Hollywood Keeps Breaking Box Office Records... While Still Insisting That The Internet Is Killing Movies

from the because-if-the-story-sounds-good,-why-bother-with-the-facts dept

Hollywood is still 100% focused on trying to blame the internet for any of its woes, mostly with bogus attacks on internet companies it doesn't like. And yet... it seems to keep on setting box office records. The latest is that Universal Pictures has broken a new record in bringing in $2 billion in box office revenue faster than any other studio in history, pushed over the top by the successful opening weekend of "Straight Outta Compton" (a movie that seems to have some big fans in Silicon Valley).
Thanks to the overperformance of N.W.A biopic “Straight Outta Compton,” Universal Pictures is tracking to cross the $2 billion mark at the domestic box office on Saturday, setting a new speed record in doing so.

Universal’s historic climb will break Warner Bros.’ previous record of reaching $2 billion by December 25, 2009. The studio is also extremely likely to break the record for all-time domestic box office high, which was set by WB in 2009 with $2.1 billion.
That does not sound like an industry that is having a problem getting people into the theaters, even if the movies are available via infringement. But, people will argue, these services are actually harming the "home video" revenue stream. But that's questionable as well. First off, it was Hollywood that angrily fought against ever allowing a home video market in the first place (remember that?). And, more to the point, we've seen over and over again that when the industry actually adapts and offers content in a reasonable format at a reasonable fee, people will pay at home, just like they do in theaters.

But, of course, due to continued Hollywood confusion and jealousy, it's still holding back lots of movies from Netflix streaming -- one successful service that has shown that it's totally possible to "compete" with infringing content.

So, again, it's confusing as to what Hollywood's real complaint is. It's shown that if it makes good films, people will go out to the theaters to see them, rather than just watch them online. And if it offers them in a reasonable manner for a reasonable price online, people will pay for that as well. And yet, it doesn't do a very good job of this and then blames the internet for its own failures to adapt. Seems like a weird strategy. If I were an investor in those companies, I'd wonder why they've spent the better part of two decades so focused on "stopping piracy" rather than doing a better job delivering what the public wants.

Filed Under: adapting, box office, business models, hollywood, internet, movies, records
Companies: netflix, universal pictures


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Aug 2015 @ 12:35pm

    Industry losses in movies, books, music, etc. (I don't play video games so I'm only going to assume the same of that field) are due to the industry pushing crap. The problem is that the amateurs aren't producing anything of merit either. YouTube shows are as twee and insufferable as anything Nickelodeon or Disney churn out, because all three are targeted to the teen market which has always gobbled up crap like, well, kids gobble up candy.

    Don't even get me started on the glut of bodice rippers and sh!tty first drafts being spewed out in the Amazon self-publishing slush pile either. I'm going to have to give the major houses the edge on this one: Amazon doesn't have a Picoult or a Grisham. It has Fifty Shades, and fifty million other wannabe Fifty Shades, not to mention fan fiction and the bizarre sign of the apocalypse that is "dinosaur erotica." The gatekeepers may have let Twilight slip through (and did eventually pick up Fifty Shades), but there's no way they'd hand over a contract to whatever attention-seeking hack wrote "Taken By the T-Rex" or any of those obsessive stalker novels about Rob Gronkowski.

    As for television, well, TV has always been called the idiot box and for good reason. Occasionally you'll get a MASH or a Seinfeld out of the mix, but for the most part it's always been one-season wonders and inane ratings stunts. The franchise series is relatively new; yes, there was Maude, but you didn't have 5 Law & Orders and a dozen CSIs and NCISes and other alphabet soup shows where a spinoff is spawned just by plunking a push pin into a spot on the map. What does Netflix have? Art-house women's prison porn and a show about Kevin Spacey as a better president than anyone in the 2016 clown car could ever be. The rest is reality garbage and game shows.

    So I don't think it's necessarily piracy that's killing the industry so much as an industry that's run out of ideas, both in the major studio (or publisher) machine and the DIY circuit. The core problem is that the public just isn't very imaginative and nobody can exactly pinpoint what's "good," though we certainly have more than an idea of what's awful. But BitTorrent has nothing to do with the fact that nobody with two brain cells to put together wants to fork over cash for Adam Sandler's latest nonsense or for anything coming out of Amazon's incoherent monkey room.

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