Hollywood's box office slump continues: Are movies losing their mojo?

green-hornet-dilemmaImage Credit: Jaimie Trueblood; Chuck HodesWith this weekend’s solid-but-unspectacular opening for The Green Hornet and the disappointing debut of The Dilemma, Hollywood is marking an unhappy milestone: Box office revenues have now been down from the previous year’s tally for 10 consecutive weeks. After a bruising holiday season littered with high-profile misfires like The Tourist, How Do You Know, and Gulliver’s Travels, the major studios are hopeful that 2011 will bring a reversal of last year’s worrying 5 percent decline in overall movie attendance. 2011 is not off to the most encouraging start. Though final numbers aren’t in yet, this weekend’s total box office haul looks like it will come in 25 percent below last year’s. Yes, last year at this time audiences were still flocking to the 3-D hit Avatar. Still, 10 straight down weeks stings—and not in a good Green Hornet way.

What’s going on here? It’s hard to argue that studio executives have been making foolhardy gambles. Granted, casting Seth Rogen as a superhero whose heyday was in the golden age of radio might have been a questionable call. But who wouldn’t have greenlit a thriller costarring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie? Or a romantic comedy with Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, and Paul Rudd, directed by James L. Brooks? Or a Ron Howard comedy pairing Vince Vaughn and Kevin James? Those are the sort of down-the-middle pitches studio execs crave precisely because they’re supposed to be safe, but in retrospect they proved to be unwise bets.

Yet, while a number of would-be blockbusters have underperformed and overall revenues have been down, this hasn’t been a completely dismal stretch for movie fans. Smaller, ostensibly less commercial films like True Grit, Black Swan, The King’s Speech, 127 Hours, and The Fighter have drawn not only critical love and awards-season buzz but far larger crowds than anyone could reasonably have expected. Does this mean that budget-conscious audiences are starting to reject stale, been-there-done-that formulas and demanding a greater level of originality and artistic ambition if they’re going to fork over their hard-earned dollars for a movie ticket? Will major studios—which, lest we forget, brought out daring zeitgeist-definers like Inception and The Social Network last year (and to give credit where it’s due, True Grit and The Fighter are both Paramount films)—shift their business model away from bloated, overpriced sequels and tired remakes toward smaller-scale, edgier fare?

It may be a little early to herald the start of a new 1970s-style cinematic revolution in Hollywood; let’s wait and see how some of this year’s expected juggernauts, like the latest installments in the Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean franchises, fare before we get carried away. Still, when an offbeat Western directed by the Coen brothers is running just slightly behind Little Fockers at the domestic box office—and a gonzo psychological thriller set in the world of ballet has outgrossed a big, shiny Depp-Jolie movie and will soon pass the mark set by Julia Roberts’ Eat Pray Love—it’s safe to say that something is going on.

How long will Hollywood’s ongoing box office slump last? Who knows. The bigger and more important question is this: Are movies really, as many fear, losing their cultural mojo in an ever-larger sea of competing entertainment options? Or are they actually in the awkward, sometimes painful, but ultimately exciting process of getting that mojo back? Stay tuned. It’s going to be an interesting year.

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  • Stephanie

    could it possibly have anything to do with a the fact that it costs a small fortune to go to movies now? And as far as taking a family of 6…forget about it!

    • Large Marge

      I agree. Look at a movie like Tangled. The fact that it had to make $260 million to even break even is just sad. And it also seems to me like a lot of these big-budget pictures aren’t even that well-made, even with supposedly marquee directors at the helm.

      • Large Marge

        Posted too soon. Anyways, with movies costing that much they keep trying to jack up prices on everything to try and break even. With more entertainment options people are less willing than ever to just fork over money for a movie just because of the name(s) attached.

      • Shania

        I can’t tell the diff btwn Green Hornet and Green Lantern, and I don’t care who’s who. The Tourist and Green Lantern don’t have scripts, they’re just big empty spectacles. Maybe people are tired of going to crappy movies. I know I am.

      • john

        i agree, but as long as hollywood can crank out films that they can make $ off of other ways than just box office, things probably aren’t going to change. for the movie tangled to break even the film has to make 260 million, but disney was probably all ready showing a profit before the film was even released off of the tangled name through all of the tangled merchandise and toy tie-ins, etc. when hollywood starts making films with real people as characters that audiences can actually care about that is when the quality of films will improve.

