Has Hollywood become too Dependent On Blockbuster films?

KGeo777

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YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO, Sky and very soon Apple too.

Those powerful Hollywood studios won't feel it overnight, but people are watching much better quality TV and watching films that have never had a cinematic release.
The problem is they are doing the same thing as the other corporates--Netflix seems to favor films made outside North America or Europe--how does that help American or European artists?
Youtube has been malicious in defunding people who had an audiences.
I suppose Amazon offers some alternative since anyone can upload a video. The best solution is to get as far away from Silicon Valley and Hollywood as possible--the content quality and variety will go up.
CNN has dismal ratings and yet still goes full speed ahead.
A movie can lose $200 million and no one gets fired-that's how irrelevant the box office has become!
 

Cathbad

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A movie can lose $200 million and no one gets fired-that's how irrelevant the box office has become!
The fact is, movies don't lose that much. You are seeing two factors when you see this much money 'lost': Projected Totals first run, and Creative Finances - for which Hollywood is well known for.

People aren't getting fired, because the movies aren't actually losing that much money. Trust me, those companies are as interested in making money as any others.
 

KGeo777

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People aren't getting fired, because the movies aren't actually losing that much money. Trust me, those companies are as interested in making money as any others.
There was a time when a studio executives or two might lose their job after a particular movie did badly-those days are gone. But the companies are too big to care (they do care about having audiences for their message but they seem to operate from the mentality that the public has no where else to go). If you listen to a Hollywood Reporter roundtable discussion with the heads of production--they do not care at all about film-as a business or an art. They are appointed by the head office. The reporter asked them what they would do if they weren't making films and only one executive said he liked it-the rest said they would be selling shoes or hedge funds. They also get a huge amount of money from governments in the form of subsidies. And someone like Weinstein couldn't have been able to fire and blacklist people if they were running a serious business. Mira Sorvino was blacklisted for reasons that had zero to do with business. The fact that other film companies (allegedly Weinste's competitors) went along with the blacklist-is the most telling part. Totally corrupt. If a pencil manufacturer operated like Hollywood they would go broke. It's not a merit-based business-not for the big studios (and truthfully it never was--even in 1930 Hollywood was looking to dominate foreign screens--England, Italy, and other countries had to enact rules to protect native artists. Unfortunately it never worked for long.
 

BAYLOR

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There was a time when a studio executives or two might lose their job after a particular movie did badly-those days are gone. But the companies are too big to care (they do care about having audiences for their message but they seem to operate from the mentality that the public has no where else to go). If you listen to a Hollywood Reporter roundtable discussion with the heads of production--they do not care at all about film-as a business or an art. They are appointed by the head office. The reporter asked them what they would do if they weren't making films and only one executive said he liked it-the rest said they would be selling shoes or hedge funds. They also get a huge amount of money from governments in the form of subsidies. And someone like Weinstein couldn't have been able to fire and blacklist people if they were running a serious business. Mira Sorvino was blacklisted for reasons that had zero to do with business. The fact that other film companies (allegedly Weinste's competitors) went along with the blacklist-is the most telling part. Totally corrupt. If a pencil manufacturer operated like Hollywood they would go broke. It's not a merit-based business-not for the big studios (and truthfully it never was--even in 1930 Hollywood was looking to dominate foreign screens--England, Italy, and other countries had to enact rules to protect native artists. Unfortunately it never worked for long.
Eventually , it has has to fail.
 

BAYLOR

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Movie studio executives ruined the summer movie.
 

KGeo777

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There are constant remarks by well known film people (Martin Scorsese most recently) complaining about the lack of variety but it's mostly set up as "us vs them" media sound bites. The old man moaning about the good ol days and others telling him he's wrong. The conversations are so narrow. None of them are saying maybe there needs to be new companies---the ones who are getting mentioned are all still active in the current environment (Netflix etc.).
Feels like people are arguing about the selection of music the band is playing on the sinking Titanic. One also wonders if Scorsese speaks only because he has to promote his new film and this is the only way to get attention--talking negatively about Disney movies.
I also heard there's a new software or technology Disney is promoting to search out gender privilege in movie scripts. Truly bizarre. I cannot believe they could do these things if not for the fact that they have no worries about competition or profit loss--and there is absolutely no way that most audiences can favor the shrinking variety and recycling. I do wonder how younger people who have never seen movies from the 70s or earlier might regard cinema--like perhaps they do not really see it as different from a video game or youtube video--some diversion that they don't really engage with. I hope not.
 

Dave

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My 2 cents (possibly things I've already said but forgotten):
  • There will always be new talented writers and directors to take the place of those who get over confident and tired.
  • TV quality and home cinema choices will make cinema obsolete if it cannot maintain quality and originality.
  • Script writing by software and machines does not produce quality or originality.
  • People are still cinema-going in large numbers and while they continue nothing will change.
  • There are still original, high quality and quirky films shown in cinemas, but they don't get high box office.
  • You get what you pay for. While you still watch it, producers will make it.
  • UK cinema audiences are younger than they were. These UK statistics make interesting reading: https://www.bfi.org.uk/sites/bfi.org.uk/files/downloads/bfi-statistical-yearbook-audiences-2018-12-17.pdf
 

KGeo777

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Another factor (although this doesn't impact the corporate cinema world given how micromanaged it is) is that artists need to be inspired by other artists. In the current mass market climate, what inspiration is there? Decades ago when there was more novelty and innovation in cinema storytelling, it likely would have been inspirational to others in the field. Individual creative decision is only promoted when it is something "arthouse" which is the equivalent of abstract expressionism--devoid of audience consideration and cultural traditions.
Movie ad posters have become really dull too compared with decades ago. Usually the standard corporate movie poster has people standing to face the viewer with little expression or the "floating pasted head" type.
 

