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Bad Movies to Blame for Box Office Slump

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the obvious-things-that-needed-saying dept.

Movies 416

macklin01 writes "The LA Times is reporting that box office executives are finally fessing up and taking the blame. Poor box office receipts over the summer weren't caused by surging fuel costs, changes in audience preferences, or anything else. As Slashdot readers might have put it (and as it comes out in the article), 'It's the movies, stupid.'"

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416 comments

DUPE (2, Informative)

LeonGeeste (917243) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696463)

Re:DUPE (5, Funny)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696517)

Duh, that was The New York Times coverage, this is The LA Times coverage. Everyone knows that PST is behind EST, don't they? The first story was for people on the US's Atlantic seaboard, this one is for people on the US's Pacific seaboard, nothing more, nothing less.

Of course, people inbetween the US's east and west coasts mainly voted for Bush, so their version, linking to Fox News, will follow later with a suitable spin ("It's the fault of those damn terrorists!"). Meanwhile, people outside the US will get their own frontpage story too, citing news sources such as the BBC, that will point out that it's the American film industry that's in decline, not the global one...

MOD PARENT DOWN (-1, Troll)

Im Rick James Bitch! (891447) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696656)

-1 fucktard

dude, you are truly stupid. your attempt at humor is just pathetic.

Re:DUPE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13696568)

The linked article is from the NYTimes and is an editorial where they analyse the industry and say that the movie industry is to blame for its own problems.

This article is about someone rather high up in the movie industry actually stating that they are to blame for the situation they are in.

NOT A DUPE.

Re:DUPE (2)

netmucus (883884) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696589)

Simple Economics folks... The price of a movie has exceeded what we are willing to pay. Drop the price of a movie (and all the concessions) and more people will go. DUH!

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13696464)

fp

sure buddy (3, Funny)

bariswheel (854806) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696466)

no it wasn't! It was those damn hurricanes, how much clearer can it get?? silly...

No, NO. (2, Funny)

game kid (805301) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696566)

The problem was all those altruistic producers, with their Lord of the GNU/Rings, KAlien and OpenMatrix trilogies!

Moviegoers should support our plotless, $2.00-worth--I mean, Oscar® worthy movies! All the people that we entice and underpay^W^W^W^Wwork on our movies deserve nothing less.

--Dr. Random RIAA Spokes-Person

P.S. Encourage your local movie studio to use CSS (and I don't mean standard Web technology--besides, what's better than protecting official-movie-site IP with Flash?)

Re:sure buddy (5, Funny)

13bPower (869223) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696625)

Kerry would have stopped those hurricanes!

it's their mess, hope they clean it up (5, Insightful)

yagu (721525) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696467)

It's almost amazing the movie industry gets away with this. They scream and throw tantrums over any overtures, any market that dares step foot in their domain. How? By threatening to sue almost anyone! How? By demanding the electronics industry put "safeguards" in dvd players (more on that in a second). How? By spending millions in D.C. demanding laws be passed to protect their eroding stranglehold on an evolving market place. How? By doing everything in their power to prevent evolution (read: progress).

In the meantime, they approve pap for movie plots and ideas, pander to the idiotic mainstream thinking that's their meal ticket (it mostly is). But their offerings have become so predictable, so terrible, and so terribly produced and directed people are starting to feel ripped off for the small fortune they must spend for a night out of movies and popcorn. They've sown these seeds, they're reaping their own rewards.

What I think funny in the article is their collective sigh of relief some recent movies are getting viewers. I suspect when movies like "Transporter 2 are raking in blockbuster revenues it's more about their concerted ramped-up advertising and less about the quality of their movies.

It does appear there may be some good movies this fall ("History of Violence" is high on my list), I'm guessing we'll see more of the same crap. I don't know how many times they can go to the well with their overproduced special effects stories with no plot or believable ideas and keep the public coming back (but don't underestimate the masses to continue to believe, ever heard of Charlie Brown and Lucy?), but they're creating their own misery.

As for their heavy handed fingers-in-the-distribution-and-technology pie, give me a break. I set up a dvd recorder for my dad. I LOVED how simple it was to operate, and it did an excellent job of recording shows for him. He was a happy camper too. He loves to watch PBS, and was excited to record a recent Civil War special on his new dvd recorder and wanted to send the dvd to me to watch. He was concerned because his dvd would not play on other dvd players, something about a region code violation (we know what that is).

Anyway, the disk arrived today, and it's NOT playable on my player. Fuck the movie and entertainment industry. They've made my dad unhappy, they've prevented me from watching a show which, had I watched, could only have helped their cause (exposure, exposure, exposure).

This isn't the first time I've had this technology dance with my dad, and I'm sure it won't be the last. But, I hate it, and the sooner the entertainment industry cleans up their act, the better. Sigh.

Re:it's their mess, hope they clean it up (1, Insightful)

LeonGeeste (917243) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696493)

Good point about the technological use restrictions, but they may not even release DVD's if they had to release them in a format that allowed for easy pirating. So it's not all bad.

Re:it's their mess, hope they clean it up (5, Interesting)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696551)

"they may not even release DVD's if they had to release them in a format that allowed for easy pirating"

The Circuit City DIVX fiasco proved that you're wrong. There was no chance that the studios would leave billions of dollars on the table just to spite the pirates.

