Sunday, June 12, 2016

Hollywood woes

Hollywood is having a really bad year regarding theatre tickets sold, the worst since almost a hundred years. And they wonder why.

Seems simple to me: high definition home entertainment centres. Or just good TVs and blue-ray players or downloads.
When you can watch a movie in splendid quality right in the comfort in your own home, pause it at will to go wee or make coffee, and not sitting among a lot of strangers, some of whom may block your view or scream for "violence!" (I sat right in front of some young men who did that many times once during Total Recall), why make the trip to a theatre? Even back when the alternative was only VHS rentals which were really awful quality, the theatres were already starting to hurt.
And of course, video games have captured a tonne of the attention and time of the younger generations.
Let's face it, movie theatres were created because it simply was the only way to show movies to the public. Now they are fighting to justify their downsides in some way. It's just the old "buggy whip manufacturer" syndrome again. New technology always makes some new jobs and destroys some old ones.

It doesn't help that Hollywood seems to have an idea problem. Everything is sequels now, it's hard to find many interesting fresh ideas in recent years, or even impressive new actors.


Russ said...

I recently heard an NPR interview of a leading movie critic who said that the Hollywood industry is fixated on action comic blockbuster movies. He predicts we will start seeing Rom-Coms with Marvel Comic action heroes filling the lead roles! ;-)

I wish there were more Sci-Fi movies released... would seem like a bottomless pit of script ideas to me...

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

It would seem so, yes. But good SF *movies* are pretty rare. And very difficult to do. As an example I really liked the book Battlefield Earth. One reason was that it featured a lot of beautiful scenes of sprawling vistas in the Rockies, Scotland, and Africa. But filming this would have been danged expensive, so instead the movie they made became this weirdly claustrophobic thing of small spaces, and that was only the first way it clubbered the book, the second one was that they made the ten-feet tall wolf-like aliens into humans on stilts with dreadlocks, it was gawdawful.

CGI can do a lot these days, but artistically it would still be difficult. And the market, they say, demands it be an action movie. Not a lot of good SF books have a lot of action, they are idea-based. (That was the third reason re the BE movie, a faithful rendition would have made for a loooong movie, or three, with only occasional action.)

OK, 2001 A Space Oddisey is a classic, but I doubt it was a big hit monetarily, I think audiences, and even more today's audiences, in the main found it ponderous and weird.

Joe Dick said...

All they want to do is make Star Wars over and over.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

There is something to indicate that. I don't know, I've usually not missed SF or superhero blockbusters, but neither the lates SW nor Batman/Superman has attracted me.

Joe Dick said...

Batman/Superman was irritating because it seemed its only reason to exist was to set up a bunch of other movies. I actually thought Affleck was pretty good as Batman, and especially Bruce Wayne.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yes, I heard as much.

Surprises me a bit to hear of Affleck, because Daredevil was strangely boring.

Joe Dick said...

I was also a bit disappointed - calling it Batman v Superman, it sounds like a court case. I was expecting a tense courtroom drama - a battle of wills, with Batman and Superman of course representing themselves (in costume). No such luck.