BBC:Hollywood heading for 'slowdown'

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Old 11 November 2005   #1
BBC:Hollywood heading for 'slowdown'

Quote:
"Economic growth in Hollywood is likely to slow in 2006 because DVD sales are sliding and productions are being made in cheaper areas, a report suggests.

The Los Angeles County Economic Corporation (LAEDC) report predicted a slowdown in available jobs. '

>>Link<<

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Old 11 November 2005   #2
Other news from the BBC: Napsters new campaign adverts and commericals prove to be a little too riske for American audience and FCC, you decide.

Here i provided a link to the TV commercial:
www.getthewholething.com

Figures, everything is to much this or that for American TV or media. Really sucks.

Last edited by Jpsilvashy : 11 November 2005 at 08:41 PM.
 
Old 11 November 2005   #3
Here is an interesting and more in depth article about Movies and DVDs. Same subject matter. This was emailed to me, and I couldn't find a page for it so I'll just post the whole thing:


NY TIMES
November 13, 2005

How to Sell a Movie (or Fail) in Four Hours
By ADAM LEIPZIG

IF you think life is moving too fast - hyped up with BlackBerries, blogs, podcasts and instant messages - imagine what it is like to run a movie studio these days.

It's bad enough that a movie's box-office gross revenues will decline about 50 percent each week and that the time between a film's release in the theater and its debut in the home-video market is shrinking rapidly. (That window is less than four months now, down from six months just a year ago; some industry leaders predict it will soon shrink to nothing.) Even more vexing, success or failure in theaters, often a break-even proposition at best, will be determined with near-certainty by early afternoon of the opening Friday - and then by the turnout at a few bellwether theaters like Loews Lincoln Square and AMC Empire 25 in Manhattan.

There, if the ushers are napping, clandestine video-camera operators will also lift a shaky copy of the film at those same early showings and send it to disc factories nearby. By Saturday morning, vendors will be selling pirated DVD's on the A train, alongside cheap candy and batteries, even as a digital version is zipped off via the Internet to brethren who operate bigger factories in Southeast Asia or Eastern Europe.

But never mind all of that. Things get really scary when the studio chief puts his or her movie, often years in the making, on the legitimate home-video market - and becomes a hero or a goat in a fraction of a day.

The DVD release of a film is all-important because it is truly profitable, and studios have thus far been largely successful in keeping these profits to themselves. A typical studio movie costs nearly $100 million: an average of $63.6 million to make and $34.4 million to market. Theater exhibitors - Regal, AMC, Loews, and the like - generally keep 50 percent of their box-office sales, which means that a movie must sell nearly $200 million worth of tickets worldwide to return $100 million to the studio and thus break even in its theatrical release.

Since few movies earn that much at the box office, the studios have increasingly relied on the home-video market, where the equation is much more in their favor, to help recover losses and make a profit. For example, a DVD costs about $2 to manufacture and $2 to market. It is then sold wholesale to retailers at $16 a unit, amounting to a $12 profit. Since manufacturers' suggested retail prices are usually $20 to $30 a DVD (typically discounted by 20 percent), a DVD can return tens of millions of dollars in profit to the studio.

Once again, though, time is the enemy.

Let's look at the week ahead. DVD's are traditionally released on Tuesdays, so this week you might be the head of Universal worrying about "The Skeleton Key" or the president of home video at Sony Pictures, concerned about "Stealth."

Studios service about 30,000 retail outlets in America (roughly the same as the number of movie screens). You have already planned your strategy to get the right number of DVD's to each location, and to spend the right amount of marketing money to attract consumers.

More than a third of all DVD's (and more than 50 percent of some titles) are sold at Wal-Mart stores, so you focus a lot there. Part of the genius of Wal-Mart's distribution system is its ability to keep track of every detail; Wal-Mart computers know exactly where every individual unit is, in which store, at any given time. This lets the chain maintain inventory at optimum levels - neither too much on hand, nor too little.

In today's world of computerized supply chains, the whole process of releasing a movie on DVD has become one in which success can be measured nearly instantly. At 8 a.m. Tuesday, you arrive in the Southern California office of Universal or Sony. Already, Wal-Mart stores in the East have been open for four hours; based on the number of sales in that short time frame, their computer programs will calculate projections, accurate to within 5 percent, of how many total units of "The Skeleton Key" or "Stealth" will be sold in the first week, the first month, the first six months.

