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. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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    Anonymous Coward, 18 Aug 2015 @ 7:10am

    The "doomed dinosaurs" in Hollywood are actually STILL doing well, eh? Then YOU have been wrong about them fading!

    "So, again, it's confusing as to what Hollywood's real complaint is." -- Only to YOU. Hollywood doesn't like people stealing its content, especially not freely distributed to hundreds or thousands, and even less if "monetized" by greasy grifters. Movies are funded on the premise of being exciting enough to get numbers of viewers high enough to turn the profit corner. Piracy can prevent that. (Don't argue, since stated you're confused.)

    "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." -- Ha, ha. "Good films"!? Only to you kids steeped in violence and 'splosions. Let's stick to "attractive" as neutral adjective. But anyway, people have been watching movies for over a hundred years, and their drawing power comes as revelation to YOU?

    "And if it offers them in a reasonable manner for a reasonable price online, people will pay for that as well." -- First, online has really only been possible for last ten years, depending on location. 2nd, this too is a revelation? 3rd, PAYING HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE ESSENTIAL POINT. 4th, This is only possible after hammered piracy down to "reasonable" levels.

    "And yet, it doesn't do a very good job of this and then blames the internet for its own failures to adapt." -- No business can "adapt" to theft, so RIGHTLY BLAME PIRATES. Widespread piracy prevents confidence to make huge investments in either production or distribution. -- Pirates do a good job at stealing, then blame the industry for worrying about their thefts!

    Yet another piece in which a few simple reversals put matters right. That's because Masnick switched and blithely claims as obvious what he's previously denied.

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