Re:it's their mess, hope they clean it up (1)

LeonGeeste (917243) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696582)

Right, but let's think on the margin. Obviously, someone will still release DVD's, irrespective of ease of piracy. But for some class of movies, ease of piracy is a huge factor, and given the risk involved in promoting a movie, some studios will conclude that a DVD will lose them money and just not release it. The important question is, do the benefits of ease of use in the DVD's that do get released outweight the loss of the DVD's that don't ever get released? And the answer is far from clear.

Re:it's their mess, hope they clean it up (4, Informative)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696592)

Good point about the technological use restrictions, but they may not even release DVD's if they had to release them in a format that allowed for easy pirating. So it's not all bad.

+1 Insightful? More like -1 Ridiculous! They're in the freakin movie business. The way they make money is by selling movies. They wouldn't release DVDs if pirating were easy? Like they did with VHS? Yeah, not a single movie was released on VHS. Furthermore, it's not like region coding does diddley squat to prevent piracy. It's not even intended to stop piracy. It's sole purpose is to facilitate market segmentation, whereby the movie industry can squeeze the maximum possible profit out of every market in the world without the low income regions undercutting the high income ones by selling out of the country.

Re:it's their mess, hope they clean it up (1)

LeonGeeste (917243) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696632)

+1 Insightful? More like -1 Ridiculous! They're in the freakin movie business. The way they make money is by selling movies. They wouldn't release DVDs if pirating were easy? Like they did with VHS? Yeah, not a single movie was released on VHS.

They heyday of VHS was before the mass availability of Napster and P2P filesharing, so piracy had huge difficulties built right in. You had to distribute them in person (and thereby only spread the movies very, very slowly) or get a good reputation and advertise publicly, in which case the FBI would arrest you. So yes, it was relatively hard to pirate VHS.

urthermore, it's not like region coding does diddley squat to prevent piracy. It's not even intended to stop piracy. It's sole purpose is to facilitate market segmentation, whereby the movie industry can squeeze the maximum possible profit out of every market in the world without the low income regions undercutting the high income ones by selling out of the country.

You contradict yourself. If region coding does diddley squat, it would not be possible to "squeeze the maximum possible profit out of every market in the world without the low income regions undercutting the high income ones by selling out of the country." because people would just buy in the cheaper region and sell to the more expensive region. (Arbitrage: gotta love it! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arbitrage [wikipedia.org] ) You can complain that region coding accomlishes nothing, or you can complain that the movie industry squeezes the maximum profit out according to ability to pay, but you can't do both.

Re:it's their mess, hope they clean it up (4, Insightful)

Trepalium (109107) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696714)

You contradict yourself. If region coding does diddley squat, it would not be possible blah blah blah blah...
You missed a very important part of what the previous poster was saying. It doesn't nothing to prevent piracy. No one disputes the fact the differential pricing strategy makes the movie industry more money, but it does nothing to prevent piracy. I suppose one could argue that allowing this differential pricing means they can make some money off markets that would otherwise be completely lost to piracy, but it doesn't directly contribute to any type of anti-piracy measures.

Re:it's their mess, hope they clean it up (1, Interesting)

Distinguished Hero (618385) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696526)

prevent evolution (read: progress)

Evolution and progress are hardly the same thing. Evolution is change that occurs due to selective pressures, resulting in individuals/creatures which are better suited to the environment in which they find themselves. Depending on the metric which you use, evolution may or may not result in "progress" e.g. when civilization crumbles, selective pressures will shift toward individuals who are able to survive under those conditions, which while progress in one way, probably means that the anorexic/obese computer nerd will no longer exist (probably not progress from another perspective).

/.er blaming the wrong people as usual (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13696537)

Why don't you suggest a way to fix the problem, whether than just complaining. Movies are being illegally copied online. But nowhere in your rant do you place any blame on the real criminals. You just blame the victims for protecting themselves. Cleam up the problem of copyright infringement, and the movie industry won't waste their effort trying to protect content.

Re:it's their mess, hope they clean it up (2, Insightful)

Distinguished Hero (618385) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696549)

pander to the idiotic mainstream thinking

I believe that is called giving consumers what they want (which, by the way, is how people tend to become rich). Politicians do the same thing, to a far more damaging extent.

Re:it's their mess, hope they clean it up (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696681)

I believe that is called giving consumers what they want

I would state that slightly differently. People tend to become rich by giving people what they will settle for.

-jcr

Re:it's their mess, hope they clean it up (1)

MP3Chuck (652277) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696567)

"I suspect when movies like "Transporter 2 are raking in blockbuster revenues it's more about their concerted ramped-up advertising and less about the quality of their movies." Yea, I can vouch for that. Went to see it with a friend. The first one wasn't bad ... nothing _great_ but a decent action flick. #2 is just awful. Some creative fight scenes but incredibly lacking compared to the first.

Re:it's their mess, hope they clean it up (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696716)

I think they ran out of budget halfway through.

(Spoilers.)

The opening of the movie was pretty good, as much so as the original. Then suddenly, he dispatches the bad guy's sidekick in like less than a minute. WTF? They also set up the bad guy as a ninja master or something, but never give him a chance to demonstrate his skill to the Transporter (they fight in a little corporate jet.) And the special effect of the jet sinking in the water? Terrible! Like worse than Sci Fi Original Movie quality.

