The damage to Hollywood is self-inflicted by overkill
Hollywood explains problems with narratives meant to persuasively mask the truth
Hollywood liberals love to voice their political opinions as if they relate to the everyday, average American. They hold themselves on an elite level, and act like we worship them. While many people are star struck by celebrities, they only exist because of us. Once we turn off our televisions, boycott their movies, or not attend their performances, they cease to exist.
A predictable headline emerged from The Hollywood Reporter last month: “Media Stocks Suffer in Trump Era.” Calculable, we can leave it to the Tinsel Town system to blame The Donald for their slacking performance trends.
Coming from the people who are still in denial about Donald J. Trump being elected president, I suppose Hollywood thinks he had something to do with their recent lackluster results: Outcomes were not good for The Mummy, Transformers: The Last Knight, Baywatch and Alien: Covenant. Perhaps they heard more fake news from CNN or NBC? Something about Russia being involved with The Fate and the Furious, Fifty Shades Darker and Cars 3.
It wasn’t President Trump who made the decision to spend $125 million to produce Monster Trucks. The movie has made less than $34 million so far this year.
Just like their politics, Hollywood explains problems with narratives meant to persuasively mask the truth. What lies lurking behind their curtain? A façade–with no brains, no heart and little courage. Media analyst Hal Vogel told the industry what they don’t want to hear. Or, if they did listen, they’re not doing much about it.
“The theater business has weaker prospects going forward than at any time in the last 30 years,” Vogel said. “It’s encountering visible strain this summer. It’s a superhero, mega-blockbuster, tentpole strategy run amuck. There’s too much of it, and it’s not working.”
–They increase prices to compensate for decrease amount of ticket purchases. The closest they will come to actuality is to say sales are “flat.” They’re not flat. They are spiraling down. The average American movie ticket in 1995 cost $4.35. In 2005 it was $6.41 and up to $7.50 in 2009. Today it costs $8.89. Have you checked the price for a large popcorn and two soda combo lately?
–In the first half of 2017, the world’s largest movie theater company, AMC Entertainment is under performing by 32 percent. IMAX is down 30 percent.
–The Motion Picture Association of America reports that the movie going audience of 18-to-39-year-olds has declined each year since 2012.
—Tom Cruise’s highest worldwide opening of his career was The Mummy. It’s projected to make about $40 million, but it cost nearly $170 million to make.
The damage to Hollywood is self-inflicted by overkill. Can you say “franchise fatigue?” Sure James Bond, Star Wars and Harry Potter make money, but just how many Transformers, Aliens, and Resident Evils do they expect us to take?
Hollywood equals greed and fear multiplied by a profound lack of imagination. Their formula is not working. We want originality in our entertainment, not predictableness. Just in the last five years they’ve expected us to put down our cell phones, laptops and game consoles for 47 Ronin (lost $150 million), R.I.P.D. ($112 million losses), and the Ben-Hur remake (losing $120 million). I’m still angry about what Hollywood did to The Lone Ranger which came in at a $120 million loss.
Where is the nerve? When we walk out of a theater we want to feel something—at least move us to some kind of emotion that might last at least a day!
There has been some hope for courage with fresh and astonishing movies such as the imaginative Baby Driver and Time Trap offerings. But they’re not easily allowed the opportunities franchise movies have. They are forced to rely on word of mouth.
When it comes to return on investment (ROI), the big movie companies are not paying attention. Cassidy Gifford, the star of Time Trap, just happens to be the only actor to be in two of the top most lucrative movies of all time in terms of ROI. Gifford was in The Gallows, a 2015 horror flick that cost only $1,00,000 to produce. The profit is nearing $43 million. Not a bad investment according to The Numbers. The daughter of Kathy Lee Gifford and the late Frank Gifford also appeared in God’s Not Dead, released in March 2014. For a production investment of $1,150,000, the movie profited $35,865,271—an incredible 3,019% ROI. The two movies were second and fifth place respectively in the top ROI movies in history.
The question for the movie studios is, why are they gambling $125-$150 million on movies that are losing money? Do they even remember Robert Rodriguez’s 1992 film, El Mariachi? It is recognized by Guinness World Records as the lowest-budgeted film ever to gross $1 million at the box office. It only cost $7,225 to make.
Some of the Top 20 best ROI movies of all time include:
|It’s a Wonderful Life||$3,180,000||$69,659,138||2,091%|