Saturday, July 5, 2014

Exit Golden Age

Spent a lot of time ranting about movies yesterday with my brother.  About how we were lucky to have lived through the golden age, and how it's very unlikely that there'll be a renaissance.  How we've lived long enough to see how things we loved would look if they were made today (Raiders of the Lost Ark vs. The Crystal Skull), (Star Wars Episode 4 vs. Star Wars Episode 1), (Alien vs. Prometheus), (Star Trek: Into Darkness vs. Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan).

Found this great article on the topic...
The typical American used to buy 20-30 tickets a year. Today, she buys about four. Fittingly, studios make fewer movies today, and they have to spend more money marketing them (about $35 million per film), since they've lost their guaranteed weekly audience. At the same time, the box office has globalized. U.S. and Canadian box office grosses are large but flat. The future of ticket growth is overseas.
 

What does all that mean? Fewer movies, bigger movies, louder movies, and safer movies.
Now that the studios are making fewer, more expensive films, there is much more risk riding on each project. Hollywood mitigates that risk in two ways: safer subjects and more testing. First, it relies on sequels and adaptations that it knows have a built-in audience, not only at home, but also abroad, where explosions translate easier than wit. The formula works, too. Thirteen of the 14 biggest movies of 2013 were adaptations and sequels.
Read more... 

Real sets.



Real Model.


Indiana Jones' Son Swinging with Monkeys.

16 comments:

Amy said...

Great points. What I don't understand is how the producers, directors etc, how can they not see the difference in quality. Those comparison shots you posted should be used at the beginning stage of every production..it should be a Hollywood standard.

It's funny though, TWD, GOT, & TD look better and are 100x more interesting than 90% of the movies I've seen the the past 10 years. With prob 1/4 of the budget.

Rot said...

Yeah.
The future is definitely TV/cable.
And that's fine with me.
I detest sitting in a theater when there's more than me and Bean in there.

Willow Cove said...

Agreed. Too many cookie cutter movies lately.
Btw....saw Deliver us from evil. Meh. Reminds me of Fallen with Denziel Washington. More of a thriller than horror. And if it based on real events- too many holes in the story.

Rot said...

was curious about that one.
lame.

Mantan Calaveras said...

One thing the author neglected: The box office numbers are largely fabricated.

If you've gone to the movies recently, I'm sure you've noticed that the theaters are mostly empty. Movies are literally played to empty theaters, and the ticket sales numbers are fabricated in order to justify the large budgets of these films. Why would they do that? Well if audiences aren't going to your movies, and yet you're still generating massive box office returns, the money must not be coming from ticket sales. Hint hint.

Since their profits don't come from ticket sales, and they need to play movies to empty theaters in order to cover up the real source of income, they have a vested interest in making boring movies that people aren't going to go to the theater to see. And what better way to accomplish this, than to simply recycle material that everyone is already bored with?

Jay's Shadow said...

I hate going to movie theaters anyways. I like the comfort of my own home. I didn't spend money on a decent T.V. and home theater system for it to sit there and look pretty.

Pee breaks and snack breaks.....all at a press of the pause button.

HalloweeNut said...

I hate my local theater, with it's sticky floors, miserable snack bar, and vacant-eyed staff, it sucks. Big time. This is why, eventually, I hope to build a proper 1930s style home theater in my basement. Decorated the lobby with vintage horror posters, masks from slasher movies, and any sort of horror collectible I come across. It will be usurious.

HalloweeNut said...

usurious. I just wrote usurious. What the hell? I meant to write "glorious" and instead I wrote usurious. I think I need a brain scan.

bean said...

I love love love going to the movies. So big, so loud, so enveloping. It's like I'm ten again right when the movie starts and I get all excited and nervous and worried about having to pee just when things are getting good. But now there are so few movies worth going for...and paying for. It's so expensive. And there is always the risk of loud people or people slathered in offensive cologne or perfume (my pet peeve). But I guess given all that, it's GOLD when you do finally go and the movie was totally worth it and no one annoyed you.

bean said...

All that said, the Golden Age is over.

Jeff said...

I probably go to 5 a year, average. That said I've already been to Captain America, Spidey, Godzilla, X-Men...probably another I missed. It's a good way to spend time with sons, usually make it part of an entire day. There are no ET, or Star Wars, or Raiders... afternoons though. Those were, are classics, I was a kid, I doubt I'll ever feel that sense of amazed wonder again.

skroode said...

I always thought this and it really hit home a few months ago when I randomly popped in Raiders of the Lost Ark. All at once it struck me how the background, setting, props were meticulously detailed and felt so much more real than any CG. It make the whole scene come alive. I wonder if part of that is at the time when you invested the time and money to make a tomb or starship you had to justify it and really use it, so it became more integral to the plot and cut down the number of settings.

(Which is one thing I notice as well, how modern movies try to jump to EVERY PLACE ON EARTH during the story, rather than having a handful of settings that really, God forbid, actually relate to the plot. Assuming there is one. Which often there is not.)

Rot said...

perfectly put.

Rot said...

http://www.themovieblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/lucas-green-screen.jpg

Rot said...

http://courses.washington.edu/pioneers/images/CN%20image%203.jpg

A large version of the models from star wars.

This stuff used to be so cool to look at...now it's bitter sweet.
and depressing.

Jack-Tar said...

@Rot Have you heard of Red letter Media's Mr Plinkett Star Wars reviews? If you haven't it is defiantly something you should check out.