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Are Hollywoods blockbusters losing their power and appeal?


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Old 27-07-2014, 19:43
Hildaonpluto
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http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-en...e-9630879.html

For 11 years in a row now summer blockbuster takings are down.Is this cause for concern and why is this happening?Can it be reversed or is it a long term historical shift?
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Old 28-07-2014, 00:17
Billy Hicks
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I'm not sure where they're getting their figures from but CinemaUK's official annual numbers show a different, if still interesting story - an all-time low of 54 million admissions was reached in 1984, a time when television had been steadily killing sales for decades and cinemas were being closed down all over the country. From then on things rise before reaching 175.9 million in 2002 - this was when the Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars franchises were all going on together, along with other big films like the latest James Bond (Die Another Day) and the first Spiderman. Since then things have generally fluctated around 160 to 170 million depending on the big releases, still making UK cinema attendances more than they were in the entire 80s, 90s and most of the 70s. Last year things stood at 165 million.

Cinema most definitely isn't in decline - 'Skyfall' two years ago made over 100 million pounds alone in this country - but it's been stuck for a long time at the same attendances it was getting over a decade ago, gimmicks like 3D keeping things strong without really pushing them to new heights. Only if things start falling substantially below the current stalemate is when I think it's time to worry.
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Old 28-07-2014, 15:38
stripedcat
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Hmmm - doubtful. As Skyfall was previously mentioned, you also have to look at how much money Nolan's Batman Trilogy and Inception took - as well as Joss Wheldon's The Avengers Assemble. All of them took a lot of money at the box office. That being said - the "summer blockbuster season" seems to not have as many films nowadays in that season - a lot of the blockbusters are spread out more evenly across the year. The Bond films these days tend to come out in the Autumn and Winter; I think since License to Kill they haven't been released in the Summer Time.
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Old 28-07-2014, 16:22
FusionFury
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I think the low budget movies usually do better, when there isn't an expectation for them to do well.
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Old 28-07-2014, 19:09
Hildaonpluto
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I'm not sure where they're getting their figures from but CinemaUK's official annual numbers show a different, if still interesting story - an all-time low of 54 million admissions was reached in 1984, a time when television had been steadily killing sales for decades and cinemas were being closed down all over the country. From then on things rise before reaching 175.9 million in 2002 - this was when the Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars franchises were all going on together, along with other big films like the latest James Bond (Die Another Day) and the first Spiderman. Since then things have generally fluctated around 160 to 170 million depending on the big releases, still making UK cinema attendances more than they were in the entire 80s, 90s and most of the 70s. Last year things stood at 165 million.

Cinema most definitely isn't in decline - 'Skyfall' two years ago made over 100 million pounds alone in this country - but it's been stuck for a long time at the same attendances it was getting over a decade ago, gimmicks like 3D keeping things strong without really pushing them to new heights. Only if things start falling substantially below the current stalemate is when I think it's time to worry.

Specific blockbusters are doing well yes but many big budget blockbusters are increasingly performing modestly,below par or at a loss.The summer blockbuster in particular has always been a tentpole propping up the financing of the whole studio system.
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Old 28-07-2014, 22:01
biggebruv
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its amazing how good TV is these days IMO

with stuff like
breaking bad for our drama fix
and
the walking dead for our horror fix
and
game of thrones for out epicness TV fix LOL

these are my top shows but other stuff it constantly poping up thats top notch aswell like
hannibal,true detective etc


I dont think there in trouble though alot of them need better writing and characters not an overload of flashy action and GCI
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Old 29-07-2014, 12:41
PJ68
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there are too many blockbusters out each year - 1 a week it seems for months on end

they have to appeal to as many people as possible so they are very few which actually take chances

i think people will tire of them in the end
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Old 30-07-2014, 17:11
Hildaonpluto
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there are too many blockbusters out each year - 1 a week it seems for months on end

they have to appeal to as many people as possible so they are very few which actually take chances

i think people will tire of them in the end
Some big franchises are certainly milked to death
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Old 30-07-2014, 21:12
Johnny Clay
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A somewhat blinkered article. It's all very well citing the North American market having a bit of a summertime slump, but the studios operate globally these days and so far five films this summer have gone over $700m worldwide (one up on last summer, btw), with 'Apes also possible and the much anticipated Guardians too.

