Latest Entertainment News Headlines

Roger Ebert correctly predicts the future of movies in 1987

03.29.2011

If you work in the film journalism industry, be it for print or online, you have to respect Roger Ebert. He's who pretty much all of us aspire to be, and he's been doling out wisdom on film for decades. He's occasionally attempted to predict the future of the industry, and by god, he's sometimes right.

This gem was dug up by Pale of the Future and spotlighted by the LA Times. It's Ebert in 1987 commenting to Omni Magazine on what he thinks the future of movies will be like.

"We will have high-definition, wide-screen television sets and a push-button dialing system to order the movie you want at the time you want it. You’ll not go to a video store but instead order a movie on demand and then pay for it. Videocassette tapes as we know them now will be obsolete both for showing prerecorded movies and for recording movies. People will record films on 8mm and will play them back using laser-disk/CD technology."

Netflix and DVD forecast in 1987? Not bad Ebert. What else you got?

"I also am very, very excited by the fact that before long, alternative films will penetrate the entire country. Today seventy-five percent of the gross from a typical art film in America comes from as few as six –six– different theaters in six different cities. Ninety percent of the American motion-picture marketplace never shows art films. With this revolution in delivery and distribution, anyone, in any size town or hamlet, will see the movies he or she wants to see. It will be the same as it’s always been with books. You can be a hermit and still read any author you choose."

Art films still struggle with distribution, but yes, a lot more people are able to see them via the internet these days (legally or illegally), so another good prediction.

Ebert concludes with the fact that it will get cheaper to make movies, and will cost as much as it does to publish a book or music album. We'll call that one a split decision between $10,000 PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and $400M AVATAR.

Extra Tidbit: So, what predictions do you have for the industry for twenty years from now?

RECOMMENDED MOVIE NEWS

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

7:22AM on 03/30/2011

Too bad he didn't predict the whole "reboot" shitstorm...

So he got a few things right, once. I'd like to see this balanced against any other "predictions" he made and see what his accuracy is.

So he got a few things right, once. I'd like to see this balanced against any other "predictions" he made and see what his accuracy is.

Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
4:08AM on 03/30/2011

Nostradamus

Did he predict endless remakes and reboots?
Did he predict endless remakes and reboots?
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
2:57AM on 03/30/2011
pretty good Ebert, pretty good. Of course if you were so ingrossed in movies as he was in the 80's, then you could probably make that prediction too.
pretty good Ebert, pretty good. Of course if you were so ingrossed in movies as he was in the 80's, then you could probably make that prediction too.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
12:53AM on 03/30/2011
Oh got off it, you were all thinking the same shit.
Oh got off it, you were all thinking the same shit.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
4:07AM on 03/30/2011
That's kinda low... Sad.
That's kinda low... Sad.
10:49PM on 03/29/2011
All your movies will be VOD or digital copies and you won't actually own your own movies anymore. And if you do, they will likely implement some sort of system where you have to connect your player to the internet and authorize you movie to an account that you have to create in order to prove that it is your copy and yours alone. They're doing it with video games, it's only a matter of time before movies follow.
All your movies will be VOD or digital copies and you won't actually own your own movies anymore. And if you do, they will likely implement some sort of system where you have to connect your player to the internet and authorize you movie to an account that you have to create in order to prove that it is your copy and yours alone. They're doing it with video games, it's only a matter of time before movies follow.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
9:27PM on 03/29/2011
We probably don't have any movie theaters in the future anymore. New movies will be streamed or downloaded directly to your living room. As for home video, we'll probably have 2nd generation Blu Ray - Blu Disc?
We probably don't have any movie theaters in the future anymore. New movies will be streamed or downloaded directly to your living room. As for home video, we'll probably have 2nd generation Blu Ray - Blu Disc?
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
7:22PM on 03/29/2011

Goodbye Theatres

The best movies will be made for home/cable/vod etc and we left with crap that only a few theatres will play and few will see then they will disappear too.
The best movies will be made for home/cable/vod etc and we left with crap that only a few theatres will play and few will see then they will disappear too.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+2
6:35PM on 03/29/2011

HDR films

That's what we are going to see in the future. If anyone knows HDR photography it's a postproduction technique where currently exposed, under exposer and over exposed shots are combined to create shots with perfectly exposed sky and shade areas in the same frame.
So far it's impossible to do the same on film... but I'd bet anything we will see it soon.
That's what we are going to see in the future. If anyone knows HDR photography it's a postproduction technique where currently exposed, under exposer and over exposed shots are combined to create shots with perfectly exposed sky and shade areas in the same frame.
So far it's impossible to do the same on film... but I'd bet anything we will see it soon.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+20
5:22PM on 03/29/2011

In the future...

