Monday, June 8, 2015

ARE MOVIES FADING AWAY?

Back in the old fashioned days of  2002 the number of people who went to the movies hit an all-time high -- theaters sold $1.57 billion tickets. Last year, the figures dropped by $300 million -- just $1.26 billion tickets were sold.

Hey, economic concerns and technological innovations are pushing the art form toward the same fate as opera and epic poems. Art forms don't die, but they get out of step with the times, and wind up in a niche far off the mainland.

As that happens to movies, talent will head into more popular, lucrative art forms. Example -- Woody Allen recently signed a deal to produce films for Amazon.  Amazon's brilliant boss, like an oracle, has declared more than once, that's where the film business is heading.

Okay, like everything else, movies are getting more expensive to make. That opinions are expressed about new movies almost instantly, means a movie has to win a big audience the first weekend or it's -- well -- not a bomb, but it's already disappearing.

Furthermore, technology has enabled audiences to see movies on devices.  We've already got streaming. You can make your popcorn in the microwave, and sip wine at home -- heading out to a theater can be a waste of time. (Hey, with one of those curved 48 inch TVs, lots of folks will be able to see movies at home the way they're shown in a theater.)

And the fact that movies are 90 or 180 minutes long, and created to be watched from beginning to end -- well -- the format doesn't fit very well in today's world. A huge amount of entertainment is already being accessed by the billions of devices -- seven billion devices is the latest estimate.


 People, all over the world, are peering into devices -- more than likely, they want their fun in smaller doses -- movies are too long for the mobile devices medium.

The long-form film stories -- series -- huge hits like "Sopranos," "Breaking Bad," and "Game of Thrones," suggests that a one hour film pulls you into the next, and you can enjoy that hour with streaming services like Netflix or Amazon, and can watch anything, anywhere, anytime.

That Amazon's Bezos has already grabbed Woody to make movies for him, indicates a trend.

Declining revenue from movie theaters inspires film makers to make new films more cheaply, which will drive away top star talent, which means lower quality things like locations, sets, costumes, and more limited plot ideas -- all of which sends audiences elsewhere.

Shrinking money coming in is shrinking freshness, newness, creativity.

When was the last time you went to the movies?  I remember when we went to the movies at least once a week -- about twenty years ago.




2 comments:

Carola said...

I have wonderful memories of going to the movies as a child. Now we GO to the movies about once a year, but we watch a lot of movies on Netflix

Stan said...

Nice article Em...those good ol' days are winding down unfortunately.

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