      • peet

        Agreed. Spent $60 to take my son and his friend to Tron. 3-d tix for me = $18, for them $16. Plus popcorn, another $10. $60!!!!!! For an FX driven piece of shiny crap?! There are too many great movies I’ve missed that I can rent and watch at home. My kids will adjust just fine, TYVM.

      • Justin H

        “And it also seems to me like a lot of these big-budget pictures aren’t even that well-made”.

        Unfortunately, the movie going public shares a huge share of the blame for this. Time after time the public rejects well made movies with strong story and characters in favor of lazy retreads of familiar subjects.

        The simple fact is Hollywood is only giving the public what they spend money to see time after time.

      • forrest

        for me, the short turn around between box office hype and DVD/Blu-Ray release makes me think, “why bother with the ‘theater experience’. I can just rent it soon for alot less without all the hassle.

    • diremommy

      Too true. I have taken my 3 kids to the movies exactly ONCE in their lifetime. You can take them to a movie, which is roughly and hour and a half and it’s done, or you can buy them a video game (or two!), and keep them happy for much longer. We always wait for DVD release, I haven’t seen a movie in theaters myself since Star Trek.

      • Phil

        I’m not trying to be an ass here–for one thing, I have no insight whatsoever into your domestic situation–but what about, you know, taking the kids out for ice cream afterward?

        That so-called quality time should be the bottom line, right?

      • Jeff

        Hey if you are broke and can’t afford the occasional movie, well I understand. But if your just overly frugal (cheap) going to a movie, can really be a fun night out for the whole family. Sometimes you pick a stinker, and that hurts, but it when it’s a good one, the experience of a theater is great.

      • shawnston

        this is to phil….youre missing the point. not to mention why not just suggest ice cream in general instead of afterwards, father of the year? are you working for the ice cream companies? and are we living in the 50’s? ice cream for fun is a little dated i think.

      • tomm

        Sounds like modern parenting, ‘give them something to keep them happy for hours’. So that parents dont have to talk to thier kids I guess?

      • @ tomm

        i think that is a bit of a stretch you are making. i am not a parent, but to me it sounds like an economic decision. spend $80 to take the kids out once – or buy a game or dvd that can be watched multiple times.

      • Aly

        If it was strictly an economic decision, they could save even more by not buying a bunch of video games, either (and I say that as a gamer, but I don’t plan on spoiling my kids with every console in existence and upgrading them every few years.)

        @ Shawnsten…there’s something to be said for simple pleasures. What, are you working for the video game and cellphone industries? Our society is getting a little over the top with tech toys. Too much sitting on our butts and not enough going out to ride bikes or shoot some hoops. We even play games that simulate the activities we can easily and safely do in our own backyards. It’s a bit ridiculous.

    • Someboddy

      My feelings exactly. Movies are becoming too expensive. The article however mentions True Grit as an original movie. Maybe they forgot that True Grit that came out in the 60s, starring the Duke.

      • anonymous

        Ya. But did you see the original. Coen Bros. True Grit remainds true to the book.

      • Mike

        Yup Even Danny Boyle had commented that ticket prices are too high and to get people back in the seats is to lower the prices.

      • Love Movies

        We love going to the movies. It is our prime source of entertainment, but it’s true- at $14 a ticket, we have to be pickier about what we spend that money on. Studios need to pay their actors less, so they charge less for a movie, so theaters can lower their prices. Look at the tag on “How Do You Know?” It cost $120 million- $120 million! Studios need to budget their movies and make themselves accountable as to what they spend their money on, so that people do not have to pay as much to see enjoy a movie.

    • paul

      I bought a 65 inch TV and surround sound system for the cost of going to 85 movies at a theater (figuring 2 tix, a large popcorn and a large drink). Now we stay home, drink wine with the show and hit pause whenever we want a snack or a pee break. Why would ANY couple p!ss away $35 to $50 each time to go sit in a theater with a bunch of bedbug-infested, rude, yappy riff-raff.

      • Rachel

        add another $10/month for a Netflix membership and you’re set!

        I see about 1 movie per year in theaters, it’s just not worth the money anymore.

      • Kim from Texas

        And you forgot having to watch lots of annoying commercials before the movie!!!!

      • Shania

        And the mildewed carpets and cruddy food.

      • Julie Cooper-Nichol

        Plus, the punk kid collecting tickets at the door WILL NOT let me bring in my Starbuck’s. Luckily, they don’t search purses yet. Going to the movies is just…unpleasant.

