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DVDs are bad for business?
October 22, 2002 1:08 PM   Subscribe

DVDs are bad for business? They are, according to the producer of "Attack of the Clones." Although it seems to me that every week I hear about a new box-office record being shattered, Rick McCallum says such things as: "I don't think there's a single movie that can survive on box office gross alone; it just doesn't exist anymore" and my favorite: "Literally, our very lives are at stake now. George and I are just praying that we can finish 'Episode III' in time, before it's all over." What do you think? Legitimate concern, or more ridiculous whining by millionaires lobbying to place restrictions on technogy?
posted by eas98 (56 comments total)

 
I'll put ten bucks on "ridiculous whining."
posted by languagehat at 1:12 PM on October 22, 2002


McCallum's a producer ... he counts the beans, millions of them though there might be. I have about as much respect for him after seeing him go off into childish tantrums (with numerous "fucks" being bleeped out, wonderful for the kids) on the Phatom Menace DVD as I do for Lucas making Greedo fire first.
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:12 PM on October 22, 2002


It was all over for Lucas long before DVDs.
posted by archimago at 1:14 PM on October 22, 2002


...for Lucas making Greedo fire first.

Amen to that.
posted by blogRot at 1:15 PM on October 22, 2002


So, he will cease breathing if I download the next Star Wars movie?
posted by einarorn at 1:15 PM on October 22, 2002


Honestly, what a ridiculous argument. Waah waah waah.
posted by widdershins at 1:16 PM on October 22, 2002


"Literally, our very lives are at stake now."

Darth Vader doesn't tolerate low box-office ticket sales...
posted by Stuart_R at 1:17 PM on October 22, 2002


I'll admit that I've often stayed home from movies that I would have gone to in the past, but that's mainly because I"ve become more of a stickler for quality. Whereas I used to go ahead and spend the money (it's not as if I had more of a disposable income, I simply enjoyed going out more), now I will indeed just wait if it doesn't look very good. I still support the movies that look interesting or that I have some feelings about, but it's those ones that are toeing the line (yes, that includes Episode 2, which I haven't seen yet) that I no longer see in the theater.

I'll also admit that part of not seeing as many movies in the theater is the theater experience itself. While movies I typically go see are usually populated by people who actually want to see it, there have been so many ocassions that I've been so annoyed with the audience that it actually detracted from the movie-viewing experience. Hell, if I think I'm going to have to go through that at the theater, I will just wait until I can sit and watch it while sitting on my comfortable couch without having to worry about people talking/cellphones ringing/et al.

Oh, and McCallum can suck it. If he was really worried, he'd focus on making a better movie, not crapping out films that are eye candy and nothing else.
posted by almostcool at 1:19 PM on October 22, 2002


Hmm...I must ponder this important issue tonight before I go to bed. Yes, while also pondering nonimportant issues like the sniper shootings, Middle East wars, and if I'm going to wake up tomorrow.

Makes a whole lot of sense. *cough*
posted by ambivalentgirl at 1:21 PM on October 22, 2002


they said the same thing when television came out.
posted by andrewzipp at 1:23 PM on October 22, 2002


Not to mention VHS.
posted by callmejay at 1:26 PM on October 22, 2002


When a crap movie has a low budget, it's called a crap movie.
When a crap movie has a 100+ million dollar budget it's called a blockbuster hit. Any movie will make money if you put enough money in marketing and special effects.

Ep. I and II were huge disappointments to me and to a lot of other people, I doubt Ep. III will be any better. If the industry is in danger of collapsing, let it collapse, if that's the best they can do. Hollywood has been creatively bankrupt for decades anyway. The dinosaur studio system should die and provide fossil fuel for the next generation.
posted by RylandDotNet at 1:27 PM on October 22, 2002


I have a simple solution to their problem. They can easily make money on even dwindling box office sales (though the Star Wars franchise still does well in the box office as far as I know) by spending less money. Most movies seem to follow the following formula to success:
  1. Hire big actors for the gross national product of a small nation
  2. Spend another few GNP on special effects
  3. Give a wino in the parking lot 5 bucks and a slightly used cigarette for a script
By design they only break even if the movie is an actual block buster, which most movies aren't. It might even be a decent movie, but by the time you've paid for special effects and actors you'll never ever break even. I'd much rather see a movie with much less money spent on actors and special effects and some more money spent on a script with a compelling story.

