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5 Shocking Failures in 2013 We Should Have Seen Coming

#2. Can You Believe Alec Baldwin Quit Twitter in a Homophobic Rage?

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

You Heard:

Alec Baldwin deleted his Twitter account after launching a slur-filled tirade against a Daily Mail reporter who dared to suggest that he and his new wife were anything less than the greatest people who have ever lived. This was an unprecedented series of events for a respected actor and humanitarian like Baldwin.

AFP/AFP/Getty Images
"Just a minute, I need to finish yelling at all these fags on the Internet."

The Truth:

Alec Baldwin makes dramatic declarations of quitting things forever all the time. He swore to quit Twitter forever twice last year. He swore to quit acting forever a few years ago, after a voice mail he left on his 11-year-old daughter's phone (wherein he calls her a "little pig" for daring to miss his phone call) was leaked to TMZ. Seriously, search "Alec Baldwin quits acting" and you will drown in the results. He's literally more famous for being a combative asshole than an actor. He gets insanely angry, and his (obviously embarrassed) response when his anger fades is to run away and hide from everyone, like a 6-year-old throwing such a ferocious temper tantrum that he inflates his pants with rage shit in front of all his respected peers at KinderCare. But he always comes back, because Alec Baldwin is a phoenix. A deflated, pants-shitting phoenix.

Subquestion: Does Alec Baldwin Think Cracked.com Is Bullshit?

Alec Baldwin totally thinks Cracked.com is bullshit. He returned from his self-imposed Twitter ceasefire to deliver a random outburst of long-refuted paranoia about the JFK assassination, and when he was directed to this Cracked article, he revealed his personal inner thoughts and declared it to be the most poorly written pile of bullshit that he had ever seen in his life:

Twitter

This is presumably in comparison to the voluminous stacks of terrible screenplays he has read and agreed to help bring to screaming, malignant life, including but not limited to Mercury Rising, The Cat in the Hat, Along Came Polly, and Pearl fucking Harbor. So several of us immediately took him to task over this idiosyncrasy:

Twitter

When looking at this timeline, two things become abundantly clear -- we all have an encyclopedic knowledge of terrible Alec Baldwin movies, and I look like the Scar to Soren's Mufasa. Or the Loki to his Thor.

#1. Who Could Have Predicted That Every Single Twilight Knockoff Would Bomb?

Constantin Film/Screen Gems/Universal Pictures/Warner Bros. Pictures

You Heard:

By some bizarre stroke of fate, every movie released this year meant to start new franchises riding on the coattails of Twilight's "supernatural angst" success -- Beautiful Creatures, The Host, Mortal Instruments: City of Bones -- all failed to catch on. Audiences must be tired of the genre.

The Truth:

This happens in cycles, all of the time, because producers have yet to figure out that people like stories, not genres. Fans of Jaws didn't pour out to see Grizzly, Orca, or Piranha, because they're not fans of killer-animal movies -- they're fans of Jaws. The swarm of terrible sci-fi movies released in the wake of Star Wars (like Krull, The Last Starfighter, Star Trek V, etc.) didn't catch on for the same reason. People don't like space movies, they like Star Wars. Ditto for Harry Potter -- Harry Potter fans didn't flock to go see The Spiderwick Chronicles or A Series of Unfortunate Events, because they aren't fans of magic children, they're fans of Harry Potter. And buying an "I'm a fan of magic children" T-shirt from Amazon is a good way to get your computer taken away by federal agents.

Grumpy59/Photos.com/Getty Images
"No! My fan fiction!"

Hollywood always mistakes successes for trends -- people like good stories and memorable characters. And, in other cases, they like Twilight. The genre is incidental. No one rushes to see a movie just because they love the genre (see The Lone Ranger, above). Hollywood couldn't even trick barely literate goths into seeing The Host by baiting that trap with the hunk of cheese that is Stephenie Meyer, so the impending release of Vampire Academy is unlikely to prove me wrong here.

FilmMagic/Getty Images
The cheese stands alone.

Let's call back the Pirates of the Caribbean example from earlier -- what was the first thing Disney did in the wake of the staggering(ly unexpected) success of that movie, besides immediately greenlight enough sequels and action figures to convince future plane-striding alien archaeologists that the currency of the early 21st century was pirate-themed merchandise? Don't bother pestering Google at this hour, I'll tell you what they did -- they dumped everything they had into the impending release of The Haunted Mansion, because they felt this was a sure sign that the world really wanted to watch movies about Disneyland attractions (despite the sobering truth that previous blood sacrifices Mission to Mars and The Country Bears had desperately struggled to reveal to them). That isn't even a genre that exists, and Disney still felt confident it was ripe for exploitation.

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"If every square inch of this place isn't a movie by the year 2015, I will haunt the shit out of all of you."

I guarantee we will see different versions of all these questions in 2014, because we live in a culture that encourages us to forget the answers and just click the SHARE button. Which means I can turn this same year-end column into a template and keep recycling it, kind of like what they do with Spider-Man movies.

Tom is hoping 2014 will ask the question "Can you believe they cast Tom Reimann in that Timecop remake?" Read his novel Stitches and follow him on Twitter and Tumblr.

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