Home > Uncategorized > Understanding A Box Office Failure – What’s Wrong With Hollywood Understanding A Box Office Failure – What’s Wrong With Hollywood newsthree September 14, 2017 Uncategorized 34 Comments Box office and film economics in general is a very complicated subject, I couldn’t possiby cover everything even in a 12 minute video, but I think this serves to … source Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window) Related Tweet Pin It Related Posts Trump Returns U.S. to Realpolitik in World Affairs Duterte reportedly orders cops to kill son if drug smuggling 'rumors' are true Sarah Ferguson on Her Past: ‘If I Could Turn Back Time, I Wouldn’t Change Anything’ About The Author newsthree 34 Comments Joe Wall September 14, 2017 i like the production quality. it's unique and easy to look at. however i want to quickly voice an issue i had with the video. Particularly with the box office math where you say that ,if it had more exposure the result would be exponential growth. I don't think you're right here. I see the film you dicussed as a guy running a marathon. He starts well and makes it 3 kilometres, then collapses. Afterwards you are examining his run and find that if he kept his pace and continued until the end he would have finished with a great time and be alongside the top marthon runners. However this is irrelevant as he passed out after 3 km and couldn't make that pace if he tried even though the math would tell you its possible. He would never make that great time and be comparable to the best runners even though on paper he could. i don't know if you like football (soccer) but i certainly do. Most non-league football teams can compete with the big teams with world class players for maybe one game. if you were to compare that one game and scale it up like you did for the film, you would expect the non league team to play in the same league as the big team. however its about consistentcy. The real question is how consistent is the film over 5,000 screens compared to a blockbuster. How does the non league team stack up vs the big team its apparent that you really enjoyed the film and feel it deserves to make more than Hancock. (Which it probably does). However its an arthouse film for a reason. People don't flock in their droves to see an arthouse film even if its the greatest thing the world has ever seen. I like a good mind stimulating film but i don't think a niche film like this would be appealing to the masses. (which you said at the start to be fair.) i think i saw another video of yours about its always sunny in philadelphia. It was about why its funny 12 seasons in. I watched it and learned a lot about the characters and their origins and the depth the show has. But i didnt understand what was funny about it. Sure they're a dysfunctional group of friends who do wacky things. The new series of the simpsons contain a dysfunctional family who do wacky things but it isnt funny. The Office (UK) is hilarious because of the awkward silences and cringy things our main character says. but it is the way it is executed that makes it funny not the situations by themselves. (i probably don't get it though. The clips you showed in the video just weren't for me and i probably glossed over the clever humour in it) anyway thats my two cents. if you read it all you must love what youre doing keep it up and keep improving 🙂 Chris Dohr September 14, 2017 Logically you are right, but you are forgetting one big point: Marketing. Its all about selling and advertising these movies and getting people interested in them. As much as I love synechdoche, I totally see the problem with selling it wide in the US: it is too intellectual and formal something totally different and standing out. In my opinion Film history (or nowadays: history of audiovisual content) is some Kind of road: for example 'Breaking Bad' would probably never have been a success without the existence of 'the Sopranos' because they first perfected the possibilities of cinematic storytelling in TV. Yes, you can always find a series that did that before, but the point is, that there are badly needed referencepoints for the audience. Synechdoche is far ahead of its time and has no visible referencepoints in resent Film history that the US audience could relate to. I'm going to make myself hateable in saying, if there was a consistent European Film-marketplace it would have fared much better here, because of our bigger openness to movies that challenge and the ongoing breaks and turnarounds in art. But here also it relies on Marketing: you can have the best movie of all time in some cinemas, nobody will care if you dont make them care and go there.At the end of the Day the whole world of cinema has probably the same Problem: the successfull takeovers of moneypeople, taking away the Power of craftsmen and cinephiles. Juan Carlos Orellana September 14, 2017 Great video and great channel. Subscribed! Matthew Guralsky September 14, 2017 I'll never forget working at a movie theater in college and watching loners and the occasional couple walk buy tickets for movies like Her while masses of people piled in to see movies like Ride A Long. Watching this analysis really did make me kind of sad. People don't want to be challenged or moved by a movie. I love a good goofy movie sometimes, but movies like Synecdoche have literally changed the way I think about things. Womble Dewd September 14, 2017 As much as I love Synecdoche and find it very meaningful on a personal level. I have a very hard time believing most people could appreciate it and that therefore it could have been as successful a film as Hancock for example. People are just too used to indulging in escapist fantasies as the endless, box office drivel routinely proves time and time again. Synecdoche is brutally honest to the point of being sometimes uncomfortable to watch at certain points. Not everyone can deal with this. Regardless, successful or not, it's a powerful film and it will be remembered. Dragon Curve Enthusiast