I do not know what sort of focus groups the movie industry does, but let me offer a real basic thought -- if I look at a trailer and say, "That looks ridiculously stupid" you should have never produced the movie. I am willing to give basically anything the benefit of the doubt, but here are some real basic thoughts from watching trailers of these flops:
White House Down - how many times has this been done in the past 5 years? You could even throw in Michael Scott's classic "Threat Level Midnight" where the President (played by Darrell Philbin) gets shot at.
Pacific Rim - fake Transformers, plus I don't see any hot chick in the trailer that I would like to watch. Look, Transformers is a guilty pleasure. I may enjoy Friends, but not any of the 15 fake Friends shows that followed. I just need one.
After Earth -- so Jaden Smith is a little wussy kid and his dad is getting too old to do action films on his own? Is that the actual plot of the movie? Would that it were so - the actual plot is they crash land on Earth which was deserted 10,000 years prior because everything on earth ate humans......so with no humans for the past 10,000 years? The Earth things still are programmed to eat humans.
The Lone Ranger - who was calling for this? People who watched TV in 1957? I am almost 50, and I never watched The Lone Ranger. And if you are going to have "The Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp" shouldn't he be The Lone Ranger? We need the guy from "Mirror Mirror?" Who was clamoring for that? ("You know, the Winklevoss Twins will make a great hero...)....There is talk of casting Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a movie version of Guys and Dolls. Tatum to be cast as........Nathan Detroit??? The sort of bumbling affable doofus character who has strung his girlfriend along for 14 years? A guy once played by Oliver Platt? That is Channing Tatum? And the "cool and hunky" character will be played by JGL - the guy from 500 Days of Summer? Tommy from 3rd Rock From the Sun? The cancer victim from 50-50? The male Renee Zellweger (open your eyes son, open your eyes)?
RIPD -- um, so they die and then have to go back to earth in the bodies of an old Chinese guy and Marissa Miller? To....what? Catch ghosts? Something like that? If you have the power to reincarnate someone's dead energy and return it to earth looking like Marissa Miller, wouldn't you just toss down a thunderbolt and kill the ghosts yourself?
Men In Black meets that Albert Brooks movie where he is dead meets Ellen Barkin in "Switch" meets an all-white-colored death world that looks like a Progressive Insurance commercial.
Does no one ever do some basic focus groups showing the movie trailer? Hey, folks, describe "Pacific Rim" in 2 words - "Fake Transformers". What do you think of The Lone Ranger? "Why isn't Depp the Ranger? RIPD, "I don't follow the story arc here." (a little Family Guy reference).
After Earth, folks, thoughts? "Yuck."
It isn't exactly brain surgery here - make a fake trailer, show the trailer to a few people and