I got the same impression from Hellboy. The movie started pretty good, but as soon as they went to Russia it's like the budget ran out... the effects got cheap, the fights were as short as possible. What's going on, Hollywood? Need better accountants?

Re:it's their mess, hope they clean it up (1)

JudgeFurious (455868) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696627)

Just curious but are you sure he didn't just forget to finalize the DVD before he sent it to you? Just an honest question there so don't take it the wrong way. That's something my dad would have done so I thought I'd ask.

Re:it's their mess, hope they clean it up (1, Troll)

artoffacts (850560) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696649)

"It does appear there may be some good movies this fall ("History of Violence" is high on my list), I'm guessing we'll see more of the same crap. I don't know how many times they can go to the well with their overproduced special effects stories with no plot or believable ideas and keep the public coming back"

You have an issue with a lack of believable idea's, sparse plots, and special effects laden pictures yet you're itching to see a Cronenberg film. Something just doesn't add up here,

I'm not completely sure about this (5, Insightful)

Dink Paisy (823325) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696665)

While I completely agree with the sentiments about movie quality, I'm not sure that this is what is causing the "box office slump". For example, we liked Batman Begins, so why did it get hit by the slump, too? And while Star Wars episode 6, err 3, was more critically acclaimed than the previous two, should it really have been the movie to not get hit by the slump, if quality is the reason for said slump?

Besides, the lack of good movies is hardly a new thing. Maybe the Internet has made people more aware of the problem, but do we really think that after a century people have just caught on, most movies suck? And if that was the case, wouldn't we expect Britney Spears and friends to take a hit as well?

No, I think they are barking up the wrong tree. Making better movies would probably help, but more likely they are facing an inevitable decline as newer technologies provide better entertainment. Now movie theatres have to compete with DVD, game consoles, online games, downloaded movies, web browsing, and probably other things that either weren't around or occupied far smaller niches ten (or even two) years ago.

Re:I'm not completely sure about this (1)

Ambassador Kosh (18352) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696697)

I have to agree with the other entertainment aspect. When I go to watch a movie it is because I think it will be more entertaining for 2 hours then 2 hours of x-men legends 2, everquest, empire earth etc. Honestly it takes a darn good movie to compete with those for every 2 hours when I could just wait for it to come out on dvd. Heck it has to be pretty decent for me to even bother to rent it on dvd.

TV has already lost out for me. I have not watched tv in about 3 years now but I do sometimes pick up dvds for the series that are interesting to me. (rent first and then buy) These massive game worlds are just more interesting and fun then more passive forms of entertainment. Recently I have been looking at eve online also and while I won't quit everquest for it the game looks very impressive and seems to be very deep. My point is that new mmo games are coming out all the time now and on average they are getting to be better games. Why would you go watch tv or a movie when you could be a wizard, space ship captain etc and have a lot of fun doing it?

Re:it's their mess, hope they clean it up (1)

blonde rser (253047) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696669)

First I got to say this: it's 2005 and you don't have the ability to get around region coding on dvd and you're posting on slashdot. Yes I know circumvention isn't the answer to your dad's problem but it certainly can be the answer to yours.

Now for your claim that the industry is hurting itself by not making more quality films like "A History of Violence." If Hollywood only made the sort festival films comes out in the fall then they would quickly put themselves in even worse shape when it comes to revenue. The predictable summer block buster out sells the art house festival film virtually every time they come up against each other be it in theatre or on video. My guess is this is because that most people who appreciate art house films see less movies than those who enjoy the basic movie mould. I would suspect this is because the more aware film watcher is also interested in arts in many forms. So you have a lot more to compete against when trying to get his recreation time. But that is only my guess.

In whatever case it seems that every year that by the end of summer everyone is complaining how no good films get made anymore (unlike the year before) however there may be a fall film that may be alright. This year the summer block busters were not able to get the audiences they wanted. But since the "quality" films have never come out in summer (with several note worth exceptions that I should but won't note) this lack of revenue says nothing about Hollywood's ability to make good film. Films may be getting worse but falling interest by the film going audience (largely teenagers) doesn't affirm or deny this.

Re:it's their mess, hope they clean it up (1)

TheGSRGuy (901647) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696694)

What screwed the movie industry over this year? One word: REMAKES. There have been far too many remakes of older films that were fine the first time around! Every movie HAS to be redone with a new cast that completely scars the original's image. Bewitched isn't a remake per say, but rather, a transformation of a TV show into a movie.....many years after it went off the air. Nobody cares. Let's not forget prequels and sequels. Star Wars Episode 3 is acceptable, but we're getting too many _____ 2 type movies. We need more original ideas! This is why The 40 Year Old Virgin did so well...it was a new idea. People don't want to see the same garbage over and over. That's why Stealth sucked. It was a predictable movie using a formula that had already been exhausted. Again, new ideas, Hollywood.

Next on Slashdot... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13696471)

...Fire is hot!

Re:Next on Slashdot... (1)

Celsius 233 (913263) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696651)

No it's not! And I can prove it! ...

