Science Fiction as a film genre has never been a real blockbuster industry. Sure you have the Star Wars franchise and a few others that garner wide commercial success, but those are few and far between.There has always been a small to medium sized cult following for the genre, but few films break out to become widely popular. You may wonder what the reason is for this. The truth is that there is a disconnect between mainstream audiences and the sci fi faithful. And the very things that make the faithful happy ensure that the films that they love will not be commercially viable. So read on to learn about the trouble with sci fi.
One of the main problems with the hardcore sci fi fans is that they insist on scientific accuracy. They want the sci of their sci fi to be dead on accurate all the time. These people live, breathe, and work science all day, and they want their fiction to meet their expectations, which are set very high. The problem this creates is that no film can reach this level of accuracy without great expense and detrimental effects to the storyline. And even if this movie was made, the audience, however rabid, would be too small to justify the cost.
Speaking of the cost, another trouble with sci fi is that the films can be quite costly if they want to dazzle the audience. But these types of effects bring large price tags with them. And the only way to offset these price tags is to gain a wider audience for the films. By gaining a wider audience you begin to alienate the core audience that followed the content to begin with. It is this catch 22 that makes good sci fi rare. If the film is broad enough to please the masses, it bears little resemblance to the content to which the true fans are dedicated, and they might as well have just made the movie as a stand alone story without purchasing the rights in the first place.
The fans of sci fi are another issue that work against sci fi. These fans become fiercely loyal to certain franchises and look down on others. The famous Trekkie vs Star Wars fans being the most visible of these feuds. The problem with this is that they are dividing the fanbase in half, thus making it less likely that more films will be made as the numbers just are not there. Now of course with these two franchises there is no worry of a lack of films and other content. But this same situation applied to smaller sci fi franchises can really bring down the numbers of a fanbase significantly.
So for these three reason, sci fi is left to wallow in obscure mid to low level box office success with the rare home run story. The sad thing is that this paradox means that because the fans love the genre so much, they have doomed it to obscurity by being so single minded. There is great info online about movies like Star Trek and Star Wars Episode I the Phantom Menace.
Zach Mandell is a freelance writer for www.movieroomreviews.com.