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
    getoverit, 6 Oct 2006 @ 10:11am

    You're full of crap.

    The first three movies were contrived and cliche... well, not cliche since they actually invented those cliches. The acting was questionable. The "alien" characters were hokey. The plot was simplistic. The plot included topical allegory that could be interpreted various way. And they were excellent movies.

    The prequels were exactly the same way. They reused the old cliches (which is okay since they were Lucas's cliches to begin with). The acting was questionable. The plot seemed a little contrived. The characters were hokey. The plot was less simplistic and a little more emotionally charges. They plot included more modern topical allegory that could interpreted various ways. And they are as good as the originals.

    You deluded if you're a member of the "the new movies are nothing like the old ones!" crowd. You just don't want to admit that what you took so seriously as a youth seems contrived and trite to you as an adult, so you don't want to admit to yourself that the prequel trilogy is of the same ilk as the original. Just get over it, don't take it so seriously, and just let it be what it is: an excellent series of six movies.

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