View Full Version : Hollywood Implosion



Just the facts
06-12-2013, 09:37 PM
Here are some interesting thoughts from Steven Spielberg and George Lucas on the future of Hollywood. I like their ideas and I hope they become reality.

Here are some highlights

1) Introduction of pricing variance.
2) Fewer movies but they will stay in theaters longer
3) Future movies will be made for the masses (more G and PG13) and niche movies (R) will go straight to Pay TV or DVD

Steven Spielberg Predicts 'Implosion' of Film Industry (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/steven-spielberg-predicts-implosion-film-567604)

Snowman
06-12-2013, 10:29 PM
Of all those number one seems like the only one that difference from today, R rated movies have been the exception since at least the nineties, as examples stated in the article hit movies getting long runs are nothing new. It pretty much ignores that digital distribution to theaters pared with the tools to do high end production & editing have dramatically reduced what a film can be produced for and are still improving.

Ginkasa
06-12-2013, 10:35 PM
as examples stated in the article hit movies getting long runs are nothing new.


Not new, no, but it hasn't been seen for a long time either. Even the most popular movies are in first run theatres for 2 or 3 months at most. Most movies only last a few weeks. Most of a film's earning potential is in the opening release. After that its a quick trip to discount houses and home release.

Snowman
06-12-2013, 10:44 PM
Not new, no, but it hasn't been seen for a long time either. Even the most popular movies are in first run theatres for 2 or 3 months at most. Most movies only last a few weeks. Most of a film's earning potential is in the opening release. After that its a quick trip to discount houses and home release.

Yea, unless there is a dramatic decrease in the number of theaters, it seems hard to imagine that many seats being needed with any frequency, film just does not have the same hardships to recreate the experience in many venues that can give a Broadway show length.

Just the facts
06-13-2013, 07:35 AM
If these two are right I think we are going to see a sharp decrease in the number theaters, and probably a return to theaters that only have 1 to 3 screens. They will probably also not being showing movies 24/7 and return to how movie theaters used to operate. Personally, I loved the old single screen art-deco theaters that graced nearly every small town and city in America. Saturday mornings were matinees, rated G movies started about 6PM, there was a PG movie at 8PM, and rated R movies started at 10PM. The movie itself would play for a long time, up to several months, or in the case of Star Wars - for a year.

warreng88
06-13-2013, 09:03 AM
One of the problems film makers are dealing with is how fast movies are going to video now. Oz the great and powerful was released on 3/9/2013 and made $150 million in its opening weekend, $490 million worldwide to date. So, 30% of its total revenue came in its opening weekend. It was released on home media this past Tuesday (6/11/2013) just over three months after its opening. Now, I am fully aware that it only take three months for a movie to be released, so there are only a few movies I will pay $8-$12 to go see when I can walk down to Walgreens and pick it up from Redbox for $1 three months later.

Just the facts
06-13-2013, 09:42 AM
One of the problems film makers are dealing with is how fast movies are going to video now. Oz the great and powerful was released on 3/9/2013 and made $150 million in its opening weekend, $490 million worldwide to date. So, 30% of its total revenue came in its opening weekend. It was released on home media this past Tuesday (6/11/2013) just over three months after its opening. Now, I am fully aware that it only take three months for a movie to be released, so there are only a few movies I will pay $8-$12 to go see when I can walk down to Walgreens and pick it up from Redbox for $1 three months later.

I was flipping through channels last night and saw Oz was on 3D Cinema for $5.99. So I can pay $50 for tickets and another $20 for popcorn and soda for my family of 4 - or wait 3 months and for $5.99 watch it at home in 3D and be able to invite neighbors over.

MustangGT
06-13-2013, 10:34 AM
The sooner the industry implodes the better.

bchris02
06-13-2013, 10:51 AM
It's sad that we are at a point that almost every social activity we as a society used to enjoy is being replaced by the Internet. At least there will never be an app to replace the local pub.