*sigh* (4, Insightful)

CashCarSTAR (548853) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696472)

It's not the movies. Well, maybe it is, but it's not JUST the movies. It's the fact that there's more competition right now for the entertainment dollar then ever before, and it's going to get worse for them. Put on top of that the negative cultural ideal of the movie theatre right now (talking+cell phones..not my experience but I'm sure this thread will be full of the stories.) So what's the solution? I suspect cut the theatres loose. 0-day DVD/PVP-Online AND theatre releases. Allow the theatres to show more movies more often. So if you rally like The Empire Strikes Back, for example, then maybe next Tuesday evening there's going to be a screening. Digital distribution makes this possible

Agreed, and everything changes (1)

mollog (841386) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696553)

Good points.

Movie makers are trying for blockbuster movies to support the high prices of tickets. How about more lower budget movies at better ticket prices. I love going to the video rental store and finding gems that I can rent for cheap and watch at my convenience.

And there's more trouble for the movie industry; high definition television will make the movie theater experience moot. We'll be able to see video in wide screen format, with excellent picture quality, from the comfort of our recliners.

I think this portends changes in how video is made, watched, distributed, etc. I'm loving being able to watch Firefly on DVD. I'll go to see Serenity at the theater just because I want to demonstrate support for Joss and the whole Brownshirt thing, but I'll be buying the DVD so that I can watch it at home, too.

Joss will be able to make and sell his work and completely bypass the PHB's at Fox. Go, Joss!! Less theater visits by me, more control and profit for Joss and company.

Re:Agreed, and everything changes (1)

aesiamun (862627) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696638)

I just think i should pay per minute of actual movie that I sit through. I saw Tim Burton's Ghost Bride the other day. While good, it was 75 minutes...I payed $8.50 for Ghost Bride, just like I would pay $8.50 to see Malcom X or any other 3+ hour movie...

That and I think I should get reimbursed to sit there and watch the tripe they have for 20 minutes after the lights go out and before the movie starts...but hey lets just get to pay by the minute...

That damn movie was like 11 cents a minute!

Re:*sigh* (1)

sTalking_Goat (670565) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696581)

Put on top of that the negative cultural ideal of the movie theatre right now

You aint kidding. I went to see Serenity yesterday. First time in a movie theater since Batman Begins (and I saw that in Imax so it doesn't count). They actually showed commercials for movies before the now standard Coke/Gieco/Fandango commercials and then proceeded to show actual movie previews including a preview for one of the movies they'd shown a commercial for 15 mins before.(Something with Orlando Bloom and Mary Jane Watson(-Parker).wtf!

I was thinking of checking out A History of Violence but not if I have to sit through 30 minutes of brainwashing...

Re:*sigh* (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696688)

I was thinking of checking out A History of Violence but not if I have to sit through 30 minutes of brainwashing...

This is the reason I don't go to the movies anymore. I don't mind the trailers so much, but forcing me to watch commercials when I've paid for a ticket is sick. Same goes for DVDs with unskippable things before the menu. Is it really worth pissing people off just to make a few extra cents?

Re: showing older movies, a local independent theater (one which does not show commercials, I might add) recently had a midnight screening of Dr. Strangelove. It was packed.

Obligatory: (0, Offtopic)

Caraig (186934) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696476)

NO SHIT?!

Shocking (5, Funny)

TimTheFoolMan (656432) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696477)

It's not because of Steve Job's $.99 price model?

Tim

Re:Shocking (1, Funny)

JrbM689 (896692) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696597)

I hope you don't work for Apple, because Steve "Job's" may see to it you don't ever get any other "Jobs" in the tech industry again. For you home-gamers, his name is Steve Jobs. The possessive is Steve Jobs'. A friend note from your neighborhood Grammar Nazi. Sleep well.

It's not too late!!! (5, Funny)

Frac (27516) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696480)

At least they're no longer in denial, and they're now willing to produce movies their customers will want to see.

Hopefully that means "Naked and Petrified" starring Natalie Portman will finally hit the big screen in 2006.

One can only dream...

Re:It's not too late!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13696617)

Dude, how'd you get her to narrate your home movie collection?

Re:It's not too late!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13696645)

Hopefully that means "Naked and Petrified" starring Natalie Portman will finally hit the big screen in 2006.

Or maybe part 3 [imdb.com] ;)

Re:It's not too late!!! (1)

harborpirate (267124) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696658)

Don't forget the sequel, "Hot Grits", and of course the blockbuster "All Your Base Are Belong To Us".

Re:It's not too late!!! (2, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696705)

... they're now willing to produce movies their customers will want to see.
Say what? You honestly believe that studio execs have been telling each other, "we don't need to make movies that people want to see?" That makes no sense.

They've always been trying to make popular movies — they're just not any good at it. They're part of a system that is thoroughly dysfunctional. It discourages risk taking and creativity. Most of all, the idea of actually telling a story is completely overlooked.

Anybody who tries to point these problems out tends to lose their job. So everybody plays it safe and puts up with all the bullshit until they can't ignore it any longer. (Rather like most big companies I've worked for!) That's why they've been in denial. Not because they're too dumb to understand concept of selling stuff people want.

Serenity (4, Funny)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696482)

At least Serenity came out yesterday. The wife and I are seeing it on Sunday! Stupid goram MPAA.

