Thursday, October 31, 2013

Card not seeing Ender's Game movie profits?

According to The Wrap, author Orson Scott Card isn't sharing in the profits of the filmed version of his novel Ender's Game. This is of interest to a lot of science-fiction fans because Card's vehemently and oft-expressed anti-gay sentiments have honked off some of the movie's potential audience.
... multiple sources from both inside and outside the companies that produced the “Ender’s Game” film – distributor Summit Entertainment, visual effects company Digital Domain and book-rights holder OddLot Entertainment – tell TheWrap that Card’s fee has already been paid through a decade-old deal that includes no backend.
Card, in other words, has already made all the money he stands to make from the movie. Whether it does well or poorly at the box office makes not a whit of (financial) difference to him.

On the other hand, he's still raking in the bucks on sales of the novel.

If you really want to hit Card where it hurts, boycott his book instead: Card still profits handsomely from the novel, perched at the top of the latest New York Times Best Seller List for paperback mass-market fiction.
The article doesn't cite any sources by name, and anonymously sourced stories don't carry as much weight in my book as stories whose sources are willing to be named. This article could be a carefully placed attempt to ensure the opening weekend's box office numbers aren't hurt by the boycott that has been urged for months. This whole "Card's not making a dime off the picture" business, in short, could be a big lie. Nevertheless, if your sole reason for boycotting the film is to send a message to Card, you might want to rethink your stance.

I wrote about my own ambivalence toward the movie — toward the very idea of filming the novel — in July. My own reason for not seeing the movie hasn't changed: I have too much respect for the novel to imagine anyone could faithfully translate it to film. If the couple of reviews I've read are any indication, the movie doesn't portray Ender in the way I hoped so my decision not to see the movie is the correct one — for me. (It's hard to imagine a movie Ender could be as nuanced and empathetic as the novel's: much of the novel takes place in his mind, a perspective that would be nigh impossible to represent on film.)

Whether you see the movie, think long and hard before you buy new copies of Card's books. Chances are good you can find used copies of the Enderverse sequels (and his non-Enderverse works). Ender's Game itself, unfortunately, will be tougher to find: people who buy the book tend to keep it. It's possible, though, that some of the folks driving the novel's current high sales won't be so enamored of it six months hence and will look to sell it or give it away, so patience might reward you (and allow you not to reward Card).

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