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Lucas: Big pics are doomed

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Leave it to "Star Wars" creator George Lucas to pronounce the death of the Hollywood blockbuster.

"The market forces that exist today make it unrealistic to spend $200 million on a movie," said Lucas, a near-billionaire from his feverishly franchised outer-space epics. "Those movies can't make their money back anymore. Look at what happened with 'King Kong.'" The portly Lucas, whose "Star Wars" sequel was nominated for the Oscar in makeup, was clearly in Yoda mode at Saturday's Weinstein Co. party — Harvey Weinstein's first Oscar bash since he abandoned Miramax to Disney last year. "I think it's great that the major Oscar nominations have gone to independent films," Lucas told me, adding that it's no accident that the "small movies" outclassed the spectaculars in this year's Academy Awards. "Is that good for the business? No — it's bad for the business. But moviemaking isn't about business. It's about art!"

Was that a smirk? "In the future, almost everything that gets shown in theaters will be indie movies," Lucas declared. "I predict that by 2025 the average movie will cost only $15 million." [Source: nydailynews.com]
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While the hypocrisy of those comments astound me, I tend to agree with Mr. Lucas. Just yesterday I was discussing this with my wife and saying how the advent of broadband and the ability to download a movie means Hollywood needs to shape up and adapt. The future of entertainment (be it cinema or music) is already changing.

War does not make one great.

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GOOD! Adios blockbuster films. Hello, low-budget films based on intelligence (well, ideally, at least).
"You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is 'Never get involved in a land war in Asia'."
--Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), The Princess Bride
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Kevin A
Webmaster/Primary Cynic
kapgar.typepad.com
kapgar.com
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This is also the man that predicted in 1995 that Episode I would cost $35 million.

Blockbusters will never die. The general public hates small character-driven indie films; big 'splosions, titties, and great sepcial effects make the world go round. By 2025 they will be much cheaper but to say that films will all cost 15 million and be non-blockbusters is retardedly naive. The public is too dumb to allow this to happen.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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Originally posted by: zombie84
This is also the man that predicted in 1995 that Episode I would cost $35 million.

Blockbusters will never die. The general public hates small character-driven indie films; big 'splosions, titties, and great sepcial effects make the world go round. By 2025 they will be much cheaper but to say that films will all cost 15 million and be non-blockbusters is retardedly naive. The public is too dumb to allow this to happen.
I don't know...as I recall one of the bigger hits this year was March of the Penguin.
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The big-money movies will always be the ones people go to watch. They might not be critically acclaimed, but people will still watch them.
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It's not entirely true that people will still go see them. How many of this and last year's "blockbuster" big budgeteers fell short in the long run and failed to recoup their budgets? Quite a few. I pray that's a sign that the moviegoing audience is coming to their senses.

No, I don't really think blockbusters will go away, but to decrease in number would be a good thing.
"You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is 'Never get involved in a land war in Asia'."
--Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), The Princess Bride
-------------------------
Kevin A
Webmaster/Primary Cynic
kapgar.typepad.com
kapgar.com
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What we need is balance, a healthy dose of both character driven films and larger than life spectacles. They must walk hand in hand, because one can never do without the other. It would be like having day without night or Superman without Lex Luthor.
I'd like a qui-gon jinn please with an Obi-Wan to go.

Red heads ROCK. Blondes do not rock. Nuff said.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v72/greencapt/hansolovsindy.jpg
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I think we should have more 2D animated films... Well, more animated films period, really.

4

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Originally posted by: Han Solo VS Indiana Jones
What we need is balance, a healthy dose of both character driven films and larger than life spectacles. They must walk hand in hand, because one can never do without the other. It would be like having day without night or Superman without Lex Luthor.