Is this Lucas's fault? (3, Interesting)

Nf1nk (443791) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696483)

I have wondered if this seasons lack of good action movies is partialy Lucas's fault. With the long awaited and less disapointing SW epIII this summer, I wonder how many studios decided that they didn't want to be the movies that came in a distant second to what many felt was going to be an out of control blockbuster (right or wrong).

Changes in audience preferences (4, Insightful)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696484)

I think it is changes in audience preferences. Audiences don't want bad movies anymore. The Hollywood formula is starting to wear off on people.

And it's not over yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13696488)

see: Doom, Wallae & Gromit, Saw II, Domino, Aeon Flux, New World, and so on... Feel free to add more.

Re:And it's not over yet... (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696522)

Well, personally, I can't wait for this one to hit the big screen. [chud.com]

Looks hilarious, especially considering the last scene of the trailer!

Next up on Slashdot: (5, Funny)

TooMuchEspressoGuy (763203) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696489)

"Crappy Music - Not Teenage Kids Using Kazaa - To Blame For Decline in Sales of Music."

"Overabundance of Commercials and Tons of Bad Reality Shows - Not TiVo - To Blame For Decline in Television Audience."

Slashdot - News for Nerds, Stuff you Already Knew.

Re:Next up on Slashdot: (5, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696678)

Actually, the big news in this case isn't the headline itself, the big news is that they are _admitting_ it.

Re:Next up on Slashdot: (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696715)

Yeah, but /.ers still like to complain and bitch about it (forums, they are not just about reading they are about posting to). Plus making fools of industries bedeviled by third generation nepotism is always fun. Those smucks, it takes days/weeks for their PR staff to come up with yet another reason (excuse, lie, pirate story, alien abduction) for their pretty but stupid management, that gets shot down in minutes, once it enters the /. arena ;-/.

If only... (2, Interesting)

JediLow (831100) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696490)

the RIAA would finally fess up to the fact that people aren't buying CDs because the music just plain sucks...

Re:If only... (1)

Lucractius (649116) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696563)

Now now you should know its impossible for the RIAA to be wrong.

Its not crappy music, its wonderful music produced by highly talented artists and its evil how people steal it isntead of paying $30 (local currency Australian dollars) for a "regular" cd ie: non hyper-discount/direct from wholesaler/cut price bonanza/etc cds

This is damn good news. Finaly some accountability. I belive its the fact you can sell idiots anything combined with the fact that (lets face it, as a collective group of consumers) the majority of people (espcialy those in the USA it seems ) are very stupid. Its a problem. but at least this is progress.

Yay Accountability!

Other forms of entertainment... (3, Insightful)

QuaintRealist (905302) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696494)

There is a lot more competition out there for our entertainment dollars that there used to be. Think of all the computer/console based activities which have sprung up in the last 2 decades, to name just one example. Like any industry forced from a near monoply position into one with competition, the movie industry complains and blames dubious straw men for their difficulties. Good movies can still compete.

Re:Other forms of entertainment... (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696624)

All hollywood films follow the same formula. It's so structured, you can't find anything out of the norm anymore.

- first 10 minutes, action.
- the middle, plot.
- last 10 minutes, action. Use up budget.

Where are the messed up films? It's like a lost art. And why are there so many wannabe films. Every decent movie has a dozen imitations.

Re:Other forms of entertainment... (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696689)

"There is a lot more competition out there for our entertainment dollars that there used to be. Think of all the computer/console based activities which have sprung up in the last 2 decades, to name just one example."

Heck, just a month ago I subscribed to HBO + a DVR. Given how unpleasant movie experiences have been the last couple of years, I don't mind waiting 6 months or so to see a semi-interesting movie. If they want my regular attendance at the local cinema, they need better movies, more comfy seats, and lower prices all around.

Imagine if the *AA used good practices instead of lawyers...

Record companies (2, Funny)

programmerar (915654) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696496)

If only the record companies could come to such an enlightened conclusion...

How about more inspiration and less specualtion? More perspiration and less litigation... what else rhymes with this...?

I will personally put sales over last years... (1)

benna (614220) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696500)

When The Fountain comes out on December 31st. Broken Flowers was good, but even Jarmusch can't compete with Aronofsky.

Re:I will personally put sales over last years... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13696643)

You know, when I squint really hard, that almost looks like English. But-- what does it all mean?

(Sorry, but I have never heard of those two titles. Haven't heard of the two names you mentioned, either... are they directors?)

Re:I will personally put sales over last years... (1)

benna (614220) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696671)

Yeah, they are directors. Aronofsky directed Pi and Requiem for a Dream. Jarmusch directed Dead Man, Coffee and Cigarettes, Broken Flowers, and Night on Earth, among others.

The Cold Truth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13696519)

Yeah when Revenge of the Sith took over 1st place for Single Biggest Day at 50,013,859. Everyone who went to the movie was dissapointed by the last two movies, but still went because they wanted to "finish" (yet to be determined) the series off, believing it would be a crap movie. Well, when customer behaviour like this, is it really a wonder why the movie industry doesn't need to make good movies. They know people will line up to see the second movie, cause the first was decent, it turns out to be crap, then they will see third, fourth, fifth movie, even though the previous one was crap. They only need to make the one film to catch your eye then your stuck for the long haul as they reel you through several shitty sequels/re-makes/rip-offs just because you were a fan of the first. Customers should look at their own behaviour before they blame the movie studios.

