This Week in WTF Pop Culture History: Waterworld teaches Hollywood how to make money off of big-budget garbage.
We don't know if you've noticed, but all at once, audiences have gotten sick of Hollywood's shit -- this summer's box office is down almost 20 percent, which is a shocking number considering ticket prices are higher than ever (including the absurd premium they still charge for 3D). No movie this year made $300 million in the USA, whereas last year Iron Man 3 did over $400 million (hell, in 2012, The Avengers did an astonishing $623 million). The conventional wisdom was that while audiences love to bitch about sequels, reboots, and CGI garbage, they'll still pay to go see it. But we're finally seeing the bubble burst.
In America, anyway. What does this have to do with Waterworld? Allow us to explain.
We get it, Internet: People are busy. Between sharing whatever George Takei('s social media manager) just found on Reddit and torrenting terabytes of fan-made Hanna-Barbera porn, there's just not enough hours in the day to fact check every little thing we get ridiculously up in arms about online. That's why we've created this handy forever-part series devoted to sifting out the bullshit for you -- all we ask in return is the right to emanate the smug satisfaction that comes with it. You dopes.
#6. The "Hero" Who Bought Every Pie at Burger King Probably Saw It on 30 Rock
Everyone loves a good karmic revenge story, even if the karma involved is actually just a person being a dick. For example, you probably got this one proudly splayed across your Facebook page several times over last weekend, along with the front pages of E!, Digital Times, Gawker, NY Daily News, Uproxx, MSN, and Gothamist, among others:
Usually, if you buy 23 of anything at Burger King, you just spite yourself.
If you're like us, you probably take it for granted that each day is going to be pretty much like the one before. You wake up, go to work, convince your boss you're worth the buckets of gravy you make as your salary every week, go home, and start over. Now imagine that when you wake up tomorrow, your Dilbertesque routine is interrupted by the constant humming of a theremin, and no matter where you stand, you always seem to be under the shadow of something ominous.
You'd probably start to imagine you're in the beginning scenes of a sci-fi thriller. And if you live in any of the places where these real-world stories are happening as we speak, you probably are.
#5. Mysterious Giant Holes Are Popping Up in Siberia
Recently Siberia -- which is like Russia, but without Putin running the show -- was attacked by several invisible missiles ... or so you'd guess, because that would be one of the saner explanations for this:
We stand by our "Horny Galactus" theory.
Like 99.9999 percent of all pay apps are either flagrantly useless to our evolutionary survival or just bullshit copies of flash games you can play for free on the Internet. App makers know this, which is why some of the most lucrative apps this year got that way by offering the game for free, followed by a little-known moneymaking technique the industry likes to call "scamming the fuck out of you."
Now, don't get us wrong: Anyone who claims they've never spent money on a smart-phone app is the next Unabomber. However, the next time your finger is hovering over that 99 cent "buy" icon, all we ask is that you take a moment to consider that ...
#5. Apps Intentionally Look Stupid to Weed Out the Willing
Ever wonder why Nigerian email scammers still use the same shit-grammar tale of royal riches to lure their victims, when anyone with half a brain can instantly tell they're full of shit? Because it's the people with less than half a brain that they're interested in. By using such an obvious scam, they're able to weed out the rare patches of people incapable of detecting obvious red flags. It's kind of the same sample you get when, we dunno, you put out a game specifically for Kim Kardashian fans.
Shouldn't have picked the "Say Jews control Hollywood" button.