      • musica1

        I don’t know what theatre you go to, but the one I go to (Edwards Cinema on Mira Mesa Blvd in San Diego) is excellent. I never have a problem with people talking around me, the workers are always polite, and theatre is clean. The movies are a bit pricey, but compared to a football game or concert, a movie is still a good bargain. I go to about one movie a month because even though I have a large screen high-def TV and surround sound, the movie experience is still more fun.

      • neptune

        One of my biggest beefs with going to the movies (aside from the price) are the inconsiderate boobs around me….talking, checking cell phones for the time or texts. Nothing is worse then having a bright light in the corner of your vision from a cell phone when you are trying to enjoy a movie. It is just much more pleasant to watch it at home on a DVD or netflix.

      • rosan

        I think enough was said in many comments about the bad smells, mildewed carpets, people chatting, wanting to go the toilet for relief. I would like to add the exhorbitant cost of parking safely your car if not said already. The last movie I remember at a theater was when the sci-fi “Dune” was released that was in 198? (i don’t remember) very very long time ago). I had smelled vomit from a few seats back. Going to a theater …NEVER AGAIN.

      • @Julie

        Not defending rude employees – that kid may indeed have been a punk – but theater owners make their money on concessions, not on movie tickets, so it’s not unreasonable for them to ban outside food & drink. (That said, I will confess to the odd box of smuggled Junior Mints myself.)

      • Anastasia Chavez

        True. But there is something to be said about the movie going experience and that is…there is nothing like it. Nothing.

    • Tajah

      Not to mention that Hollywood is recycling crappy movie ideas and hardly an original thought hits the screens.

      • BOBBYC

        I agree, and they dont even try to look, for ideas from undiscovered talent..

      • Daryl

        Totally agree. I can’t believe Seth Rogan’s movie is number one. You’d have to drag me kicking and screaming to see that movie. If they put out an original movie, things might pick up.

      • Mathieu

        I know. I had to laugh when the writer said ‘are audiences demanding a greater level of originality?’ before namechecking True Grit! A very good film yes, but a remake of a movie that was adapted from a book… not exactly original!

      • Liz

        I think that this is one half of the problem, The other half is that the only other options are wishy washy chick flicks, which are all essentially the same movie, and offensive “guy” humor. I don’t find people making fart jokes funny. I like movies that make me think. I want to come out of a movie having been entertained and not feeling like I just wasted 90 minutes of my life.

      • Large Marge@Liz

        I feel you on the wishy-washy chick flicks. The only thing more depressing than the fact that these are many times the only options available for a lot of talented actresses is to see so many other women all “Ooooh, I wanna see that”, like, pull out a DVD of all of the other movies exactly like it and save some money. Okay, to be fair, a lot of these crappy flicks have been flopping, so I do have hope that many women realize that they deserve more from a rom-com than the dreck that Hollywood has been serving up over the past five years.

      • D

        We have hit a very low point in the quality of movies Hollywood is putting out. I am finding myself picking old 90s movies to watch over new releases now.

      • Aly

        Isn’t calling True Grit a remake of a movie based on a book the same as calling, say, Romeo and Juliet a remake of a movie based on a play (and which movie? there’s several)? They are different interpretations of the stories, not remakes of interpretations of the stories.

        My understanding is True Grit is closer to the book than the original movie.

    • Brian

      I definitely think it’s the fact that movies cost so much more to make nowadays than anything else.
      Remakes, spin-offs, and sequels have been around since the 30’s-40’s (think Universal’s classic monster movies for a huge example). Are they more prevalent now? Probably. But a good remake (Karate Kid, The Thing, Invasion of the Body Snatchers 2.0, etc) is still going to make a lot of money, while a bad one will fail, just like the case with original ideas.
      It’s the rising cost of movies, which leads to rising ticket prices, that’s killing the box office profits.

      • Terry

        Well, they seem more prevealent. And while I like the Thing and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Thing was not a box office hit and Body Snatchers is over 30 years old. I’m like a lot of people, just not very interested in the HOT films Hollywood is dishing up. Actually, I’m surprised to say this, but I’m looking forward to Matthew McConnaghys new film, The Lincoln Lawyer. It’s not about a superhero, it’s not a sequel or a remake. Just a thriller based on Connelly’s novel. Could really be good, we’ll see.