I used to go to the drama department productions at my university, I almost always had a good time and almost never felt that the money spent on a ticket was wasted. How good were the special effects? Well, usually they consisted of no more than a few cans of paint slapped onto some partical board. How good were the actors? Good, in general, but they worked for free or close to it. How good were the stories? Excellent, this is probably where most of the money for the production was spent.
posted by substrate at 1:28 PM on October 22, 2002


That page's title is pretty entertaining.
posted by websavvy at 1:29 PM on October 22, 2002


I didn't go see Episode II in the theater for one simple reason.

Because I had seen Episode I.

Oh...
and for Lucas making Greedo fire first...
and Jar Jar.
posted by Akuinnen at 1:30 PM on October 22, 2002


*ahem*
the cost of going to the movies has escalated to $20 or so for a ticket, parking and popcorn

Are ya sure it's the DVD's, Rick? I willingly paid $5 a pop to see Freejack, Freejack, people, multiple times when I was 15, even knowing that it would eventually be released on video cassette (remember them), but who can pay $8-$10 a pop for multiple viewings of even Lord of the Rings (surely a better entertainment value than Freejack)?
posted by mikrophon at 1:32 PM on October 22, 2002


Oh yeah, and while we're (not really) on the topic, will someone please wrestle Lucas to the ground and make him let Spielberg direct Episode III, Here Come The Warm Jets?
posted by mikrophon at 1:35 PM on October 22, 2002


Highly recommended is the Frontline episode on The Monster That Ate Hollywood, which covers much of this same ground.

The movie industry is about creating and selling product, for as high a profit as possible. With $100 million budgets quickly becoming the norm, the stakes are so high the studios can't afford to make mistakes, and the art of good writing and the craft of fine camera work are secondary (if not less important).

There doesn't seem to be an end in sight for this trend, as a friend that recently became a movie exec told me. He was saying how his studio was under tremendous pressure to continue making large profits on every release, and they were rethinking their approaches to everything with that in mind. When I asked why they don't just limit new releases to the highest quality scripts, he said that isn't a good preditctor of success, and is rarely taken into account.
posted by mathowie at 1:44 PM on October 22, 2002


Sounds like McCallum's conflating several issues. How does the craze for buying DVDs cost him any money? What he's really worried about, it seems to me, is the ripping and Internet distribution, which makes a lot more sense. That will only get worse with the proliferation of broadband and DVD burners--film studios might soon feel like the music industry does now.

I love DVDs but watching at home won't replace sitting in a theater, with a bunch of people and a big fat screen. Even the biggest home theater can't keep up with that. And yes, talkers are horrible, and it seems to be getting worse. In NYC, asking people politely to keep it down can earn you further abuse.

As for Attack of the Clones: I loved it, and I'm excited to see it on IMAX next week.
posted by muckster at 1:45 PM on October 22, 2002


You have to admit they have a point about the scripts. Most of the best-written movies I've seen weren't blockbusters, they were very well-received by a bunch of urbanites at small, artsy theaters.
posted by callmejay at 1:48 PM on October 22, 2002


It is a load of crap because the market will bear what it will bear. If they need to make the money up in rentals and video sales, the price for them will go up. If above the line costs are too high (above the line is the money that goes to A-list stars and directing talent), then the studios will have to offer less.

This sounds just like baseball owners, they complain they aren't making money while paying A-Rod $252 million.
posted by McBain at 1:49 PM on October 22, 2002


When I asked why they don't just limit new releases to the highest quality scripts, he said that isn't a good preditctor of success, and is rarely taken into account.

That is the sad, sad truth. And explains pt. 3 in substrate's post above.
posted by widdershins at 1:50 PM on October 22, 2002


There's another technology that's threatening you, Rick. Books. I spent an evening in a Border's store in Oxnard California, and that pretty much satisfied most of my desire to see Episode II. In about 2.5 hours, I read the book, flipped through a nearby graphic novel, and "art of star wars" volume for visuals.

Maybe you should find a way to lock those things down. Shrink wrap them or encrypt them, perhaps.
posted by namespan at 1:54 PM on October 22, 2002


*ahem*

via Plastic
posted by matteo at 1:54 PM on October 22, 2002


Agreed on the insipid, dull, and formula blockbuster scripts, but I'd exempt Star Wars from that criticism. I know I'll get burned for this, but I think they series is well written* and features a dense plot. I don't know of another movie series that has been conceived with a single plot line spanning over six movies, let alone told in prequels. The easy way would have been to just make cookie-cutter sequels. Like 'em or not, the Star Wars films are independent productions, and I don't think Lucas could have gotten away with them at a major studio.

