Steven Spielberg Predicts 'Implosion' of Film Industry

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Sam Favate, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Producer

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    A very interesting and very depressing read:

    http://rewired.hollywoodreporter.com/news/steven-spielberg-predicts-implosion-film-567604

    George Lucas agrees with Spielberg on many points.
    This is awful. James Cameron suggested this years ago, circa 1997-1999.
    I don't see this happening if only because audiences used to a quick turnaround for home video won't tolerate it and will fuel a bootleg market.
    Can't argue with that. Marketing costs are out of control and one of the main reasons for the focus on megabudget blockbusters, which I have to admit I am starting to find tiresome.
     
  2. Chuck Anstey

    Chuck Anstey Screenwriter

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    I think it is an interesting economic and philosophical discussion about whether theaters should be charging the same price for all movies or have different prices based upon the movie or how long it has been at the theater or both. Certainly movies on disc use variable pricing both for the movie itself and also how long it has been available.
     
  3. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Lucas is an idiot and I'm not a STAR WARS fan so I'm not "one of them." There isn't anyone ignoring the niche market. The market is simply not interested in "those" types of movies. I've seen countless good to great "small" movies this year but if you look them up at Boxofficemojo you will see that you could put all of them together and their total box office take doesn't add up to what IRON MAN 3 made in Texas on one day. There are a lot more "niche" titles being made than blockbusters but people aren't watching them. This is where some say that they're not available to be seen everywhere and this might have a small case but even when big theaters show them they're just not around more than a week because there's no one to see them.

    I also don't buy the entire rise in the bootleg market. Your average Joe doesn't know where Slim Lou is hiding in the back of an alley and the average Joe doesn't know where to find bad items online.

    As far as different prices, I can see this but charging less for TRANCE isn't going to make more people go see it.
     
  4. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    The argument would be more convincing if he'd say: the Oscars should consider pay network and PPV premieres in their voting standard.
     
  5. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    Sadly, that is not true. I have seen bootlegs being sold at flea markets and in the city on street corners. Heck, I went to NYC to see a play. In the parking garage right next to the cashier a guy was selling them. What surprised me is that since this was in the theatre district. Someone from a studio had to see this when they were picking up their car.
    I had a warehouse guy that worked for me. He was from a lower income area. He says bootlegs are very prevalent in his neighborhood due to high ticket prices.

    Also, the quality of bootlegs has changed dramatically. When I was a kid a bootleg was someone filming the movie in the theater. The picture sucked and you could hear other moviegoers. Now, people are getting near-dvd quality versions of the movie...from screeners that get copied.
     
  6. Vic Pardo

    Vic Pardo Screenwriter

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    I see bootleggers selling their wares in NYC, mostly on the subway and only when there are a number of current films in theaters that people want to see. Plus, there's a woman in my neighborhood who comes into the diner to make sales and goes up and down the shopping street. I'm annoyed that the diner owner doesn't keep her out. Instead, the waitresses buy from her.


    As for different ticket prices for different films, I can only say: Make the movies shorter and bring back double features! I'd see an Adam Sandler movie or Katherine Heigl romcom paired with a GI Joe or Fast and Furious movie, provided the action movie came first, so I could walk out on the comedy if I felt like it.
     
  7. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I don't think it'll happen but I'm all for charging different admission prices because I'll just buy a ticket to the cheapest movie and then laugh as I walk into a more expensive movie. There's no way that a theater will hire more people so I wish them luck in enforcing who is going into what theater.

    I've been saying for years that a 'collapse' of the HUGE budget movies will happen and that somewhat smaller movies might start getting seen again (similar to what happened in the early 1970's). I enjoy a fun summer blockbuster and silly comedy but I long for the day when large groups of people actually want to see something other than a sequel, remake, comic book or young adult book adaptation.
     
  8. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    I like how they complain about video games being unable to tell stories that make us care about the characters, followed by the comment that Spielberg is making a TV show of Halo and a film of Need for Speed.

    Methinks they may be looking at the wrong games. . .
     
  9. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    How do you define a "small" movie? The #1 film at the box office last weekend had a budget of only $3 million. Is The Purge a "small" movie? If so, it seems like they can do pretty well if they're films that the audience wants to see.
    In 1982, there was no Internet (i.e. streaming) and availability of home video had barely begun. I doubt they can recreate that model of a film staying in theaters that long. Films can remain in theaters today as long as people are showing up to watch them. No studio or exhibitor is going to remove a film that's still packing the auditorium.
    We've already had several very expensive films flop in recent years (Speed Racer, Jack the Giant Slayer, Cloud Atlas, John Carter, etc.). I don't see where it's had any effect on the industry.
     