Exactly. I mean, i love art-house stuff, its my bread and butter, but i definitly wouldnt want stuff like Star Wars or even "lesser" works like Starship Troopers to dissappear--and neither does the rest of the world. True, blockbusters are on the downward slide of their pinnacle circa 2003, and they will likely return to where they were around the mid-late 90's, right before the CGI craze went into full-gear, but they will never go away. And the truth is that the general public would rather see Lord of the Rings than Crash. Thats not necessarily bad, but smaller films definitly should get a bigger piece of the cinema pie. The problem is that the expensive blockbusters have the biggest budgets, and therefore the biggest distribution as well as the muscle of a major studio that basically takes up all the spaces at megaplexes while smaller films are forced to be shown at art-house and independent or smaller theaters. You have 7 out of 14 screens taken up by King Kong while Crash has maybe one--and Crash was a pretty widely released film for an independent flick. Most dont even make it to the chain theatres at all. Thats where the problem lies. As the world gets more screens we seem to be having less selection--because preportionally, the blockbusters still make up for 90% of the theater space, and to make things worse, people no longer venture to "alternative" or idependent theatres, they just expect that whatever is playing at the multiplex is all that is out so they only get exposed to the half dozen studio films that are out at any given time. Its an obscene domination. Fortunately studios and major distributors are embracing smaller productions and thats where the change we are seeing is coming from. The small distributions and independent films are just as obscure as they ever were but a select few are benefitting from being picked up by the indie-faction of major studios (like Focus pictures, for example) and are seeing the light of day in megaplexes.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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"In the future, almost everything that gets shown in theaters will be indie movies," Lucas declared. "I predict that by 2025 the average movie will cost only $15 million."

Computer-based video editing will certainly contribute to that. Let's not forget that the SW films, especially the PT, are the biggiest "indie" films in history.

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
<span class=“Bold”>JediRandy: They’re certainly beyond any repair you’re capable of making.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: You aren’t one of us.
<span class=“Bold”>Go-Mer-Tonic: I can’t say I find that very disappointing.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>JediRandy: I won’t suck as much as a fan edit.</span>

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Originally posted by: MeBeJedi
"In the future, almost everything that gets shown in theaters will be indie movies," Lucas declared. "I predict that by 2025 the average movie will cost only $15 million."

Computer-based video editing will certainly contribute to that. Let's not forget that the SW films, especially the PT, are the biggiest "indie" films in history.


This has actually created a new problem. Before, if you wanted to make a movie you had to gather a couple hundred thousand dollars, hire a trained crew and do real post-production just to get the thing made. So there were only so many low-budget films. But now that digital filmmaking has allowed pretty much any dummy to pick a camera, get a cheap editing program and make himself a movie, the marketplace is suddenly flooded with millions (no exageration) of no/low-budget films, even though the marketplace has only expanded slightly since ten-fifteen years ago. Whereas before if you made a low-budget indie you had only limited competition, now the marketplace is completely oversaturated. Do you have any idea how many struggling filmmakers there are now whose films will never be seen by anyone? Too many to count. And its because of digital technology. So it has in effect created a downside. But i guess the rule holds true that if there is a good film out there it will get picked up, and this is generally true.

$15 million is not that expensive and even your average drama only costs $20-30 million nowadays but theres a point we are approaching where digital technology meets its limit. The non-linear editing revolution has already happened. It saved money and theres very little development to do so we wont see cost benefit in the future from this. Equipment, transportation, cast, crew, none of these things will be effected so what is left? Film itself. Digital video will not replace film for a very long time, and by 2025 hopefully it will have advanced to the point where it has at least matched it in terms of quality. So there will be tons of cost savings there, if that happens. Digital projection will also cut down on cost a lot, so maybe, in a best-case scenario, your low-moderately budgeted films will be costing $15 million. But this is not exactly industry-revolutionizing. We aren't going to see some penniless genius make the worlds next Citizen Kane, he'll still need millions of dollars, so that barrier will always be in place. And similarly, the huge effects films will still cost about $60-100 million. So all it will do is save the huge already-rich studios money. The indie filmmakers and no-budget straglers will of course have even bigger benefits and allow them to compete closer to the studios but i dont know if the revolution will be a huge jump from whats already in store now. Hopefully it will though.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

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I plan to go to film school after High School. Maybe the adult film industry.
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zombie84, don't forget, also, that it's much easier to burn, copy and ship multiple DVDs than it ever was for VHS tape.

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: Sadly, I believe the prequels are beyond repair.
<span class=“Bold”>JediRandy: They’re certainly beyond any repair you’re capable of making.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>MeBeJedi: You aren’t one of us.
<span class=“Bold”>Go-Mer-Tonic: I can’t say I find that very disappointing.</span></span>

<span class=“Italics”>JediRandy: I won’t suck as much as a fan edit.</span>

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Originally posted by: Bossk
GOOD! Adios blockbuster films. Hello, low-budget films based on intelligence (well, ideally, at least).


