think the movie will deviate significantly. It was a very short comic book series, so that’s to be expected. The trailers make it look like The Losers and The A-Team all over again, but unlike those films this one has Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, and Helen Mirren to name just a few.

    Aside from what I believe to be a scene that flies in the face of the laws of physics (stepping out of a spinning cop car), it’s a pretty cool looking film and even that scene looks awesome in spite of being impossible.

    I have a feeling that it’ll come in second to Jackass 3D though.

  17. It looks like it could be entertaining, decent movie. Plus like Scott Pilgrim and filmed in Toronto, from the trailer there’s a lot of action that happens where I commute daily to work. So it will be cool to see crazy action scenes at places so familar.

  18. Look at Scott Pilgrim, a brilliant movie that flopped. I don’t know if too much weight should be placed on Comicon turnout.

  19. “Some of the more successful comic book movies have been ones that I’d guess that the audience didn’t know were based on comics, such as Men In Black and 300. The general audience not making that connection here may not translate to poor results.”

    While Men in Black didn’t make it obvious it was a comic, 300 had “based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller” splashed boldly all over it. I think the announcer in the preview even said it.

  20. I enjoyed the comic enough, but not enough to pay $12 to see the retooled movie version in the theatre. I’ll also wait for dvd on this one.

    It can’t be much worse then the Losers movie was!!! :-O

    (another crap movie based on a great comic)

  21. One slight wrinkle in determining any greater meaning in this film’s box office numbers is the fact that a fairly decent screener copy got leaked this week.

    Personally I don’t think this kind of leak really hurts box office appreciably, but if the movie does do poorly, I’m sure it will get blamed, just as happened with the Wolverine movie.

  22. I’ve read the comic and thought it was pretty mediocre. The movie looks better. I’ll certainly see it, but either at the second-run theater ($2!) or on DVD. I almost never go see movies at the ol’ cineplex anymore due to the high cost.

  23. “While Men in Black didn’t make it obvious it was a comic, 300 had “based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller” splashed boldly all over it. I think the announcer in the preview even said it.”

    Doesn’t mean the general audience knew or even cared. In my experience, the majority of moviegoers don’t know anything or sometimes only minimal information about the movie they’re going to watch.

  24. My whole family and I are looking forward to seeing this movie. I’m the only one who read the original comic – they just like the idea of the cast – and Helen Mirren kicking ass.

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