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Movies Losing Popularity at Box Office 795

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the good-scripts-also-lost dept.
andyring writes "Without the slightest mention of piracy, the MPAA said box-office revenues declined by 8 percent last year. About 40 percent of the decline came from the U.S. Now if only they'd realize that the decline is from movies sucking more than my shop vac." It's been a while since a film warranted spending the money to watch it in a room full of strangers.
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Movies Losing Popularity at Box Office

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  • Simple formula (Score:5, Insightful)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @07:44PM (#14887069)
    [sarcasm] Ticket prices rising, movie quality decreasing = fewer ticket sales. Go figure [/sarcasm]
  • by adpowers (153922) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @07:44PM (#14887071)
    I think two of the people speaking were trying to convince the audience to go see movies in theatres, "There is nothing like being part of the a community and watching a great film on the giant silver screen" or whatever. This made me a little sick. I rarely see movies in theatres these days because the other viewers are often inconsiderate (mainly by being loud and obnoxious), the tickets are expensive, and the theatres are often of poor quality (dirty, bad sound, poor projection, etc.). For the price of sending two people to the theatre, you can buy the freakin' DVD in a few months (I'm very thankfully for the quicker DVD release turn around these days).
  • Bwahaha (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LordSnooty (853791) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @07:45PM (#14887073)
    FTFA: "We are exploring new ways to reach more people using innovative methods of communication and distribution."

    I'm sure they are, but their big problem is that we already explored all that five years ago. Time to catch up, Hollywood, and fast!
  • by crimethinker (721591) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @07:45PM (#14887074)
    I'm shocked that the MPAA spokesweasel didn't blame piracy. Shocked, I tell you.

    And yes, I'll agree with the submitter's remarks - most movies nowadays are pure shite, little more than CGI thrown everywhere to try to cover a pathetic script. Oh, and don't forget the half-hour of commercials before the movie, too. And they always seem to start the commercials at the published start time. So you arrive half an hour late, trying to skip the commercials, and *this* movie was the one with only 15 minutes of crap in front of it.

    I wait for the DVD nowadays. Cheaper, too.

    -paul

  • Home Theaters (Score:5, Insightful)

    by expressovi (952511) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @07:45PM (#14887075)
    With the sale of home theaters on the rise I think that can also attribute to some of the loss. Many people I know who buy a home theater say they now have no reason to go the theater. I just got mine and I always ask why go out?
  • Correction... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joe5678 (135227) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @07:47PM (#14887088)
    About 40 percent of the decline came from the U.S.


    Come on, it's in the first sentence of the article. 40 percent of the 23 billion dollars in total sales was in the US, not 40 percent of the decline.

    A misleading summary, here on slashdot, I'm as shocked as the rest of you...
  • by kahanamoku (470295) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @07:47PM (#14887090)
    WIth the (relatively) cheap High quality components available to set up your own home theatre, what benefit does a cinema offer compared to your own home theatre?

    There comes a sense of self-achievement in setting up your own home theatre, and no matter how tight-ass you are when you set it up, you still love it like you love your own child. Sure, you sometimes get humbled by other people who have set up more expensive home theatres that sound better and have a bigger screen, but when it comes down to it, why would you prefer to pay $x PER PERSON for something that you can soon hire from a movie store for half the cost of 1 person's ticket, and screen it for as many people you can fit in your house, as many times as you want while you have the movie hired out?!

    Pop-corn is cheaper, the seats are comfortable, you can leave your mobile phone on, you dont have to get pissed off at someone else leaving their mobile phone on, and you dont have a Texan woman trying to sue you for assault for simply asking them to be quiet!
  • by flajann (658201) <flajann.linuxbloke@com> on Thursday March 09, 2006 @07:58PM (#14887162) Homepage Journal
    I recently went to see 2001 at a movie house near Boston. I missed seeing it on the big screen when it initially came out (I was only 8 or 9 then!!!!) I was truly impressed with all the details I missed on the dinky little screen.

    I can't say the same for any movie since. Usually, you are not missing much on the little screen. Why is that, I wonder?

    Also, if you also consider that CGI simply did not exist when 2001 was produced, you can appreciate the film even more!

    Hell, I even like the old Dr. Who series. Seems the level of use of CGI is inversely proportional to story quality these days. There are a few exceptions, but darn few, as I can count them on one hand.

    CGI is simply not impressive anymore, considering what you see in the average videogame these days, and that's in real time. When all the chips are down, nothing beats a good story and a gripping plot. Nothing. Perhaps MPAA will finnaly catch a clue. If not, perhaps they will go bankrupt.

    We'll see the rise of the independent films with streaming video distribution. Now with fibre to the last mile a reality, it's only a matter of time, folks.

  • by Hamster Lover (558288) * on Thursday March 09, 2006 @07:58PM (#14887163) Journal
    According to the film critics Ebert and Roeper, it's their opinion that there was a bump in attendance over the last few years for movies like The Lord of Rings and Spider-Man/2 where fans would see the films mutiple times. Let's face it, there were some real block busters that came out in recent years like the LOTR trilogy, Spider-Man 2, Shrek 2, The Passion of the Christ, Finding Nemo, Stealth, The Dukes of Hazzard, etc. The Passion of the Christ alone made something $360 million dollars. The only real block busters this year seem to be Superman Returns and X3, so expect more tearful news from the movies studios around the same time next year.

    There are just going to be some years were attendance exceeds normal growth due to the popularity of certain movies.
  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rlauzon (770025) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @07:59PM (#14887176)
    Because I've seen it all before, now they're re-doing it all and nothing surprises me.

    The reason for that is that they have choked off the supply of works going in to the public domain. Historically, Hollywood has dipped into the public domain for ideas. Nothing new into the public domain = nothing new in Hollywood.

    Little wonder that Anime and Manga are getting more popular.

  • Re:Simple formula (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SeeMyNuts! (955740) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @08:01PM (#14887187)
    IMO, it's more than that. I've been to a movie theatre only a few times in as many years, and it never fails that there is some obnoxious person kicking my chair or talking or, once, making rude noises during the movie. There is no common courtesy observed at theatres, these days. And let's not even mention cell phones (oops).

