The Illusion of Change.Org As It Pertains To CBM’s And Why It’s Making You Look Stupid!

Petitions are wonderful in helping a variety of causes around the globe. Now, Petitions are starting to be used more frequently for Comic Book Films. Read on for my editorial on why this is not at all helping the CBM Industry, and how it may in fact be embarrassing all of us.

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By E.F. "Manny" Camacho - 9/13/2013


Let’s do some simple math shall we! But first let's get some statistical information to frame what we are deriving. Math is fun!

THE AVENGERS are at the top of the totem pole for Comic Book films at the moment. It doesn’t matter if you love it or hate it. It almost hit two Billion Dollars in global box office, it's #3 for highest grossing film of all time. Adding another $112,000,000 once the home market hit, almost toppling Avatar as the #1 Blu-Ray seller of all time.

Let’s try and look at a successful film that’s not Avengers to try and figure a small modicum of necessity for audience requirements; to make a fiscally sound film.

Let’s look at Film #10 among all comic book movies, currently that’s MAN OF STEEL, and is probably out of theaters after this weekend, with under 200 locations of its original 4207 left; having been at the Box Office for 13 weeks. This film grossed over $660,951,711.

Let’s break this down with the highest unrealistic ticket price we can use. $15 per ticket as an average; which I’m sure is higher than the national average ticket price (when I find a credible source giving that average I’ll edit and post it). The basic math formula is as follows:

Total Revenue divided by Average Ticket Price = potential number of ticket buyers

$660,951,711 / $15 = 44,063,447 potential ticket buyers



Basically that's over 40 Million people going to see this film. Let’s take this comparison and use it with three petitions filed with a film that is as close to the lowest needed audience to make it successful.

Two of these petitions are on Change.org, another setup through the White House petition system.
Two of these petitions were against Ben Affleck becoming Batman.
The one that was setup at the White House, is no longer visible on the site, taken down for its level of stupidity and ridiculousness, and reached 9000 signatures.

The second petition on Change.org against Ben Affleck hit 92,750 signatures (at the time of posting this article). By most standards is an exceptional accomplishment and would be considered significant by most hearing the number. However…

Let’s apply these numbers to our excruciatingly simple math, and combine them as one number (for shits and giggles). They’re both against the same person for the same reason; Why not!?

101,750 / 44,063,447 = .0023091 x 100 (rounded = 0.2%)



0.2% of the audience needed to make this comic book film successful is what these numbers represent in the grand scheme of things. However this is not a realistic view bbecause Man of Steel gained 2.94 times the revenuw over its budget. We need normally 2.5 times over the budget of a film to be successful. Avengers itself is a monstrosity of financial success @ 6.87 times it's budget in gross revenue.

Let’s use a film farther down the totem pole of successful comic book movie adaptations and work out a different standard to live up to, and see if the petition numbers are closer to a realistic audience majority when we're closer to the 2.5 mark.

#28 X-MEN FIRST CLASS, another relatively controversial Comic Book film, yet it just made the 2.21+ on the profitability margin.

$353,624,124 / $15 = 23,574,942 Potential ticket buyers.



Let’s plug in the same petition values into this group of audience members and see how this petition would fare.

101,750 / 23,574,942 = .0043160 x 100 (rounded 0.4%)



Not much better. In fact, this is still completely trivial. A studio will never base… Perhaps I should refrain from saying never, we do have R.I.P.D. as an example of an extremely obscure comic turned into a film that ended up with a minority audience.

These numbers dwindle even further down a curve approaching zero. When you consider the numbers of the recent petition to get a Loki film made. Currently @ 21,828 signatures.

Let me be clear. I’m not trying to kick your puppy and point out in excessively brutal honest numbers that your petitions are a joke. No. That’s just the message that occurs in revelation as I break this down. I don’t need to say it.

I’m pointing out a reality. If you want any petition to have an impact whatsoever; the petition will have to (at least) hit 25-50% of the minimal audience required to make the film a fiscal success. If we are using the simplified numbers above. The Loki petition would need to literally gain well over 12 Million signatures. Using the numbers for First Class is still technically under par.