* I prefer to think of the groaners (see Anakin and Padme's courtship) as knowing, loving homages to the matinee serials the films are patterned after.
posted by muckster at 2:07 PM on October 22, 2002


I love DVDs but watching at home won't replace sitting in a theater, with a bunch of people and a big fat screen.

I feel just the opposite actually. I hate going to movies. The cost of tickets and food is way overpriced. People will talk during the movie, or get calls on their cell phone. Oh, and let's not forget crying babies.
posted by Beholder at 2:11 PM on October 22, 2002


This reminds me of Dr. Dre's feelings on Napster:

'This Napster $#!+ is taking food out of kids' mouths

Sure it is, Doc. Sure it is. Tiniest violin right here, buddy.

So we hear hollywood bitch. We hear the record company bitch. I'm just curious when the publishing industry is gonna rise up against this scourge we all know as the Public Library.
posted by dgaicun at 2:12 PM on October 22, 2002


they were very well-received by a bunch of urbanites at small, artsy theaters.

Which, to me, is one area where DVD shines. For example, I would *never* have see a very thought-provoking movie called L.I.E. on the big screen because a) it was given an NC-17 rating, for no discernable reason which ensured b) it would never play in any theaters in my hometown.

I'm glad I got to see the movie in question, and many other small, low-budget independent movies, on DVD because I would never have been able to see them in any "normal" venue. God, I love Hollywood's pap, but I hate it too.

That said, if Star Trek Nemesis doesn't kick as much ass as the trailer seems to suggest it will, I'm going down to Hollywood and just taking over. Who's with me?
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:17 PM on October 22, 2002


they series is well written

Huh? The Force is a virus in Episode I, and a mystical force in Episode IV. Darth Vader built C-3P0, but doesn't recognize him? And if the stormtroopers are all clones, how come they aren't all the same size?
posted by kirkaracha at 2:18 PM on October 22, 2002


Wait & see, ye of little faith. We're still missing one installment.
posted by muckster at 2:22 PM on October 22, 2002


The business will implode once you can download a movie, give it to your friends and not have a moral problem with doing it. Then we're screwed.

"The church will implode once you can buy a bible published in common language, read it with your friends and not have a moral problem with it. Then we're screwed." -- The Pope, ca. 16 C.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:25 PM on October 22, 2002


Any movie will make money if you put enough money in marketing and special effects.

The problem being that you can't guarantee that the film will make more money than the marketing and special effects cost.

Interesting article on this in last weekends LA times:

"Windtalkers," starring Nicolas Cage, grossed just $41 million in the U.S., or $1 million less than what sources said it cost to market. And that didn't include the film's price tag of more than $110 million.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 2:28 PM on October 22, 2002


WolfDaddy: it's Rick Berman's fault.
posted by tolkhan at 2:28 PM on October 22, 2002


WolfDaddy: I couldn't agree more. And movies which have been censored for theatrical release are often available uncensored on DVD (and this can make a big difference). The rating system in the US is just unbearably stupid (I read the sidebar on the review page of your link and agree with it 100%). DVDs aren't bad for the business McCallum and Lucas are in, I think they have Lucas' dialogue writing to thank for that (*rimshot*). If they'd improve the quality of your average blockbuster, and made sure that people behaved in theatres, I think more people would go to the movies. The cost of a movie which you know is going to suck, compounded by the knowledge that you'll pay your x dollars only to be surrounded by talkers...that's what keeps bums out of theatre seats, not DVD. I think Hollywood has it all wrong and are working with a theory (the theory Matt outlined) which just doesn't reflect reality. People aren't as shallow and dumb as Hollywood would like them to be, but if Hollywood works at it for long enough, I'm sure they will be.
posted by biscotti at 2:53 PM on October 22, 2002


What mikrophon said. I wound up paying full price to see Ronin three times in the theatre, and The Matrix six times, because I thought they were so good I made my friends go see them, and went with them.

I also saw Ransom three times this way, but only because I was bored the second and third nights. At least my brother worked at the theater, so I didn't have to pay money to develop a call-and-response style script.