Bah. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13696524)

And it has nothing to do with the $8-$10 ticket prices that have sprung up across the country. It's not like I can get 3 used DVDs for $20. Oh wait a minute . . . yes I can.

I know the answer! (4, Funny)

grumpygrodyguy (603716) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696525)

It's all George Lucas' fault, Seriously! That guy redefined movie-making in the 70s and 80s, and then single-handedly destroyed it in the 90s and 00s!

Episode I) Fool us once, shame on you.

Episode II) Fool us twice, shame on us...

Episode III) Fool us three times, screw this shit.

Re:I know the answer! (1)

Maxhrk (680390) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696554)

yeah, that why i never bother to watch ep 2 and ep 3 because of first one that turn me off. i guess CGI graph turns me off than the old one.. well you know me.. ol' star war fan. I think movie flow well if it isnt CGI stuff.

my two cents.

Re:I know the answer! (2, Funny)

benna (614220) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696574)

No no, you have it all wrong. Fool me once shame on.. shame on you...... a fooled man can't get fooled again."

As Comic Book Guy would say... (1)

elchanman (895443) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696538)

Worst...summer movies...ever.

static narratives are dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13696547)

movies and tv are dead. mmorgs are on the rise. why watch a movie when you can be in it?

So Hollywood needs to be bolder and make ... (1)

joneshenry (9497) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696556)

So Hollywood needs to be bolder and make more movies like Transporter 2? :-)

Lets see (5, Insightful)

nighty5 (615965) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696559)

Cinema Fault:
Poor movies
Expensive Popcorn / Sweets / Drinks
Expensive Tickets
Can't use Gift Vouchers (Fully Paid) with new movies
Bad seating - I've seen some *shockers* in some cinemas
20 minutes of ads before the show
Those silly piracy ads on stealing music - yep thats right, we all have to put up with that

Customer Fault:
Noisy movie goers / pranksters
Mobile phone calls and constant rings
Children screaming in tense moments
Seat fighting

Its all just not worth it - wait a month or so, buy for it less than the cinema price, grab some take away and watch it on your nice big digital entertainment unit @ home - and keep the damn movie!

No wonder we don't bother going !

Am I the only one picturing this image? (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696660)

Bad seating - I've seen some *shockers* in some cinemas
Whoever let Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. [imdb.com] design a movie theater ought to be ... well, whatever.

I just say no (5, Insightful)

DuctTape (101304) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696560)

I just don't want to go out to movies anymore. I like a nice quiet evening at home with a rented movie. I'm fine with waiting for a few months before I can rent the movie that just came out. I don't like sticky floors, hot-headed teens that throw popcorn, screaming babies, and too-tall people in front of me that block my view. I like playing back the part that I didn't hear correctly, playing the ending back over again, and stopping in the middle for a bio break.

Duh.

DT

Simple answer, really. (3, Funny)

lheal (86013) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696561)

It's all George Bush's fault.

He doesn't care about movies.

I know he's too busy with his bicycling career and all to go to movies. I just want to know that he cares.

Re:Simple answer, really. (1)

dorkygeek (898295) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696593)

I know he's too busy with his bicycling career and all to go to movies
Dude, who told you that? From where else than Hollywood is Bush getting his ideas??

Re:Simple answer, really. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13696631)

Why do you liberals blame Bush and the Republicans for everything? Everybody knows, if they would just think about it putting aside preconceived assumptions, that much of today's ills can be laid at the foot of Clinton. He messed up the economy and showed our children that it's OK to screw around sexually.

Re:Simple answer, really. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13696679)

You tell 'em Rush.

Re:Simple answer, really. (1)

lheal (86013) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696713)

It was a joke.

I hope never to live in a country in which the President is responsible for the quality of the movies.

I don't even want the President taking care of hurricane cleanup. That's a state and local matter.

Movies (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13696564)

Well at least they're beginning to see the light. Scripts are sucking. I don't understand what the point of a going to theatres is anymore. You can go to Fry's buy a bigscreen, reciever, dvd player, and 5.1+ polk audio speakers, and/or Windows Media Center stay at home and enjoy the movies in your own confortable space. No obnoxious kids talking on cell phones with the theater attendants calling them out in the middle of the movie. Hollywood should just start releasing movies on DVD, HD-DVD, Blueray (You know they're gonna haft to support both formats as nobodys backing down) and the Internet. I would rather pay $10 for 1 or 2 viewings of a movie, then $8.50 plus $10.00 worth of concessions. Movielink is owned by the major studios and CinemaNow is owned by Lions Gate, Blockbuster and Microsoft. Technologies and systems are already in place. All thats left is the dotted lines. I don't mind DRM, and I know companies are not going to abuse it as it is a guarantee they would lose business in 2 seconds flat. I have faith they will be fair, be it nieve of me or not to state. HELIX, MS-DRM, Open MagicGate and FairPlay are fine by me, as long as rights are fair.