If your movie is performing below expectations, by the time you arrive at work Tuesday morning, already the unsold units are being loaded onto trucks to be returned. Something like this happened with DreamWorks Animation's "Shrek 2." The movie was a hit by any measure, but last May, when DreamWorks reported that it had sold fewer DVD's than it anticipated, its stock tumbled 17 percent over two days.

But, if your movie does better than expected, you still get no rest: Instead, you must immediately begin production of more units - studios can manufacture up to half a million a day - so retailers will have fresh stock by the weekend.

Working backward a bit, the equation now comes down to the following: The movie business turns on DVD sales. Strong DVD sales are generally propelled by strong theatrical box office. And what propels theatrical box office?

In most cases, nearly half of a movie's total audience turns out in the first week of release, which means there has been very little or no word of mouth motivating most of the audience. In other words, many people go to a movie without any real information about it - without even reading a review. Or, put most cynically: Most of the time, there is no relationship between how good a film is, and how many people turn out to see it.

So what makes people go to a movie? Generally, it is awareness - or now, in Hollywood parlance, "pre-awareness." Since studios cannot spend enough on advertising to buy awareness (there is so much advertising noise in the marketplace these days), there is a tendency to make movies with familiar titles, characters and stories: "The Dukes of Hazzard," "Spider-Man," "War of the Worlds," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." In the past decade, most box-office revenue has come from pre-aware titles, which includes sequels ("X-Men 3," set for a May 2006 release) and remakes ( "King Kong," Dec. 14).

When word of mouth does happen, it moves with lightning speed: teenagers will send a text message to friends during the first show on Friday about whether a film is good or bad. While it might not be true - yet - that most people decide on the Thursday before a movie opens if they will see it in a theater or buy it on DVD, certainly 24 hours after a film's theatrical opening most of the audience has in effect made that decision.

DVD's are a maturing industry, and - though sales have slowed over all - still an industry driven by quick and directed purchases. If a consumer wants to own a movie, he or she will probably buy it as soon as it is released. Movies are just entertainment commodities, after all, and instant commoditization feeds instant gratification; if the consumer's need isn't gratified immediately, the need wanes.

What does this all mean? Other than the fact that the movie business is riskier than high-stakes Texas Hold 'Em, it means that the economics of the industry are being propelled by sweeping technological changes. Among them are digital projection (which allows films to be broadcast to theaters from secure servers, even possibly allowing different versions to be shown in different communities); shrinking distribution windows in which more films will open simultaneously in theaters, on home video and on cable television (on Jan. 27, the Steven Soderbergh film "Bubble" will be released at the same time in theaters, on cable television and DVD); and new forms of delivery (soon satellite radio services will be able to transmit video to cars). But the underlying business model of the motion-picture industry has not yet adjusted to the momentum or velocity of change.

Until it catches up - if it ever does - we can expect to see more instant hits and instant failures, more Hollywood tales of overnight heroes and goats.

Adam Leipzig is president of National Geographic Feature Films.

 
Old 11 November 2005   #4
I used to buy dvd's all the time.

I don't anymore. My reason:
Unskippable pre-play commercials at the start of a dvd.

It's so frustrating when I want to sit down and just watch a movie and I AM FORCED to watch sometimes up to 5 minutes of commercials or a movie trailer.
Seriously, that is such a piss off. Especially when the movie they are advertising for is already out on dvd.
I paid 20 dollars for this, why am I having advertisments punch me in the face?

I'm not going to be so bold as to say that that is the reason DVD sales are dropping. But it is my reason for not buying them as much anymore.
I bet I'm not the only one too.

Alright, I'm done my weekly DVD commercial rant. Whew. Feel better.
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Old 11 November 2005   #5
So wait... are we supposed to give a crap about Hollywood?

Simply put F them. They have priced themselves out of profitability.
They give these big stars $50M for a lousey movie but then skimp on everyone else's salary by moving production to places like Canada or Mexico.

They overcharge on movie tickets (which they have to, cuz they paid way too much for the movie's star), and then wonder why ticket sales are down. There actually was a time when a family of 4 coudl actually go out for a night and see a movie for less than $100. Now it would be nearly $50 just for the tickets.

