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C'mon Hollywood #128


... slow down on the summer movies!
by Sturdy

One of the things that makes life so great is the fact you have so many choices in virtually everything you buy. You canít even buy a simple toothbrush these days without having to consult Consumer Digest. So the fact that we have a huge selection in movies at the theater at any given time in many ways is a good thing. However, as great as the summer movie season is, the vast number of movies released makes it a little frustrating. It seems like only a few years ago there was one big release every few weeks. Now you get a few big releases every week.

Man, I hope this movie is as good as it looks in the previews.

Although I canít confirm it, I hear that there are people out there that actually have social lives and canít go see several movies a week. Fortunately for me, I donít have that problem because my time is divided between ALF reruns and not having sex. So I can drop everything and go see the latest new release. However, Iíd bet the average fan can barely fit one theater visit in a week. With so many big time movies being released one weekend after the other, how is the average fan supposed to keep up?

And what about the 4th of July weekend? Iíll be out of town this weekend, so that means on the fourth of July, I have to choose between DIE HARD 4 and TRANSFORMERS. Thatís like choosing which kid to sacrifice. Itís a decision no parentÖerrÖmovie fan should have to make. I guess that serves me right for trying to get a social life. What do the studios gain by going head to head with each other? I know thereís a high pride factor amongst Hollywood executives, but when you put your film against another high profile film, even if it is one week apart, you both loose. Theyíre probably both going to be successful, but theyíd do better without the competition.

Chances are good Iíll be seeing this one on the fourth of July.

So the real question is whether or not releasing a movie in the spring or in the fall really does hurt box office returns. I think traditional thinking points to yes and Hollywood seems to avoid Januaries and Septembers like theyíre cursed. However, Iím not so sure. I think that if SHREK 3 was released in the spring, it would eventually even out. Sure, it probably wouldnít have as high of an opening weekend, but it would last a lot longer and for about two months, it would be the only game in town. Instead, it has to compete against PIRATES 3, OCEANíS 13 and others.

I think any popular kids movie would succeed at any time of the year

What makes the summer overload even more frustrating is the fact that even little comedies, documentaries and horror films are being squeezed in there. Itís hard enough for smaller films to be successful and find an audience, now you want to compete against Spider-man, John McClane and Optimus Prime? Why? If you release your film in the off-season, you at least have a chance of a decent opening. Releasing it in the heart of the summer is practically suicide.

So after ranting about this for a while, you have to wonder if Hollywood even cares. Box-office returns donít have the impact on the bottom line like they used to, so maybe Hollywood releases films theatrically four months before they want the DVD to hit stores. Itís backwards, I know, but they make more money off DVD sales, so it would make sense. There were a lot of comments about HOSTEL: PART 2 being released in mid-June, but that would put the DVD release right before Halloween. So maybe Hollywood executives know what theyíre doing after all.

Tags: Hollywood



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