DreamWorks Animation CEO Says Movies Need a New Business Model

Discussion in 'Streaming and Digital Media' started by Towergrove, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. Towergrove

    Towergrove Screenwriter

    Jan 7, 2011
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    Isnt this the same guy that said the future is a 3D world? I believe that was just a few years ago.
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  2. Ejanss

    Ejanss Banned

    Mar 23, 2012
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    And this is the same guy who said "The DVD market is dead!" (four years before Blu-ray) after nobody bought Shrek 2.
    And who said "2-D traditional animation is dead!" after nobody went to see Sinbad.

    (...(sigh) O-kay, Jeff, what industry is dying THIS time, since it isn't your fault? :rolleyes: )
    Towergrove and ljgranberry like this.
  3. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Lead Actor

    Jun 10, 2003
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    Josh Steinberg
    I wonder if what movies need is really a new business model, or perhaps more of a return to the old...

    Remember the old days when studios knew how to make a mix of high budget, mid-budget and low budget films? When the success of a particular year wasn't based on the success of a single title, but rather, how the slate as a whole did? When the people who ran studios weren't business moguls making decisions based on spreadsheets, but people who came up in the movie business and valued and understood storytelling?

    Studios seem very good at the moment at either making $200+ million movies, as well as buying $200 indie films and budget thrillers at festivals. Everything else in between seems a lost art right now. The problem with a $200 million movie is the need for it to appeal to everyone and offend no one. We seem to be losing movies that appeal to many but not all, movies where filmmakers had a little money to throw around and a little freedom to experiment, but weren't expected to carry the entire studio.

    In the race to make the biggest blockbusters ever and the potentially huge and quick grosses a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon can give you, studios are trying to make every single film the biggest thing ever. And the truth is, not every story needs $200 million to be told. I'm a little scared of how Disney, for example, has announced their intentions only to make tentpoles. On one hand, I like a good crowd pleaser. They've done well with Marvel, and I think they will do well with Star Wars -- and what's more, the audience has already signaled advance interest in those properties, so it's not the biggest risk ever to make one of those types, and I'm glad they exist. It's just too bad that they're trying that approach with everything. "The Lone Ranger" cost over $200 million -- was there really no version of that movie that couldn't have been made for half that? The upcoming "Maleficent" is coming up, and that's another $200 million production -- has anyone even asked for that movie?
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  4. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Cinematographer

    Apr 16, 2008
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    Orange County, CA
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    Todd Erwin
    Then there are the $100 million marketing campaigns attached to these $150-250 million movies. I can somewhat understand spending that kind of money on the launch of a potential franchise (Lone Ranger, etc), but did Sony really need to spend that on Amazing Spider-Man 2? Or Disney on Captain America: Winter Soldier? Those films already had a built-in audience.

    Realistically, I think what the studios need to do, to help out the theatre owners (now that they've spent millions upgrading to digital projection), is widen that home video window again so films have a chance of having "legs" or becoming sleeper hits. With the exception of Gravity, when was the last time a film played for months at a single theatre? I remember when the shelf life of a film during its first-run theatrical window was 6-8 weeks, now it's more like 2-4 weeks. And the press doesn't help the public perception of a film's success by proclaiming the opening of a film "disappointing" if it doesn't earn at least $20 million and/or place in the top 3 spots during its opening weekend. Pacific Rim was a good example of this from last summer, where by the time word of mouth got me into the theatre during week #3, it was already considered a "disappointment."

    When summer movies arrived on VHS/DVD during the Christmas holidays (and vice versa), that gave smaller films a better chance to flourish at the box office, and sometimes find their audience when moving over to the second-run ($2) theatres. Nowadays, the second-run move-over tends to occur 1-2 weeks before arriving on Blu-ray/DVD, and quite often the same week or after.
    Josh Steinberg likes this.
  5. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

    May 6, 1999
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    Carl III
    Back when first run movies played theatrically there wasn't as much competition for entertainment dollars. People would regularly go to the theater on a weekly basis and watch whatever happened to catch their eye on the marquee. Now many hardcore movie fans have home theaters and they spend more time recycling their personal collection than going out.I don't think that widening the home video window would get people back into theaters. There would probably be a bit of an increase in bootlegging.
  6. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator

    Oct 30, 1997
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    Aberdeen, MD & Navesink, NJ
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    Sam Posten
    I took 3 kids and my sister to see Gozlilla this weekend, admittedly in IMAX 3D, which should be a premium format. It cost us 17.50 a ticket, we got 2 buckets of popcorn, 2 drinks and 2 boxes of candy. Total cost was near $150. Insanity.
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