Then once you PAID good money to see the movie, you have to sit though commercials (to something you PAID for) and endless product placement. Ofcourse all this might just be worth it is the movie was any good - yet Hollywood keeps on churning out remake after remake after remake or movies with the same played-out plots over and over again.

I can give a rat's ass about Hollywood's problems - they are all self-inflicted.
 
Old 12 December 2005   #6
Originally Posted by Hazdaz: So wait... are we supposed to give a crap about Hollywood?

Simply put F them. They have priced themselves out of profitability.
They give these big stars $50M for a lousey movie but then skimp on everyone else's salary by moving production to places like Canada or Mexico.

They overcharge on movie tickets (which they have to, cuz they paid way too much for the movie's star), and then wonder why ticket sales are down. There actually was a time when a family of 4 coudl actually go out for a night and see a movie for less than $100. Now it would be nearly $50 just for the tickets.

Then once you PAID good money to see the movie, you have to sit though commercials (to something you PAID for) and endless product placement. Ofcourse all this might just be worth it is the movie was any good - yet Hollywood keeps on churning out remake after remake after remake or movies with the same played-out plots over and over again.

I can give a rat's ass about Hollywood's problems - they are all self-inflicted.


I have to totally agree with you on this one Hazdaz, personally I think its kinda funny really. Hollywood has turned into such a spoiled brat. I personally have been waiting for the day when they drop movie ticket prices. I mean I spent more then $10 for a movie like last week. It seems like whenever I go to the movies, there is a price increase. So inturn I hardly go to the movies.

And I spend $25 a month on netflix. By far the best investment ever. Can watch dozens of movies for what I pay to go see one in there theatre and there is no cell phone conversation going on in the background either. Plus, Hollywood is rushing the stuff so fast to DVD, that I just wait a short time for it to be released and rent it then.

I have to say that Hollywood is not choosing to listen on this one, but I hope they change their ways. I really do.
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Old 12 December 2005   #7
That's what i've wondered about for ages: Why the hell are there advertisements in cinemas? I DID pay for the content, it's not like i'm watching imovie or something.

Watching 20+ minutes of ads before seeing the actual movie is ridiculous, and everybody just accepts it. And the tickets are getting more expensive by the minute.

Something is seriously wrong. I dont want to be fukking paying for advertising.
 
Old 12 December 2005   #8
Originally Posted by GreyWolf_OPS: Hollywood has turned into such a spoiled brat.


I think that comment hit the nail right on the head there.

The thing is one bad movie I can stomach but when I go and see three or four bad movies in a row I am very inclined not to go to the cinema for a while until something I REALLY REALLY want to see comes out.

There seems to be a real banality when it comes to Hollywood execs thought processes at the moment, this was especially evident when I was reading about the Robocop and Predator remakes.

And though I accept that piracy and the internet IS responsible for some lost box office revenue I believe it is largely a smoke screen thrown up by Hollywood to divert attention away from the real issue. There have been some terrible films released this year and I do not expect that to change next year either. They really need to sort their ideas out and put out some quality product soon.

The stars as well need to realise that they are not worth what their agents say they are worth and see how their fees damage the industry and the jobs of the people who make them who they are. Though I do not see this happening anytime soon.

As so far as the DVD players go I think a manufacturer needs to step up to the plate and release a player with a master skip or something like that which will skip adverts regardless of how the DVD is encoded.....I sure know I would buy one.

p.s. It always amuses me when I read about Americans complaining about how expensive everything is, not in a nasty way though its just that us Brits pretty much pay more than you guys for everything out there. Try $12-$15 for a movie ticket and $6.90 for a drink!

Last edited by Vossil : 12 December 2005 at 11:45 AM.
 
Old 12 December 2005   #9
Originally Posted by Rudity: I used to buy dvd's all the time.

I don't anymore. My reason:
Unskippable pre-play commercials at the start of a dvd.

It's so frustrating when I want to sit down and just watch a movie and I AM FORCED to watch sometimes up to 5 minutes of commercials or a movie trailer.
Seriously, that is such a piss off. Especially when the movie they are advertising for is already out on dvd.
I paid 20 dollars for this, why am I having advertisments punch me in the face?

