Thursday, January 06, 2011on
my Twitter with an interesting Forces of Geek article by Seth Levi about the 2010 box office. I don't agree with everyone the writer says—I totally understand why we judge movies' success on their box office gross—but I do admire his efficient dismantling of Hollywood's constant spin about the health of the film industry. Media outlets keep reporting how "the box office broke $10 billion for just the second time in history!" but let's be very clear: attendance for 2010 was down by a HUGE 5%, and people are FINALLY starting to crow about it! Levi writes:
Consider this: in 2000 $7.7 billion worth of movie tickets were sold and in 2010 it was $10.3 billion. Yet, the number of tickets sold dropped. 1.4 billion tickets were sold in 2000 and only 1.3 billion in 2010. And now, 3D movies have created a situation where we’re comparing apples to oranges in the same year... In 1954 the average person purchased 16.37 tickets; in 2009 they purchased 4.61... The fact is, fewer people are going to the movies and Hollywood is running out of ways of masking this.Thank you, thank you, thank you! I've been waiting for other people to get critical towards Hollywood—and Levi is far from being the only one! Box office analyst Rich Greenfield has jumped on the anti-"masking," anti-3D bandwagon as well:
A recipe for disaster: Hollywood is combining substantial price increases ($3.25 3D upcharge is the average in the US on a $7.00-$7.25 average 2D ticket), with annoying glasses that substantially dim the light of a movie and which young children spend more time playing with than wearing, with sub-par content (not to mention the fact that 3D gives some people headaches and others cannot see 3D imagery at all). While you may think of us as the '3D Grinch', we fundamentally believe content and story are the key factors to success and that technology alone is not a long-term path to success or profits. The movie industry should reduce the number of 3D movies it has planned or at least substantially scale back the upcharge as they are simply charging way too much for poor content. Did a Jack Black comedy, Gulliver’s Travels really need to be in 3D? We suspect even if the movie was bad, lowering pricing (to 2D levels) would have ended up selling more tickets.Ah, music to my ears. Hollywood is running the film industry into the ground with 3D right now. I hope they're listening to the increasingly disgruntled population! Are you tired of the constant spin from the film industry? Do you think the box office is as troubled as I do?