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George Lucas To Quit Movie Business 520

Posted by kdawson
from the may-the-force-be-with-you dept.
CaroKann writes, "Variety is reporting that George Lucas is getting out of the movie business. Mr. Lucas laments that today's big-budget franchise films are too expensive and too risky. He believes American audiences are deserting their movie going habits permanently. Instead of making major films, Lucasfilm will instead focus on television. Lucas states that for the price of one $200 million feature movie, 'I can make 50-60 two hour movies' that are 'pay-per-view and downloadable.' Notably, he does not plan on distributing movies online, calling online distribution a 'rathole.'"
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George Lucas To Quit Movie Business

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  • by raehl (609729) <raehl311.yahoo@com> on Thursday October 05, 2006 @12:00PM (#16322571) Homepage
    Once you've spent $100 million on a movie... ...what exactly do you get for the SECOND $100 million you spend?
  • by cyclomedia (882859) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @12:00PM (#16322589) Homepage Journal
    I think a general move away from Movies to TV Series's is a Good Thing. Don't get me wrong, I still think some stories will always work well when told over ~2 hours but think about The Lord of The Rings, for example. Could that have worked better as 13 1 hour episodes (on dvd, sans adverts!) or even 24 1 hour episodes? giving the viewer the opportunity to skip the (Two Towers Extended Edition equivalent) Faramir ep entirely if they like, allowing the director and producers the chance to span the three books better and such like. I probably think so, note I'm not talking traditional TV Series here, there would never ever be a LOTR season 2, for example, but so long as the production values (and therefore costs) were suitably high i see no reason why The Hobbit couldnt come out, not as a 3 hour film, but as a 6 part miniseries ... so long as the "marathon" option is available on the $NextGen DVD release for the nutters amongst us (myself included)
  • by DigitalGodBoy (142596) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @12:04PM (#16322695) Homepage
    He called it "a" rathole, not "that" rathole. And he's right, for the moment.

    Until all the DRM gets solidified (and legal downloadable larger-studio content won't happen without DRM, regardless of what anyone says) and the bandwidth to pull down large files reachs a larger share of the American populace I wouldn't waste my time either.
  • Re:Praise the gods. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by GotenXiao (863190) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @12:05PM (#16322717)
    I'm all for him if he funds (note; FUNDS. No control over end result) another few series of Firefly ^^
  • by jchenx (267053) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @12:13PM (#16322917) Journal
    My wife made an excellent observation the other day. Anyone else notice that TV shows seem to be far better than the movies that have come out recently? Last year, ABC's Lost and Desperate Housewives dazzled many viewers (ourselves included). This year, I've been really impressed by NBC's Heroes and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. The writing has been quite good, although some may argue that it does degrade over time. Not to mention lots of the great shows on HBO, Showtime, and some of the excellent comedies that have come and gone (Arrested Development comes to mind). And keep in mind that most of these are original shows. TV is in a far better situation than it used to be just a few years ago, when everything had to be a "reality TV show".

    This is in comparison to movies, where it seems like everything is a sequel nowadays, or some book->movie or TV->movie or game->movie port.
  • Re:Alas, (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Loether (769074) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @12:51PM (#16323627) Homepage
    Funny quote. pretty close too, but It's actually "725" to 1. The fact that I can still quote most of the lines from the original trilogy (numbers included) is a little disconcerting for an adult. Empire was my favorite movie as a child. oh well.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080684/quotes [imdb.com]
  • by TrisexualPuppy (976893) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @12:51PM (#16323629)
    I was watching television the other day and had a pretty big revelation. Have you noticed, at least lately, that television shows are a lot better than the movies that have come out recently? Let's think about it for a minute here. Last year, ABC's Lost and Desperate Housewives had 140.3 million viewers [wikipedia.org]. This year, I've been really impressed by NBC's Heroes and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. The writing has been quite good, although some may argue that it does degrade over time. Not to mention lots of the great shows on HBO, Showtime, and some of the excellent comedies that have come and gone (Arrested Development comes to mind). And keep in mind that most of these are original shows. TV is in a far better situation than it used to be just a few years ago, when everything had to be a "reality TV show".