[SCENE: Int. Elevator. GARY OLDMAN is roughing up MEL GIBSON.]
britain: Hey, Oldman! Give him one from Maris!
[GARY OLDMAN knees MEL GIBSON in the crotch.]
GARY OLDMAN: This one's from Maris.

posted by britain at 2:57 PM on October 22, 2002


or get calls on their cell phone.

hey, i was in a theatre a few months back (changing lanes, which was poo) and a woman MADE two calls.

i still go to the theatres to see films i don't want to wait to see on dvd (secretary & punch-drunk love being the most recent ones). however, i gladly wait for crap like star wars and star trek to hit dvd. then, i visit the store and pass them over for movies with good scripts.

why does anyone go see this garbage? "yeah, i know episode one was shite and ii was pretty bad too but it's star wars!" *shiver*

and, incidentally, both george lucas and francis ford coppola bought dvds on their recent visit to Toronto, so the format's got some fans. ;)
posted by dobbs at 2:59 PM on October 22, 2002


When I asked why they don't just limit new releases to the highest quality scripts, he said that isn't a good preditctor of success, and is rarely taken into account.

Part of the explanation for this:
The demographic with the most $$ to blow at the movies is -- teenagers. And unfortunately it's a minority of teenagers that are actually interested in a high-quality script. As a rule (this is, of course a generalization, but it describes the majority) they want to see dick and fart jokes, things blowing up, and the heroes prevailing. They tend to be uninterested in difficult moral questions or careful character development etc.

And as biscotti said no, not all people - even teenagers - are as shallow and dumb as Hollywood would like. But. There's enough to sell a lot of tickets to and videos/DVDs of a lot of crappy crappy movies. There's a reason hollywood has been able to get away with subpar for so long.
posted by raedyn at 3:01 PM on October 22, 2002


muckster writes: Wait & see, ye of little faith. We're still missing one installment.

Someone has to post this now: David Brin agrees with you, muckster... sort of. Read to the end.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:17 PM on October 22, 2002


The theater experience is losing some audience segments because of many things, not just DVD. Our attention budget is divided among many entertainment choices these days, such as too-many-cable-TV-channels and, er, weblogs.

Maybe I'm just getting old(er), but I'm frustrated with the ways cinemas disrespect their customers who put down $8+ for a ticket... they're losing my business because they've lost control of the filmgoing environment.

When I do go to the plex, (a) the commercials before the film are intolerable; (b) the sound mix is too high (this THX knob goes to 11!); (c) the A/C seems to always be cranked. No wonder I increasingly prefer to buy/rent my own film experience and take it home.

(To say nothing of the yawning screenplay-quality-gap being well argued by others here.)
posted by skyboy at 3:23 PM on October 22, 2002


substrate I feel exactly the same way. I am a big Doctor Who fan, a British science fiction program; which has budget of less then $100,000 dollars. That is nothing compared to what Hollywood or TV is spending now. Compared to what we see in the movies or on TV, I will take Doctor Who any day! It was well written and was interested in telling a story, not in making a lot of money.
posted by tljenson at 3:56 PM on October 22, 2002


Hmmm, I dunno, I mean it couldn't possibly be that it costs like a fortune to go see a movie could it? Let me see 5 friends go to a movie, eat at the movie and then go to dinner, hmmm over $150.00, in NYC, or go to someone's house rent a few movies spend way less then $150.00 getting snacks, dinner and dessert and be way more comfortable.

I admit that sometimes nothing can beat seeing a really good movie in the theater but these days those types of movies are getting fewer and far between.
posted by GreenDragon at 4:05 PM on October 22, 2002


muckster said: I prefer to think of the groaners (see Anakin and Padme's courtship) as knowing, loving homages to the matinee serials the films are patterned after.

I prefer to think of it as George Lucas' complete ineptitude at writing dialog that sounds like what human beings would actually say. Harrison Ford said it best: "I told him, 'George, you can write this shit, but you can't say it.'"
posted by RylandDotNet at 4:19 PM on October 22, 2002


this 'talking' thing is freaking me out.
i can think of only one instance where i have been in a cinema where there people talking throuout the film. This was at a premiere of an action movie. people were also jumping up and down and whooping during the action scenes. amusing or soulcrushing, perhaps both. could freak you out, potentially.
anyhoo, all the other times i have been to the cimema there has been low to no talking during the feature presentation. is this a british thing? european?

granted at least half of my cinema visits are to the independent cinema (if that implies anything), but the other half is all mainstream films at chain cinemas.
all simply fyi.
posted by asok at 4:43 PM on October 22, 2002


Talking? Very annoying but usually only carries a row or two; less if there's dialogue going on at the time. Now a ringing cell phone is another matter -- you can hear it from one end of the cinema to the other.. and with custom ringtones, you can't even learn not to notice.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:47 PM on October 22, 2002


George, it's not the DVDs. Episodes I and II sucked big time. Stop right now.
posted by kayjay at 5:03 PM on October 22, 2002


Its fun to snark at the creative bankruptcy of hollywood, and the prequels in particular, but Lucas has a point about the technology, I think. If high quality digital copies of films show up online, and if large numbers of the moviegoing public get broadband access, I don't see how anything less than a major federal and industry initiative (and maybe not even that) can prevent a precipitious drop in box office revenue.