I hope Lucas and Spielberg are wrong on this. It almost makes sense for them to say this as they are both has-been greats who have lost their magic in recent years.

Just the facts
06-13-2013, 11:10 AM
It's sad that we are at a point that almost every social activity we as a society used to enjoy is being replaced by the Internet. At least there will never be an app to replace the local pub.

That is one way to look it at it but I think this all part of a much bigger trend where the 'quantity over quality' mentality has run its course. The economic model that says supply everything to everyone at any time they want it just isn't sustainable. It goes back to the flaws with the 'growth model' as the primary model for funding anything.

BoulderSooner
06-13-2013, 11:13 AM
I'm not an expert like they are but I'm not sure this isn't just a small generational bump. I just have a hard time seeing theaters going away. Hollywood has been producing good flicks and maybe theaters just need to change their model away from food -- or such horrible food. I'd happily buy dinner at the theater but right now my options aren't good.

I suspect someone will come up with something creative and the model will shift.

Does everyone go to their houses to watch movies with friends these days? Seems odd to me if that is true.

this there is a reason why the Warren is packed just about every day .. and the directors suites and balcony's are always full

Just the facts
06-13-2013, 11:36 AM
Hollywood has been producing good flicks and maybe theaters just need to change their model away from food -- or such horrible food.

...

Does everyone go to their houses to watch movies with friends these days? Seems odd to me if that is true.

Spielberg's and Lucas' comment were more directed at the problems in the film distribution process. The theaters are just where the public are going to see those problems. As for having people over to watch movies, we usually have friends of the kids come over but on occasion (a couple of times per year) someone breaks out the movie projector and we watch movies in the yard with 40 or 50 people.

Rover
06-13-2013, 08:38 PM
That is one way to look it at it but I think this all part of a much bigger trend where the 'quantity over quality' mentality has run its course. The economic model that says supply everything to everyone at any time they want it just isn't sustainable. It goes back to the flaws with the 'growth model' as the primary model for funding anything.

JTF, you promote the concept that building highways and streets is what creates sprawl. That same logic says that all of the technology that builds alternate distribution methods creates entertainment sprawl. There are so many distribution channels in need of content that we will continue to see volume entertainment. And, because many digital distribution channels are cheap (utube vs cumbersome old film distribution methods) and the cost of maintaining digital media is cheap, then cheaper productions still find a channel and a niche audience. But, those same channels of information also encourage highly targeted and high quality smaller productions to be able to distribute because of their low costs and targeted audiences. In fact, in an odd way we have both breadth and depth because of distribution channel efficiencies.

What Spielburg is noting is that traditional theaters are an expensive channel and to have a good return you need entertainment that appeals to the widest possible audience. He is totally correct. The inefficiency means that any suppliers must be sure of their appeal. We won't necessarily get better films, just one with more broadly based appeal - safer. In theaters, we won't get thought provoking movies but ones appealing to the least common denominator...dumbed down, if you will.

Just the facts
06-13-2013, 09:51 PM
I see lots of a parallels between the growth of 8 lane freeways and 20 screen theaters. Anyhow, time will tell. I suspect movie theaters are going to take issue with variable pricing because internally they aren't set up for that. You pay a set fee to get by that guy standing at the gap in the velvet rope, but once you are inside you can go to any theater you want. If you are so inclined you can watch movie after movie after movie so long as you don't leave the building, but with variable pricing they will have to staff each theater door - lest someone buy a $7 ticket to Lincoln but goes to watch the $25 Iron Man III.

If Lucas is right and some movies go to $100 per person they won't be doing that in 4 simultaneous theaters so 20 screen theaters aren't going to be necessary - especially if movies like Lincoln go straight to DVD or HBO.

What they are saying is that fewer movies will be in theaters, they will cost more to watch, and they will stay in the theater for upto a year. All other niche movies will go straight to TV or DVD.

Steven Spielberg: Film Industry Implosion Lies Ahead (http://www.cnbc.com/id/100813557)


Lucas predicted that the movie-going experience would become more of a luxury.