I agree. I couldn't care less about who makes the biggest explosion or who has the most idiot teenagers running around 1/2 naked. Show me something with a good story and characters I care about with some good dialougue that ISN'T Hollywood leftist propoganda and I'll be happy to plunk down $10 to watch it. Provided they get the theaters under control again.

Nemo me impune lacessit

http://ttrim.blogspot.com
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I don't even mind leftist or rightist propaganda so long as it's intelligently written and acted.
"You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is 'Never get involved in a land war in Asia'."
--Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), The Princess Bride
-------------------------
Kevin A
Webmaster/Primary Cynic
kapgar.typepad.com
kapgar.com
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Originally posted by: Bossk
I don't even mind leftist or rightist propaganda so long as it's intelligently written and acted.


True. I can't stand Clooney-Tunes, but I'm thinking I might enjoy Syrianna.
Nemo me impune lacessit

http://ttrim.blogspot.com
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If theater chains really want to get asses back in seats then they need to be experimental- and not in the ways they are used to.

Imagine this scenario: Theater chain 'X' sees reducing ticket sales on, say, 'King Kong'. Its a hard sell because of many factors (length, season released, originality, etc) so they try a new advertising gambit. All day Saturday (or whatever) you can come to special showings of 'Kong'- for $12 admission you get a movie ticket, medium popcorn and medium drink... AND we promise to show NO COMMERCIALS and START THE FILM ON TIME.

Would this help? I think so. The main reasons that I (like increasing numbers of film fans) don't go to the theater as much are that its just more comfortable, cheaper, pleasant (no cell phones, annoying people sitting next to you, sticky floor), etc to stay home and watch films. And if you miss the opening weekend of a film at your local Gagoogleplex then they'll probably shuffle it to a smaller screen that seems to be the same or lower quality than many of us with decent home theater setups can get at home.

And (as usual ) I agree with JediSage- I could give a rat's ass about the budget as long as I'm entertained. This is mainly a function of character and story IMO. Or even just being the best at whatever you try to do- even a stupid big budget blow-em-up can be great fun if it tries to be the best it can be and doesn't take itself too seriously.
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I think a great example of a big blockbuster that was also had a great set of characters, wonderful dialogue and a good story is Die Hard. Bruce Willis was fantastic in it, and his character was believable (reluctant hero with fears and weaknesses of his own). We need a return to this.

On the issue of theaters, I totally agree w/GC on this. Start it on time, no commercials in a quality theater and I'll watch. I'll add that they need to get the idiot teenagers under control as too often now they are ruining it for me.
Nemo me impune lacessit

http://ttrim.blogspot.com
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The best movie experiences I've had at theatres have been on preview nights, to tell you the truth, and not just because it's free. It's one thing to be at a movie with a few friends in a packed theatre, but it's a whole other experience to sit in an every-seat-taken theatre full of people that lined up for hours just so they could be the first to watch this movie. A few announcements from the sponsors (usually just a guy at the front talking about this radio station and that newspaper), maybe a draw for a prize or two, and then the movie starts. No commercials, no previews, just four hundred people all dying to see the movie.

I went to about half a dozen last year (I had time and connections), and they were far and away better than anything. Even ROTS on opening weekend didn't compare (though it was close). The only missing was free popcorn.
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Those preview shows ARE great and the shop I used to work at used to sponsor them all the time!

Those aside, the absolute greatest theater-going experience I've had in many years was the Lord of the Rings 'Trilogy Tuesday' December before last... what a day! That was the single ticket price showing of the extended editions of FOTR and TTT leading into the midnight showing of ROTK. The theater was capacity (of course), everyone was encouraged to bring pillows, blankets, their own snacks and drinks, etc. The theater chain, AMC, even BOUGHT pizza for the ENTIRE crowd and ran a special by which you could buy 1 popcorn and 1 drink and get free refills for the enitre three shows! They also had $1 nachos and hotdogs... AND you even got a commemorative 'film cel' display.

What an amazing day!
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All right, GC now you're scaring me

I too went to Trilogy Tuesday. It was indeed an amazing event! The theater I went to also brought in pizza for us and had good deals on dogs and soda. I forgot my film cell on the floor !! Grrrrr... I remember my brother and I went and I wore sweats, kicked off my shoes, then took it easy the rest of the time, which flew by BTW.
Nemo me impune lacessit

http://ttrim.blogspot.com
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Sadly, I did not attend Trilogy Tuesday. I don't much care. They weren't as big an event for me as for most.