Yes, I know the music industry is still doing ok, although sales have apparently dropped 11% so far this year. To that, I'd simply answer that A) Broadband connections are still far from the norm, and B) The RIAA's offensives against file sharers have not been insignificant.

Of course, even if movies were widely available for free over the net, the home viewing experience is not the same as the theater, as posters have pointed out. That still isn't a justification for copyright evasion, though.

This is why, believe it or not, I support Microsoft's Palladium initiative and hope congress backs it up with intelligent legislation. We need to find a technnological way to protect intellectual property over the net. In the long run, its in everyone's best interests to keep the market system working.
posted by gsteff at 5:33 PM on October 22, 2002


kirkaracha: The Force is a virus in Episode I, and a mystical force in Episode IV. Darth Vader built C-3P0, but doesn't recognize him? And if the stormtroopers are all clones, how come they aren't all the same size?

And then, muckster: Wait & see, ye of little faith. We're still missing one installment.

My theory is that near the end of Episode Three, Anikan Skywalker's pretty little head (pony tail and all) gets chopped off and replaced with something with a greater range of emotion, like a melon or a rock.

I see the scene going like this:
Obi Wan Kenobi: You're back! How can that be! I chopped your head off!
Darth Vader: Foolish rebel. You were wrong about the force being blood. It is a mystical thing that can even animate a rock to replace my head.
Obi Wan Kenobi: I'll be damned. What else can it do?
Darth Vader: Watch as I stretch and shrink my stormtrooper army using the force.
Stormtroopers: Ow! Hey! Stop that! Yikes!
C-3PO: Master Anikan! R2D2 just passed gas!
Darth Vader: I am ashamed to admit I built a machine that makes such puerile jokes. Never again will I acknowledge you! Quickly! Get me a helmet or a sculptor or something. If I can't be blonde and dreamy, I want to be dark and menacing.

posted by Joey Michaels at 5:39 PM on October 22, 2002


George Lucas' complete ineptitude at writing dialog that sounds like what human beings would actually say.

If you're in the mood for realistic dialog from human beings, why do you go to see a deliberately cheesy space opera full of CGI aliens?
posted by muckster at 7:00 PM on October 22, 2002


gsteff writes: This is why, believe it or not, I support Microsoft's Palladium initiative and hope congress backs it up with intelligent legislation. We need to find a technnological way to protect intellectual property over the net. In the long run, its in everyone's best interests to keep the market system working.

I won't turn this into a Slashdot forum and debate Palladium technically or philosophically. Instead, I propose going one better:

Rather than put digital rights management controls in consumer products, install them in consumers instead. Tamper-proof hardware (that is to say, it's wired to explode and kill you if you tamper with it) will be installed in the heads of all consumers (y'know, the things we used to call people) as early as possible in life. This circuitry will scan all your visual and auditory input in a manner not unlike a virus-checker, looking for patterns to identify any copyrighted material you may be experiencing. Your account is debited automatically via a wireless cellular link for in micropayments for each second you spend experiencing copyrighted material.

And voil´! No more problems of piracy, because the media and tje manner of its acquisition and playback are irrelevant. The system identifies the content from first principles as you experience it, no matter where it comes from. And if you run out of money, all your perceptual faculties are simply blocked until you can afford to experience entertainment again. The side effect of deafness and blindess is a small price to pay to protect the profits of content producers.

Just a modest proposal.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:40 PM on October 22, 2002


The NYT Magazine ran a feature last week about this common marketing misconception that teenagers are where the money's at. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy: if you show nothing but pap aimed at teenagers, then that's who's going to show up. If theaters started trusting people's good taste more, I'm sure they could make money with quality entertainment. There's some excellent stuff in 'limited release' right now (and most other times) that unfortunately will never make it outside the big cities: 8 Women, Bloody Sunday, Bowling for Columbine, Das Experiment, Elling, Enigma, Heaven, Metropolis, Nine Queens, Safe Conduct, Secretary, Spirited Away, Solaris, Sunshine State, Wasabi are all worth ten bucks, and that's just the stuff I liked.