"You're going to end up with fewer theaters, bigger theaters with a lot of nice things," he said. "Going to the movies will cost 50 bucks or 100 or 150 bucksólike what Broadway costs today, or a football game."

He forecast that the movies that do make it to theaters will stay for a year, similar to the run of a Broadway show.

Larry OKC
06-19-2013, 02:56 PM
JTF: I can relate & remember finally seeing E.T. at my local small town multi-plex (2 screens), where the ad in the paper exclaimed "Held over for the 52nd week!". Even then the theater was packed. So much that they had to drag in a bench for me to sit on and I watched the movie sitting sideways! Now movies are often in and gone by the time I even hear about them, much less get the time/money to go see them. Just saw Star Trek into Darkness at the Warren's Imax and it was freakin' AWESOME! The last movie I saw at a theater was the last Star Wars movie down in Bricktown. There are just some movies that NEED to be seen on the big screen. Used to go to the movies all the time in my teen/college days saw all of the Lucas & Spielberg movies, Back to the Futures and the like. But even though I am a Trekie, somehow missed seeing any of the 10 plus Star Trek movies in the theater.

SoonerDave
06-19-2013, 06:13 PM
I'm definitely old school I guess. I pretty much never rent a movie (have Netflix) and I got to the movies sometimes several times a week. I love the big screen.

Of course, I don't have a TV so maybe that has something to do with it. :)

I think an omitted part of this discussion is the quality of the movie house itself. I will be the first to admit my movie-going has increased since the Warren Theater in Moore opened. The guy who runs the place knows how to make his theater a destination in and of itself, and to make one willing to pay a bit of a premium for a really nice movie experience. I've paid the premium a couple of times for a balcony seat with my wife, and I've splurged on IMAX, too.

Beyond that, the bigger problem for movie attendance and me is the subject matter of most movies. Generally, I don't go for R-rated content, have no use for the slasher/vampire/horror/goth genre that seems to be making the rounds these days, so I'm guessing I'm not in most studios' target demographic. I can think of plenty of times when my wife and I might have been interested in a movie, but nothing seemed suited to our tastes, so we just didn't bother.

SoonerDave
06-19-2013, 06:21 PM
JTF: Just saw Star Trek into Darkness at the Warren's Imax and it was freakin' AWESOME! The last movie I saw at a theater was the last Star Wars movie down in Bricktown. There are just some movies that NEED to be seen on the big screen. But even though I am a Trekie, somehow missed seeing any of the 10 plus Star Trek movies in the theater.

I remember as a 14-year-old kid going over with a friend to the SouthPark on 44th and May to see "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" in Dec 1979 and it was really the first big "movie event" I could remember for a film that was a big deal just to me. It was something to see, one of the last flicks that had a truly grand score behind it, something special to see in the theaters. I saw Trek II at the old Almonte 6 on 59th and May, and in that time it was a big-deal theater. "Into Darkness" was an awesome production, as was the '09 reboot.

When I was much younger, I remember my folks taking me to the old "Continental" theater on the north side to see "What's Up, Doc," with Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal, and considering that one of my first "grown up" movie experiences at the ripe old age of about 7. Even then I remembered how funny that movie was, and how that enduring humor even makes *my* kids laugh when they see my copy of it forty years later. I guess that's what I lament about contemporary movies - it *is* possible to make an intelligent, funny movie without every scene being laced with sex and/or profanity. Guess by these standards I'm just a prude, but oh, well.

zookeeper
06-19-2013, 06:45 PM
These days, the gore and violence is so overwhelming in movies. I have a weird taste and like a different kind of film than ones that screen at the big theaters. I know the Museum of Art does their best with independent films, but I would give anything for our city to have a dedicated art house theater. These days some of the best movies are on the festival circuit or come from Sony Classics and other independent distributors.

Just the facts
06-19-2013, 09:45 PM
Beyond that, the bigger problem for movie attendance and me is the subject matter of most movies. Generally, I don't go for R-rated content, have no use for the slasher/vampire/horror/goth genre that seems to be making the rounds these days, so I'm guessing I'm not in most studios' target demographic. I can think of plenty of times when my wife and I might have been interested in a movie, but nothing seemed suited to our tastes, so we just didn't bother.

I'm not sure if you watched any of the panel discussion from Spielberg and Lucas but this is exactly what they were taking about. R movies and slasher/vampire/horror/goth genre will be going straight to DVD. Theaters will get bigger (and by theater they don't mean the whole complex), screen count will go down, and the movies will cost more and stay in the theaters longer.

Where I grew up in California we had the El Ray and Senator theaters. Both only had 1 screen. The Senator was so big that it was eventually divided up into 4 screens where only one had been. Both were classic art-deco with great marquis. I am so grateful I got to live in a time when theaters were like that.

Last Saturday I took my oldest son to the San Marco theater to watch "Now You See Me". It was so cool to go to a single screen theater that we have been to it 3 times in 5 days and we are going again this weekend.

Hawk405359
06-20-2013, 08:12 PM
Given how much more expensive blockbusters are getting to make, I could see an implosion happening. I read that World War Z has to make $500 million before it even begins to turn a profit, and that'd be a record for the genre, and even though that's due to production issues, it's definitely costing more and more to make movies now. If movies keep going this route, I could see a huge bubble bursting and taking a studio or two down with it. It could even happen soon if the public gets tired of superhero movies.

On the subject of how theaters operate, I remember talking to someone who works at a theater manager, and their explanation of the situation made me understand a whole lot better why studios push movies to home release much faster. From what he said, studios get most of a movie's take at the start, but over time a larger percentage of that goes to the theater. So a movie like Avatar, which will have a fairly lengthy time in theaters will make less money for a studio than a movie that makes most of it's gross up front. They also began to see that even if a movie didn't make a profit at the theater, they could turn a profit on DVD and Blu Ray profits.

If that is the case, I can see why it's so centered around blockbusters and getting movie to home releases as fast as possible. Keeping a movie in theaters is just giving money away.

SoonerDave
06-20-2013, 08:54 PM
I think we're already seeing (or have seen) serious consequences for big-budget flops.

I think back to two or three years ago, and Disney's "Mars Needs Moms" may have been one of the biggest, high-profile, high-expense flops in a long time - granted, it was by a division that was being shuttered, as I recall, but I also believe the particular production method or system used to achieve its animation is no longer generally used.

Don't forget that, for the longest time, it looked like Titanic was going to be a Titanic flop for Cameron and Paramount, as production costs exploded and expectations began to diminish, but it defied the odds and became one of Hollywood's all-timers.

Movie production costs have risen so much that any production of much magnitude requires third-party financing. Skydance Productions was the partner that did the financing for the 2009 Star Trek reboot, and I think they were on board for the recent "Into Darkness" sequel. Its easy to see how any big-budget bomb could be a huge risk for a financing partner and/or a studio, and it wouldn't take more than one flop to cost an exec his job. You can't afford to miss in that industry.

Here's an interesting list of all-time flops: Greatest Box-Office Bombs, Disasters and Flops (http://www.filmsite.org/greatestflops.html)

Hawk405359
06-20-2013, 10:00 PM
Disney has made some terrible decisions as of late. Mars Needs Moms was bad enough, and John Carter forced Rich Ross out of Disney, and I don't see Lone Ranger doing well even with Johnny Depp and them trying to tie it to the Pirates movies. It's another of those old properties that Hollywood occasionally tries to make a big budget reboot out of, and those never go over that well. It's also a western, which isn't in vogue right now.

I have my suspicions that World War Z will soon joint that list of biggest flops. Zombie movies don't typically make $200 million, and that's just it's production budget.

MWCGuy
06-20-2013, 11:18 PM
I used to be a big movie buff until Hollywood killed my love of movies. I got tired of the bad remakes, bad acting, political messages and worn out story lines. Then top it off the people that go to the movies these days want to do everything but, watch the movie. I don't pay admission to here everybody talk and listen to tow dozen cell phones ringing and buzzing. I am lucky if I go to the movies once a year these days. The Warren and the my living room are my favorite places to watch movies these days. The Warren does like I do, if your not going to watch the movie and let everyone else do the same, your shown the door.

Just the facts
07-01-2013, 07:08 PM
Maybe the implosion is happening sooner that Spielberg and Lucas thought.

White House Down cost $150 million but only grossed $24.9 million
Lone Ranger cost $250 million but is only project to open in the $70 million range

Meanwhile - family favorite Despicable Me 2 only cost $76 million to make and has already made $48 million in a very limited over-seas release.

Mel
07-01-2013, 11:03 PM
I own so many animated films, under the pretense of my grandkids watching them over here. I wish we got more indie film choices in central Oklahoma. There is some good stuff getting made out there and we, in the land of flyover, don't get much chance of seeing them.

Just the facts
07-02-2013, 06:11 AM
If Lucas and Spielberg are right you won't have to worry about being left out because they won't be in theaters anywhere. The same economics that keeps these films out of OKC now is going to keep them out of everywhere. Instead, they will go straight to TV, DVD, Pay Per View, or Instant Streaming.

Just the facts
09-18-2013, 07:23 PM
This should make Hollywood take notice.

?Grand Theft Auto V? Sales ? Record $800 Million in a Day | Variety (http://variety.com/2013/digital/news/grand-theft-auto-v-earns-800-million-in-a-day-more-than-worldwide-haul-of-man-of-steel-1200616706/)


The release of Rockstar Games’ “Grand Theft Auto V” generated $800 million sales in 24 hours around the world, a record for any game from Take-Two Interactive, and the “GTA” franchise itself.

...


The release of “GTAV” is certainly impressive, especially when compared to film releases.

The top three earners at the box office this year are Disney’s “Iron Man 3,” which generated $1.2 billion; Universal’s “Despicable Me 2,” at $840 million; and Warner Bros.’ “Man of Steel,” at $663 million.

“GTAV” boasted a budget just as lofty as most tentpoles, with Rockstar spending around $115 million to make the game and Take-Two another $150 million to market it throughout the year.

Of course, games are more expensive than movie tickets: “GTAV” is priced at $59.99 for the standard edition, $79.99 for a Special Edition and $150 for an exclusive GameStop edition.


With numbers like this we might see Hollywood implement the Lucas/Spielberg changes sooner rather than later.

bluedogok
09-18-2013, 07:55 PM
If these two are right I think we are going to see a sharp decrease in the number theaters, and probably a return to theaters that only have 1 to 3 screens. They will probably also not being showing movies 24/7 and return to how movie theaters used to operate. Personally, I loved the old single screen art-deco theaters that graced nearly every small town and city in America. Saturday mornings were matinees, rated G movies started about 6PM, there was a PG movie at 8PM, and rated R movies started at 10PM. The movie itself would play for a long time, up to several months, or in the case of Star Wars - for a year.
The reason why theaters grew was so a flop on one screen wouldn't kill their cash flow but I do agree that many of the 24-30 screen theaters will probably pare down to around 10 screens in the future and reduce their footprint. I grew up going to the big single screen theaters (Westwood was close) and miss the style and room they had and didn't really like when many of them were divided into multi-screen shoe boxes.

We watch movies at home for the most part, pretty much the only pace we go for a movie is Alamo Draft House (one opened in Littleton earlier this year), we went to the South Austin location and pretty much nowhere else. Good beer, good food, more room and reduced annoyances in the theater made it much nicer place to see a movie. We also have gone to a twin screen drive-in in Fort Collins, haven't been to the one in Commerce City yet.

bchris02
09-18-2013, 08:51 PM
A lot of people are saying this is imminent after this summer's horrible movie season. However, this summer had horrible movies for the most part. I will be surprised if this is a long term trend.