      • Brian

        That’s another scapegoat I keep seeing, the comic book movies. OK, if you don’t like them then I can understand being tired of seeing them promoted, but they’re no different than any other genre and I don’t understand why the comic book genre is so derided. One more comic book movie is no different than one more action movie, romantic comedy, historical epic, etc. Is it because it’s “newer” than the rest?

      • Techimpaired

        @Brian
        I think the problem people see in comic book movies is the inherent over-the-topness of the genre. Comic book heroes and villians are almost always larger than life and the plots surrounding them are pretty rediculous when taken out of the comic book world. Fans of comics are used to the way the characters and stories work, people who don’t read comics aren’t. Any time you see a review of a comic-based movie you usually see the words “rediculous” or “silly” in them. A clear sign the reviewer never read a good comic book.

    • Amy

      That is the exact problem. Movies are so expensive these days that you don’t go unless you seriously want to see a movie that is out.

    • lol

      EXACTLY. The only way I can even afford to go to the movies anymore is if I have a giftcard.

      • ree

        i am pretty much in the same boat. the amc by me is $6 if you make it before noon on the weekends. if i can’t make one of those early showings, or if i don’t have a gift card, i’m not going to go.

    • Britt

      It is because no one has the money or inclination to pay $15 a week to see a bad film.

      • marylou

        Britt, I don’t have the $15 a week even for a good film. The kids wanted to see Green Hornet…$16 X 4 for $64 for the tickets and another $28.75 for popcorn and drinks for the kids. I can’t pop for that kind of money often even if it’s Citizen Kane.

    • Christopher

      No i can’t imagine taking 6 to the movies. For a family of 6 in Massachusetts I’m guessing that would be a 150.00 night,Seeing two of us went this weekend and it cost us 50.00 and that is for 2 tickets,popcorn two drink,and nacho’s

    • cccloc

      I agree about the cost, although Matinee is fairly priced. In Chicago it’s about $6. I think people are getting fedup with the 3D stuff. A little movie like the Fighter and True Grit are examples; they cost less than $50 mil and making double that amount. I think people will go to good stories, good acting, and no 3D please!
      Another thing — the movies are on demand almost immediately after leaving the movies….and it cost less money. Dvd’s are overpriced!

    • Rick Starr

      adjusted for inflation, movies cost almost exactly the same as they did 30 years ago. A $2.69 ticket in 1980 would cost $6.91 today accounting ONLY for inflation. Perhaps the comparison against last year isn’t valid, since it include Avatar, an obviously over-the-top movie grosser. It would be like comparing most kids books against Harry Potter sales. It makes for a good headline, but it’s ridiculous on its face.

      • helenofpeel

        And adjusted for inflation, family earnings are DOWN, food and energy prices up, and they don’t have the money…

      • toddluvslounging

        I don’t know any theaters in So. California that sells tickets for $6.xx

        A matinee cost around $8.75 at the box…add $1.00 for online purchase.

        In California, it’s just not worth it.

      • LAJackie

        The ‘bargain’ matinee where I live is $9!

      • Tonio

        Rick, where did you go that ticket prices ended with .91 cents? Theatre prices have always been set in .25 cent (quarter) increments. They never dealt with pennies, nickels, or dimes at the door! In 1980, theatre prices were $1.75 (Georgia), $2.00 (Chicago).

      • Ochie

        Check out the Academy in Pasadena. $2 for kids during the day until 6 or so. Wake up hollywood. We demand quality movies and no more of that rom/com bull. I love Jennifer Anniston, but I don’t want to see her j/o some other hunky guy, please. Super heroes? yes, quality no. Make a quality product. (see Pixar). Yes it’s animated, but it’s the story that drives that Pixar train.

      • Jennifer

        That may indeed be true, Rick, but I know my income hasn’t increased at the same rate at ticket prices, and with all the other demands on my wallet, it takes a pretty special movie to convince me to part with $9 a pop (for a matinee!!!!). “The King’s Speech” – worth it; most crap put out by studios these days, not worth it.

    • AK

      I totally agree. Hopefully Hollywood will start to look at the big picture and realize that money is the main factor here.

    • CA

      Cost certainly does have something to do with it. Look at the number of 3D movies out at any given time…I don’t know how other cities are pricing, but in the DC areas the BARGIN matinee price sits around $12 and the non 3D isn’t always shown at the same theater. I’d rather give my money (at regular price) to a smaller, well made picture like True Grit or The Fighter then to the 3D spectacles.

