On Wednesday of this week, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas were speaking to students at the University of Southern California during an event organized to celebrate the opening of the Interactive Media Building of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Together, they painted a troubling picture of an imminent “massive implosion” of the Hollywood business model as we know it today.
Ben Child of The Guardian writes: “The two Hollywood titans [described] of a future in which the failure of half a dozen $250M movies in quick succession caused a seismic shift in studio dynamics, leading to audiences being asked to pay $25 a ticket for films such as ‘Iron Man 3’ but just $7 for movies such as Spielberg’s own ‘Lincoln’ … Spielberg told students at USC they were vying to enter the film industry at a time when even established film-makers were struggling to get their projects into cinemas, and revealed that the Oscar-winning ‘Lincoln’ came ‘this close’ to being premiered on the US pay-TV network HBO. He said that many talented young directors were now considered ‘too fringey’ for a cinematic release. ‘That’s the big danger, and there’s eventually going to be an implosion – or a big meltdown,’ Spielberg said. ‘There’s going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even a half-dozen megabudget movies are going to go crashing into the ground, and that’s going to change the paradigm.'”
Judging from the epic failure of Will Smith’s After Earth recently, it looks like these dominoes have already begun to topple. Adding to the accuracy of Spielberg & Lucas’s comments that “going to the movies will cost $50 or $100 or $150” in the future, is the fact that yesterday it was announced Paramount Pictures will be offering $50 premium tickets (a $75 value) to specialty screenings of Brad Pitt’s World War Z. Ugh. To read more about the disturbing World War Z pricing story visit Deadline. And you can read the full story behind Spielberg & Lucas’s USC speech by visiting The Guardian and The Hollywood Reporter.
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