The same 2 dozen or so movies will just be remade or reimagined every year.
The same 2 dozen or so movies will just be remade or reimagined every year.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
12:14AM on 03/31/2011
The future is now!
The future is now!
+7
5:05PM on 03/29/2011
I love Ebert, but the Jetsons sort of beat him to the punch on this really.
I love Ebert, but the Jetsons sort of beat him to the punch on this really.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+3
4:04PM on 03/29/2011

Impressive.

Movie costs will continue to rise as will ticket costs driving Hollywood to become less and less creative and more repetitive. Thus leading to a rise in television veiwers and quality tv shows. Oh wait, that's happening right now!
Movie costs will continue to rise as will ticket costs driving Hollywood to become less and less creative and more repetitive. Thus leading to a rise in television veiwers and quality tv shows. Oh wait, that's happening right now!
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
-18
4:03PM on 03/29/2011

Siskel FTW

There is no wisdom in Ebert's reviews. He is what every reviewer should not be. Siskel FTW.
There is no wisdom in Ebert's reviews. He is what every reviewer should not be. Siskel FTW.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
3:02PM on 03/29/2011

Missing...

"Video Games will be widely regarded as Art."

"NOT!"
"Video Games will be widely regarded as Art."

"NOT!"
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+12
2:34PM on 03/29/2011

"alternative films will penetrate the entire country"

That quote makes me think of how Nolan and Arronofsky have gone from "Following" and "Pi" to "Inception" and "Black Swan".
That quote makes me think of how Nolan and Arronofsky have gone from "Following" and "Pi" to "Inception" and "Black Swan".
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
2:23PM on 03/29/2011
He can predict the future but can't review a good movie right?!
He can predict the future but can't review a good movie right?!
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
2:51PM on 03/29/2011
If you think you can do it better then perhaps you should go take his job.
If you think you can do it better then perhaps you should go take his job.
3:06PM on 03/29/2011
He's reviewed plenty of good movies. Or are you trying to say there's a right way to review a movie?
He's reviewed plenty of good movies. Or are you trying to say there's a right way to review a movie?
5:41PM on 03/29/2011
I think his point was that Ebert gives shit reviews to a bunch of movies people like and love. Then again I can't think of any reviewer who i could always agree with
I think his point was that Ebert gives shit reviews to a bunch of movies people like and love. Then again I can't think of any reviewer who i could always agree with
2:01PM on 03/29/2011
the future is filled with monkeys, lots and lots of monkeys
the future is filled with monkeys, lots and lots of monkeys
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
7:16PM on 03/29/2011
Those damn dirty apes!!!
Those damn dirty apes!!!
1:49PM on 03/29/2011
I see more 4D theaters opening up but failing miseralbly due to lawsuits for faulty equipment. After that we'll all be watching new released movies from home.
I see more 4D theaters opening up but failing miseralbly due to lawsuits for faulty equipment. After that we'll all be watching new released movies from home.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:39PM on 03/29/2011
It's reaaaaally difficult to say and I'm too emotionally biased by not wanting to see published hard copies of films in some form (even if it's flash drives or micro SD cards) and movie theaters disappear altogether.
It's reaaaaally difficult to say and I'm too emotionally biased by not wanting to see published hard copies of films in some form (even if it's flash drives or micro SD cards) and movie theaters disappear altogether.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+27
1:32PM on 03/29/2011
Wow, seeing words like "high definition" and "on demand" put this in the freaky awesome category. Well done, Mr. Ebert.
Wow, seeing words like "high definition" and "on demand" put this in the freaky awesome category. Well done, Mr. Ebert.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+35
1:23PM on 03/29/2011
I don't always agree with his reviews, but all around Ebert is a pretty brilliant guy.
I don't always agree with his reviews, but all around Ebert is a pretty brilliant guy.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
-13
1:23PM on 03/29/2011

my prediction

in 20 years it won't exist. they'll be very few people left on the planet after WWIII destroys most of it.
in 20 years it won't exist. they'll be very few people left on the planet after WWIII destroys most of it.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
7:19PM on 03/29/2011
LOL, Best post in this forum.
LOL, Best post in this forum.
+18
1:20PM on 03/29/2011
Pretty cool, right down to calling it OnDemand. How I miss the 1980's Ebert!
Pretty cool, right down to calling it OnDemand. How I miss the 1980's Ebert!
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
View All Comments

Latest Entertainment News Headlines


Top
Loading...

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting