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Box Office: Hollywood Is In Trouble Because We're Seeing The Wrong Movies

By Forbes

Theaters have a huge problem right now, namely that audiences would rather see a reboot/sequel like 'Men In Black: International' that they know probably isn't very good versus an original or highRead full story

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  • Not quite. Hollywood is struggling because it failed to adapt to the new content paradigm. There’s three things happening that Hollywood can do nothing about.

    First, the sources of content are accelerating. This means content can be produced any where at anytime (controlling distribution is no longer

    Not quite. Hollywood is struggling because it failed to adapt to the new content paradigm. There’s three things happening that Hollywood can do nothing about.

    First, the sources of content are accelerating. This means content can be produced any where at anytime (controlling distribution is no longer an advantage).

    Second, the cost of production is falling. This means it’s easier to produce near professional grade content (controlling major studios is no longer an advantage).

    And third, the types of content are expanding, with gaming at the top (hiring a $20m actor is no longer an advantage).

    Considering time is finite, any time spent on these formats takes attention away from Hollywood. As consumption patterns continuously shift toward digital on-demand formats and embrace these three trends, the old studio model’s days are unfortunately numbered.

  • I am confused by this article. The points the author tries to make are poorly articulated and only loosely tie together, in particular the point around racial diversity. While I agree that diversity does play a role, I think that role is different than articulated. So what is the underlying issue driving

    I am confused by this article. The points the author tries to make are poorly articulated and only loosely tie together, in particular the point around racial diversity. While I agree that diversity does play a role, I think that role is different than articulated. So what is the underlying issue driving the decline in box office?

    1. The amount of video content available to audiences has increased exponentially, enabling the creation of much more nuanced media for specific audiences. As a result, audiences get content via platforms such as Netflix or even more catered platforms such as VRV or Shudder that provide content explicitly aligned to their tastes and diverse needs.

    2. As a consequence of this, Hollywood has opted to create more and more generic fare aimed at appealing to a general audience AND that plays well in the theater. Avengers does well simply because the experience can't currently be recreated in home. More and more sequels are released because it is a safe bet for studios (until recently) in a world where only a few kinds of movies can bring an audience out to the theater, even if the revenue from such films steadily suffers from audience fatigue.

    3. In contrast, indie movies and more targeted movies struggle at the box office, because that experience can be recreated in home AND those audiences can easily find the content they want without going to the theater.

    In short, Hollywood is suffering from the Amazon problem. If I can go online and find exactly what I want v go to the store and find something that is close to what I want, I am going to shop online and only go to the store for the "big purchases" where I really need to go and see and feel what I am getting before I buy it. As a result, Hollywood needs to adapt and adjust to cater to this new reality rather it be at the theater or the comfort of your own home.

  • This is no different than TV. It's a formulaic business where products are created using rare resources (IP and bankable talent). Its not about creating the best product. It's about combining these resources in the most economically beneficial way.

  • Not to mention that in mid-size cities like mine, theaters make choices for you. We get only a small amount of decent movies, and usually very late in the game. So you stop even viewing theatergoing as an option worth your time or money.

  • This article is made up of totally "unrelated digressions" that loosely ties in racial representations and ticket prices and DVDs.

    Look, the bottom line is that I need to be drawn out to a movie theater with great music and cinematography, with appropriate effects. Of the two, MIB and Late Night, MIB

    This article is made up of totally "unrelated digressions" that loosely ties in racial representations and ticket prices and DVDs.

    Look, the bottom line is that I need to be drawn out to a movie theater with great music and cinematography, with appropriate effects. Of the two, MIB and Late Night, MIB lends itself to that big experience that I want to share with strangers. The genre is more relevant than the plot, when it comes to theater success.

    I watched Avatar at home recently and it did not come close to the theater experience. If all we had were DVDs, Avatar would have fared worse than Late Night.

    Comfortable loungers and full meals help to enhance the experience but it will take a lot for me to watch romcoms in a theater.

    So, what's the solution? Make movies for all formats but know your audience and market accordingly. Late Night could have been released simultaneously on pay per view (cable and streaming) and limited release in theaters.

    Trying to force your audience to make your creation successful is silly.

  • When it comes to entertainment i go for more bang for my buck. Streaming. In the comfort of my home i can pick movies, docs, series etc without walking out my front door. But I live 30mins from theatres. Plus, it is not a priority to be entertained. If you live in cities and do cubical work i kinda see

    When it comes to entertainment i go for more bang for my buck. Streaming. In the comfort of my home i can pick movies, docs, series etc without walking out my front door. But I live 30mins from theatres. Plus, it is not a priority to be entertained. If you live in cities and do cubical work i kinda see the lure of theatre. But even in the deep south people go for live entertainment. Small cities and towns put on festivals several times a year. Plenty of things for families to do plus you meet your neighbors. This type of interaction builds communities unlike a movie theatre or a darkened living room. As to my responsibility, I'll stream.

  • I wonder if part of the problem is a failure to advertise well. We go to see a movie & the only previews are like the one we're seeing. Usually they look like cookie cutter versions only not as good. If you didn't like the one you paid to see, you are aren't going to see the others. I don't vspend time

    I wonder if part of the problem is a failure to advertise well. We go to see a movie & the only previews are like the one we're seeing. Usually they look like cookie cutter versions only not as good. If you didn't like the one you paid to see, you are aren't going to see the others. I don't vspend time researching upcoming movies. I find that if I go for something specific there just isn't anything else that catches me so we've increasing cut back. We're retired, we can go to lots of midweek matinees but you catch me, don't expect me to hunt you down.

  • I agree that this is a vicious cycle. I think the author tries to look at sales as a new way to make an old argument: taste level has depreciated over time and with it, expectations. One feeds the other. I see it in the screenplays and pilots I read every day. We need both less aiming for every market

    I agree that this is a vicious cycle. I think the author tries to look at sales as a new way to make an old argument: taste level has depreciated over time and with it, expectations. One feeds the other. I see it in the screenplays and pilots I read every day. We need both less aiming for every market in theatrical releases (including kowtowing to China for example) and less noodles at the wall in the streaming space (overly niche and low developmental quality). People are thirsty for more 12 hour blocks of “literary” long form content (when on the couch) but it’s hard to get butts in cinema seats for something that (in their minds) doesn’t warrant a big screen because big screens have become synonymous with explosions and green screen universes. And then we have to wait up to three years sometimes for a high brow film coming off the festival circuit, so interest there wanes or is eventually forgotten.

  • Part of the challenge is what theatre's present to us when. The movie's Tolkien and Late Night went made widely available and often only available at an early afternoon or 10 pm showing. Nothing in-between. BTW, this is in a medium sized metro area ( Raleigh-Durham-Cary)

  • The article only deals with part of the problem. People are ‘seeing the wrong movies’ in part because that’s what they are being offered. Many smaller movie theaters have closed resulting in the nearest theater being a chain multiplex for a lot of people. And many of those chains only offer films from

    The article only deals with part of the problem. People are ‘seeing the wrong movies’ in part because that’s what they are being offered. Many smaller movie theaters have closed resulting in the nearest theater being a chain multiplex for a lot of people. And many of those chains only offer films from a single big distributor. A lot of very good films are often only being offered at ‘art’ cinemas or don’t have as wide a distribution (aka limited release). Unless a film generates a lot of buzz quickly and/or gets decent distribution early, chances are it’s out of the theaters pretty fast so your only option IS to stream it when it becomes available.

  • Maybe we aren't seeing the wrong movies it it just possible that the studios aren't making the right ones?

    I think it seems appropriate that a lot of movies are based on comic books. Entertainment yes but ephemeral..Will we be rewatching these movies the way we watch classics .

    Another problem is that

    Maybe we aren't seeing the wrong movies it it just possible that the studios aren't making the right ones?

    I think it seems appropriate that a lot of movies are based on comic books. Entertainment yes but ephemeral..Will we be rewatching these movies the way we watch classics .

    Another problem is that movies have stopped being special. Rarely is there anticipation as movies like most things that have become mundane lose appeal.

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