Hubpages has launched a poll for the best fantasy film of 2012. Here is the link. As of this writing John Carter has 92% of the votes. In second position is Snow White and the Huntsman at 4%. “Dark Shadows has 2%. At 0% we have Mirror Mirror, Brave, Wrath of the titans, and The Hobbit. Now, I realize how annoying this will be to some of my contrarian pals out there, but hear me out. There is no way that John Carter will sustain that lead if that poll gets out there and is really answered by huge numbers of people, and who knows, it may not even be able to win.
But doesn’t this provide some sort of context regarding the relative state of “fandom” for the different movies. I mean the information that such a poll is happening is out there for anyone to find. Fans all have the ability to create google searches for their movies so that when their movie is written about anywhere on the net, they can read the article.
Why is it, then, that flop of the century John Carter is light years ahead of everyone else in fan awareness and fan mobilization? Why aren’t there Brave fans jumping on this? Why are there no Hobbit fans jumping on this (and we all know there have to be tons of Hobbit fans out there, there can be no denying that)?
Is there any way to take evidence like this and draw any conclusions about the depth to which John Carter has motivated a reasonable nucleus of people?
Let me formulate the contrarian responses first, just so it doesn’t’ seem like I’m not aware.
“John Carter has a few loud fanatics who are like a gestapo patrolling the internet while other movie fans aren’t so insecure as to have to be doing this.”
Okay, you can say that. But fans are, by the etymology of the very word “fan” …. trending toward being “fanatic” or they wouldn’t be fans, they would just be observers.
Is it possible that the depth of this fan reaction to the movie parallels and is in some way a manifestation of the depth of the fan react to ERB himself, i.e. the books? In other words, those of us who discovered the books became lifetime fans of ERB, and for many of us it was a special relationship that topped our relationship to other authors we liked. For me, for example, I enjoyed a lot of sci-fi and fantasy — Heinlein, Asimov, Clark, all those greats from the 50’s and 60’s, and in the pulp adventure field I read and sort of liked H Rider Haggard, Jules Vern, Doc Savage, Otis Adelbert Kline. But Burroughs blew every one of these away. If I were doing it on a scale of 1-100, the others were all in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and ERB was a 90.
Those who object to Stanton’s interpretation do so with a passion that, I would say, belies the fact that their own passion for Burroughs is something like mine was. I get that.
But what you make of the way this movie is getting more than it’s share of people who just LOVE LOVE LOVE it the way a lot of us LOVE LOVE LOVE our ERB. Is that ERB shining through Stanton? Or, alternatively, is that just Stanton’s own Wall-E/Nemo vision? I think a lot of it is ERB’s magic for world creation shining through.
And Oh Contrarians, why is all this sooooooo annoying to you? That’s what fans are — they get excited, they get behind their team or their movie or their star.
My point would be that most movies generate a wide but mild fan base, and this poll, if the trends continue even remotely like they are, supports that notion. Fans are out there for these other movies but they are not nearly as deeply motivated as the JC fans, who have a cause, who feel, I guess, that an injustice has occurred.
Anyway, I can’t wait to get clobbered on this one.