Pretty much the story of the summer was sequels and dystopian future movies, both of which I think the moviegoing public have become weary of. I honestly can't remember another year like it. I do think this year however will be made by the year-end release of movies like the Hobbit and the new Hunger Games movie.

Just the facts
09-18-2013, 09:16 PM
According to Spielberg and Lucas there is just too much cost involved in marketing and distributing movies. Top it off with such large production budgets and there is almost no way the studios can win. Then they see something like GTAV which in one effort will make more profit than all their movies combined. You know they have to be think themselves - why make 20 movies a charge $10 a seat and pay 20X the marketing and distribution cost when we can make 2 movies and charge $60 a seat, but make the number of available seats limited so we can show the movie to packed theaters for 6 months.

Think how many theater seats there are in OKC times the number of movies per day. Now picture 1/10 that capacity. You would have to buy tickets a month in advance and if you wanted to see the movie in next 24 months you would have to pay whatever it cost; a lot for opening night and tapering off after 4 or 5 months. Hollywood could make the same amount of money and work 1/10 as hard.

mugofbeer
09-18-2013, 09:22 PM
I can think of nothing better than if movie stars were made to accept 10% of what they used to make. Perhaps then their oversized egos and "there's no one else in the world but me" attitudes would be greatly reduced so the cost of movies would be greatly reduced. The other thing is, if you see the making of movies, are the costs of things like movie star trailers and nothing but the best catering.

bluedogok
09-18-2013, 09:41 PM
A lot of people are saying this is imminent after this summer's horrible movie season. However, this summer had horrible movies for the most part. I will be surprised if this is a long term trend.

Pretty much the story of the summer was sequels and dystopian future movies, both of which I think the moviegoing public have become weary of. I honestly can't remember another year like it. I do think this year however will be made by the year-end release of movies like the Hobbit and the new Hunger Games movie.
Most people go to the movies for escapism, dystopian movies are not escapism but are really more of a glimpse into the future.

bchris02
09-18-2013, 09:44 PM
Most people go to the movies for escapism, dystopian movies are not escapism but are really more of a glimpse into the future.

Don't get me wrong, I like the occasional dystopian movie, but I think it was waaaaay overdone this summer. It seemed like a lot of them had eerily similar plots as well.

bluedogok
09-18-2013, 09:58 PM
I don't really know what came out this year, don't pay attention like I used to. Usually if we go to a movie it is my wife's idea, good thing she isn't really into chick flicks.

Snowman
09-19-2013, 07:31 AM
According to Spielberg and Lucas there is just too much cost involved in marketing and distributing movies. Top it off with such large production budgets and there is almost no way the studios can win. Then they see something like GTAV which in one effort will make more profit than all their movies combined. You know they have to be think themselves - why make 20 movies a charge $10 a seat and pay 20X the marketing and distribution cost when we can make 2 movies and charge $60 a seat, but make the number of available seats limited so we can show the movie to packed theaters for 6 months.

Think how many theater seats there are in OKC times the number of movies per day. Now picture 1/10 that capacity. You would have to buy tickets a month in advance and if you wanted to see the movie in next 24 months you would have to pay whatever it cost; a lot for opening night and tapering off after 4 or 5 months. Hollywood could make the same amount of money and work 1/10 as hard.

I don't see that structure working, most people have shown they are not willing to buy movies at a price of sixty dollars. Part of the reason theater attendance is down is experience at home has improved while the number of annoying things other people do has increased. They have more competition for entertainment dollars now than ever but are also making money than they ever have in the past since they have been charging more (which in and of it self should lead to lower attendance). Distribution cost should be dropping as they eventually go all digital, marketing is going to have it's costs but there are cheaper ways than the traditional add campaigns. If they ever do drop to 1/10 production then it probably will be a boon for independent producers and studios, since right now the major studios/distributors have the leverage over theaters to keep them off screens.