Attention film critics: Todd Phillips doesn’t make movies for you.
(I know. You’re shocked. Take some deep cleansing breaths. It’s going to be fine.)
In an interview with RadioTimes.com, Phillips was asked whether he had any doubts about coming back for a third installment in “The Hangover” franchise because of the harsh reaction “Part II” received from critics. SPOILER ALERT: no, he did not. Here’s his full response:
“No, and it does sound like a silly thing but you can’t make movies with them in mind. Not to be defensive, but you don’t make movies for critics. It’s a hard thing when you think about it; to make a movie for someone who gets paid to see the movie. You never want to force a person to see a movie. The movies are made for people who want to see the movies.”
On the plus side, he didn’t say “fuck you” to anyone this time.
First of all, they might get assigned a review, but no one “forces” a film critic to see a movie. Nobody held a gun to my head and ordered me to go write about “The Hangover Part III” (“How was the cinematography? Answer me if you want to live!“). Sure, I got paid to see the movie. But I’d probably be doing this even if I wasn’t getting paid (no one tell Indiewire I said that). I love writing and talking about movies. Even “The Hangover Part III.”
Still, Phillips’ theory is kind of interesting. The critics aren’t the ones buying the tickets, so their opinion is irrelevant. The people who are buying the tickets bought a lot of them for “The Hangover Part II.” Who would you listen to?
The strategy’s working for him so far; “Part III” has grossed about $70 million in its first week in U.S. theaters, according to Box Office Mojo (although with its $103 million budget, it’ll need to make more to turn a profit). Of course, critics liked the first “Hangover” a lot, and their positive reviews probably drove some of those ticket buyers to the theater the first time around. So I guess this is kind of a selective hearing situation.