The Saga Begins with a single character
In 1979, the world was terrified. Ridley Scott, a legendary filmmaker, who inspires a lots of sci-fi filmmakers about future and it’s fear. Ailen, was published in 1979. During the opening weekend, Ailen made about 3.5 Millions. Domestically, Alien makes total more than 80 millions dollars, and internationally it makes more than 203 million dollars. Twenty-century Fox production made a good fortune spending just 9 millions to make a extra ordinary profit of about 30 times. The profit didn’t stop here, Fox decided to make another “alien saga” James Cameron” directed Aliens also known as Alien 2, in 1986. Fortunately, Aliens also made similar to the original profit. Fox made another five series based on Alien series, every single of them make profit “successfully” It’s interesting to see what’s the differences based on each different directors achieve what kind of “style” during the Saga. Also, how Fox managed to make profit out of single original monstrous character Alien. Furthermore, comparison between the pictures based on what makes “success” based on the profit ratio.
Firstly, it’s important to point out that Alien saga wasn’t directed by a single director. I don’t know the reason behind it, but it was great decision that Fox made. It’s because every single alien film has it’s own uniqueness based on variety of directors. Ridley Scott directed the original Alien, and Prometheus, James Cameron directed Aliens, and David Fincher did Alien 3, and lastly, Jean Pierre Jeunet directed Alien: Resurrection. Fox also “Made” side stories film based on Alien, such as AVP: Alien vs Predator series as well. Currently, Fox is making another original Alien series called Alien: Covenant that might be published in 2017. Each directors created different kind of stories about Alien. Ridley Scott is focusing on an omniscient power unknown monstrous creature kills entire crew in an isolated location in the different planet. On the other hand, James Cameron’s case, he created a “war” between bunch of aliens and future US marines. David Fincher however, focused on subjectivity on a different perspective based on “victim”, Ripley, the only survival from Aliens’ attack in a space prison. At the end, Jean Pierre Jeunet made an alien film about “relationship” story between cloned Ripley and it’s own “son” alien. These films look completely different other than the original character Ripley and it’s Alien. Is this a great thing? Yes, it is.
Speaking of stories, my favorite scene in the entire series, is in the “worst” alien that people say, It’s Alien: Resurrection's underwater scene. Some argues that James Cameron and Ridley scott’s first and second Alien series were much better than third and fourth series. I wouldn’t argue about them in terms of story progression. These two films were just simple as a fact that the films were shot for purposes showing the action movie. However, David Fincher brought this action movie into somewhere more psychological situation. I still think David Fincher’s concept design is the best in the entire alien series. The rustyness of old prison, factory look with very moody tone and single color temperature light sources based cinematography lighting technique were simply amazing. On the other hand, did James Cameron’s film cared cinematography as much as David Fincher? I don’t agree with that. I think James’ Cameron’s Aliens were great, not because of it’s cinematography, but because of the his sense of scale of the film and it’s blocking technique. At the end, may be these two “failed” alien films weren’t actually bad at all. These are just something that audience hadn’t expected to watch after the James’s Aliens, the action movie.
Is every single alien film made 30 times profit? No, they weren’t. In fact, James cameron made about 15 times profit, and Fincher made four times, and Jean Pierre Jeunet made a bit less than 4 times, and etcs. However, the review of these are very different. Generally, first and second alien films were very successful in terms of net income comparing the film production spent. However, from Alien 3, the profit falls all the way down to 4 times, and it stopped around 3-4 times of profit at Alien: Resurrection. In total, entire alien series spent 376 million dollars, and fox made 1.4 billion back in total. It’s about little bit more than 3 times net, which is great business model as an economical sense. Imagine that whenever you make a film, it’s guaranteed to make three times of money that you spent, no matter how “bad” the movie is. Even the “worst” alien series film, Alien: Resurrection made just three times net income. Yes, this is the business that never fails, as an investor’s point of view. That’s what Fox won't stop making Alien Saga.
Again, It’s ironic that people argue about how bad Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection are, yet these two films were still successful, and they made good profit out of it. Not only that, the side stories silly action movie such as Alien vs Predator also made three times more than they spent. People always say that they didn’t like them, but they spent their money to watch them in the theater. May be, they are expected to spectacular image such as first and second alien films. But, these are not “action movies” Alien 3 was rather “Thriller”, and more subjectivity film than action movie. The story is about Ripley being “survive” in a place, almost no one would help her. There are very limited amount of “action scenes” in the Alien 3 comparing to Aliens. Alien 4 have more camera movements, and well choreographed scenes comparing other films. Alien 4 was rather drama film that has significant amount of blocking than an action film. Therefore, the Alien 4 was also could be called “drama” genre film as well. Yes, if you were an action film fan, you wouldn’t watch this film. But, that doesn’t mean that these films are bad, these are written in different purposes.
In conclusion, Twenty-Century Fox really made a good fortune out of a single monstrous character. One single character gives you 1.2 billions without counting on DVD, toys, and so on. Although, people are arguing against several films were failed of the entire saga, in fact these film were both commercially and critically successful. Fox simply didn’t lose the money nor, the quality of the alien either. However, the franchisor a series of the film isn’t necessarily great. Yes, as an investment, it’s a safe way to go. But, again, you can’t make 30 times money that you spent like the first one. In my opinion, these Hollywood franchisor would be stopped, when the investors would prefer to invest 10 million dollars to make 10 different films might give them more profit than losing one “guaranteed” big shot. I am glad to see what’s going to be happen in the very near future.