March 7, 2006


Box office blues: Low Oscar ratings reflect lack of blockbuster flicks (Sean L. McCarthy, March 7, 2006, Boston Herald)

Low ratings for an Academy Awards show that touted low-grossing movies could make for another down year at the box office.

And Oscar’s willingness to dote on films with political themes could mean that we’ll be seeing more movies that matter this year.
In what sense can movies that no one sees be said to matter?

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 7, 2006 7:50 AM

It's a term of art.

Posted by: David Cohen at March 7, 2006 8:32 AM

Because the coastal elites saw the movies, and they are the only people who matter (who really cares what's on the screens in fly-over country?).

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at March 7, 2006 8:53 AM

Hard to believe "we'll be seeing more movies that matter" if the execs who green light the projects start fearing for their jobs because those films aren't making any money. Stars like George Clooney may have enough money right now to indulge their whims to be considered meaningful on the poitical stage, but the bean counter and the studio officials are only going to go so far producing "serious" films that play to hundreds of theaters full of empty seats.

Posted by: John at March 7, 2006 9:23 AM

Cinematistes see themselves as being in the vanguard much like all the great artists and authors were ahead of their time, so are their modern day avatars, who have anticipated civilization's progress and are laying the ground work for it.

Posted by: erp at March 7, 2006 9:25 AM

Oops, I forgot the s/on -- s/off on the previous comment.

Posted by: erp at March 7, 2006 9:26 AM

Ego so large it produces a black hole.

Posted by: Luciferous at March 7, 2006 9:54 AM

Can Springtime for Osama be far behind?

Posted by: Mike Earl at March 7, 2006 11:11 AM

Movie mogul George Lucas predicts Hollywood will soon start shifting away from mega-budget blockbusters in favor of making more independent films for less money. Alongside Steven Spielberg, Star Wars creator Lucas is cited as being chiefly responsible for the blockbuster phenomenon that has gripped the movie industry for the last three decades. But he now believes big-budget films can no longer be profitable and are going out of fashion, as evidenced by this year's Academy Award nominees, including independent movies Crash and Good Night, And Good Luck. Lucas tells the New York Daily News, "The market forces that exist today make it unrealistic to spend $200 million on a movie. Those movies can't make their money back anymore. Look at what happened with King Kong. I think it's great that the major Oscar nominations have gone to independent films. Is that good for the business? No - it's bad for the business. But movie-making isn't about business. It's about art. In the future, almost everything that gets shown in theaters will be indie movies. I predict that by 2025 the average movie will cost only $15 million." (IMDB)

Posted by: Mrk at March 7, 2006 11:58 AM

I think most, if not all, movies are crap. I really can't stand the formula movies - lots of sex, blow stuff up, political correctness, etc... I'd love to see more original stuff (last year we were graced with these remakes: Charlie and Chocolate Factory, Bad News Bears, Dukes of Hazard, War of the Worlds, The Longest Yard, Fun with Dick & Jane, Cheaper By the Dozen II, Herbie the Lovebug, Amityville Horror, Bewitched, Yours Mine & Ours, House of Wax, Zorro, The Producers & The Honeymooners). Did the world really need most of these remakes? Of those, King Kong and War of the Worlds were decent films but utterly forgettable. I'd also like to see better stuff for kids (do we have to have fart jokes or somebody getting kicked in the groin in evey kid's movie?). We rented that Kicking & Screaming with Will Farell and for the life of me, I don't understand why they would throw the lesbian couple into the mix of things other than to push the diversity thing to little kids. I also abhor sequels.

Posted by: pchuck at March 7, 2006 12:10 PM

Morko: Remember in the year before Titanic came out, when people were saying it was going to be a catastrophic failure and destroy the career of everyone involved? Make a GOOD high-budget movie and it will rake in the dough.

Lucas is one of two people I'm aware of who have bucked the Hollywood studio system and become self-made billionaires (or nearly so...)--the other being Mel Gibson. The fact that there has been absolutely NOTHING to follow-up The Passion shows that your notion that all H'wood cares about is profit is woefully incomplete.

Massive amounts of money are being left on the table by the studios, and because of this fact I think that your quoted statement that "In the future, almost everything that gets shown in theaters will be indie movies" could possibly be accurate. Someone someday has to make a war showing the greatness of the US military and its current efforts around the world. And the studios will either change direction to co-opt them, or be as pig-headed as the major media has been in recent years, and become just as irrelevant.

If I were the head of a studio, I would call Mel in and give him total control to make whatever movies he wants, to mentor a next generation of talent, etc. I would ask him to do one specific project--a modern version of Quo Vadis, with no budget limitations at all. With the sex, violence, and religious storylines, and his abilities, it would be probably the biggest box office success ever (and I mean that with absolutely no hyperbole--give yourself a treat & read the book if you haven't had the privilege).

Posted by: b at March 7, 2006 12:37 PM

Lord of the Rings. Narnia.

Good big budget movies do well. King Kong not so well.

Posted by: Bob at March 7, 2006 1:14 PM

What Lucas left out is that those indie films will be made by small groups of people with computer generated actors and sets. (Especially when they get the voices down.) Then there'll no longer be a need for a huge hierarchy of sycophantic assistants to assistants for those Hollywood waiters to claw their way up to the Big Time. It'll just be another industry where mechanization replaced hand labor.

And people like George Cloony will have to fall back on their only other true talent-- being able to enunciate clearly "Do you want fries with that?"

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at March 7, 2006 7:50 PM