It also fails to mention the creation of the Winter tentpole season, with Hobbit, Hunger Games and Interstellar all likely to accrue vast fortunes. Once again Hollywood's demise has been greatly exaggerated...
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Old 30-07-2014, 21:15
Hildaonpluto
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A somewhat blinkered article. It's all very well citing the North American market having a bit of a summertime slump, but the studios operate globally these days and so far five films this summer have gone over $700m worldwide (one up on last summer, btw), with 'Apes also possible and the much anticipated Guardians too.

It also fails to mention the creation of the Winter tentpole season, with Hobbit, Hunger Games and Interstellar all likely to accrue vast fortunes. Once again Hollywood's demise has been greatly exaggerated...
Its a ten year trend not just a bad summer
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Old 30-07-2014, 21:24
Johnny Clay
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Its a ten year trend not just a bad summer
Okay, but what does that lead to? It would be more cause for concern if the old 50/50 rule of thumb applied (the amount of money a film makes in the US will be roughly the same internationally). But now we see US films making so much more outside the US and it's obvious the studios are very much geared to this way of operating now.
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Old 01-08-2014, 04:40
Hildaonpluto
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Okay, but what does that lead to? It would be more cause for concern if the old 50/50 rule of thumb applied (the amount of money a film makes in the US will be roughly the same internationally). But now we see US films making so much more outside the US and it's obvious the studios are very much geared to this way of operating now.
Its just that Ive read a number of articles suggesting quite a few industry insiders are very worried about the long term.
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Old 03-08-2014, 02:03
Mandark
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Its just that Ive read a number of articles suggesting quite a few industry insiders are very worried about the long term.
I agree with them. I think that home video services will eventually fulfil their promise and put an end to general cinema. The home experience is becoming so good (and the cinema experience often so bad) people would rather watch everything at home with friends and family.
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Old 03-08-2014, 04:55
FIN-MAN
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its amazing how good TV is these days IMO

with stuff like
breaking bad for our drama fix
and
the walking dead for our horror fix
and
game of thrones for out epicness TV fix LOL

these are my top shows but other stuff it constantly poping up thats top notch aswell like
hannibal,true detective etc


I dont think there in trouble though alot of them need better writing and characters not an overload of flashy action and GCI
In the US the main reason the Movie Industry is suffering is because of the explosion of quality in television programming. From streaming services like Netflix and Hulu creating their own original programming to pay cable channels like HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, FX, AMC, etc. You also have the free over air giants ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX all stepping their game up to compete with the previous mentioned newcomers in original material.
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:00
Johnny Clay
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In the US the main reason the Movie Industry is suffering is because of the explosion of quality in television programming. From streaming services like Netflix and Hulu creating their own original programming to pay cable channels like HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, FX, AMC, etc. You also have the free over air giants ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX all stepping their game up to compete with the previous mentioned newcomers in original material.
I agree with them. I think that home video services will eventually fulfil their promise and put an end to general cinema. The home experience is becoming so good (and the cinema experience often so bad) people would rather watch everything at home with friends and family.
Or perhaps just too familiar. Roger Ebert once made the point that an audience attends the latest Lethal Weapon in the same way in tunes in for the latest Columbo or whatever. It's a done deal, risk-free, and they know what they'll get. This is going back a bit, but it's applicable to modern franchise cinema in much the same way.

Few can deny the high watermarks of US televison these days, but it's also very time-consuming with its week-in week-out investment. So it may be the case that mainstream US cinema needs to offer what television can't - e.g. more major, one-off quality films that still have mass appeal and don't ask you to turn up again in a year's time. But then the first-view exclusivity of franchise cinema is obviously part of the appeal, and gives it a certain prestige. Of the 13 films that made over $200m in the US last year, only one wasn't franchise-related or franchise starter (Gravity). It's depressing, and it's also business.