The "bad movies" fallacy (5, Informative)

NetDanzr (619387) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696588)

Just a few weeks ago I was doing some research on the media, when I decided to run a statistical analysis on movies. The only conclusive thing I found was that bad movies are not to blame for lower box office tickets. Why? Because the movies were better than last year. Consider the following:

The critics rated all researched 2005 movies (those that were still in theaters by the end of August - slightly over 100) with 69%. For 2004 movies, it was 64.25%. The audience also posted better ratings for 2005 movies: 68.4% versus 67.9% (source: IMDB). In the case of blockbusters (defined as movies opening on more than 1000 screens), 2005 movies come up on top as well: 62% versus 59.5% by the critics and 63.1% versus 61.7% by the audience. Independent movies were an exception: while critics rated them higher in 2005 (76.25% vs. 71.5%), the audience rated them lower: 70.9% vs. 71.5%.

Despite these numbers, the opening weekend has seen a drop of 12.87%. For blockbusters this drop has been even more significant, despite the fact that they were rated higher and that they opened on 5.14% more screens. The drop in box office was 15.79%, compared to last year. Yet, the top 8 movies had an above-average per-screen revenue on the opening weekend, and the top 6 movies retained this statistic into the fourth week. In addition, the reviews have a positive correlation to the movie revenues (42.9%).

As a result, I don't believe that bad movies are to blame for the box office to slump. I can speculate (haven't run any statistical analysis for those), that the declining revenues are to blame on a set of other factors, such as rising ticket prices, rising gas prices, shorter time to DVD, commercials before movies, and others.

Re:The "bad movies" fallacy--Critics (1)

GK_2002 (557045) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696648)

Who the heck listens to critics???

In truth I quit bothering simply because in documented cases they were just paid shills. I personally don't find the movies pumped out of Hollywood with a few exceptions worth the effort to go to the movie theatre. Critic's giving the "Longest Yard" remakes high marks? Please! Or the ones who raved about Dukes of Hazzard. They should be ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES!

Near me not only is it the experience of the Cell Phone idiots and the kids (which can be avoided some if you don't go right away and do early matinee's like I do, being self employeed has a few perks after all). The fact I have to sit through 10-20 minutes worth of ads be it direct commercials or movie trailers stinks.

In the last year I have gone to about 15 movies where as I used to go once a week. I just don't find much worth my time. Very few films have a real story and even the action films seem trying to hard!

I mean seriously when I saw them use Jessica Simpson as Daisy Duke and Burt Reynolds as Boss Hog for that bad Dukes of Hazzard remake my first thoughts were "No way in hell" and "I had no idea Burt was THAT broke".

At the moment I will see Serenity in a few days and then likely Harry Potter in November followed with Narnia and perhaps King Kong but so far those are the ONLY things looking even mildly interesting.

Re:The "bad movies" fallacy (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696663)


Or it can mean that the Movie Industry is exerting more influnce over reviewers and creating astroturf campaigns for their movies.

Re:The "bad movies" fallacy (2, Informative)

rhizome (115711) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696682)

The critics rated all researched 2005 movies (those that were still in theaters by the end of August - slightly over 100) with 69%. For 2004 movies, it was 64.25%...

Ever heard of grade inflation [wikipedia.org] ?

Possible cause of why movies are still bad (1)

bug_hunter (32923) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696696)

People who would not of liked the movie (e.g. given it a bad rating), don't even watch the movie these days, and can't give it a lower rating. So only the easy to please (who give things high ratings) actually rate things?

As far as the critics are concerned, that's harder to explain, maybe they're being paid for more than normal? (Bit of a stretch, but if the slump gets bad you could imagine the industry would get a bit more dersperate in their bribery). Or are you percentages being pushed out by outlies? e.g. last year their were 5 real bombs but the non bombs were generally better?

Also, maybe movies are slightly better this year, but it's just taken people a few years to decide their still not good enough and stop going?

Re:The "bad movies" fallacy (5, Funny)

Khaed (544779) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696707)

You're using the IMDB as a source? Next you're going to cite a slashdot poll...

Be careful what you wish for (1)

PFritz21 (766949) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696594)

Although I do agree that Hollywood has been coming out with a lot of bad movie ideas lately (lame sequels, unoriginal ideas, cashing in on TV franchises), I don't know how much better, smarter movies are going to help.

For example, a few weekends ago, I rented "Lost in Translation" and "Garden State", two highly acclaimed, very intelligent, and original movies. I felt dumb for watching them. They felt like they too forever to watch, and I wasn't immediately entertained by them. A few laughs, but that's it. Both were movies were I had to walk away to reflect on them, to truly appreciate them.

And I don't think that's what the public wants. We need immediate satisfaction these days. Our society wants things now.

If I've totally missed the point of this whole discussion, fine. I just have to throw that out there. I'll stick with a stupid movie like "Dude, Where's My Car?" At least then I can get the instant gratification I'm looking for.

Re:Be careful what you wish for (1)

lazarus2004 (918422) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696670)

Very true, I remember hearing what an awesome movie Sideways was, pre-streeted it (I used to work at HV) and was bored outta my skull. I'd never pay theatre prices to see another American Pie or such, but at least they are entertaining.

Tell us something that isn't bandwagon knowledge (1)

ChocoBean (890202) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696608)

I, for one, am tired of these not-really-new news that confirm what we have already been told thousands of times, regardless of if they were vapour news or FUD or speculations before.