  10. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

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    NONE of that is going to happen. Who cares what Spielberg thinks? Who made him the guru of all filmdom. Barf.

    He should go back to his yacht and count his money and shut up.

    $25 for Iron Man, $7 for lincoln? In the age of multiplexes? I think not.

    Broadway model? Nope again.

    What is "going to happen" is already happening - premium prices for IMAX, 3d, 21+ theaters, Dbox, etc. Theaters and multiplexes turning into social gathering sites with leisure areas and more and more food/drink choices including alcoholic bevs. And, theaters beginning to serve meals inside the actual theaters and outside. In other words: premium pricing for premium experiences and making the theaters more home like.
     
  11. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    We've heard these predictions of doom and gloom before. They come up about once every 20 years.

    The part that Spielberg and Lucas are absolutely right about is that there is a growing divide between super-expensive 200 million dollar popcorn movies and shoestring budgeted indie movies that struggle to get showings at film festivals. More and more the middle-range movies are disappearing. I believe that this will not turn into the scenario they're imagining - but we will see the studios pull back on the expensive releases after more of them tank. Which will just bring us back down to a more manageable budgetary level, which they should have been holding to in the first place.

    The idea of having a movie sit in theaters for over a year, taking all the major screens and charging a premium like a Broadway play is ludicrous on its face. In the first place, Broadway pricing and longevity has to do with a limited supply of a live event. With a Broadway show, you get one performance a night and a couple of matinees a week. It can only happen in the one Broadway theater so if you want to see it, you have to go there. If the show is a hit, they can keep it on the boards for years. With a feature film, you can have it on over 3000 screens at the same time over a single weekend. They can run the movie anywhere from 5-6 times a day, every day, on every screen. And the usual pattern now is that the movie comes out, gets big exposure for the first month or so, and then slowly drops back down over the next month or two until it's out of the theaters entirely. And within weeks after that, the Blu-ray or the DVD is out and you can watch the movie, plus goodies, on your home theater.

    The distribution method these guys are thinking about is over 30 years old, and it's not what people are doing now anyway. The old way was that a really popular movie could be re-released into theaters and get another month or two on screens. This happened many times in my childhood, when you could go to re-issues of "Star Wars" and "Jaws" in the summer or fall. Because we didn't have home video copies available, and because home video wasn't a big business. Way back in the day, the only way you could see a movie was in the movie theaters, and then, yes, you could have a movie stick around for a long time, usually on second-run or third-run screens. With the advent of television, you started to see movies popping up on TV, but always interrupted by commercials, and pan&scanned to death once the movies went widescreen. With the advent of cable TV and pay channels, you began to see outlets where you could see a popular movie on HBO or the Z Channel about a year after its release. And you'd probably see a VHS rental copy of that movie a little before the premium channel airing. In this environment, you could still do re-releases of special movies, but the rest would just go to TV. In our current environment, it's very difficult to imagine any theater owner holding a screen for a year-old movie. The public wants new movies and new shiny objects.

    The idea that the movie theaters would jack up their prices by over ten bucks per movie and try to get away with that over a year's time on a single movie is flat-out silly. As it is, it will cost a family of four upwards of 100 bucks to go to a new movie, when you include tickets (say about 50 bucks for two parents and two kids), parking (say about 10 bucks), and concessions (say about 40 bucks for popcorn, sodas, candy and what have you for four people). I have a friend who spent close to 160 bucks taking his wife, their two nephews and two friends of the nephews to Hop a couple of years ago. He told me he was strongly thinking of never doing that again, considering he has a big screen HDTV in his living room and can entertain everyone there for a fraction of the cost.

    This notion about George Lucas struggling to make Red Tails is also misleading. George Lucas talked about making this movie for decades. He dawdled over the whole thing so long that HBO actually DID make a movie about the same subject - "The Tuskegee Airmen", and it was better than what Lucas did for a much higher budget fifteen years later. Red Tails wasn't a problem to make because it wasn't a blockbuster. It was a problem because the script wasn't very good and nobody had confidence that it would make for any better of a presentation than what HBO had already done. As for Lincoln, the very notion that this would be an HBO production with Daniel Day Lewis playing the title role and Spielberg at the helm is laughable. Now, if we were talking about Spielberg producing a miniseries about Lincoln, say with Bryan Cranston in the lead role and a lesser name directing it, THEN you'd be looking at HBO for sure.
     