September 14, 2017 I haven't even heard of Synecdoche, New York before I watched this video, but I'm interested now NeonBroadway September 14, 2017 is 10:40 the tower theatre? Bart Scantlin September 14, 2017 Anomalisa was really, really good. Leo Mikuš September 14, 2017 That hurts SOOO much. oblix101 September 14, 2017 I largely agree with what your saying, a lot of art house films dont do anywhere near as good as they should in cinemas. However when editing your videos i think you should be careful of where you place specific clips of movies when talking about a subject. When you were making a point i entirely agree with about exposure of smaller budget films and talking about style over substance, you placed clips of films like Logan and guardians of the galaxy. While both of these films might not have as much to say philosophically or creatively as a lot of underappreciated art house films, they are both fantastic pieces of cinema none the less. Love the videos though dude! You got another sub right here 🙂 Santiago Garza September 14, 2017 logan and the jungle book have a lot of substanse. Being block busters does not make them dumn movies lazaro del pino September 14, 2017 You're parting from the false premise that scaling up the movie showings would maintain the same numbers. Whereas it may just be the case that they selected the few locations where the movie would do well, and if you scale it then the return on every individual cinema drops. Will Adam September 14, 2017 Spot on Visual Media September 14, 2017 Great video. Curious on your thoughts on BVS The Ultimate Edition. For me it's a great movie the acting, score, visual effects, Cinemotography, And plot. I know not everyone likes it Victor Chang September 14, 2017 I like your style but I don''t really agree, unfortunately. I think that SNY is a hard sell. There are some indie arthouse movies that really attract an audience (Lion, Get Out, for example) and some that don't. But more importantly, your box office analysis doesn't seem right. You think that if SNY opened in 500 or 1000 theater,s it would garner the same per theater average over its run? Because I disagree. Part of the appeal, I think, is the limited opening appeal. Lots of movies open huge per theater averages in small openings and then expand and grow because it attracts an audience (La La Land is the most prominent example, but also Slumdog Millionaire, etc.) but some don't because the appeal is just no there. I really do not believe that if SNY opened in 500 theaters that it would maintain that per theater average over its run. In fact, I think it'd suffer because it's a hard sell and when theaters see that so few people are seeing it, it'll be dropped quickly. Having them in fewer theaters at first is the right move, and the fact that it did not expand well (or get very very good reviews instead of the average-good reviews it got) means it did not appeal. Huge Flea September 14, 2017 Capitalism is the reason for all this. Tous September 14, 2017 Dude, you're amazing. Just subscribed! Shelly Belly September 14, 2017 To me, it really boils down to pre and pos children. Before I had kids I was all about the art movie and exquisite material. Now, we kids and the daily grueling life. I want those silly movies just to put the stress on hold. But I get your point. I do the same with my groceries… every time I go to the supermarket I vote for the healthy food buy buying it. If there is a demand for it, capital market will bring in the product. You're very right… it's all about the money. Vote with your money. Jehan Music September 14, 2017 I think you're argument might be right but the evidence doesn't entirely support your position. If Synechdoche were screened at other cinemas, it's possible that the market would not have grown accordingly. This would occur if the movie had only a small, urban audience who would have actively sought it out whereas the blockbuster had a mass market that required extensive marketing activities to provoke actual movie attendance. So, while possible, I'm not entirely convinced. I do, however, agree that the movie was pushed far less than it should have been. Should it have been shown in 1000 cinemas? Not sure. But 40 is certainly too few. skiparsenal September 14, 2017 You have several good points regarding the profit-focus mindset of movie studios, but the argument is lost when you opened establishing that the recession made people seek out escapist films. The fact that you only used one case study that was released in that specific cultural zeitgeist weakens your argument at its foundation, because like any other piece of art, another thing that makes or breaks films is the timing of its release. The reason why the New Hollywood Era (where "the greats" like Scorsese, Coppolla, Kubrick and several other auteurs shined) happened when it did was because of the political climate at that time. The reason why late in the New Hollywood Era, summer blockbusters became a thing with Star Wars and Jaws leading the forefront was a response to that old cynical, grounded paradigm. Movies and box offices change because of the current cultural mindset. Synecdoche, New York was released at a time where people sought escapism and spectacle because of an economic recession, not introspective films. Regardless if studios will release it more widely, it will no doubt yield minimal results against the cost of distribution and marketing. I think the ultimate solution for this though is to make films that are more accessible and up to par with the current zeitgeist, while maintaining a sense of artistic integrity. Movies like The Winter Soldier, The Dark Knight, and Logan excelled at this. They provided commentary and entertainment at the same time. It's not that there's no room for introspective arthouse films, but if you want to reach more people, therefore earn more money, then the product itself has to be accessible intrinsically, not just logistically, and I think that's the challenge of arthouse film