    • susan

      I completely agree that price is one of the main factors for people not attending movies these days. I have a family of 4, and there have been several movies that my family and I would have liked to go see in the theater. The kids love going and watching movies on the big screen. The problem is, we just can’t afford to go see them that often. So, we choose carefully which movies are worth going to see and the rest just have to wait until they release on DVD. That’s just smart budgeting during this economy.

  • jason

    Movies have been terrible for the past 6 months, take out the 10 that will be nominated for Oscars and your left with nothing. Please studios take note people do not want to see movies like yogi bear..come up with something original like Inception.

    • Liz Lemon

      There have been about 25 movies that were good, great, or brilliant in 2010…25 out of over 200 films. That’s really bad:
      Toy Story 3
      Inception
      Deathly Hallows Part One
      127 Hours
      Black Swan
      True Grit
      How to Train Your Dragon
      Iron Man 2
      Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
      Let Me In
      The Social Network
      The Fighter
      The Town
      Shutter Island
      Kick-Ass
      Iron Man 2
      The Other Guys
      The Karate Kid
      Winter’s Bone
      Despicable Me
      Salt
      Easy A
      Conviction
      Tangled
      Blue Valentine

      • Brian

        But that’s pretty much the way it is every year

      • Chris Price

        I’d say there’s more than 25 actually. Here’s another 25 movies that you didn’t list that were “good, great or brilliant”:

        The Ghost Writer
        Animal Kingdom
        Exit Through The Gift Shop
        Please Give
        Mother
        I Love You Phillip Morris
        The King’s Speech
        Cyrus
        Four Lions
        Dogtooth
        The Square
        Get Low
        The Kids Are All Right
        Catfish
        Never Let Me Go
        Fair Game
        Inside Job
        Nowhere Boy
        Splice
        The Tillman Story
        Unstoppable (surprisingly)
        Cemetery Junction
        Green Zone
        Leaves Of Grass
        Waiting For “Superman”

        Some of these titles might have been harder to find this year, but those who did seek them out were very satisfied with the slate of films in 2010. Between our two lists there were 50 movies to enjoy (at least, I could have listed more). That’s more than enough to be satisfied. I see around 100 films in the theater each year. And this year I enjoyed around 65 movies that I saw. I don’t expose myself to the garbage I know I will hate, so generally the movies I don’t like are the ones that disappoint me. When only 35% of the movies I see in a year are a disappointment, I’m not complaining.

      • BOBBYC

        70% of the movies you mentioned stink stink stink…

      • Woot

        Liz Lemon, you put Iron Man 2 on your list twice, and it shouldn’t be on the list at all since it was such a disappointment. And Chris, a lot of your movies are foreign films, so Hollywood isn’t really responsible for those. A lot of the movies listed are also independent, so no studio is really responsible for it either.

      • Carrie

        @ Chris Price: I too see about 100 movies in the theater, more when I live in a major metropolitan area. I enjoyed most of the films you listed, and feel that the only difference this year is that the big, mindless blockbusters didn’t perform as expected- when people had more discretionary income, they’d drop $20+ on something like “Knight and Day” or “The Tourist”, even knowing that it was probably crap. When people are watching their money, they save it up for quality. Hence, the 10 films nominated for Best Oscar (likely) have a higher box office average than in years past. The same number of mindless crap was made, and the same number of smarter, better “art house” films were made. The movies haven’t changed, just the viewing patterns of the public.

      • paul

        Liz Lemon – if you’re as tasty as good as your good taste in movies, I think I love you.

      • Shania

        Salt was so dissapointing; a dumbed down No Way Out 30 years past it’s prime. I’d add I Am Love, Ondine, Happy Go Lucky, A Prophet, Heartbreaker, White Ribbon.

      • just badmovies

        what is good to you might not be good for another .that list is alot smaller in my pick

      • Will

        @Chris Price,

        You put Splice on your list? Splice?
        What a horrible, horrible movie.

      • J.P.

        Liz, I’d love to comment on your inclusion of “Scott Pilgrim,” but I’m currently in convulsions of laughter.