I'm not going to be so bold as to say that that is the reason DVD sales are dropping. But it is my reason for not buying them as much anymore.
I bet I'm not the only one too.

Alright, I'm done my weekly DVD commercial rant. Whew. Feel better.

Agreed. It's bad enough that the DVDs are so overpriced, but then I have to sit through freaking commercials EVERY TIME I want to watch one of the movies that I bought? WTF?
If these were rentals, then I think I could manage a couple of them. But as is, it's just a slap in the face to the consumers.
Same thing with commercials in the theaters. It's one thing to sit through previews when you're out at the theater, but it's another thing to have to sit through 10 minutes of jeans and soda commercials.

More than anything else, Hollywood needs to learn to treat its consumers with a little bit of respect. Right now, whenever you try to go to a theater or buy a DVD, you get what you paid for, plus a free kick to the nuts!



I must say, though, that I actually prefer the theater to watching movies with a group of friends at home. It seems to me that when most people aren't in theaters, they think that none of the same rules apply anymore. It's suddenly okay to sit around chatting on their phones right in front of everybody else, or coming and going with frequent pause requests. I've had a much easier time tuning out the one or two obnoxious people that you get at most theater screenings than to try and ignore everything you get with a small group of people...

Last edited by -Vormav- : 12 December 2005 at 12:39 PM.
 
Old 12 December 2005   #10
Another slap in the face when I go to cinemas is the anti-piracy ads they force me to watch before the movie, after paying to get in. Why do they even show those there? The cinema is the only place where there aren't any movie pirates...

Last edited by MuseSyndrome : 12 December 2005 at 12:44 PM.
 
Old 12 December 2005   #11
Originally Posted by A-Catcher: p.s. It always amuses me when I read about Americans complaining about how expensive everything is, not in a nasty way though its just that us Brits pretty much pay more than you guys for everything out there. Try $12-$15 for a movie ticket and $6.90 for a drink!


Really? So how much did it cost you for your last perscription drug refill? How much did your last doctor's visit cost? And how much was your last car insurnace premium?? Or how much was that 4-year college education costing you???

^^Ofcourse I am just teasing, but for all the "silly" things that are cheaper in the US, there are many other things that we get way overcharged for, sometimes subsidizing the rest of the world.
 
Old 12 December 2005   #12
Originally Posted by Hazdaz: So wait... are we supposed to give a crap about Hollywood?


Seeing as how many people on this board work in the film industry or aspire to work work in the film industry, I'd say yes. Yes we are supposed to give a crap about Hollywood.
 
Old 12 December 2005   #13
Originally Posted by Jpsilvashy: Other news from the BBC: Napsters new campaign adverts and commericals prove to be a little too riske for American audience and FCC, you decide.

Here i provided a link to the TV commercial:
www.getthewholething.com

Figures, everything is to much this or that for American TV or media. Really sucks.


thats such a F*&#ing cool add...god damn prudish american TV networks...violence is fine but any form of sexuality, oh well thats just sick obviously. check out french TV lol, they got it right


also i might add that my DVD buying habits are not slowing down...only lack of money is slowing me down lol. one thing that irritates the SH$T out of me is now in australia we have the crappest ratings on DVD boxes, and i dont mean the age rateing i mean they are huge but ugly boxes of bright colour that ruin the covor of the DVD case..and i like my DVD's to look good in their boxes...
used to be this (which was bad enough)



and now its this horrid thing



uggh
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Last edited by Layer01 : 12 December 2005 at 01:17 PM.
 
Old 12 December 2005   #14
I'd rather have a brilliant movie with a bad DVD cover (12 monkeys), then vice-versa (WotW)
 
Old 12 December 2005   #15
Originally Posted by parallax: I'd rather have a brilliant movie with a bad DVD cover (12 monkeys), then vice-versa (WotW)


oh i'm not putting the two on the same level, 12 mokeys beats WotW any days...most movies do lol. but they were the first examples i came across...its not so bad on some covers, but others where the case is a special edition and is all sleek and minimalistic and looks cool, with some neat design to it, and then suddenly the huge multi coloured eye sore leaps out at you. and they are on EVERY side of the box!
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