If you are making a petition, you'll need to get the flowery bullshit out of your mind that Marvel, DC, Disney, or any other studio (for that matter), will make these films because they bust-a-nut when you cheer their artistic, emotional, and culturally relevant content. They bust-a-nut, only jumping into their proverbial money bins just like a real life McDuck would, when they gain 2.5 times their gross revenues. Leave delusions at home with whoever you’re sleeping with that expresses you have a big penis, or “that size doesn’t matter”. I don’t play those coddling mind games. Let's stick to hard facts and real numbers here.

I can keep going further down the Comic Book chart, but that would be absurd to continue doing the basic math I’ve already demonstrated making my point.

If a Studio is going to make a film it’s because they already believe they are going to make 2.5+ times their budget in gross revenue.

The weakest film fiscally in the Marvel/Disney MCU is CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER @ #24 with 2.63 in return on its budget; just over the mark. A much higher requirement than the example I used with First Class.

I’m not saying a Loki film would not work, not at all. I’m simply trying to help folks understand the exercise in futility they are undertaking by trying to get 20,000; 40,000; or even 75,000 signatures. It’s not at all significant, and further still, not even guaranteed. It’s simply a random internet click and sign.

Setup a real petition, with a physical pieces of paper somewhere in a city or many cities. Requiring people to come to you and sign. I'm not talking about you pandering or chasing people down and pestering someone, randomly approaching them, and selling the idea. No, that's also not the same thing. I am talking about a piece of paper that people hear about from various sources in media and have to go and get to this piece of parer; sign their name, give their information. See how many signatures you can gain doing it this way.

Get 100,000 signatures like this. You may actually garner some real attention from the studios. That is more respectable than the non-result gaining internet versions that exist right now, petitions of convenience.

Not to say Change.org is useless, they are a wonderful company that does help affect a lot change, in real issues; however, for the purposes of luxuries and causes that are dependent of a large corporations money… Don’t expect numbers as insignificant as the ones I've demonstrated above to do anything but make the people you need to motivate to change laugh.

These petitions are illusions. Because it boils back down to the same argument that the studios are using beloved characters represented in a mainstream storyline for the masses, not for the purist fandom elite.
The closest thing that will (ever) gain a direct response from a studio, in a synonymous fashion; would be if the studios ever decided to experiment with crowd funding sources like Kickstarter. A reputable source of funding for a large quantity of independent works. Take Loki, Set a $100,000,000 goal and campaign everything they want to do with the character, his story, and the film. See if people get behind it and raise the funds needed to make the movie the fans want. This would be a proper gauge without the concept of faith entering the equation like it does with a petition.

While the chances of this ever happening are staggeringly low; it has a better chance of getting attention than a petition does. Perhaps someone at a studio might get creative and try this. The Goon, out of Dark Horse comic properties accomplished $400,000+ last year in their campaign; having a screening recently in LA.

Perhaps one day Marvel, Disney, and/or DC may try their hand at using crowd funding as an experimental tool, but not for anything dealing with the MCU.

If it was ever done, I’d totally put some money on Loki. I'd pitch in for Katee Sackhoff as Ms/Captain Marvel too (totally another topic)!

What do you think? Do you think that a petition is helpful in terms of getting comic book movies made, or sending messages to studios to affect changes? Do you feel it’s a harmless way to try and “do something” and take action as opposed to screaming at your screen (the internet) fruitlessly without the hope of affecting any changes?

Comment, share, like, upvote, tweet, pin, hit some buttons, form some words @EmanuelFCamacho
Source: www.change.org
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71 Comments
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bluedude - 9/13/2013, 9:16 PM
First
Ancar - 9/13/2013, 9:29 PM
Uh?
SugarYumYum - 9/13/2013, 9:31 PM
Math.

