>Why did the movie Ishtar fail?
Well, yes, prepared to be beratted now. I will jump in before this however
and provide you with an industry answer.
Ishtar had what people call, "bad momentum" EXACTLY like Waterworld. When
people in the industry start to hear about BIG problems with a film this
creates a bad initial impression which, unfortunately, quickly carries into
early comments about the film through reviewers who follow industry talk.
The only thing audiences were ever really told about Ishtar was that is was
WAY WAY WAY overbudget and was being made by a first time director (I think
that is correct). Then they tested the film with sample audience (a
horrible practice) and made some assumptions which, as they often are, were
I agree about the sophisticated humor in the film and I think the people
who were advertising the film were selling the wrong movie. They did not
target the right audience and they did not tell people what they were going
to be getting AND it was too high exposure with the stars and the budget
and all to reinvent easily.
However, I also think the filmmakers were making the film on the wrong
budget. It wasn't meant to be a huge blockbuster film, it wasn't a
mass-audience appeal movie. If this screenplay had been made by some new
filmmaker out of Kansas who shot it with some friends and a shoe string
budget, it would have been received like Orson Welles had returned to
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