Jun 29, 2005

Box Office Boffo

They’re afraid in Hollywood. Should they be? Okay first let’s look at the “Box-Office down for 16 straight weeks.”

Passion Of The Christ- I haven’t seen this movie and I’m actually a Jim C. fan. I loved Thin Red Line, Frequency, and even the flick with Ashley Judd. I’m just not a fan of fantastical Catholicism. I say this as a woman who wore lace gloves and scarves pre Vatican II. My father was an altar boy until I was two. And like many I rejoiced last year when the buzz seemed to be more about Starsky and Hutch than Passion.

So last year there wasn’t only a huge section of society reacting to the religious right by seeing the movie there was also a sect that said … anything but. Exaggerated movie sales. And weren’t we all ready for Harry and Peter Parker?

The truth is a movie is now a forty dollar date. When I was sixteen (a long time ago) a movie was $2.75. So a date with pizza averaged $15.00. We were making $3.50 an hour without tips then. Now a movie date without the pizza after averages about $30.00 and if you need a sitter forget-about-it. Minimum wage is up to $5.75 though . Whoo!

You can rent a movie and see it at home for about five-fifty. With beverages and popcorn.

And Hollywood is making money. Don’t let them boo-hoo you. Just now video games and DVD’s are starting to be accounted for. The “free money” is gone. But Hollywood is taking more than it gives. They expect us to go for bad pictures on a title or an actor’s name and we as a public aren’t going there anymore. If we spend this money we must be entertained and the rate of inflation? That’s what the studios should be looking at. Because in many ways these numbers don’t add up. Will Ferrell? Come on, I see him every day in real life and I’m not happy about it.

Ruth Jordan, reporting from beautiful downtown Milwaukee


funkysmell said...

say it bro!

Bill Peschel said...

"You can rent a movie and see it at home for about five-fifty. With beverages and popcorn."

And beer. For god's sake, don't forget the beer.

Jennifer Jordan said...

And you can hit pause when you go to the bathroom.

And if someone starts talking on their cellphone, you can slug them.

Jim Winter said...

"And if someone starts talking on their cellphone, you can slug them."

I slug them in the theatres anyway. Or threaten to. In one case, he was sitting next to an off-duty cop. His comment to the offending party was, "Better him than me. I carry the taser off duty."

I should have let the cop take him out.

John R. said...

I'm lucky in that there's almost no difference unless it's a film that's only on at the bigger cinema in the harbour (about 3-4 miles out of the town centre), in which case it's a bus fare out and a walk back or taxis in both directions. If the one in town's showing the movie, it's £5 a ticket or £3.50 to rent it three months later, with no other expenses needed.

But then I'm part of the "overseas earnings" sideshow, so it's not quite the same, Hollywood money-check-wise.

Guyot said...

According to the number we (the WGA) saw at the last negotiations, Hollywood could literally have 52 weeks down and still come out ahead.

The average DVD costs the studios about 42 cents to produce. Of the roughly $12-24 they sell for, the studios take home almost 92% of that.

What are writers currently pocketing per DVD sale?


Mmm, the good life.

Jon The Crime Spree Guy said...

I agree that the writers should be getting more money from DVD sales. The percentage paid to them is way too low.

However I don't see what that has to do with the fact that most everything coming out from Hollywood is derivative crap. Part of the point is that there is nothing on the screen worth seeing. Remakes of nediocre telvision shows, remakes of movies that were better the first time.

Hollywood needs to aim a bit higher. They also need to aim for a little older crowd. Threason only kids go to the theatre now is that it's the kids the movies are being made for. There are very few movies I would actually pay to see in a theatre because they are all brainless crap.
This isn't based on experience in hollywood or with numbers or anything likethat, it's based on the fact that as a consumer with money to spend I would rather buy and watch older movies that actually acknowledge that I have a brain.

Guyot said...

Ah, but see, you're making too sense.

Hollywood doesn't give a damn about the older demo, because their number -crunchers have decided that the largest (by far) movie ticket buying audience is 14-24.

So, that's all they make fims for. They are not smart enough to realize that if they made better movies the older demo would buy more tickets.

And the DVD point was that the studios can literally afford to have the box office drop and drop (for a while) without it ever hurting their bottom line.

Here's the problem:

Movie studios used to be run by single people or brothers. The Warners, Goldwyns, etc. Even when Gulf owned Paramount they had sense enough to let a movie person run it.

But now every major studio is owned (and run) by a multi-national conglomerate. They look at the studio they same way they look at the banlks they own, or the car companies, or whatever.

Jon The Crime Spree Guy said...

So basicaly the studios are doing movies the publishers are doing books. They want huge numbers or they don't want to bother.

Corporate logic makes me nuts. It's all short term and all about "right now", no surprise given the average ages involved.