Ugh.
TMW1987ProudProWrestlingFan - 9/13/2013, 9:36 PM
I thought this was a well written, informative article that does get you thinking a little bit. Sure, in reality, we would all like to see our petitions or what we think of them at least to be a success, but die hard fan bases for anything are just a niche & you would need general audience / members of the public signing about something they probably haven't heard of, don't really give a damn about or just watch these types of movies for fun & don't take them too seriously.

I do however like the idea of Marvel Studios or WB / D.C. having a go at Kickstarter for a few things & letting us Pledge for things that they may not necessarily want to put a big budget into, not Avengers, Star Wars, Batman or Superman type money etc, so maybes with the likes of Kickstarters, could get some die hard crowd funding for the likes of B,C & other lower level characters to get Movies or TV Shows into production.

I know I'd pledge to stuff like a Daredevil or Heroes for Hire TV Show or Movie getting made or Moonknight & Punisher movies, I'd pledge to Marvel Studios so they could have some extra dollars from us to help in how much it would supposedly cost to do a good looking Wakanda for Black Panther & as for Ms. Marvel, well, I'd rather pledge for Ali Larter to get that role than Katie Sackhoff.

But this is a thought provoking piece & it really helps detail & explain why or how petitions should be used (Online or Written) rather than just be like "Lets Petition to stop this or that!"
Embassada - 9/13/2013, 9:38 PM
Yuck! Me can not do math! I stopped reading after the the avengers and man of steel box office comparisons and just skimmed the rest.
Zarog - 9/13/2013, 9:40 PM
LOL at everyone complaining about math. Here's the TL;DR version w/o the math:

Petitions don't mean anything to the corporation financing the film because the number of signatures is not nearly high enough to warrant a full-budget film. Getting 10 million+ signatures isn't gonna happen, don't bother making petitions.

What I gather from this article more than anything is: Screw the Dredd Sequel Campaign. Those people are wasting their time.
MatchesMalone1989 - 9/13/2013, 9:43 PM
^^^Zarog is God!!!
Pending - 9/13/2013, 9:52 PM
Every time I see petitions like this I wonder why people won't put the effort into petitioning for more important things. It's depressing on such a huge level.
Tainted87 - 9/13/2013, 10:03 PM
Honestly, I don't even care about the facts and statistics.

The truth is - it's positively embarrassing.

It's embarrassing because the truth comes out - the community that you associate with is full of ravenous, back-stabbing, infinitely-entitled, shallow, unappreciative, delusional, idiotic parasites who suck all the excitement and fun out of the whole POINT of being a "fan". I pray that the writers, producers, directors, and actors who've witnessed the backlashes have greater patience and foresight than they should to realize that these parasites don't represent all of us.

I'm a fan of M Night Shayamalan, yet I have not seen all of his movies. The ones I haven't seen aren't due to the fact that Rotten Tomatoes declared them garbage, but because they don't really interest me. He's made some fantastic spiritually invigorating films, many revolving around a key aspect left vacant or poorly commercialized in most movies. The importance of family.

There are so-called "fans" out there who will love a movie when it's released, yet after a few years, or not even a full year, they will claim that it's garbage. Often, I attribute this to the younger demographic who appreciate flash over substance, then get a bit older and try to convince themselves that their tastes have matured. But it happens all over the place, at any age, in any medium, in any respect.

Faith, movies, comics, games, media, politics, businesses, FOOD! Someone will always screw the pooch.

Fans of "B movies", of the typical 80s/early 90s films - we tend to appreciate the hard and creative work put into the projects. With a smaller budget comes strain, and sometimes people work best under duress. Practical effects feature robots, cyborgs, creatures, scene transitions, framing.... they are achievements because they are not only tangible, but aren't accessible to just about anyone. The crew has to have a lot of love, devotion, and dedication to make it all work.
Lhornbk - 9/13/2013, 10:11 PM
Actually, change.org is pretty much totally, completely useless.
Ranger14 - 9/13/2013, 10:14 PM
Sorry, but if one takes the petitions of radical fans personally and seriously, you really need to get out more often. ;-) Why should I be embarrassed? I am not responsible for someone else's actions. Different strokes for different folks, but there are a lot more serious things going on in the world to worry about comic book-related petitions.
JoJo1982 - 9/13/2013, 10:15 PM
sorry bub
but Avengers is number 3 highest grossing movie of all time

