Some say we are in the era of the franchise. Last year 8 out of the top 10 grossing films worldwide were franchise movies. Some say that this is down ultimately to the recession. People could no longer afford to take risks on $15 tickets to go and watch a movie they thought looked interesting, they would rather spend it on a superhero movie in which they will know what they will receive for that money.
They know this because they all use the same formulas. Willenson (entertainment industry consultant) believes that boom years for the 1% have left a group of people with money to burn — a state of mind that the movie business encourages. The problem is that not all of the projects they’re bankrolling are worthy of their riches.
‘Variety’ reported that in 2004, 490 films were released across 1,000 theatres. Last year that number sky-rocketed to 563. Despite this, in 2004, films grossed $380 million dollars, $10 million more than last year.
The belief by many experts is that the influx of major conglomerate films and tiny independents brought on by the wave of access to top technology at cheap prices is creating a large gap of ‘adult’ movies in-between them. Movies grossing between $50-100 has fallen from 41 to 34 over the past decade. Chase (Creator of Sopranos) once stated, “film went from something interesting, to what we have now” and indeed what we have now is spectacle driven movies that bring in the majority of their profits.
It’s been common knowledge for sometime now that cinema is as frowned upon as it was in the 20’s, when it was seen as drama for the poor actor. Now it is seen as the place to see cheap thrills like the circus. Independent cinema is the place in film where truly unique and moving stories are being created and why so many A-list actors are moving into television. Like 3-D films, this money-grabbing formula by the conglomerates will start to decline and eventually they will be forced to create better stories and produce fewer films. As my third grade teacher always used to tell me, quality, not quantity.