Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Death of Cinema Part Three

Yeah, I wasn't around for Part One in the late forties and there weren't blogs in the 80's for Part Two when video tape was going to kill them. But we are around for the Internet. The death of theatrical releases still hasn't proven true.

(An off-side is that at the beginning of the rennaisance, they thought the same thing of the printing press in relation to books. Really it was about controlling content and distribution. Also Books were going to be killed off by audio recordings and later video recordings, but we have more books published now, than ever before.)

Of course if they keep raising the price of tickets dramatically, they will kill Theatrical release. Well, that and playing crappy movies. They need to slash prices at the theaters by at least a third and food by maybe half.

As for movies this past year:

They say that the economy will now kill movies and that the movies aren't making money. What most people look at are the biggest box office hits and major losers. But it's more interesting to see #11, #12 & #17 for the year, since they're not F/X or Animation oriented.

#11 Sex and the City
Budget: $65 million
World Wide Box: $415,129,126
DVD sales: $85,376,850
If you figure they take about 50% of all that, and subtract about $50,000,000 for advertising and prints; they made around $340,000,000 minus percentages for above the liners and residuals.

#12 Momma Mia!
Budget: $52 million
World Wide Box: $572,225,617
Figuring 50% of that, and subtracting $50 million for P&A; they made around $470,000,000 minus percentages.

Compare that to Dark Knight
Budget: $185,000,000
World-Wide Box: $996,889,925
DVD Sales: $158,737,619
Giving it a standard of $50 million for P&A. It did probably no better thatn Sex and the City around $340 million; though they'll get better merchandising.

By the same Calculations, Hancock did $250 million, IJ4 did $215 million, Kung Fu Panda did $195 million, Iron Man did about $135 million, Wally $105 million, Horton Hears a Who made $30 million, QOS, Mummy3 making up $ on the DVDs, Madagascar2 spent so much advertising that it will have to make it up in merchandising.

Twilight will be making a big splash, with a $37,000,000 budget and a box so far of $237,027,235 it's already in the black.

And not to forget #17 Juno at a tiny budget of $7 ends up with around $225 million.

Wanted turned around $110 million.

(Note all the above doesn't subtract above the line percentages of box nor residuals but also doesn't cover all other streams of income).

Point of the above, is that Big budgets sometimes equal smaller profits than lower budgeted films; which is not to say there aren't crappy low-budget films, or that there aren't great large budget films. But then there's sometimes ALOT of waste on large-budget productions and they aren't as challenged to be inventive to remain inside a smaller budget.

If you ever read on Hollywood accounting, it doesn't appear that any movies made money, but if they really didn't as often as Hollywood claims, the theaters would have closed years ago.

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