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Conan the Barbarian Screenwriter Explains What It Feels Like to Write a Flop

Conan the Barbarian.

Over on Quora, Conan the Barbarian screenwriter Sean Hood has written a piece answering the question, "What's it like to have your film flop at the box office?" (He's in a position to know after Conan's $10 million weekend haul.) It pretty much sucks! Or, in the more measured words of Hood, is "devastating." Hood compares a movie opening to a "political election night," and the making of the movie to a long campaign. In "the beginning one is filled with hope, enthusiasm and belief," then there are the necessary compromises and number crunching, with moviemakers obsessing over tracking numbers like polling stats (Hood says, "Months before Conan was released many close to the production believed it would open like last year's The Expendables"), until finally there's the opening itself. Since this weekend Hood's been "in a daze ... Since you had planned (ardently believed, despite it all) that success would propel you to new appointments and opportunities, you find yourself at a loss about what to do next. It can all seem very grim. You make light of it, of course. You joke and shrug. But the blow to your ego and reputation can't be brushed off. Reviewers, even when they were positive, mocked Conan the Barbarian for its lack of story, lack of characterization, and lack of wit. This doesn't speak well of the screenwriting." Better luck next time, Mr. Hood. [Quora]