China is the next world power

Google is the next Microsoft

Patents and DRM chokes innovation

Movies suck

...

*sigh*

Re:Tell us something that isn't bandwagon knowledg (1)

dorkygeek (898295) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696698)

Movies suck
I hope you are aware of the fact that, in soviet russia, movies suck you. But then, isn't that the case here as well?

In other news... (2, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696609)

The MPAA has set in motion litigation against makers of big screen televisions. According to one industry insider, these home entertainment people have to be stopped, their evil must be undone. If G*d wanted us to watch movies in our homes, he would have made television... oh wait

you think (1)

Itanshi (861931) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696610)

You think it might be because i just paid 8.50 to see 'the corpse bride'?

There's a science to movie ticket prices, they gotta have it close to minimum wage or they won't profit on food products.

Let's See Some Real Research (3, Insightful)

Paul Slocum (598127) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696611)

I keep hearing that movies suck now, but personally I don't see it. Obviously some will disagree with my taste, but I've enjoyed a lot of movies recently like 40 Year Old Virgin, Batman Begins, War of the Worlds, March of the Penguins, Constant Gardener.
And I'm just listing mainstream-ish stuff. I'm also a big fan of indie/experimental stuff.

This is just more people spouting theories. Let's see some research about people's movie satisfaction. Sales don't mean anything.

Personally, I think it's more likely that cheaper home theatre, the economy, and videogames especially contribute to lower box office turnout. The videogame industry has become huge, and IIRC it's outgrown the movie industry. People have a limited amount of time and money for entertainment...

well.. (2, Interesting)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696614)

...at one time it WAS because the movies were lame.

But now, despite their unending denial it's:
- ridiculous prices for tickets
- ridiculous prices for snacks
- picture quality that hasn't improved much since about the mid 70's (sound quality *has* improved)
- filthy theaters

If the movie makers want to claim they made bad movies this year, I'm not going to disagree - they did. But that's only part of it. Do the analyis:

One trip to the non-matinee movies for my family, plus a large pop, large popcorn and some candy for each, plus parking: ($8.50 ticket + $3 pop + $2.50 popcorn + $2 candy + $1 share of parking) x 6 = $102.

36" widescreen Toshiba hi def tube = $1600
Toshiba progressive scan DVD player = $200
(hooking it to the stereo I own)
= $1800.

So for the price of 18 trips to the movies, PLUS Deducting the intangibles:
- the convenience of watching in my own home
- the ability to pause/rewind/stop and chat about whatever I want whenever I want
- the ability to have whatever snack I want, in any quantity
- the ability to have as many friends over as I can stuff into the room
- to watch in my underwear and bathrobe if I want
- to watch at whatever TIME I want, and interrupt to go do something if I want
- to sit in my comfy chair, and exercise whatever odious personal habits I choose
- the ability to (via Netflix) see pretty much whatever movie I want, not juse what the studio suits think I should be watching.

I don't think there's any doubt - film industry pricing DROVE the development of home theater, now they have to live in the world they created. Nice job guys, you eat your young, too?

They don't care. (1)

JoeBuck (7947) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696653)

The studios are making most of their money from rentals, DVD sales, and fees from cable TV. All money that you're paying with your home theater system. You aren't hurting them any.

Just this summer? (1)

NerveGas (168686) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696626)


    For me, it's been about a year and a half. There have been a small handful of decent movies, but nothing else. I even got rid of my blockbuster movie pass, because we'd go months without finding anything worth renting.

steve

I agree (2, Insightful)

paulius_g (808556) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696633)

I have to say it, I agree with that.

This summer had the worst movies that I've ever seen. Other summers had interesting Pixar movies. This summer had, chickflicks, lame action movies and uninteresting comedy.

Better luck next summer...

One thing... (1)

NerveGas (168686) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696639)


    One thing that I forgot to say is that nearly every good movie I've seen in the past 10 years has been one of the following:

- made from a book
- made from a comic book
- a remake of an old movie (which doesn't preclude #1 or #2)

    The movies where the script actually comes out of Hollywood are rarely worth a thing.

steve

April Fools Day? (1)

ticklemeozmo (595926) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696662)

Is this the April Fools Day version alreadY????

Trailers are to blame... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13696674)

Trailers give away the whole plot, especially when you watch more than one trailer for some movie.

They show all the good scenes, so no good surprises. Why bother going to the movie when you know what the heck will happen?

Movies yes, but.... (3, Insightful)

Y-Crate (540566) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696691)

...the other patrons are my biggest problem.
There are many movies that I would be very willing to watch in the theatre if I only had the ability to do so with some guarantee of peace and quiet from those around me.

Since that is not going to happen, I prefer to hold off and wait for the DVD. Simple as that.

In other news... (0, Offtopic)

MrOuija_AK (918277) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696701)

Scientists discover that fire is hot.

Bad Movies + $10.50 highway robbery cost of ticket (2, Funny)

layer3switch (783864) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696717)

!= profit

To prove that today's movies are so bad, bootleggers on the street are bootlegging old classics such as "Gone with the Wind" and "North by Northwest".

When P2P networks don't even bother distributing new movie titles, you know it's true...
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