It seems as though every Friday, I hear about the high hopes and expecations Hollywood has on whatever particular movie is opening that weekend to get the butts out in the seats at the theater, saving Hollywood from having a down year. Then, on Monday, there's always an article either trumpeting how much more money the latest big blockbuster made and how it exceeded expectations and created a genuine buzz among movie goers or that it failed to meet up to some lofty goals, thus leading to the whole doldrums thing.
Hollywood seems to be in quite a pickle from week to week, wondering how to get the fans back in the theaters. I think a large part of this is that, for the most part, if you get a halfway decent home theater system, you can pretty much have a simliar experience seeing a movie in your home as you can at the theater. And no one's cell phone will go off, you won't be stuck near some person who is chatty with their neighbor and you can control how warm or cool you it to be. About the only big difference is that the popcorn is generally better at the theater--assuming, you can afford the second mortgage on your home to buy some.
So, as I sat back this week and pondered the articles that Pirates 2
was going to save the summer movie season, I had some thoughts on how Hollywood could entice me and maybe you back to the theaters...
- Have showings in the evenings that are for "adults only." No, I don't mean bring back a few X-rated films. What I mean is have some showings for adults that don't allow kids in. Now, I get when I go see a Pixar movie or the latest Shrek that there are gonna be kids there....but I also get a bit annoyed when I go to a more mature feature in the evening and people show up with kids who are clearly too young to see the movie and will have no interest in it. I assume that part of this is that its cheaper than babysitting, but you know, it makes all of us not so happy.
- More bells and whistles that add value. Again, as I said, most of us can do the whole home theater thing at home, so why rush out to see something when in a month or two we can see it at home? I will admit part of the draw of Superman Returns last week was that it was on the IMAX and had parts in 3-D, both things I can't replicate at home (well, without pissing off the neighbors, that is...). And yes it cost more to get in, but the value was worth it because the overall experience was unique and, in many ways, superior.
- Better overall movies. If they'd stop remaking every movie that was ever made even as early as last week, it might be better. Also, I think it's time Hollywood admitted that not every TV show whether classic or not, translates into a good film. I mean, sure we've had great ones like The Fugitive, but we've also had some real crap like The Beverly Hillbillies and Dukes of Hazard. Also, if you're going to do a sequel, follow the model of Godfather II, Empire Strikes Back and Spider-man 2. Don't just rehash the original, but expand the universe and characters. If you can't do that, then maybe consider doing something else that isn't a sequel. (I realize this is a complete pipe dream, but hey...I had to try it).
- Stop making movies with Fredie Prinze, Jr. Oh wait, that's just my natural jealousy cause he's married to Sarah Michelle Gellar.
- Don't have your preview give away all the good stuff. And by this I mean don't put in things that I can guess how it ends or plot twists. (Such as the Superman trailers where I figured out..well, I won't say in case you haven't seen it). Or that show scenes from the last ten minutes, esp. in the day and age when the Internet can download trailers any time and watch them many times.
- Try to keep some things in the dark. It's hard to really have a twist that isn't ruined these days what with Aint-It-Cool-News out there. But it can be done...see, The Sixth Sense for example.
Are these ground-breaking? Probably not. Well, except that Freddie-Prinze-Jr ban thing....
But they might just work...
posted by Michael Hickerson at 7/08/2006 11:02:00 PM