Monday, June 29, 2009

The Future Of Movies Is Bleak If This Continues

As displayed above, "rants & raves"... this is a rant. If you look at the highest grossing movies to date in the U.S. this year, Pixar's Up is #1 at $250m. The #2 film of the year is Star Trek, coming in at $246m so far. Plus an extra $123m abroad. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has grossed $200m in 5 days. Foreign gross so far is $80m.

The rest of the top ten grossing films to date this year:

Monsters vs. Aliens - $195m
The Hangover - $183m
X-Men Origins: Wolverine - $177m
Night at the Museum 2 - $163m
Fast & Furious 4 - $155m
Angels & Demons - $130m
Terminator Salvation - $121m

My rant is looking at the list, are we going to be seeing only computer graphics ladened movies from here on. Movie studios will study the list and will plonk good money on sure things, i.e. more CGIs. CGIs are great, but let's have a better spread. Heck, in the end its the voice over guys and dolls who should be raking in the money. You and I know very well that the bulk of the movies cited will never win Best Picture even if its the most heart warming story ever told, or even if its the funniest. Movies is not about just the story - its about the acting, the collaboration of experts and craftsmen in wardrobe, cinematography, music, lighting, editing, the interaction and chemistry between actors, etc...

Toy Story or Ninotchka, Ice Age or When Harry Met Sally, Speed Racer or the Midnight Cowboy, Transformers or Twelve Angry Men, X-Men or The Exorcist ... more balance please or we will lose the plot on making great movies, we will end up with nerds churning out pleasurable shock-hits-wow-hits every 15 seconds on the screen type of movie, which in the end is like a 1 hour rollercoaster ride rather than a genuine movie. The instant gratification factor, the "can we fucking turn this into a computer game" factor... why is movie making shifting this way? Can we stop it, should we stop it?

p/s photo: Stefanie Sun


Arn said...

We tend to see these sorts of special effects-laden movies during the summer blockbuster season (May to September). Towards the end of the year, we can expect to see more Oscar-baiting movies as the film industry jockeys for awards. Having said that, there are some promising movies coming over the next couple of months such as The Hurt Locker and Public Enemies.

The presence of special effects, animation or CGI doesn't necessarily make a movie awful. The Star Trek reboot, Finding Nemo and A Bug's Life were pretty good movies, and I think it's a credit to the makers for being able to produce something that can appeal to just about everyone.

hal-2050 said...

Hollywood makes movies in order to make a buck for themselves.

Nowadays, in order to be sure of making a profit, movie-makers have to cater to the tastes of their core audience which happens to be teenagers and young people in their early twenties. This cohort mostly prefers their movies loud with lots of slam-bang action. They don't seem to care for thoughtful, serious dramas which may explain why we see a dearth of such movies - they just don't make much money at the box office. In fact, I believe most such shows lose money.

Things were different in the early days of Hollywood right up to the early 50's when audiences were mostly made up of adults and thus serious dramas sell well.

But these days adults are simply too busy bringing up a family, pursuing a career, and involved in work, to be able to spare the time for movie-going.

The advent of the Internet also tend to make the situation even more dismal. I have a feeling that most adults with Internet access find the Internet to be far more engaging and intellectually stimulating than watching movies or TV which is mostly a passive pastime.

The Internet is, as people say, interactive. Blogging is a good example. You don't merely write a blog but your readers respond and write back. In a way, this is rather gratifying and serves to reinforce more time being spent online to the detriment of movie-going and TV-watching.

Salvatore_Dali said...

arn, astute observation... i am not against cgi per se... im just worried that studios will over invest into cgi to the detriment of the traditional movies

hal, another astute observation... u r right... the piracy n internet basically allows most movies to be watched without going to the movies... ppl will only go to the theatre if they need to see the effects n impact on the big screen... hence cgi

Andrew Chua said...

We can't stop it and neither should we try.

There will be people who love human actors and those who prefer CGI.

The market will decide and vote with their dollars.

The investments will follow the market's preference.

This is how capitalism and market economies work.

If you happen to be on the opposite side of what the market wants...then...uh....too bad.