But u know what, I bet if they rereleased the movie again right before Age of Ultron comes out, im pretty sure it'll beat Titanic
JoJo1982 - 9/13/2013, 10:18 PM
Also I think Man of Steel was just released in Japan recently(I think today)
Ranger14 - 9/13/2013, 10:21 PM
Lhornbk@ Completely useless? I would disagree with that. There are a tremendous amount of success stories based on change.org. It is a very valuable tool for those of us who,work in the nonprofit and community sector.

http://www.brandchannel.com/home/post/2013/01/31/Change.org-Success-013113.aspx
efcamachopmp - 9/13/2013, 10:30 PM
What did I say 2nd? yeah, that's my bad, Avatar, Titanic, then Avengers. But I did say 2nd in terms of Blu-Ray sales, Avatar has first, then Avangers comes in second, i'll go back and make a correction.
SuperGuy83 - 9/13/2013, 10:30 PM

Change is the essential process of all existence.-Spock
JoJo1982 - 9/13/2013, 10:36 PM
@Efcam


cool
Maestro - 9/13/2013, 10:36 PM
WOW
Humperdink - 9/13/2013, 10:39 PM
I thought these petitions were merely just people having fun and trying to make a point.

I never once considered they were actually serious!!

If so, barring certain circumstance, Manny is pretty much right.
TDKRnry88 - 9/13/2013, 11:08 PM
Humperdink, I'm sure there are some idiots out there who are dead serious. I call them idiots because they tend to judge something before seeing it. Unless someone has footage from 2 years into the future of a crappy Batman performance from Affleck, they're idiots.
Jakeroo - 9/13/2013, 11:09 PM
I would hope that a good idea supported by enough signatures should at LEAST get the attention of the right people. No one had ever given a supervillain his/her own movie. Fox has been kicking around magneto forever!

If done correctly it could give a creative jolt to comic book movies. It's darn hard to be 100% original, but lately hollywood is remaking and sequeling and prequeling.

more people sign that loki one !!!!
Forthas - 9/13/2013, 11:33 PM
You obviously don't understand what a petition is...when people call there congressman they are in essence petitioning them to act in a certain way. Despite the fact only a fraction of people may ever call there representative, elected officials are smart enough to understand that for every call it represents numerous people who likely feel the same way. While many people may not feel intensly enough to sign a petition the sheer volume of the Change.org petition is pretty clear that it represents likely a majority opinion and for 90,000+ people (almost two football fields) worth of people felt that intense to sign a petition means there could be ten others who feel the same but not as intensly, don't have regular access to the internet, can't read english, may have written a letter instead, or simply feel the same but don't think their opinion will be heard. The amount of people who participated is staggering. It has almost rivaled the attendance at the largest comic cons. Warner Brothers will ignore this at their own peril. I think it is a nightmare public realtions disaster which is probably why they are spending so much money on inneffective campaigns to try to discredit those who are opposed to Affleck's casting.
efcamachopmp - 9/14/2013, 12:06 AM
@Forthas I understand where you are coming from...

A congressman is elected based on the faith, that this person represents the best overall needs of the majority of the people he represents (his/her constituents)...That being said...

A Studio paying 100-200 million of their own money, to produce a product based on an adaptation of a comic book is going to (usually, and realistically) make decisions on the adaptation based on the widest possible audience wanting to see it, or based on the faith that their product will attract patrons into the theater to pay money for said product. They'll want to keep it away from R+ ratings so most everyone can come and watch it.

They'll want to make it as easy to relate to as many as possible, for all involved. This may drive a lot of us (hardcore fans) crazy sometimes, but in general we'll like most of it. We'll reject a chunk of it, and depending on how well they do financially (and sometimes only financially) they'll make decisions to do more, change it, or not at all.