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  12. Neil Middlemiss

    Neil Middlemiss Producer
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    I am fairly certain neither of these two statements are necessary. The rest of what you wrote is worthy of consideration as part of the discussion. These two lines...not so much. Can we please allow HTF to stay a place where civility is paramount.
     
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  13. Professor Echo

    Professor Echo Screenwriter

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    I find both of those gentlemen to be a bit disingenuous on the subject, given that their films have undoubtedly played a major part in the "blockbuster mentality" we have been saddled with and which has been increasing exponentially since the summer of 1975. Exactly one summer prior all everyone was talking about was CHINATOWN. A year later and everything had been reduced to a giant shark and money, money, money. Who knows what direction film would have taken without those two after that summer, but going from a year that included CHINATOWN, THE GODFATHER PART II, SERPICO and THE CONVERSATION, just to name a few, I would have loved to have found out.
     
  14. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    I think we've always had blockbusters in one form or another. The movie business is cyclical. Some years you get into these really expensive movies and other years they pull it back. Universal's troubles in the 1930s came from making what were super-expensive movies at that time which didn't make their cost back. There were certainly large and even gigantic movies all the way through movie history. And if it hadn't been Spielberg who made Jaws, someone else would have done it. The trick with Spielberg was that he made it WELL. And we should remember that just a couple of years before that, George Lucas had made American Graffiti. Yes, the guys definitely had a part in the creation of the modern tentpole, but I don't think they caused damage in doing so.

    The situation today seems to be that you have studios spending an unbelievable amount of money chasing what they hope will be another Avengers or Avatar, while refusing to invest in more mid-range movies that won't make a billion dollars but would still be solid hits. And I think we'll get back to that range after a couple more years of this. The business can only afford so many John Carters before everyone comes home.
     
  15. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    We can connect this to the "poll" discussion that was put up a week or so ago.

    Lucas and Spielberg are two people that helped destroy small movies and make summer blockbusters the thing to do. Did they see a time when every week another blockbuster would be released? Probably not but once the studios get greedy so we expect them to cut back on what people are going to see? I'll post more when I've got some more time but I must say that both Spielberg and Lucas have more money than most people on the "inside" yet they've done very little to nothing for smaller films. If you look through their producer credits, very few "small" films are there so I find them to be quite hypocritical since two of the most powerful people do nothing but stroke the egos of other powerful people.

    Hey Steven, a lot of small filmmakers could have been helped for the cash you threw at Michael Bay and that TRANSFORMERS series. Why didn't you? Because you're nothing more than the greedy type who you are now talking bad about.
     
  16. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    I don't know that that's completely fair. Both George Lucas and Steven Spielberg have actually spent a fair amount of time encouraging up and coming filmmakers in a variety of ways. They've both donated to USC's film school - Lucas in a massive way financially and Spielberg in both a financial and education manner. They've both put their names on other people's movies and even run interference for them to make sure that those movies were made in the way that the filmmaker wanted. Spielberg has attached his name to more TV shows and small ideas than I can count, even when his involvement has mostly been cursory.

    I recall Lucas and other filmmakers swinging in when Walter Murch was directing Return to Oz and getting pressure from the studio. The story at the time was that Lucas and others went and sat on the set with Murch and made sure that he wasn't crowded by the office guys. Spielberg put his name on Zemeckis and Gale's Used Cars when other people didn't necessarily want to do it, and this was before Zemeckis was a successful director. I also have no idea how many filmmakers have been encouraged along by Spielberg under the mantle of Amblin and DreamWorks. Lucas worked with smaller end directors for More American Graffiti and Radioland Murders, and put his name on Lawrence Kasdan's Body Heat as well as Powaqqatsi.

    It's true that these guys have engineered some of the biggest popcorn movies of all time, but we should also keep in mind that they were a lot more frugal while doing so much of the time. Does Spielberg continue to put his name on movies like the Transformers or things like the Flintstones? Yes, and I'm sure those go a long way toward paying for smaller end work on the other side of the spectrum.
     
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  17. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    John Carter tanked because...

    1. It was a Disney movie...hence
    2. It wasn't rated R
    3. Which didn't allow it to follow the basic essential plotline of the book.
     
