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Where Will You See….?

With summer fast approaching, the big budget blockbuster season is upon us. Each year it starts earlier and earlier in hopes of lengthening the successful months for movie studios. Starting with the hyped trailers and teaser trailers played during Super Bowl ads, passionate moviegoers wait with great anticipation to see what the season has to offer.

The big challenge studios are faced with is if the movie will have such popularity that it can make back enough to pay for all of the inflated production costs, including those $4 million Super Bowl spots. Considering that usually only half of the movies advertised during the big game end up being in the top ten grossing movies of the year at the box office, it seems as if there is a great amount of work cut out for the newborn movie before it is even released. This ultimately leads to where the audience will see the movie, if at all, and what price they will pay.

Movie trailers continue to push a traditional approach as to where the viewers should see these big movies year after year, but the reality is that there are multiple methods of watching that carry different amounts of profit, or loss, back to the source. Whether it is in the theater down the street on opening night, or catching it on a late night at home years later, the impact is made and recorded on each movie that is released. Getting the population to see a movie can be hard enough, but getting each individual to pay a premium on where and how it is seen can be even trickier to navigate.

As different media formats continue to evolve, the art behind the business struggles to maintain an identity as well, adding more pressure on the front runners for the season to stay on top. There is limited, to no ability to predict the small, underground indie pic that lights up audiences and chips away at the presumed heavyweight.

All of this, and more, can be quite the undertaking so early in the year, but yet again the expectations are set, and the positioning starts for the coveted spot of top grossing film at the box office. This is only the beginning of the story that will praise heroes and leave the fallen behind.

4 replies on “Where Will You See….?”

Interesting article Kyle! My minor as an undergrad was about the evolution of entertainment and technology with a focus on film and its distribution. I was curious whether you think the fragmentation of the movie-going experience is a challenge for the industry or an opportunity?

While the recent trend has been towards less revenue upon initial box office release, I would suggest that the potential for residual royalties with emerging media platforms may serve to benefit, not only the quality of the films being made, but also the democratization of the filmmaking process out of the grasp of Hollywood. This years notable films are a great example with Birdman, Selma, Whiplash, and the Imitation Game all being made outside of the mainstream studio system. Interestingly, The Imitation Game was originally bought by Warner Brothers but ended up being shelved. I guess they didn’t see this one as being Super Bowl worthy.

Thank you for the comment Dave. I look at it as an opportunity for the industry, but it seems as if it is taking the industry awhile to catch on in order to see it as anything more than a challenge to them. I definitely see the value in getting a better product for the viewer, but I think the industry is having trouble keeping up with making indie movies for smaller segments of fans, especially with the big dollars made on the blockbusters that cater to as large an audience as possible. It really has made a difference in getting emotion back in the making of movies.

Nice article, I can’t wait to see the rest. I am a big movie goer and get concerned how much it costs for a movie ticket. It would be interesting to know if the theaters see a spike in attendance that don’t mind paying the movie ticket costs when it is Oscar season.

I do think that the Oscar season helps outweigh that big summer season, but you are right that it is usually a different movie going audience with different tastes and characteristics. Good or bad, I am not completely sure on, but it is interesting to look into. Thank you for the comment Jill

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