BAYLOR

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Another factor (although this doesn't impact the corporate cinema world given how micromanaged it is) is that artists need to be inspired by other artists. In the current mass market climate, what inspiration is there? Decades ago when there was more novelty and innovation in cinema storytelling, it likely would have been inspirational to others in the field. Individual creative decision is only promoted when it is something "arthouse" which is the equivalent of abstract expressionism--devoid of audience consideration and cultural traditions.
Movie ad posters have become really dull too compared with decades ago. Usually the standard corporate movie poster has people standing to face the viewer with little expression or the "floating pasted head" type.
The blockbuster phenomena and the the millions and later billions it generated, bred arrogance among the movie executives. They felt that audiences would come to the films no matter what they put up on the big screen and for a long time, this was true . Think thats staring to change given that thye have alot more competition. then they had in past decades.
 

Mirannan

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What annoys me about Hollywood is that they keep doing sequels and reboots, despite the enormous number of potentially brilliant movies that could be made from various SF and fantasy novels. Just off the top of my head:

Footfall
Lucifer's Hammer
The Fountains of Paradise
Ringworld!!
Saberhagen's Berserker series
The Bolo books
Riftwar series
Dragonlance trilogy
Ringo's Posleen stuff
The Dahak books
Neuromancer
And most of Ben Bova's near-future SF.

I don't think Orion's Arm, the Culture books by Ian M Banks, or any other far-future stuff would make very good movies. Too much explanation required, and too far outside anyone's experience.
 

BAYLOR

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What annoys me about Hollywood is that they keep doing sequels and reboots, despite the enormous number of potentially brilliant movies that could be made from various SF and fantasy novels. Just off the top of my head:

Footfall
Lucifer's Hammer
The Fountains of Paradise
Ringworld!!
Saberhagen's Berserker series
The Bolo books
Riftwar series
Dragonlance trilogy
Ringo's Posleen stuff
The Dahak books
Neuromancer
And most of Ben Bova's near-future SF.

I don't think Orion's Arm, the Culture books by Ian M Banks, or any other far-future stuff would make very good movies. Too much explanation required, and too far outside anyone's experience.
All of those wold make great films and franchises, but the executives won't take risks. Thats is amjor reason as to why they are by far the most useless component in movie making.
 

KGeo777

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Ha yeah. I can't stand that piano tinkle the
The blockbuster phenomena and the the millions and later billions it generated, bred arrogance among the movie executives. They felt that audiences would come to the films no matter what they put up on the big screen and for a long time, this was true . Think thats staring to change given that thye have alot more competition. then they had in past decades.
I don't see what the competition is.
If someone makes a movie-they will be shut out of distribution and or media ads by the big companies. They only tolerate like-minded kin such as the people making constant Halloween remakes or that Chinese giant shark movie or the cable networks with their serial franchises. Youtube's predatory attitudes towards monetization is probably influenced by making sure alternative media cannot easily thrive.
I look at CNN and how, despite ratings in the lowest range-have no panic-they just opened a brand new facility because Time Warner subsidizes them. Too much money behind these corporations.
 

Vince W

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What annoys me about Hollywood is that they keep doing sequels and reboots, despite the enormous number of potentially brilliant movies that could be made from various SF and fantasy novels. Just off the top of my head:

Footfall
Lucifer's Hammer
The Fountains of Paradise
Ringworld!!
Saberhagen's Berserker series
The Bolo books
Riftwar series
Dragonlance trilogy
Ringo's Posleen stuff
The Dahak books
Neuromancer
And most of Ben Bova's near-future SF.

I don't think Orion's Arm, the Culture books by Ian M Banks, or any other far-future stuff would make very good movies. Too much explanation required, and too far outside anyone's experience.
I agree with several of these choices, however, Ringworld, and Neuromancer are not good options as yet. I would love to see both, but Ringworld could never show the scales required with today's film technology and your average punter would be lost in Neuromancer in the first five minutes.
 

Dave

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What annoys me about Hollywood is that they keep doing sequels and reboots...
But that is not a new development at all. Early Hollywood produced endless melodramas with the same story, and the sequels of Tarzan, the Mummy, Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolf Man can still beat Marvel hands down. The OP questions was "Has Hollywood become too dependent..."

There are "high brow" films being made; films that critics and moviegoers would even consider "art," and which win awards and shiny trophies. Today we do consider "film" to be an art-form, while in the early days of motion pictures it was cheap entertainment for the poor, and few would consider it to be art. However, you really need to seek hard to find these films. They are shown only for a single week at limited times, or on obscure small local cinemas, or at festivals. In London, I'm lucky that I can travel 10 miles and pass by tens of cinemas, if you live in a rural village your chances of catching one of these films at a real cinema is very slim.

However, the fault lies, at least in part, with the moviegoers. If you didn't continue to go to see Avengers Disassemble, or the "must see sequel to The Shining," or Jaws XXIII, or Crocodile Dundee in Tokyo, or Terminator: Jurassic Park then they would stop making them tomorrow.
 

Rodders

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I think TV is far outdoing the Movies. So many excellent series and the episodic format really allows a story to be told fully.
 
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