Monday, August 5, 2013

Hollywood's Summer Bombs

Now that the summer season is coming to a close, it looks like Hollywood has had a really bad summer movie season. While I've never been a big moviegoer, I do enjoy going out from time to time. But my absence have never really contributed to the decline of Hollywood.

One thing you have to understand is that most movies are marketed to teens because that is the demographic who goes to movies on a regular basis. Just about every stupid trailer you see that involves ghosts, guns, robots, or superheroes, you can bet that just about teen moviegoer is watching it thinking that it's going to be an awesome movie. And while we all have our preferences in movies (I enjoyed Man of Steel and Iron Man 3 though I wasn't as fond of the Batman reboot), it appears that Hollywood caters primarily to the lowest common denominator, which just so happens to be the American teenager.

Frankly, I'm happy to see Hollywood bomb this summer given the quality of movies they were putting out. While I'm fine with the occasional movie where you turn your brain off and just enjoy the ride like a roller coaster, it gets hard to do that when the movie makes it so blatant. And when the more "brainy" movies come out, they come off as just more idiotic (see Only God Forgives as a more recent example of failures in that regard). In any case, there were very few good movies coming out and the general public is more aware of it.

On top of that, I think many moviegoers are starting to reject the Hollywood propaganda that they are throwing out. Young people are becoming more aware, via social media and many other outlets, that they are screwed. This does not bode well for an industry whose sole claim to fame is getting money from teenagers and giving themselves their own awards.

Movie ticket prices have also gone up considerably. I remember when they were about five dollars a ticket back when I was a teenager, about a decade and a half ago. Now if you wanted to go, it would cost you double that, if you were at matinee prices without 3D or iMAX, and the concessions become just as expensive. I wonder if movie tickets are included in the CPI-U calculations? I know that food, fuel, and housing are not, so it would not surprise me, given that it has increased over 100% since the mid-1990s, which would skew the standard 3% line we are fed.

Anyhow, Hollywood has become over the years increasingly devoid of talent at all levels and originality. Their long run of remakes, reboots, and sequels is starting to drag them down and I think it's high time that they either go the way of the dinosaur or start rethinking their entire business model. They should have enough money to remodel their entire industry, if they haven't blown it all on cocaine and epic Michael Bay-like effects.

But I'm not an expert on this kind of thing. I know that this may just be a bad run and that next year they'll do better. There are always times when companies encounter rough patches and still manage to recover from them. Perhaps this is just the result of stupid decisions on the part of idiotic producers and that the industries will retool their productions to better fit the constantly changing demographic.

I should note, though, that the retiring Baby Boom generation should be a larger target than the Generation X and Millennial generations. This is because they are all starting to retire, want to feel hip and young, and probably have plenty of cash. They also will be bored and going to a movie in the middle of the week might be a good option, if you provide incentive. Right now, young people are becoming increasingly broke given minimum wage laws limiting their job options and the increasing tax burdens that are placed on them.

Just a thought though. Again, I'm no expert.