    Add that on top of going to a movie being as expensive as a nice dinner for two, well of course pirates with camcorders are to blame!
  • It's Grim (Score:2, Insightful)

    by joe_n_bloe (244407) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @08:03PM (#14887199) Homepage

    I watched 50-100 movies a year in theaters in the early-mid 90s. It seemed like there was something watchable almost every week. Not "good" but watchable.

    Now, if I can watch CSI reruns, Modern Marvels, and Mythbusters, why would I drive 30 minutes to hunt for a parking space and then go wait in line to:

    • Pay $10 to get in
    • To a tiny theater
    • To watch Ultraviolet
    • After watching 15 minutes of trailers and commercials and reminders to put the cellphones away
    • While listening to someone on a cellphone
    • And someone's baby
    • While eating a $3.00 hot dog
    • And drinking a $3.50 soda

    Thanks, but I'll wait for V for Vendetta and Thank You for Smoking and hope for the best. And watch L&O and CSI in the meanwhile.

    And to put a finer point on it, the fact that I see about 5 movies a year nowadays has nothing to do with pirated video and almost nothing to do with DVDs. The stuff I watch on DVDs is generally not something that shows up in a theater.

  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Bad-JuJu-Man (837063) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @08:04PM (#14887203)
    The REAL reason movies suck is the mentality that lead to these POS's... The Dukes of Hazard Charlies Angels Mission Impossible Starsky and Hutch The Shaggy Dog Herbie: Fully Loaded The Pink Panther When a Stranger Calls Do I really need to say any more? Do you see where this is going?
  • Suck? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fm6 (162816) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @08:06PM (#14887221) Homepage Journal
    Sure, lots of movies suck. I'll even concede that movies suck more than they used to. But there have always been a lot of sucky movies that did well. I mean, during the 70s, they made a whole string of movies with "Airport" in the title, all of which made money!

    The main reason nobody's going to the movies: they've found other ways to entertain themselves. There's DVDs of course (I have a two-year backlog in my NetFlix queue!), and TV. But I think people are just generally branching out more. Book clubs are popular, and museum attendance is at all-time high. Hey, lots of folks are amusing themselves by creating their own content, in the form of blogs, podcasts, and now video podcasts. How can Hollywood compete with that?

  • by JPriest (547211) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @08:07PM (#14887232) Homepage
    2 Tickets + porcorn + soda = > $30
    All that money and you get 15 minutes of some of the same commercials shown on daytime TV for free anwyway. I usuaully show up 15 minutes late, but sometimes it leaves me with crappy seats.

    I used to go to the movies all the time (every week), but after sitting though the RIAA painter and stuntmans anti piracy rants about 50 times I all but quit going. I still go see great movies, but for most stuff I just add it to the Netflix queue and they ship me the DVD when it becomes available.

  • since when? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by johncadengo (940343) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @08:13PM (#14887287) Homepage
    It's been a while since a film warranted spending the money to watch it in a room full of strangers.

    Since when did whether or not a room was filled with strangers have anything to do with whether or not you watched a movie? Weirdo.
  • Re:Simple formula (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shitdrummer (523404) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @08:19PM (#14887334)
    Not to mention shit like this [smh.com.au] happening.

    Shitdrummer.
  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sancho (17056) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @08:19PM (#14887337) Homepage
    I don't understand your argument. Hollywood already remakes films which are not in the public domain--if these films had fallen into PD, what difference would it make?

    The only thing I can think of is that people could reuse ideas without permission from the (ex)copyright holder, meaning that you wouldn't have the same mindset, groupthinking people remaking the same things over and over. Instead, you could have some people not affiliated with Hollywood using their ideas in something new and innovative--and given the movie theater's relationship with Hollywood, you'd never see these films on screen. You'd see them on the Internet, and that wouldn't help increase box office revenue.

    No, ultimately there are a large number of factors which are (probably) contributing to this decline. They've all been said over and over, but here they are again:

    * Bad movie theater experience (screaming kids, cellphones, etc.)
    * Increasing ticket prices
    * Lower quality movies, in general
    * Shorter DVD release times
    and quite likely the biggest factor:
    * The Internet.

    Not only is there a lot of legal, free video entertainment available on the Internet, there is also music, gaming, etc. That's not counting piracy (which is certainly rampant and might cut into Box Office revenue, but it's impossible to prove).

    There was a time when I could look at a 16-screen theater listing and pretty much tick off every one of them as a movie I'd seen /in/the/theater/. These days, between the crap they put in the theaters and the other legal entertainment options, it's not uncommon for me to look at a theater listing and have seen maybe one movie that's there.
  • Re:Simple formula (Score:3, Insightful)

    by frankthechicken (607647) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @08:19PM (#14887338) Journal
    I have an alternative formula,

    Vast Profits = Mass ticket sales = Aim for lowest common denominator

    Recent failure at box office = Aimed too low = Aim higher next time

    Alternatively,

    Massive success at box office = Could we improve by aiming even lower?

    Hence the cyclical nature of Hollywood.

    Though of course the main reason box office sales have fallen is Home Cinema, why expend the excess energy travelling to the theatre, only to put up with monkeys and their cell phones / repellent smelling popcorn/snacks, general obnoxiousness of humanity.
  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BewireNomali (618969) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @08:24PM (#14887379)
    I work in film and the logic isn't flawed on paper. you take television from a previous generation and redo it with current generation talent.

    you get the original audience and fans of the current talent. two birds with one stone. by and large that formula isn't broken. it works to the point that people go and see them, and they do rather well.

    there is a dearth of original ideas. this is because more expensive films require compromise to mitigate risk. understand, most films, small or large, are financed by thrid parties. hollywood is notorious for not financing their own films. so these films are beholden to finance guys who want easily reducible commodities. remake plus star talent is a recognized formula.

    the real problem here is this. hollywood primarily relies on the first-timers to make some cash. first timer are the rising young adult - adult generation. this is the problem - the first timeers aren't going to the movies. they're like the second generation to grow up with cable - so technically - they aren't first timers. So when a 30 something guy reflects that films are recycling themselves... hollywood is in the problem place that 18 year olds are saying the same thing. they've seen it all before.

    this is why the movie paradigm is problematic. hollywood has always been cyclical before. They'd wade out the lull and wait for a rising generation and introduce them to old shit that's new to them. It's not new to them - they've probably seen the original on cable or online or via blockbuster. they have prior memory of originals and probably prefer them. so without the first timer cushion - hollywood is quite possibly rready for a paradigm shift.