    This is in comparison to movies, where it seems like everything is a sequel nowadays, or some book->movie or TV->movie or game->movie port.

    Ya get where I'm going?
  • by wolff000 (447340) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @01:22PM (#16324147)
    "Lucas states that for the price of one $200 million feature movie, 'I can make 50-60 two hour movies' that are 'pay-per-view and downloadable.'" What in that statement makes people think no more movies? Lucas did not say he was quitting the movie business he said he was pretty much cutting out theaters. He is right to do so. The theater experience is not what it used to be and costs have skyrocketed. What middle income family can afford 100 bucks for the movies every weekend? Assuming its a typical family of four tickets alone cost an average 35-40 bucks. When you throw in drinks, popcorn, candy and parking your at 100 or more. Hopefully we won't see too many rehashes of old work but some new and original stuff. I'm sure he is still capable of brilliant work.
  • Scary thought (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Headcase88 (828620) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @01:29PM (#16324295) Journal
    I'll bet there'll be a new version that shows Vader killing the Jedi of the Jedi Temple only in self-defence (somehow??*), prompting people to wear "Vader killed them in cold blood" shirts and demanding a vintage release straight from the original DVDs.

    At this point Lucas (100 years old) claims he can't find any working DVDs, but he has the blu-ray edition and sells it for a ridiculous price.

    *There's probably a better example of something that could equate with Han shooting Greedo first in the new trilogy, but I never watched the new trilogy very intently, for obvious reasons (it sucked).
  • Re:Praise the gods. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 05, 2006 @02:14PM (#16325009)
    I don't see how Lucas could do any more damage to the station than what Mark Stern has already done.

    As far as I'm concerned, SciFi is already six feet in the ground and waiting for the first shovelful of dirt to be tossed on top.

    Granted the show Eureka looks interesting enough, I just can't muster up an urge to watch it. Given the station's track record, by the time I get into the show, it will be slated for cancellation.
  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @02:27PM (#16325217)
    The lack of dialogue in the Episode I Darth Maul finale is what I loved most about that movie. You didn't need words. The foreshadowing tells you what's about to happen. And, contrary to the majority opinion on the acting, the actors used their body language and facial expressions so well that you know at every point what's going through their minds throughtout the duel. Spare me the melodramatic speeches in a brawl when two guys are just trying to kick each others asses. It worked in the first 3 because there was an emotional connection between the combatants when they had something to say to each other. I think people never give the new 3 enough credit as movies in their own right rather than just an alternative to the original three.
  • Re:Alas, (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Disavian (611780) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @03:14PM (#16326063) Homepage
    Already done.

    How the Sith Stole Christmas [theforce.net]
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @03:24PM (#16326247) Homepage Journal
    Um, I think you missed the point. To me(and I could be wrong, this is just my own interpretation) it wasn't really a "love" story, it was more a story about self-discovery vis-a-vis the other. Whether the "other" be a completely alien culture in a new land with an unfamiliar language or someone from a different generation. They discovered more about themselves by changing their environments whether they wanted to or not, challenging themselves to do something different, to at least temporarily escape their own identities and be someone new.

    Bob and Charlotte aren't perfect, or even likable, but I think that makes the story more powerful. Even if you have never been to Japan you can empathize with their journey. Not to mention some of the spectacular camera work and music.

    But again, that is my own opinion of the film, feel free to draw your own conclusions.
  • by snuf23 (182335) on Thursday October 05, 2006 @03:41PM (#16326511)
    So can you explain to me exactly why they had that stupid timed shield/door thing that prevented Obi Wan from entering the room?
    It pretty much ruined the whole scene for me. Oooooh arbitrary plot device thrown in to create dramatic showdown.

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