It is difficult to predict how things will pan out, but I've heard of one proposed change that could affect things quite markedly. The cinema chains will start to alter ticket prices according to release. Want to see Iron Man 4? Then expect to pay more than for that lesser release on the next screen. Doubtless IM4 would generate vast amounts, but that lesser release may benefit too. It's the same way you would expect to pay more to see Man Utd than Carlisle Utd (a very rough analogy but you get my drift). I know ticket prices can differ anyway, but this practise could become a lot more pronounced. We shall see.
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Old 03-08-2014, 21:21
FIN-MAN
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Or perhaps just too familiar. Roger Ebert once made the point that an audience attends the latest Lethal Weapon in the same way in tunes in for the latest Columbo or whatever. It's a done deal, risk-free, and they know what they'll get. This is going back a bit, but it's applicable to modern franchise cinema in much the same way.

Few can deny the high watermarks of US televison these days, but it's also very time-consuming with its week-in week-out investment. So it may be the case that mainstream US cinema needs to offer what television can't - e.g. more major, one-off quality films that still have mass appeal and don't ask you to turn up again in a year's time. But then the first-view exclusivity of franchise cinema is obviously part of the appeal, and gives it a certain prestige. Of the 13 films that made over $200m in the US last year, only one wasn't franchise-related or franchise starter (Gravity). It's depressing, and it's also business.

It is difficult to predict how things will pan out, but I've heard of one proposed change that could affect things quite markedly. The cinema chains will start to alter ticket prices according to release. Want to see Iron Man 4? Then expect to pay more than for that lesser release on the next screen. Doubtless IM4 would generate vast amounts, but that lesser release may benefit too. It's the same way you would expect to pay more to see Man Utd than Carlisle Utd (a very rough analogy but you get my drift). I know ticket prices can differ anyway, but this practise could become a lot more pronounced. We shall see.
The new fad in cinemas being built is to give the customer a full service experience. You can get a full meal (instead of the typical junk), there are large comfortable reclining chairs, and you can buy alcohol. It is more directed towards the adult crowd. It does cost more but it is well worth it. Interestingly these boutique theaters are showing tremendous growth.
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Old 28-08-2014, 06:56
Hildaonpluto
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The new fad in cinemas being built is to give the customer a full service experience. You can get a full meal (instead of the typical junk), there are large comfortable reclining chairs, and you can buy alcohol. It is more directed towards the adult crowd. It does cost more but it is well worth it. Interestingly these boutique theaters are showing tremendous growth.
There arent any of these new boutique cinemas near me
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Old 28-08-2014, 08:27
Fairyprincess0
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The superhero genre has become formulaic.

The first movie in every franchise spents the first act going over the 'origin' in detail.which I thought was a great idea when I was a kid, but not every superhero warrants it.

You could do the punisher origin over the pre-credit scenes.

Then the next act is usually the big-guy origin. Some bad guy don't really warrent an origin.

Also, spending 200-odd issues of the hulk to get down into pyhcological problems is fine. In a two hour movie, people just want to see a big green monster smashing things...
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Old 28-08-2014, 09:05
theonlyweeman
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The superhero genre has become formulaic.

The first movie in every franchise spents the first act going over the 'origin' in detail.which I thought was a great idea when I was a kid, but not every superhero warrants it.

You could do the punisher origin over the pre-credit scenes.

Then the next act is usually the big-guy origin. Some bad guy don't really warrent an origin.

Also, spending 200-odd issues of the hulk to get down into pyhcological problems is fine. In a two hour movie, people just want to see a big green monster smashing things...
Whether it's formulaic or not, removing characterisation in favour of Michael Bay style hour long action sequences isn't the answer...
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Old 28-08-2014, 10:43
CLL Dodge
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They're nothing to marvel at.
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Old 28-08-2014, 10:44
Fairyprincess0
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Whether it's formulaic or not, removing characterisation in favour of Michael Bay style hour long action sequences isn't the answer...
Depends what the franchise is. I'd love to see a film called 'hulk smash'.

The hulk is co-opted by the military to take down four or five of marvels old 50's mosters.

The kid who plays Howard in big bang as the mole man, Tom baker as the voice of fin fang foom......
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Old 28-08-2014, 22:40
Chparmar
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Financially, I don't know, but culturally yes, they are just big and dumb with no personality or originality at all.
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