  • by kadathseeker (937789) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @08:24PM (#14887380) Homepage
    Wasn't Stealth a huge bomb?
  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Thursday March 09, 2006 @08:36PM (#14887459) Homepage Journal
    Not only is there a lot of legal, free video entertainment available on the Internet, there is also music, gaming, etc.

    One other thing on the internet is instantaneous Communication with large audiences. Go to imdb and see a few comments and the film already rated and you just may change your mind about seeing it. Before the internet bad reviews got around on two legs.

  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thogard (43403) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @08:38PM (#14887467) Homepage
    The real issue is that if you have to get permission for every song and every idea and every character name, someone is going to object to the way your putting it all together. When Disney Studios was new, they used an extensive collection of ideas from public domain stories with music that they didn't have to pay for. Even into the 1980's movies and TV shows didn't pay for music except for custom into music and that didn't pay very well.
  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cpt kangarooski (3773) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @08:53PM (#14887560) Homepage
    One factor you didn't mention, but which is part of the Internet: reviews. Reviews (and leaked information prior to a release) spread further, faster, and can be more personal (I trust my friends to tell me what I might like more than reviewers on TV or in the paper). If a movie is bad it's more likely to be found out sooner than later now. For example, word of mouth is considered to have caused the Hulk movie to drop ticket sales by 70% in one week, which is one of the most dramatic drops ever.
  • ... is that we're not our parents.

    On the whole, I'm betting post-boomers are less "social" and far more likely to be comfortably entertained at home. We're quite comfortable with our kick-ass flat-screen monitors, thanks, and our sound systems beat those our parents senseless.

    We don't NEED big theatre screens. We rarely dress to go out. Our popcorn comes from the microwave, not a $4.00 carboard bucket. And if we want to be in a roomful of strangers, there are all those IRC channels to choose from ...

    I thought the MPAA's pitch that "nothing beats the theatre experience" we heard at the Oscars was simply pathetic. Please don't tell me what I like, Mr. Hollywood. Let me tell you:

    I want downloadable movies. I want them as soon as possible to release. I'll pay.

    Oh -- and more sex, please. I'll take that over cartoonish, numbing gore and violence. But that's just me.

  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Thursday March 09, 2006 @08:58PM (#14887595) Homepage Journal
    I thought starship troppers was supposed to be some sort of cheesy parody of something?

    Heinlein used the story of the war with the "bugs" as as a vehicle for one of his explorations of political participation.

    A similar theme can be found in Tunnel In The Sky.

    They effectly dumped the political/socialogical discourse and went for the action, then made it rather camp. If RH were alive I think he'd die and commence to spinning on the spot. About the grade Mike Meyer's Cat In The Hat would rate from Theodore Suess Geisel.

    With some recent interest in Heinlein's works and the Survivor TV fad I figured someone would pick it up and give it a right trashing with bimbos, dumb studs and gratuitious violence. (There's enough violence already, really.)

  • by Klanglor (704779) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @09:10PM (#14887664)
    hehe. to ask a girl out! its hard to get the girl to come to your place on the first date. hehe. if you pull it of it wouldn't be bad neither :p
  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ErroneousBee (611028) <neil:neilhancock,co,uk> on Thursday March 09, 2006 @09:22PM (#14887731) Homepage
    Its just a forbidden love story: Princess and the Pauper, Romeo and Juliet, Lolita, Lady Chatterley's Lover, etc etc.

    You just start with "Who isnt allowed to shag who in some parts of society" and take it from there. There have even been a couple of inter species ones, like Enemy Mine.
  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dgatwood (11270) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @09:22PM (#14887732) Journal
    Yeah, but here's what I don't get... did anybody actually expect that movie to be good? I mean, usually it's obvious from a trailer whether a movie is going to suck or not. I can only think of a small handful of movies that really reeked where it wasn't immediately obvious just from the trailer and general background info that it was going to be a steaming pile of excrement.

    Of course, I only go to see about one movie out of every few hundred these days because it is almost always obvious that most movies are going to be steaming piles of excrement.

    No, the biggest problem with Hollywood is greed. Between then and the theater chains, the cost of a movie is absurd. $7.50 per person + $10 worth of refreshments comes out to a $25 date. Alternately, dinner at a fairly decent restaurant and BUYING a DVD of a two year old movie comes out to a $25 date. Which one is the better experience? Duh. I watched movies constantly when I could go to the early showing for $3.50. Now, it's over $5 and I've been to two movies in the last year, one of which was paid for by my employer. They priced themselves out of business.

    And greed is the problem with their plot lines, too. The cost of making movies is insanely high---in part because of outrageous costs for actors and actresses, outrageous equipment costs, outrageous film/processing/splicing costs, etc., but in part because they just over-produce the movies---which leads to production of far fewer movies, and thus, it is almost impossible to get into Hollywood screen writing, and even if you do, it probably won't pay the bills.

    The result, from what I can discern from the outside, is a relatively small talent pool that generally discourages new blood, which results in the same stale content being repeated over and over. Most (not all) of the wannabes who try to get into this pool tend not to be the best and brightest writers out there, as the best and brightest see that there's not a lot of hope of making money in the field, so they steer way clear and do something that will actually keep a roof over their heads.

    The only real solution for Hollywood is this: use no-name actors and actresses more, pay your writers better, spend less time and money on special effects, produce more movies on a lower budget each, and search far and wide for new talent to increase the diversity of your writer culture. If you don't, you will eventually fade into obsolescence.

  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CashCarSTAR (548853) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @09:48PM (#14887863)
    Actually they striped out a nationalistic PoV from the book, and replaced it with an anti-nationalistic PoV. Book:Power-Armorded supermen, highly-trained and expected to come back alive. Movie:Cannon fodder. It was very campy. But it's one of the best camp movies ever made.
  • by zerofoo (262795) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @10:05PM (#14887945)
    I've taken a hit from the on-demand home theater crack pipe and i'm hooked. I no longer want to sit in a room with noisy people and sticky floors eating an $8.00 bucket of stale popcorn. Now I enjoy movies on-demand on my 56" DLP with my Boston Acoustics system, comfy couches, and a $1.00 bag of popcorn that isn't stale.

