George Lucas Announces The Death Of The $200 Million Feature Film

from the good-for-him dept

Back in April, at the Cato Institute conference on copyrights, someone in the audience from NBC Universal challenged both myself and Professor David Levine from UCLA on how the movie industry could keep making $200 million feature films in a world where copyrights were less stringent (or non-existent). The response, of course, is that he's asking the wrong question. Why focus on the cost of making the movie? It's like a mainframe maker asking how they can keep making million-dollar mainframes as PCs become more and more powerful. The answer is that you don't keep making $200 million films, but figure out how to make films for less. That means embracing technology that makes moviemaking, distribution and promotions much cheaper, while also recognizing that the value of star power (which is extremely costly) is greatly overrated. While the folks at NBC Universal may not like that, it does seem like some big moviemakers are recognizing the trend. John points us to an interview in Variety with George Lucas, where he discusses why he won't be making $200 million movies any more, saying that they're just too risky. Instead, he can spend the same amount of money making a lot more video for TV or for online. While he doesn't discuss ways to make quality films for less, he's clearly realized that the market is changing -- and it's changing in a way that will make him produce more content, not less. That's important, since the assumption from the NBC Universals of the world has always been that, if they can't make $200 million movies, the world would have a lot less content. Looks like that assumption isn't holding up either.

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  1. identicon
    yeah...bash it!, 6 Oct 2006 @ 9:18am

    Re: Star Wars - the debate

    G-man - If you really like it, then that's all that matters.
    But you're argument, in similar ones, don't hold water for me.
    The new movies were forced pieces of tripe, trying too hard to be the old movies. All the effects and the nice, glossy finish couldn't save the character portrayal. The original actors put on a performance like old Star Trek: over acted and almost campy. The new actors tried to act like that, and it came of as stiff, forced performances. They should have performed like new Star Trek actors.
    The other big killer was the story line: The clones were all Jango Fetts (sic)? Why? And why Jar Jar Binks? No, he is not analogous to the Ewoks: they tried hard to beat the bad guys; Jar Jar accidentally fumbled his way to being a general! And the story did not need to go back to Darth Vader as a kid. That left far too much material to cover in three movies.
    Now, how about Hardware Wars? That was a movie...

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