Now, the noise. asok wrote all the other times i have been to the cimema there has been low to no talking during the feature presentation. is this a british thing? european?

Even low talking is generally unacceptable. Just shut up and gab about it later. I think Americans might be worse than Europeans, but even the film critics at preview screenings are misbehaving these days. Phones kept ringing during the New York Film Festival screenings. It's up to everybody to self-police the theaters, though. That's something you could blame on DVDs: people are getting used to running their mouths at home. Bringing babies is simply insane. I saw Fincher's 8mm in New Orleans with a baby in theater. It's about snuff movies, for chrissakes! Get a sitter or stay home.

G_S, thanks for that David Brin article. Very...unique. Here's the guy who wrote The Postman pontificating on Campbell. Wow. I like his idea though.

Oh, and one last thing: dobbs mentioned Punch-Drunk Love-- I'm sorry, but AoTC is more emotionally convincing and makes a hell of a lot more sense than that confused mess.

All right. Done I am. Bottom line: I love the movies, and the more the better, in any format.
posted by muckster at 9:01 PM on October 22, 2002


This article floored me with its dips in utter bullshit.

teens are paying more attention to the fact that the movie will be out on DVD in just four or five months

Since when are teens known for their ability to delay gratification? If the movie is worth seeing over and over again, they will.

the experience of watching the movie on DVD is superior to most movie theaters.

What? This guy is on crack. No, actually I suspect he just has a much better television than I do. That statement is completely counter-intuitive.

Know what? Even at $20 a head, if a movie is great, I'll go to see it more than once. I'm 38 and even I can't wait for DVD. I saw Amelie three times, each time taking a different friend.

Like the music industry, the movie industry is drowning in a self-made sea of crap. The indie revolution taught these folks nada. Fine. Let them die.
posted by frykitty at 10:25 PM on October 22, 2002


I saw Amelie three times

God bless you.
posted by gsteff at 10:28 PM on October 22, 2002


Let's see:
In 1991, there were 171 Movies Released — Grossing 4 billion dollars. In 2001 482 Movies Released — Grossing over 8 billion dollars.
In 10 years the grosses double and the releases double. How, again, are DVDs bad for business?

posted by herc at 11:05 PM on October 22, 2002


That statement is completely counter-intuitive.

Not really, if he's talking about picture and sound quality (how many times have you endured crappy prints, crappy sound systems and crappy projectionists in a theatre?). When I first saw DVD I was sad (right before I leaped around with joy), because I knew that movies in the theatre would never again be better-looking than those at home. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing movies in the theatre, and it is a different experience, but a DVD of a good transfer on a halfway-decent system looks way better in terms of quality, and often sounds way better too. It's just a smaller picture, the seats are more comfortable and mostly your feet don't stick to the floor.

But I'm with you, if I like a movie, I'll pay to see it more than once. But I'm far more likely to wait for DVD if it's a movie I suspect will suck...and that's most of them these days (watching at home carries lower expectations). There's a simple solution: Hollywood just has to start giving a damn about quality, then I'll go back to seeing three or four movies a week in the theatre.

herc: I suspect that part of the reason the grosses doubled was because of the massive price increases.
posted by biscotti at 11:15 PM on October 22, 2002


massive price increases

This is the crux of it. You have consumer electronics companies making high-end home theatre setups progressively cheaper, DVDs going down in price and enjoying a huge swell in popularity, and what do you do? Start charging more for your (relatively unchanged) product. Even better, since the exhibitors are bankrupt and are being taken over by fiber-optic-loving vultures, expect the quality of the theatrical experience to go down significantly - in fact, slightly below HD quality, while people can now buy HD sets at reasonable prices. Hollywood's killing itself. As it is, many films are released theatrically only to help with advertising/awareness so the video release makes more money - they never expect to make money back theatrically, and rightly so.
posted by D at 8:42 AM on October 23, 2002


I think the answer to the broadband question will soon be for the movie producers themselves to offer high quality films over the internet, for about the same price as a DVD rental. From various conversations with people, the problem with filesharing (which increases proportionate to file size) is mainly not being able to find anything of a guaranteed quality. Scale the price right, and it won't be worth anyone's while.
posted by walrus at 9:24 AM on October 23, 2002


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