    Why would I pay 4 to 6 times as much to sit in that hell-hole called a movie theater?

    -ted
  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by darnok (650458) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @10:06PM (#14887950)
    I appreciate your background and the points you make, but is it really that simple?

    Over the past ~5 years, there's been a massive surge to release new versions of old movies - "The Pink Panther", "When a Stranger calls" - or movie versions of old TV shows - "Dukes of Hazzard", "Lost in Space", ... There's a zillion more in each category. Genuinely new ideas, or even interesting variants on old ideas, now only appear in very tiny numbers.

    In general, the originals being remade fall into two categories:
    - really good movies, where there's no real chance that a remake will improve it (e.g. Pink Panther) and it's far more likely that a remake will be total crap
    - really bad and/or cult movies/shows, where there's some chunk of a (predominantly) baby boomer audience that's virtually guaranteed to go along (e.g. Dukes of Hazzard, Mission Impossible). They rely almost solely on two comedy devices: (a) repeating the exact comedy lines that were most remembered in the original, (b) putting the "old" character/s in the present day (e.g. Brady Bunch), so the audience can laugh at their clothes, speech, etc.

    What happened for things to get to this point? To some extent, I can understand remakes like "Dukes of Hazzard", because you've got a guaranteed audience, but why "Pink Panther"? It would have been obvious on day 1 that you can't hope to top the original scripts, and Steve Martin wasn't going to top Peter Sellers as Clouseau.

    Are there any writers (as distinct from "re-interpreters") actually left, and if so, what are they doing? They can't all be doing stand-up; they don't all have their own TV shows; there's just not that many jobs as waiters in LA. Where are they?

    Bring them back, put together plots that might actually push a 5yo mentality, line up and shoot the likes of Jessica Simpson and Hilary Duff for crimes against humanity, and you'll get your audience back again. It's really that simple. Baby boomers have all the cash, increasingly have time on their hands to spend it, but the movie industry (actually, make that the entire entertainment industry) seems to target only 13-30 year olds; wise up, there's not that many of them around, the average age of the population in the US is now 44 (and increasing by 1 year for every 2 years that pass at present), and 13-30 year olds don't have anything like the disposable loot that their parents have.

    It's not like every movie has to cost $200m and have some hopeless bimbo in it to get an audience; Blair Witch and Michael Moore proved that convincingly. Sure it's probably not easy to make another Blair Witch, but the trail has been blazed for others to follow. Where are the movies being made for (say) $100k-$1m, which are amounts that could be raised without Hollywood-type "creative input" being imposed? I can see a few of them in arthouse cinemas, but why aren't they getting promoted more widely?

    Hell, I'll make it even simpler. Here's how to get baby boomers back to the movies:
    - stop thinking in terms of using stars and making huge profit, and make a movie with unknowns that will evoke some sort of emotion in the audience. Sorry, Vin Diesel, Tom Cruise et al; you had a good run...
    - employ script writers who write scripts from scratch, rather than rehash old ones
    - have more than 1 thread of plot going on; movies don't all have to be linear as some of us have attention spans greater than 30 seconds
    - look at the age of the people around you, then forget targetting 15-30year olds as your prime demographic
    - don't bother using bimbos to sell movies; boomers would rather watch a real actor than a clothes horse. If we want porn, we rent it. Bring back women who can act, and who aren't trying to look 30 years younger than they are
    - stop making bad guys be really really bad, and good guys be really really good. Treat them as shades of grey rather than ridiculous stereotypes
    - try making a film without CGI. It can be done, really
    - as per the previous point, not every mov
  • by EEPROMS (889169) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @10:06PM (#14887952)
    1. 45 minutes of advertising before the main feature (I want my 45 minutes back because you didnt pay for my time)
    2. Cant watch any movies before 1pm because you get mom's and dad's and their screaming ankle biters to kill any punch lines.
    3. you can't kill the idiot who is sitting next to you.
    4. if you turn up late to compensate for number 1. you get to sit with the big screen 3 feet from you nose.
    5. People with mobiles phone, dare I say any more.
    6. teenagers who think its cool to scream out right in the middle of the action.
    7. seats that smell like wet carpet.
    8. having a movie projector thats totally stuffed ie only one channel for sound and being told thats perfectly ok to sell you a defective service and your not getting any money back.
    9. seats that are as comfortable as a concrete bench.
    10. finding the only showing of the movie you want is at 6am and 11pm.
  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by a_nonamiss (743253) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @10:07PM (#14887958)
    This is a common sentiment, and there is a good reason why people say it. It's because time usually filters out the crap. Sure, there were really bad movies in the 60's, but are they remembered? No. We remember The Graduate and 2001: A Space Odyssey but those were (arguably) some of the best movies of their time. But do people still talk about The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies anymore? No, because it sucked. It will be remembered even less when the people who were alive back then are dead. The same is true of music. We can wax nostalgic and say that classical music is the only good music, but I'm sure there was plenty of crap written back in Mozart's time. But it was bad, so people didn't write about it, perform it, or remember it. So now, it's mostly forgotten, even in the history books.

    Look at it like this: Will you ever buy the movie Battlefield: Earth and show it to your kids? (Assuming you're not a Scientologist.) How about Howard the Duck or Batman and Robin? Unless you want to mess them up, I doubt it. In 50 years, they will only remember the good movies and people will say "Man, movies have really gone down the toilet these days." forgetting entirely about The Toxic Avenger.
  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:3, Insightful)

    by uncoveror (570620) <webmaster@@@uncoveror...com> on Thursday March 09, 2006 @10:07PM (#14887959) Homepage
    Let's say the wife and I want to go out to a movie for the evening. Movie tickets are about $9.00 each. If we have drinks and a snack, plan about $7.00 each 18+14=32. 32 bucks for frivolous entertainment is a lot to blow when there are bills to pay, so there batter be something spectacular that makes it worth seeing on a big screen, or I'll wait for home video. Not only that, I know that the MPAA and the studios are going to use a lot of their profits to bribe Congress into passing even more draconian measures to fight "piracy" which will destroy my personal property rights after buying a DVD. Why hand any money to their lawyers for anything less than a five star film?
  • by snStarter (212765) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @10:08PM (#14887969)
    I like movies. But my wife and I go to fewer and fewer each year.