  18. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    That's a good argument, but with respect, I'd counter:

    John Carter tanked because

    1. It was a bad movie, and
    2. They spent way too much money, and
    3. #2 cannot override #1
     
  19. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Spielberg talks a good game but as far as him putting money where it counts.......

    1.Untitled Third Tintin Film (????) (announced) (executive producer)2."Halo" (????) TV series (announced) (executive producer)3.Real Steel 2 (????) (announced) (executive producer)4.When Worlds Collide (????) (announced) (producer)5.The Adventures of Tintin: Prisoners of the Sun (2015) (pre-production) (producer)6.Interstellar (2014) (pre-production) (producer)7.Robopocalypse (????) (pre-production) (producer)8."The Talisman" (????) TV mini-series (pre-production) (executive producer)9.Jurassic Park IV (????) (pre-production) (executive producer)10.Untitled Transformers Sequel (2014) (filming) (executive producer)14.Lincoln (2012) (producer)17.Men in Black 3 (2012) (executive producer)20.War Horse (2011) (producer)22.The Adventures of Tintin (2011) (producer)23.Real Steel (2011) (executive producer)25.Cowboys & Aliens (2011) (executive producer)26.Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) (executive producer)28.Super 8 (2011) (producer)30.True Grit (2010) (executive producer)31.Hereafter (2010) (executive producer)33.The Lovely Bones (2009) (executive producer)34.Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) (executive producer)35.Eagle Eye (2008) (executive producer)38.Transformers (2007) (executive producer)40.Letters from Iwo Jima (2006) (producer)41.Flags of Our Fathers (2006) (producer)42.Spell Your Name (2006) (executive producer)43.Monster House (2006) (executive producer)44.Munich (2005) (producer)45.Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) (producer)46.The Legend of Zorro (2005) (executive producer)49.The Terminal (2004) (producer)52.Catch Me If You Can (2002) (producer)54.Men in Black II (2002) (executive producer)60.A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) (producer) 61.Shrek (2001) (executive producer) (uncredited)70.The Last Days (1998) (executive producer)71.Saving Private Ryan (1998) (producer)72.The Mask of Zorro (1998) (executive producer)73.Deep Impact (1998) (executive producer)75.Amistad (1997) (producer)76.Men in Black (1997) (executive producer)80.Twister (1996) (executive producer)86.Casper (1995) (executive producer)87.The Flintstones (1994)


    These are the titles going back to him winning his first Oscar. I took out the made-for-TV titles are anything done directly for video since these here usually don't cost too much money. It seems some of the lowest budgets were for Clint Eastwood who I really don't think needed help. I don't see too many young/new filmmakers on this list.
     
  20. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Scorsese:

    1.Sinatra (????) (announced) (producer)2.Tomorrow (2014) (pre-production) (executive producer)3.Bleed for This (????) (pre-production) (executive producer)4.Revenge of the Green Dragons (2014) (filming) (executive producer)5.Life Itself (????) (filming) (executive producer)6.The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) (post-production) (producer)7.The Family (2013) (post-production) (executive producer)10.Hugo (2011) (producer)11.Surviving Progress (2011) (executive producer)12.George Harrison: Living in the Material World (2011) (producer)13.Public Speaking (2010) (producer) - A Letter to Elia (2010) - No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (2005)15.Shutter Island (2010) (producer)16.The Young Victoria (2009) (producer)17.Lymelife (2008) (executive producer)18.Picasso and Braque Go to the Movies (2008) (producer)20.The Aviator (2004) (executive producer) (uncredited)21.Frankenstein (2004) (executive producer)22.Brides (2004) (executive producer)23.Lightning in a Bottle (2004) (executive producer)25.Something to Believe In (2004) (executive producer)27.The Soul of a Man (2003) (executive producer)28.Deuces Wild (2002) (executive producer) (uncredited)29.Rain (2001/I) (executive producer)30.You Can Count on Me (2000) (executive producer)31.The Hi-Lo Country (1998) (producer)32.Kicked in the Head (1997) (executive producer)33.Grace of My Heart (1996) (executive producer)34.Clockers (1995) (producer)37.Search and Destroy (1995) (executive producer)38.Con gli occhi chiusi (1994) (executive producer)39.Mad Dog and Glory (1993) (producer)40.Naked in New York (1993) (executive producer)41.The Grifters (1990) (producer)
     

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