Friday, August 9, 2013

On Sticky Floors and Stale Popcorn

So I've been reading about what a difficult summer it's been for Hollywood studios and their big block busters crashing and burning for a few weeks now.
It seems the latest one looking to crash and burn is "Elysium".

One way to get a handle on how a film will do at the box office its opening weekend is the Thursday midnight screenings. Early reports show that Elysium made $1.6 million, which Variety called "modest. This is better than the outright box office disappointments "After Earth" and "Oblivion," but nowhere near the blockbuster Sony had hoped for.
Two weeks ago, the box office disappointment "Pacific Rim" opened to $3.6 million on the Thursday night before its release."Man of Steel" enjoyed a $9 million Thursday night haul.
Sony is predicting a $35 million opening, which is considered lowball for this kind of big-budget summer sci-fi tentpole.That kind of prediction shows a lack of faith in the film's box office prospects and a studio terrified of bad publicity should they shoot higher and miss.

In Sony's defense, though, "Elysium" is not a franchise or sequel, and as of late original films have been faltering.
"Elysium" cost Sony in excess of $100 million to produce. With promotional costs, that is likely closer to $175 million. In order to break even, Sony will have to clear at least $400 million worldwide.
"Elysium" received okay reviews, but the film's overt left-wing (and some would say, hypocritical) political message has already made it a punch-line among conservatives -- who make up about half the audience Sony had hoped would buy tickets.~snip~
I've read all kinds of reasons for why this one will under perform, mostly about it's left leaning preaching about the "haves" and the "have nots", which if you really think about it has been pretty standard fare for a while.
Personally I haven't seen a movie in quite a few years that I was ready to rush right out and see in a theater on opening day.
I never really cared for the indoor movie experience being old enough to have gone to drive-ins, first with my family and then as a date alternative and then for a while with my own family.
Drive-ins were great, instead of having to pack into the theater shoulder to shoulder and sharing armrests with who knows who, we could park a car, push the seat back or pull lawn chairs from the trunk eat snacks from home and enjoy a movie with some personal space.
But I digress, the thing that keeps me from going to an indoor theater now is if I wait a few months (weeks in some cases) I can stream a movie to my TV through Amazon or my cable/satellite provider and watch what I want from the comfort of my own couch. And much cheaper also.
Add to that the ability to pause for a bathroom break so I don't have to miss any dialog or action and I can't see any reason to over pay for a ticket, soda and popcorn in a crowded theater.

Technology has made going out to movie a non-event, a hassle and a colossal waste of money.
That's why the box office is dying.
Nowadays, in the Obama economy, people need to make decisions on how to spend their entertainment dollars and if the studios continue to offer dreck at the box office then where is the incentive for people to pay more to watch it?


Third News said...

"So I've been reading about what a difficult summer it's been for Hollywood studios and their big block busters crashing and burning for a few weeks now."

And you didn't link or even quote my masterpiece?

systolic said...

It was an off the cuff post.
I didn't see your masterpiece but for those that didn't here's a link.

I guess I'll have to check your blog more often, summer activities have been restricting my time as of late.

Third News said...

Well as long as you see it as a typical of my belles-lettres, your forgiven ;-)