    Why?

    Well the huge drop in our attendence this year was because every movie house around us now shows 20 minutes of video commercials before the lights dim and the trailers (usually 6) begin.

    I like to sit in the theatre and talk to my wife or the people we're with. You can't do that over the damn TV being projected onto the screen. It's awful and I hate it.

    Blend in people who think they can talk as if they were in their own living room, text message, talk on their cell phones, get up three or four times for more soda/popcorn/etc, and you have a truly wretched experience. I won't even MENTION kids crying and throwing things. I don't go when the high schoolers go - that's even worse.

    So mostly it's Netflix and a very good widescreen TV instead of the movies.

    I'm SICK and FUCKING TIRED of being endlessly marketed to. I don't need surround-sound tunes blared at me, crap on the screen. I have a mind, I like the people I go to movies with, I want to enjoy them until the lights fade and a new world unrolls on the screen.

  • by Erik Fish (106896) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @10:10PM (#14887975) Journal
    And by "agree with him totally" you really mean "get the gays and the blacks out of movies!"

    Because you know, there were no movies made this year without gay cowboys or pimps.
  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Skreems (598317) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @10:21PM (#14888018) Homepage
    not for $21 for dinner for 2 he's not... more like Wendy's or something...
  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CrowScape (659629) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @10:28PM (#14888052)
    Repulsion doesn't even have to enter the equation. Apathy is enough to kill it, because the only reason to see Brokeback Mountain was if you cared about gay relationships. Guess what? While a sizable minority are surely repulsed by homosexuality, a sizable majority couldn't care less about it. Thus, Brokeback failed.
  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Skreems (598317) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @10:44PM (#14888121) Homepage
    Yes, there are certainly original writers left. I'd like to point you towards Charlie Kaufman, for one... Adaptation, Being John Malkovich, and Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind were all massively creative, and well-acted to boot; hell, even Human Nature was better than the average comedy.

    Another: Aaron Sorkin, wrote A Few Good Men, and The American President before diverting to TV to do Sports Night and the first 4 seasons of West Wing (and he's working on a new series now).

    Even some adaptations are so drastically re-worked as to bear only a passing resemblance to the original. The new Battlestar series is quite well written, and shares only a couple of proper nouns with the original series.

    And don't forget, people are still writing new books. Because movies cost a lot, studios aren't as eager to take risks on them; there's more red tape to wade through, and people who just want to tell stories without having to fight quite so damn hard to make their vision come out the way they want it, frequently turn to publishing. Stories that are light years beyond any movie in terms of creativity are routinely completed as novels. Dan Simmons, Gene Wolfe, Salman Rushdie, Neal Stephenson, Vernor Vinge and hundreds more, are publishing new books that put all but the best movies to shame. None of them are recycled, and in fact, many of them make me wonder just exactly what the author was smoking to be able to come up with something so original.

    Yeah, there's a lot of rehashed crap as well, but that's because people will pay to see it. I guess a lot of folks don't want to have to think too hard when they look for entertainment, and the safety of something they already understand is appealing. But that doesn't mean something better isn't out there if you look for it. You just won't find it in the big-budget action or comedy films.
  • Too much money! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by indyweb (959553) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @10:47PM (#14888126) Homepage
    Why pay $25 for a couple of tickets, popcorn and drinks when you can wait a couple of months and watch it OnDemand (or rent it) in the comfort of your own home with more comfortable seats, any food you desire and a clean restroom just a pause button away?
  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:2, Insightful)

    by OwnedByTwoCats (124103) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @10:59PM (#14888182)
    You could be on to something.

    Median wages for the country have been stagnant for the last 5 years, while inflation has been chipping away, so people actually have less money to spend after you account for inflation.

    And energy costs were way up last year. Add cost of gas to get to the multiplex to the ever increasing costs of "going out".

    What do people cut out first? Entertainment.
  • Re:Babysitter? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by scotch (102596) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @11:06PM (#14888213) Homepage
    Yeah, and if you include paying the prostitute for a threesome after the flick, then a movie costs over $500 canadian!!!! Can you believe it!!!
  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @11:08PM (#14888220) Homepage
    Pixar didn't release anything to theaters in 2005. Of course revenue is down.
  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @11:10PM (#14888236)
    Even movies I like are so LOUD now that I get a headache while wearing ear plugs.

    I don't mind audience noise related to the movie. I do mind cell phone conversations, crying babies, and teens messing around making noise unrelated to the movie.

    I went to a movie about 3 months ago- there were maybe four of us in the theatre and it was super loud- I asked the manager to turn down the sound and she -refused- and gave me back my money rather than turn it down to a reasonable level.

    Finally- the commercial load is absurd. I'm paying good money and if I want a decent seat I -must- sit through 15 to 20 minutes of commercials. It irritates the hell out of me. Even worse is obvious product placement. The second I see them, it breaks me out of my suspension of disbelief and pisses me off unless the movie is poking fun at product placement.

    The combination of these are why my movie going has dropped from 20-30 movies a year to 3 to 4 movies a year. It's just not worth it- there is too much other entertainment to engage in vs getting pissed off at being treated so poorly by Hollywood's grasping after every last dime of revenue.
  • by mattcoz (856085) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @11:25PM (#14888303)
    I was with you until you said Stealth and Dukes of Hazzard
  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 09, 2006 @11:31PM (#14888330)
    What a load of crock.

    Sorry, but there are many reasons people went to see BBM that have absolutely nothing to do with caring about the gay r/s featured:
    A) They might have been a fan of the director,
    B) They like some/all of the cast,
    B) They wanted to see what the hype was about,
    C) They enjoy well made movies that do not feature an alpha male blowing things up...

    That's four just off the top of my head.

    Also, I am amazed how you could describe it a failure on just about any level a movie gets judged on. It's walked away with critical acclaim, extremeley good box office takings for its' production costs, it's probably the most talked about movie of the year, and has already cemented its' cult status by not winning at the farce that is the oscars.

    No, it hasn't made as much money as the Christian snuff film released last year, but that doesn't mean BBM was a failure.

    You're just letting your bias show.
  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:4, Insightful)

    by barefootgenius (926803) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @11:41PM (#14888388)
    I would prefer "Stranger in a Strange Land", "Friday" (is that the name) and "Time Enough For Love".