makers. shashank raibole September 14, 2017 watch marathi movies they are more story oriented MrHEC381991 September 14, 2017 Hollywood today: If it's broke BUT it makes a lot of money…don't fix it. Ben Carlson September 14, 2017 You used clips from Logan and guardians of the galaxy in your final monologue on "going to lower budget art house films". Both those movies, and many more big budget films like the dark knight are really great and are just as good if not better than many art house films. Budget does not matter in terms of overall quality. I didn't like Avatar but 12 Angry Men is my favorite movie of all time. All this is subjective but this videos overall point was that money is not subjective… it's objective. Axel Reyes September 14, 2017 see, this is my issue with Hollywood. We just seem to want to shovel out commercialized artworks, in spite of the fact that only soulful intelligent arthouse films are what defined movie experiences for decades. This is the ultimate betrayal to the artist, an artist creates and does so for the world(this includes relevancy/monetization), but just because these ideal films are too abstract to be immediately understood by some audiences isn't an excuse to instead sell lazy cookie-cutter films as artwork. Just from the impression your video gave me, I'm willing to claim that this "by the numbers" approach to films is what makes our audiences expect dumber material, and shun purposeful artwork/film. decades ago, the common audience-member understood, and praised the serious tone of the Godfather films, but nowadays you couldn't expect that same appreciation, unless it's meme-worthy. Fuck this attitude, maybe artists can be slow craftsman, but that's no excuse for these wannabe-Andy Warhol's to use the title of artist/director/producer, tank in the box office, and then blame the genuine artists(who were against that shitty approach in the first place). Business/studio execs lose the artist in themselves somewhere along the line, and instead of making a profit with the intention of rewarding their customers, they make a profit to make more profit. Nothing wrong with making money, especially making it well, but you can't expect money to sit up one day and want to watch a film, only people can make that choice, and sooner or later, our society is gonna realize that going to those commercialized messes offers nothing for the mind, and we'll demand real art, whether it's film, or other media. a cole September 14, 2017 I think this is a specific problem within America, because in Britain we see lots of art house films that have low budgets and "indie" productions generally do rather well if the film is good Mad Geo September 14, 2017 Stopped in the middle…I love Synecdoche, and will always defend this movie, but the arguments here are nonsensical. deadmethods September 14, 2017 Damn people are really salty about this analysis. But I agree, the film industry could widen the distribution of "art house" films if they show an increase in sales Riza Yudhistira September 14, 2017 I guess too many people are missing the point. The guy simply tells us that this kind of movie has potential (to gain financial objective) but the distributors won't even give a chance. It is not about your movie taste or how someone must be pretentious to enjoy art film, it is all about marketing and how a better effort to reach more awareness will give more opportunity to achieve audience. ItNeverHurtToThink September 14, 2017 I've tried your recommendation, voting for good films with your wallet, but it just makes no difference when the masses go for flashing lights and big titties. :/ Like, what the fuck was Jurassic world? inglourious basterds September 14, 2017 Because people don't appreciate art. They want stupid ass humor and big bright things. Sigh. theMoporter September 14, 2017 A "democracy" that only the privileged can afford to vote in. Xavier de Jesus September 14, 2017 An art house films talks about life and how it changes people. Usually it's never really a happy ending or the film gets too real. I don't want spend the expensive movie ticket on a film and have a depressed view on life. I need to escape. Art house films belong on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon prime now. Kyle Nazario September 14, 2017 I really like your video style but man, some of your assertions (especially the budget math) stretch credulity. 1. "Synecdoche, New York"'s 4K vs Hanckock's 6K looks similar when broken down to a per-theater basis, but when scaled up you're pushing a movie that makes two-thirds the money. That's a massive loss.2. Tastes in media change by area. There is probably demographic data in some studio showing that most art film fans live in New York / LA. Scaling to more theaters doesn't necessarily mean the new audience will like it. 3. It is normal for big-budget films to have a big dropoff after the opening weekend. Big Marvel flicks average 60-65% dropoff, while Batman v. Superman was between 65-70%. If anything, a dropoff of 50% means Hancock did great. There are a lot of reasons for the drop-off pattern but the biggest is that big tentpole movies become an event. You go see the new Marvel movie opening weekend because it's a cultural event. An art film won't have that by nature.4. As someone who doesn't live in New York or LA, I'm with you. I wish they'd play these movies in other theaters. I agree with you. Movie studio logic can sideline potential hits before they even get a chance. But the data you cite doesn't prove that this particular movie would have been a hit. It feels like this is a movie you love and wish more people would see. Which is understandable! But this data doesn't prove the studio was wrong. The data tells us what was- it proves nothing about something that didn't happen. bob polo September 14, 2017 Yeah, the world needs more Charlie Kaufman films, where the repeated premise is always: middle aged white guy suffering from issues with personal identity and sexual inadequacy. More indeed!