Fox as an example made changes to X-Men 2 based on critical reviews of the first. It did financially well, but they changed Halle Berry's stupid accent as an example. They do react, it's impossible for them not to, and sure 90,000 petitioners is a great number.

But the math does not lie. Petitioners, are just that. digital names in the ether. They are not realized money. They are not even pledged money. It's all faith. And like I said in the article, online petitions, are so simple, there's little to no effort involved, and the commitment behind signing one online is little to no effort, with little to no action from the signer. I've signed quite a few petitions, only one I can remember at the moment is for that soldier in Mexico from last year...I signed it and moved on. No commitment to it.

Consider some of the comments on this article, some folks think the petitions are a joke.

Petitions work for a number of situations, that require voices and action on real world issues...for this...they're pretty useless.

LVNHI - 9/14/2013, 12:23 AM
I'd sign a petition for no bieber in batman/superman #justsayin I'm sure it would be in the millions if one is created.
DEATHbyEXILE - 9/14/2013, 12:29 AM
DarkArts - 9/14/2013, 12:31 AM
The only petition that is necessary is the Anti-Batfleck petition.
The others are a waste.
MightyZeus - 9/14/2013, 12:37 AM
Hey i love The Avengers and i think change.org is mostly useless.
FOOM - 9/14/2013, 12:47 AM
Using change.org for something so useless is like some geek phoning 911 because their mommy wouldn't bake them cookies. Pathetic.
MatTaylorX - 9/14/2013, 1:00 AM
...Who cares? This site sucks now.
SnapperCarr - 9/14/2013, 1:04 AM
I like math.
HAILHYDRA - 9/14/2013, 1:05 AM
Who reported my comment?
HAILHYDRA - 9/14/2013, 1:05 AM
LOLOLOL
AvatarIII - 9/14/2013, 1:06 AM
"101,750 / 44,063,447 = .0023091 (rounded up = .002%)"

That's actually wrong, the fact what you did was round down, not up aside, to convert to a percentage you need to multiply the result by 100, so the actual percentage is 0.2%
HAILHYDRA - 9/14/2013, 1:13 AM
If anyone wants to know why "Marvelites" troll so much, it's because we like watching DC fanboys flip their sh##.
HAILHYDRA - 9/14/2013, 1:15 AM
@Avatar is right by the way
efcamachopmp - 9/14/2013, 1:31 AM
I caught it before when I was revising the piece again. Thanks though.

Hail I removed one of your comments before because it appeared 3 times. Wasn't sure if it was my end or you reposting multiple times. I didn't report you though? O_o
HAILHYDRA - 9/14/2013, 1:34 AM
^^Ahh at least you're honest. I didn't mean to post it that many times if I did. I'm a troll, but not that big of a troll
Minato - 9/14/2013, 2:06 AM
I don’t need math to know making petitions against casting is stupid and an embarrassment to our collective intelligence.
saintixe56 - 9/14/2013, 2:55 AM
In short, petitions are stupid because : hold and behold, it takes time for them to build up. Regardless of what the petition is about, there was always a moment when they were few signatures, few people who stood up for or against one thing.

Let's talk about the grass disregard for freedom of speech.

All which matters really is that some people regardless of their cause wished to stand and be counted and you are in plain sight telling them you are not serious.

Thanks for the minute men, the freedom fighters, Gandhi followers etc, They all began small.
Let's rather do as you suggest and let Big Brother run our lives!
efcamachopmp - 9/14/2013, 4:12 AM
@saintixe56 So a 100,000 petition is going to get a studio to remove an actor? a 30,000 signature petition is going to get Marvel to make a 100,000,000+ budget film... Don't delude yourself.

I plainly point out this is obviously not the forum. Sure people might get a pat on the back for effort, but what for? Doing nothing? rousing people to do exactly what? use another tool to bitch about a luxury? Right...

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