    However, I don't go to the movies. Why should I? People are noisy, its either to loud or quiet, I can't smoke, I can't stop it, I can't go to the toilet, and, finally, my arse goes to sleep.

  • Re:Simple formula (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mellon (7048) * on Thursday March 09, 2006 @11:49PM (#14888434) Homepage
    You know, the irony is that I thought it was chillingly good. Sure, Cruise is hidden behind his eyes as usual, but the story isn't Cruise. The story is the situation they're in. I've seen, heard and read several renditions of War of the Worlds, and this one was done quite well. The whole point of the story is the feeling of doom, of a situation that is completely unresolvable, and what people in that situation do. The sight of a person covered with the dust of his vaporized neighbors, with the breakdown of law and order. There were some visuals in this movie that were just amazing, and the action at the beginning was brilliant. The one thing in the movie that I thought completely sucked came at the very end - if you've seen the movie I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. But to me the movie seemed very true to the story as it's evolved in its many incarnations, and some of the visuals really felt like the kind of thing H.G. Wells would have wanted to see if he'd had a say in making it. Who would you want as the main character in the movie? Cruise' dissociation was perfect.
  • by LihTox (754597) on Friday March 10, 2006 @12:03AM (#14888490)
    In general, the originals being remade fall into two categories:
    - really good movies, where there's no real chance that a remake will improve it (e.g. Pink Panther) and it's far more likely that a remake will be total crap
    ...but why "Pink Panther"? It would have been obvious on day 1 that you can't hope to top the original scripts, and Steve Martin wasn't going to top Peter Sellers as Clouseau.

    I was thinking about this: remakes are common in all fields of performance, but nowhere is it as reviled as in movies. For example, we have recordings of Leonard Bernstein conducting the Chichester Psalms; why should anyone else bother performing it? Because it's interesting to see how a different conductor and a different orchestra interpret the piece; because they can contribute something new to it. (And after all, the programs of most orchestras are almost entirely "remakes"; premieres are a small percentage of the output of most musical ensembles.) Same goes for theatre: why do we keep seeing new performances of Hamlet? Partly for the live performance aspect, but partly because 1) a number of actors want the chance to play the role themselves, and 2) audiences appreciate a different spin on an old favorite.

    So why not do it in movies? Peter Jackson made "King Kong" because he thought, "I like that movie, I'd like to put my own spin on it." If someone really liked the Pink Panther and wanted to do the same thing, I have no problem with that. It could be interesting, if done well. Even if Steve Martin couldn't possibly "top" Peter Sellers, he could still be good, and do something interesting and unique.

    The real problem is not that movies are remade, but that they aren't remade well. But a lot of movies aren't being made well, whether remake or not.

    Just a thought.

  • quality of movies (Score:3, Insightful)

    by porkface (562081) on Friday March 10, 2006 @12:47AM (#14888648) Journal
    It will always be easy to point to specific movies and say that movies today suck. But that is a lie. There have been at least a dozen or two top notch, unique movies that even the sharpest critics rate above 8/10 or call "great movies" in each of the last 4 years.

    Things were really dry prior to the huge upsurge in piracy, but just because the marketing machines are pumping crap, there's no excuse for any claim that movies today suck. That's just something people who haven't been paying attention say because it used to be blaringly true.
  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JLF65 (888379) on Friday March 10, 2006 @01:00AM (#14888684)
    Starship Troopers needed to be made exactly like Saving Private Ryan. The book has the same kind of tone and scope. The movie was a travesty to all fans of the novel.
  • by skiddie (773482) on Friday March 10, 2006 @02:04AM (#14888858)
    I'm not an amnesiac CIA agent, but I still enjoyed the Bourne Identity. What's your point? You have to be one of the characters in a movie to enjoy it??
  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by killjoe (766577) on Friday March 10, 2006 @02:43AM (#14888969)
    It was a love story. Well actually it was a really well made love story. It had great cinemetography, great acting, and very good dialog.

    The only reason more people didn't go see it was because it was GAY love story. People go to see crappy love stories like the endless stream of vomitous romantic comedies starring jennifer lopez or kate hudson. They won't go see a really well made love story like brokeback mountain though just because it's about gay people in love.

    Having said that if it was about two hot lesbians in love the movie would have been a best seller. Mainstream america is disgusted by male homosexuality but LOOOOOOOVES female homosexuality.

  • by Dwarfgoat (472356) on Friday March 10, 2006 @02:46AM (#14888979) Homepage

    3) A liquor license, even just wine-beer, for R-rated evening showings after 8pm.

    Heh, and you somehow think this will help alleviate the irritating behavior described your earlier points? Good luck shushing the asshole on his cell phone once he's got a few beers in him! Ooh, and just wait until he gets pissed at the bad guy's antics, and throws what's left of his latest beer at the screen!

  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AnalogDiehard (199128) on Friday March 10, 2006 @02:47AM (#14888982)
    I saw a total of three movies in the theater the last ten years. I went to see King Kong only because I was going with a group of friends.

    Besides the poor material, the commercials are too long and the dynamics are too much. I hate sitting through ads before the movie, now that they run twenty minutes that was the breaking point. I will never go back. Movies are way too dynamic - street noises and crashes blast at you from the speakers, then the dialogue is so frigging soft you have to strain to hear it. The ears get fatigued fast.

    And I won't repeat the host of other reasons why the theater experience sucks today.

    DVDs solved many problems. I can zap the damn ads, and the audio output of my DVD player gets tamed by a compressor so that dynamics are flattened to a much more enjoyable level before they reach my stereo system. I don't want my speakers to get blown or my neighbors to be disturbed.

  • by payndz (589033) on Friday March 10, 2006 @04:11AM (#14889173)
    Let's face it, there were some real block busters that came out in recent years like the LOTR trilogy, Spider-Man 2, Shrek 2, The Passion of the Christ, Finding Nemo, Stealth, The Dukes of Hazzard, etc.

    You mean the Stealth with a budget of approximately $130 million and a box-office gross of just $32,116,746 [boxofficemojo.com]? I don't think that exactly qualifies as a 'blockbuster'...

