Friday, November 07, 2014

Why the Long Running Time for 'Exodus' is Not a Problem.

© 20th Century Fox
As of now, Ridley Scott's 'Exodus: Gods and Kings' is said to clock 3 hours and 22 minutes, which has caused some to be weary about the film's reception amongst the general movie going audience. This is why they need not worry:

'Kingdom of Heaven', You Guys.
Ridley Scott knows what he's doing. When he thinks a film of his needs a certain amount of time to tell the story, give the man that time. Back in 2005 'Kingdom of Heaven' came out in a cut version, receiving mixed criticism. Only when the original, longer cut was released, the film was praised. The lesson here? Don't take your scissors to a work of art.

It Not Box Office Poison. Really.
Let's take a look at the top 3 highest grossing movies of all time:
At number 3: The Avengers. Runtime: 143 min (2 hours and 23 minutes)
At number 2: Titanic.            Runtime: 194 min (3 hours and 14 minutes)
At number 1: Avatar.            Runtime: 178 min (2 hours and 58 minutes)

As you can see, all three of these have well passed the 'standard' 120 minute mark. This tells us the obvious, namely that a good three hour movie will keep you entertained for three hours. Hell, I'd be fine with a twelve hour movie if you trow in two intermissions. As long as the content is fulfilling, people will happily stay in their seats.

It's an Epic!
Epics tend to have things, wait for it, on an epic scale. That includes the running time. 1956's 'The Ten Commandments' has a runtime of 220 minutes (3 hours and 40 minutes) and it wears every minute well. 'Ben Hur' is 212 to 224 minutes long, 'Lawrence of Arabia' 228, 'Cleopatra' a whopping 320... you get my point. These types of movies where never meant to be short. With this movie, Ridley Scott returns to the Biblical Epic of yore, and boy am I glad to see that!

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