Wednesday, December 28, 2005

King Kong Not Quite A Blockbuster

Well, it's official. King Kong is not quite the blockbuster movie studio executives had been hoping for. Ticket sales have been slumping all year, and any hopes that this movie would help offset the trend have been dashed. As it stands, Star Wars Episode III is the only $300 million dollar blockbuster of the year (there were 3 movies last year).

I have some theories why people haven't been going to the movies.

First, the summer action movies have been getting dumber and dumber over the years. I won't go see a movie if it insults my intelligence in the trailer. Let's take the movie Stealth. Lightning strikes a new military jet and it becomes smarter than the actors in the movie and goes into self-preservation mode. Gimme a break. You can't have a whole movie about that.

Second, special effects have lost their ability to wow. Every movie put out this summer seemed to overflow with special effects. Special effects should not be a substitute for a storyline. The Chronicles of Narnia is an excellent example of special effects done right because they didn't get in the way of the story. Again, let's take Stealth. This movie is obviously about a computer-generated jet and nothing else.

Third, you don't have to put with audience distractions. I can't tell you how many movies I've had to listen to some teenage brat talking to her boyfriend on the phone the entire movie. A initiative to block cell phone reception in movie theaters in gaining momentum. I hope it succeeds.

Fourth, picture quality. DVDs are spoiling movie-goers. It's arguable that movies on DVD look better than they do on the big screen. DLP projection looks brilliant, or so I've heard. When are we gonna start seeing more theaters with DLP projectors?

Fifth, concession stand prices. It now costs about the same for a bucket of popcorn and a coke than it does to eat at a nice restaurant.

Sixth, there are just too many movies out at one time right now. To some extent, that makes sense. Put a out a bigger dragnet and you're gonna catch more fish. But a lot of times there is more than one movie I want to see so I have to pick which one. Plus, when there are so many movies, the quality seems to suffer, I think.

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