  • by Black Diamond (13751) on Friday March 10, 2006 @04:43AM (#14889238)
    I work for one of the largest movie theatre chains in the U.S. so I'd say I have a slightly unique perspective on all this. As a manager at a theatre I get to see the numbers behind the scenes. How much money we pull in where. What our profitability is based on attendance, etc. The reason I see a sharp decline in movie going audiences is fairly simple. No it's not that Hollywood movies are boring and uninspired. It's not that people don't like that fact that rude teenagers interrupt their shows by talking on cell phones. It's just the complete loss of the movie theatre experience. Now, here me out on this. When was the last time you actually thought about going to the movies as an actual experience. Sitting in a room with the lights dimmed low so you can watch a huge picture on the screen.

    There is just a big difference with the attitude people have going into the whole movie theatre idea as opposed to days gone by. I can remember when I used to get really psyched to see a movie on the screen. It's just something that can't be replicated in a home theatre. I don't care if you have a 5.1 channel surround sound system and a 42" plasma screen tv, it's just not that same. I think one of the main declines is the lack of showmanship in movie theatres(mine included). It's more of a get the people in, hope they enjoy the show, get them out, and get the next group in. There is nothing special about it anymore. I can't give specific examples of why it doesn't feel the same, it just doesn't. I'm sure the aforementioned people talking on cell phones, and the definitive lack of quality in movies contributes, but that isn't the entire thing. Movies just aren't special anymore.

    I can relate one of my best movie going experiences, Kingdom of Heaven. Now most people will groan when I say that, because the movie itself wasn't particularly good. The reason the experience was so great for me, was a certain perk I have enjoyed as a manager. I got to watch the movie entirely by myself in the auditorium. Imagine 498 empty seats(this was a huge auditorium), the exact center of both the screen and the surround sound, the sound turned slightly up. Just you and the movie. It's an incredibly personal experience. It made the movie just that much better. That specialness is exactly what's missing from the movie experience nowadays. When I see a movie during normal business hours, I just feel like I'm just another person, not someone the theatre even remotely cares about.

    I could go on to say that customer service has declined in general across the board and not just in the movie theatre industry, but that's another post for another story.

    Maybe someone out there can come up with a solution to the problem. If so, let me know and I'll pass it along to my superiors.
  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 1u3hr (530656) on Friday March 10, 2006 @05:35AM (#14889360)
    The reason for that is that they have choked off the supply of works going in to the public domain. Historically, Hollywood has dipped into the public domain for ideas. Nothing new into the public domain = nothing new in Hollywood.

    That's just silly. Hollywood has no problem paying for ideas. They pay to do remakes of crap like The Dukes of Hazzard. For every movie produced, hundreds of scripts and books have been optioned. The ones that get finance are those the studios think have an audience. Obviously they're not picking well, but the reason they make crap is because that's been their choice, there are uncountable intelligent books, plays and original screenplays gathering dust in filing cabinets in Hollywood. The place has as many would-be writers as would-be actors. In any case, most movies are set in modern day; no matter when you expire copyright stories reflecting modern culture will be under copyright (yes, I know you can adapt Shakespeare to any period, some things are universal; but many are not).

    Little wonder that Anime and Manga are getting more popular.

    Anime is mostly attitude and visual style. If you try to follow the story, it's trivial, and generally nonsensical and childish. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:2, Insightful)

    by raduf (307723) on Friday March 10, 2006 @05:56AM (#14889420)


          Oh come on. You don't have to be "disgusted by homosexuality" to prefer straight love stories. I may be open minded, I may even be politically correct, but sure as hell ain't gonna enjoy gay love stories as much as boy/girl stories. Because... well... there's no girl :) Seriously, I just can't identify with the characters and if that's missing, there is little pleasure in just watching the movie as an art form.

          I'm a bit surprised though there's no female audience for this. I know from anime&manga chicks loove gay innuendos, and yet they don't seem to watch that kind of movies that much. This might be indeed because of cultural inhibitions.

          PS: I second on the endless stream of crappy romantic love stories...
  • by Elemenope (905108) on Friday March 10, 2006 @06:56AM (#14889597)
    So in Asimov's books the robot wouldn't be able to come to this conclusion, that the first Law must be ascrificed for the good of the humans, the robots would break even thinking such a thing.

    VIKI, the aformentioned robot in the movie, did NOT 'sacrifice' the first law or any such thing; she even flat out states, she reinterprets the First Law to mean something closer to the Zeroth law (survival and welfare of the collective the human species, more important than individuals.) According to how her program evolved, she wasn't breaking the First law, hence she wouldn't turn into a steaming pile of positronic goo. I thought it was a pretty clever meditation on how a sufficiently advanced mind can abstract away from the literal interpretation of some set of rules, and a good explication of the evolution of the Zeroth law that Asimov postulated would happen in sufficiently advanced robot minds. It also did a good job of showing why the Zeroth law sucked so very, very much.

    (This is not directed at Parent) And I for the life of me cannot figure out why 'I, Robot' the film is the geek community's favorite red-headed step-child. I liked it immensely as faithful to the spirit and tone of Asimov's works, it was beautifully rendered (as parent mentioned), decently acted, well written, and above all, entertaining. Unlike most hollywood faire passed up the opportunity to do the 'Frankenstein' remake that most of these movies take (pretty explicitly in dialogue, in fact, probably because Asimov routinely bitched about Robot Frankensteins in sci-fi). If people are going to bitch about movies, there are much better choices.

  • by hachete (473378) on Friday March 10, 2006 @07:41AM (#14889701) Homepage Journal
    You've just spent $207 million on a movie (King Kong remake) you want some return. Specifically, you've just spent $270 millon on a trilogy and you would really like to $3 billion in gross revenues (LOTR). That's the target, but it rarely happens.

    These grosses are further inflated because movies have become events in themselves. When the original KK came out, there was at least one big showing where all the glitz came alone. Starwars Ep1 had a world-wide release on the same day(sic!).