      • Juneau

        That’s a pretty good list and people just need to be more selective. I’m a huge movie buff and just can’t wait the 6 months it’ll take for the movie to come out on DVD (when I watch again). But I’m so selective that I only see about 30 movies a year (usually the stuff up for awards so most at the end of the year). I go to a before noon show (no annoying kids or adults that early and they don’t usually go to the really good movies) on the weekend and don’t buy the junk food. But if I had a family, I’d never got to the movies. We’d all watch my DVD collection.

      • Liz Lemon

        Okay. I tried…but you get the point! I was trying to please everyone by including a little taste of every genre (even the mediocre films). Although, I feel like an idiot for not realizing I included Iron Man twice. *slaps forehead*

  • sammy sam

    YOGI BEAR ROCKED

    • donald twump

      It’s totally going to win all the oscars.

    • Zack

      Resident Evil: Afterlife was excellent!

  • Mel

    Cost and lots of garbage movies.

  • bob fom binghamton

    I agree that the cost of attending movies is having a big impact. There are plenty I’d like to see, but when you add the increasing cost of gas, “like to see” is just not enough to get me to a theater. It’s a must see or I wait for home video.

  • Dan

    1) Most movies aren’t very good.
    2) Even if they’re good, they probably aren’t worth $12.50 and the possibility of getting bedbugs.
    3) Just wait and get it on Netflix
    4) HD may not be a full-size screen, but not only is it private, it’s pretty damn good.

    • Dan Too

      All good, valid points.

    • paul

      Have you noticed how the media doesn’t report on bedbugs anymore? They don’t want to warn people to STAY HOME, KEEP YOUR MONEY and save it for the HUGE cost of eliminating bedbugs once you do get them!! They’re spreading like wildfire and it’s all being squashed (the stories, not the bugs – they breed WAY too fast).

    • KatherineM

      Dan and everyone else are right. The poor quality of the movies is just one part of the problem.

      Why do I want to go to dirty noisy theaters and spend a month’s HBO fee for one movie, usually of questionable worth? The last time I was in a movie theater was over a year ago, and I live 5 minutes from a massive theater complex.

      At our house for quality entertainment it’s a hi-def TV for HBO, PBS and AMC, and with Netflix for some movies. For myself personally, I find the one hour high quality weekly limited series of HBO and others, much more entertaining than most movies being done right now.

      • Davila

        “For myself personally, I find the one hour high quality weekly limited series of HBO and others, much more entertaining than most movies being done right now.”

        It’s why even actors traditionally found in films are flocking to premium cable television for better scripts and characters. If they are fleeing the movies for stage or television something is really, really wrong.

        Bedbugs aside, the quality of movies are truly lacking this year. Plots are nonexistent and so are characters in films. An A-list name cannot simply open a movie they way they used to anymore. The consumer has handed Hollywood a warning…bring the quality or it’s Netflix here we come.

    • Allison

      Or, maybe the bedbug problem has been eradicated.

      • paul

        Probably won’t happen in YOUR lifetime Allison – AND – if you walk around with that attitude and level of vigilance, get ready to live with them for a looooonnnnnnnnggggggg time.

      • musica1

        I have never known anyone who got bedbugs at a movie theatre, and I know a lot of people who go to the theatre regularly. Do these people also avoid live theatre, concerts, sporting events and riding in planes and taxis to avoid possible bed-bug contamination.

    • cccloc

      Speaking for myself, I”m turned off with all the bombs, blow-ups, car chases movies and 3D.

  • Chris

    Hollywood is still reaching out to a certain demographic that’s why their movies are failing. Some groups is just not comfortable seeing some movies that they share no familiarity with. It’s a reason why movies like True Grit, The Social Network, For Colored Girls etc actually sell. They have a point 2 em, and larger groups of people can easily relate or feel comfortable watching movies like these. Hollywood is on a downward spiral, and another remake is not gonna save it. Remember back in the day how a low-budget movie could easily make box-office GOLD? We took the old solid fun out of making movies. It’s all about critique now. Hollywood just 4got what we were watching movies 4….

    • Shotgun Samurai

      I might take you seriously if you used to instead of 2 and for instead of 4.

      • jess

        u mean two instead of to and 2 & four instead of for and 4.

      • Shotgun Samurai

        No I don’t mean that…

      • Juneau

        Time to take your medication, Jess.

      • Aly

        Be nice. It’s not Jess’ fault people are too lazy to type out three letter words and use numbers that sound the same even if the words for the numbers aren’t spelled the same. Before texting and internet shorthand, 2 only meant two, not to.

