“Obviously, that’s disappointing to hear,” he explained. “The only gauge that I really use to judge it is having just traveled around the world and hearing the audiences in the theaters. This is a movie that I think is made for audiences and in my experience, critics and audiences don’t always sing the same song.”
True. Hollywood blockbusters aren’t for critics because it’s a business, which is why originality dies at the cinema. Kurtzman doubles down:
“I’m not making movies for them,” he said of critics.
“Would I love them to love it? Of course, everybody would, but that’s not really the endgame. We made a film for audiences and not critics so my great hope is they will find it and they will appreciate it.
“It is the thing that kills your soul when you have just gone through an experience like this one we just went through,” Kurtzman added of the critics devouring the film. In fact, hit-pieces have started to be aimed at Cruise, who allegedly had “excessive control” over the entire production.
While The Mummy is a dud here in the States, it’s doing quite well internationally. It’s hard to know what’s to blame for the film coming unwrapped domestically but one thing is for certain, The Mummy wasn’t exactly pushing the envelope by any means and was absolutely targeting general audiences by being a dumbed down popcorn muncher.
And that’s the biggest debate that will never end; who are the studios making these movies for? Obviously “art” is compromised when targeting the majority of audiences, which cause films to become watered down for the masses (hence why “R”-rated films scare the majority of studio executives). On the juxtapose, don’t look to independent films to save your cinema-going experience. I find that many independent films are just as bad at knowing their audience. In fact, at times they’re even worse. Why? Because the majority of indie films aren’t mad for anyone but the filmmakers behind the camera.
The point is, there’s no winning this battle. Sure, Kurtzman isn’t making movies for critics but he should be cognisant of criticism because that’s one way to learn from your mistakes. Films should be personal as much as they should be for an audience. Land somewhere in the middle and a filmmaker can at least look themselves in the mirror at night…