    So todays film dynamics are larger, bigger, greater. The returns, when the sweet-spot is hit, is equally inflated. The problem is that to aspire to the giddy heights of LOTR requires a lot of faith and hope and risk-taking. That's the crevasse down which most films fall. You've just spent $207 million on a movie but it has a dark ending. Leave the punters feeling good, and they'll return. So play it safe, ditch the dark ending, insert a romantic thread, insert action for story. A crap movie is born.

    http://www.economist.com/diversions/displaystory.c fm?story_id=5283197 [economist.com]
  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RM6f9 (825298) <rwmurker@yahoo.com> on Friday March 10, 2006 @07:46AM (#14889714) Homepage Journal
    Given the horrendous abuse of "Starship Troopers", I'd rather send a check directly to Mrs. Heinlein so that other titles not suffer similar fates.
  • Re:Why Movies Suck (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 10, 2006 @08:52AM (#14889903)
    > Anime is mostly attitude and visual style. If you try to follow the story, it's trivial, and generally nonsensical and childish. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

    If you're talking about Pokemon, Sailor Moon, etc. I agree. However, anime is more than that. Check out Grave of the Fireflies, Tokyo Godfathers, My Neighbors the Yamadas, Porco Rosso, Castle of Cagliostro, Millenium Actress, Only Yesterday, Pom Poko, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, etc.
  • by andrewweb (257554) on Friday March 10, 2006 @10:03AM (#14890211)
    All in all, I'd rather see the new blockbuster on the big screen, rather than some crappy pirate version..

    I recently had cause to write to MyVue because of an incident with annoying kids in the cinema, whose idea of the movie-watching experience includes shouting, swearing and setting off ringtones every 5 minutes. Sadly, leathering the crap out of them is the kind of thing that appears to be frowned upon these days.

    I was amused by the trailer that played before the film, you know the one, the anti-piracy "some viewers may choose to watch a pirate copy" crap, where the picture-perfect audience all sit around, arm-in-arm laughing, screaming, eating their overpriced popcorn.

    Anyway, I wrote to MyVue contrasting my experience with that in the trailer and received 9 free tickets instead of the requested refund. So they missed the point entirely.

    Fast forward a few days and King Kong is out - a picture crying out to be seen in the cinema. And 9 free tickets burning a hole in my pocket.

    So what did I do? I waited ages for a decent dvdrip of King Kong to come out so I could watch it in the privacy of my own home, away from little bastards who think they are far more entertaining than the film. Could have used the free tickets there, but chose not to. Didn't want a film I was looking forward to ruined.

    So I chose to ruin it for myself, by watching it on a 28" 4:3 CRT tube, in paltry stereo.

    I'm willing to bet I still enjoyed it more there, under those conditions, than I would have at MyVue telling snot-noses not to keep setting their 'funny' ringtones off every 5 minutes.

    If the Cinema chains want to get people back, they can start by cleaning up their own damn acts, and actually making it into somewhere you look forward to going.

    I'm sure I'm not alone in this.
  • by Marrow (195242) on Friday March 10, 2006 @10:34AM (#14890405)
    Why would I go to a movie theater and wait in line, walk on a sticky floor, and see a movie in a room with a badly calibrated sound system and scratches on the screen?

    They can connect the fall in movie theater ticket sales with the rise in DVD sales (home and rentals). DVDs offer extra features, subtitles, fast forward and rewind. All for the same price as a couple of tickets to the theater (w/ popcorn). And you dont have to schedule around a DVD.

    If movie theaters want to survive, they are going to have to offer much more than just the movies and a snack bar.

    Some suggestions:

    Card readers that you swipe to go into a movie and the bill shows up on your credit card or a bill at the end of the month.

    Special screenings.

    Fix the damn theaters so they look and sound PERFECT.

    Merchandising or some other way of getting involvement so that people who see the movie in the theater get something more than the DVD viewers. A program, a shirt, a coupon to visit a special website forum.

    New ideas in movies would be nice. Remakes are a defensive strategy which is not working well. People pay to see new ideas.

    Lets face it: There are far MORE movies and far BETTER movies showing on far MORE screens then ever in the past. But movie theaters themselves may be inconvenient compared to home entertainment. I have to drive an hour to see a movie with my friends at a good theater.

    You are going to have to make the theaters better than waiting for the DVD and seeing it at leisure.

  • by misfit815 (875442) on Friday March 10, 2006 @10:42AM (#14890457)

    Movies are dropping revenue because...

    - It costs too much, compared to the alternatives (buying the DVD).

    - You have to sit through 20 minutes of commercials now.

    - People are becoming more anti-social and don't want to go to a theatre.

    - I have a $3000 DLP HDTV with 7.1 and all the trimmings, why go to a theatre?

    - Ok, maybe piracy, but that's insignificant.

    - Oh yeah, and the overall quality of movies sucks now.

    - The internet reduces the time it takes to figure out the movie sucks.

    Most importantly, though, none of these are changing. Maybe, just maybe, the sucky-factor might turn itself around, but every other cause shows no sign of letting up. So that means we're at the end of an era, and the studios are just going to have to adapt. It's a fact of business; one sure way to bring about the death of your product is to keep making it the same way.

  • by atomic_toaster (840941) on Friday March 10, 2006 @11:35AM (#14890802)
    Box office revenues aren't declining because Hollywood is telling stories that have been told before. After all, don't every story ever told boil down to one of something like eight possible plot lines? The problem is that Hollywood insists on telling stories that have been told before in the video medium. Remakes of old movies and TV shows, as well as far too many sequels where the plot from the first movie is recycled and tweaked for the second (or third, or fourth) movie, are par for the course these days.

    Bad acting, poor writing, and a dependance on CG/special effects over plot do have an impact, it's true. And when you're making a decision about whether to go to the theater or not, prices can be prohibitive. But how can you justify spending $X to go to the movies when you've already seen the first/original King Kong/Star Wars/Jurassic Park/Psycho/Amityville Horror/Pink Panther etc. on the big screen? What's the thrill of seeing it again with slightly better film quality and special effects?

    Movies become blockbuster hits the first time around primarily because the audience feels that they are watching something original. (Stories taken from books, plays, comic books, etc., while often made into movies, don't have the same "been there, done that" feel on screen because of the change in medium.) In King Kong and other films that rely heavily on special effects, when the original came to the screen, it was the first time that those exact plots had been aired, and the visual effects were spectacular for the time. For movies like Psycho that depend more on plot and acting than special effects, there was still suspense because people didn't already know all the plot twists.

    Box office sales will go up, film piracy or no film piracy, when Hollywood stops investing most of its money in remakes and sequels.

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