  • Rob Thomas

    Thats fine, EW. Help is on the way!!! We here at Minimum Wage Productions are currently working on five great full length feature films that will take Hollywood back to it’s storytelling and filmmaking roots!

    • Tony

      Riiiiiiiiiiight. I bet Super-8 is the next big thing.

  • Tommie

    It’s piracy. And the online social thingy.

    • Tajah

      Whats to pirate? The vast majority of movies lately is crap.

      • Tajah

        * is should be are

      • lump

        you were right the first time

    • Shotgun Samurai

      Usually piracy is more a sign of the financial success of a film as opposed to stealing. Avatar which made billions was also the most pirated film.

    • walt kovacs

      the green hornet is online, in pretty good quality

      i watched the first 10 minutes…then turned it off

      not even good enough to pirate

  • Justin

    I agree. My theater near me has jacked up prices every year, and 2010 was no exception. The year before, 3 d came to the theater in real d and the digital IMAX experience which costs more than the regular movie tickets. Also add in higher ratings for NFL and online ratings and thAt hurts the bottom line.

  • Bill Johnson

    How ’bout this? Julia Roberts can’t act. People have had their fill of emaciated, I-will-adopt-every- unfortunate baby-in-the-world Angelina. Owen Wilson’s whiny, nasaly, himbo act has lots its luster. And none of them deserves 2000 dollars for this crap much less 2 or 20 million.

    • Liz

      I will never tire of Owen Wilson or any of the other Wilson brothers. On the other points I agree. I refuse to see anything Jolie is in. I loved Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman but she’s pretty much been the exact same character for the past 20 years and I’m over it.

    • forrest

      talk about one note actresses, what about Jennifer Aniston? All her movies are exactly the same. I can’t tell them apart regardless of the title. Why all the hype?

  • d from L.A

    I don’t think cost is an issue as many people paid 18.00+ to watch Inception in IMAX but I do agree that people are being more picky about the films they watch and its about time!! I cannot believe the amount of crap that was grossing 100+ mil in 2008!! I hope people cont to watch only well made films and Hollywood execs take notice.

    • Merry Bear

      I agree. I saw Inception twice in the theater, and still consider it money well spent. My kids and their friends love going to the movies, and I finally broke down after multiple snow days and went to see Gulliver’s Travels. I wanted to cry for the money I spent, the dreck we endured, and subjected other people’s children to. We knew it wouldn’t be great, but it was the worst kids movie ever, with The Last Airbender being the only possible exception. Did Hollywood really think I would pay to see Yogi Bear?

  • Lisa Simpson

    At some point during some generic, forgotten, big budget superhero movie, I realized that I was bored, that I was not a thirteen year old boy, and that I was just not going to spend money on certain types of movies no matter how many people tell “but this one’s different.” I’ve seen fewer movies this year, but I’ve liked or loved all the ones I’ve seen.

    • wtf

      you can’t really blame it on the subject matters of films. Yes they keep making comic book movies but they are not made well. Alot of them don’t even follow the source material and water down the stories to try and appeal to a “mass audience”, when in reality it’s actually back firing as these movies are coming out like crap.

      • Fred2

        Sometimes, superhero films like the Spider-Man, Batman and X-Men franchises are more enjoyable than the comics are at the time. Others like Blade and Men in Black turn lame concepts into really cool entertainment.

        Either way, the best comic book films appeal to a mass audience because they are well done by any standard. Pity the comic book industry itself has forgotten this lesson and suffered steep declines in audience as a result.

    • Allison

      While I personally would rather see action movies at the theater, there have been some that just sucked.

  • Jeremy

    Constantly putting out remakes and sequels has a lot to do with their downward spiral. Not to mention putting out a new comic book character into movie each year. Hasn’t anyone told the executives that telling the same story or joke over and over makes it less entertaining? I’m more than happy to spend money on a movie, but if it’s regurgitated formulas, I’d rather not.

    • Brian

      But remakes and sequels have been around since the 30’s.
      And how is the next comic book hero any different than the next action hero, romantic comedy, slasher flick, historical epic, etc?

      • Al

        Yeah, remakes have been around, but not as frequently as right now. Come on, Spiderman 3 came about 3 years ago, and the first images of the reboot are already online!

  • Tom

    Last year had Avatar

    • Unrelated to Tom’s comment above

      I borrow DVD’s from the public library, and they usually have the latest DVD releases the same day as the stores.

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