Exactly whose idea was it to resurrect "The X-Files" as a cinematic venture six years after the long-running television series went off the air and 10 years after an only moderately successful movie spin-off?
Interest in the whole "X-Files" concept has dwindled considerably. So it came as no surprise when a second movie, which was subtitled "I Want to Believe," flopped. The film has made only $20 million since it opened in late July.
And its poor box-office performance definitely pushes "The X-Files: I Want to Believe" into the bad-idea category.
However, it was a good idea to resurrect the "Batman" movie franchise and to let it rest for a few years after 1997's disastrous "Batman and Robin."
Christopher Nolan's 2005 relaunch, "Batman Begins," made more than $200 million, and its follow-up, "The Dark Knight," just passed "Star Wars" on the all-time box-office chart this week.
That movie even stands a good chance at cracking the $500 million plateau, though the chances of it besting "Titanic's" $600 million-plus haul are slim at best.
There have been several other good and bad ideas this year:
• GOOD IDEA: Reviving the "Hulk" movie franchise.
"The Incredible Hulk" is not a perfect movie, but at least it's fun. There's much more action than there was in Ang Lee's dull 2003 "Hulk," for one thing. And it helps set up an "Avengers" movie.
• BAD IDEA: Reviving the "Mummy" movie franchise.
"Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" is a real stiff. And it doesn't know how to use action stars Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh.
• GOOD IDEA: "WALL• E."
Who would have thought the most human and relatable figure in a film this year (so far) would be a robot that barely speaks?
• BAD IDEA: The "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" animated feature.
It's filled with chintzy-looking, inexpressive digital animation, dumb humor and bad dialogue, and it feels like a padded television episode.
• GOOD IDEA: Releasing "Journey to the Center of the Earth" in 3-D.
As thin a story as the new movie version of the Jules Verne tale is, at least there's some fun eye candy.
• BAD IDEA: Releasing "Journey to the Center of the Earth" in 2-D.
The creatures and other effects look far less convincing in that format.
• GOOD IDEA: Casting Meryl Streep in "Mamma Mia! The Movie."
Seriously, who knew she could sing? We knew she could act, but still ...
• BAD IDEA: Casting Pierce Brosnan in "Mamma Mia! The Movie."
His tuneless warbling actually made amateur karaoke performers feel better about themselves.
• GOOD IDEA: Casting John C. Reilly as a doofus in "Step Brothers."
The versatile Reilly is the only funny thing about the otherwise irksome comedy.
• BAD IDEA: Casting Will Ferrell as a doofus in "Step Brothers."
E-mail: [email protected]