There are two reasons why "Howard the Duck" is doing so poorly at the box office ("Duck Didn't Get to Market," by David T. Friendly, Aug. 7):
The first (and more obvious) reason is that it's a bad film--shallow, plodding, loaded down with tired special effects and chases, and predictable.
A less obvious reason for the film's failure was that most people cannot appreciate the sophistication of the concept of a talking duck. The idea of a talking duck living in our world is basically silly, childish and unsophisticated.
The idea is so silly and unsophisticated that it appeals to sophisticated people as an opportunity to show how very sophisticated they are.
Most Americans, however, are not sophisticated enough to see the sophistication in going to a movie about a talking duck. They merely see it as stupid.