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Lucas says the Blockbuster is dead.

Forums - Discs & Movies - Lucas says the Blockbuster is dead. 

7th March 2006 14:57  #1

Adrian Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,305
Lucas says the Blockbuster is dead.
Movie mogul George Lucas predicts Hollywood will soon start shifting away from mega-budget blockbusters in favor of making more independent films for less money. Alongside Steven Spielberg, Star Wars creator Lucas is cited as being chiefly responsible for the blockbuster phenomenon that has gripped the movie industry for the last three decades. But he now believes big-budget films can no longer be profitable and are going out of fashion, as evidenced by this year's Academy Award nominees, including independent movies Crash and Good Night, And Good Luck. Lucas tells the New York Daily News, "The market forces that exist today make it unrealistic to spend $200 million on a movie. Those movies can't make their money back anymore. Look at what happened with King Kong. I think it's great that the major Oscar nominations have gone to independent films. Is that good for the business? No - it's bad for the business. But movie-making isn't about business. It's about art. In the future, almost everything that gets shown in theaters will be indie movies. I predict that by 2025 the average movie will cost only $15 million."


It's not dead, they just spend too much money on everything but what is important.....the story!

7th March 2006 17:08  #2

Chris Gould Editor Join Date: May 2001 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 7,085 Send a message via ICQ to Chris Gould Send a message via MSN to Chris Gould Send a message via Skype to Chris Gould
George Lucas killed the blockbuster Wink Makes me laugh him going on about cinema as an art form when he has no problems butchering his own work (or that of the director's he hires).

Here's a quick lesson for the studios: stop paying talentless w**kers $20 million each a picture. While you're at it, stop relying on special effects to sell a film, try working on the story for a bit.

South Korea can make a relatively slick action movie like Shiri for about $5 million, but the same film would cost five times that in the States (minimum).

7th March 2006 17:29  #3

Donnie_Darko Banned Join Date: January 2006 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 352
George Lucas best film is THX 1138.

7th March 2006 18:30  #4

DarthElektra Member Join Date: February 2006 Location: United States Posts: 97
I dont think it will happen as soon as Lucas says it will.

7th March 2006 18:31  #5

stanton heck Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,098
The stars like "Tom cruise" and "Tom Hanks" get $20,000,000 per movie plus 20% percent of the first dollar that the studio gets!  This is just stupid! The directors get anywhere from $3,000,000 - $10,000,000 plus a % of the box office! This all needs to stop!  An actor should get no more than $1,000,000 for a movie!  Then if the movie is a hit no more than $10,000,000.  
There should be a "cap" on the amount of money a star or director gets for a movie!  They are saying that DVD is killing the box office- that's not true!  What is happening is that lots of people would see a movie like "King Kong" more than once at the movies!  Now they see it once (at the movies) and waite for the DVD!  I don't think the Blockbuster is dead.  "Hollywood" just needs to cut cost.  Another big problem with Hollywood is that lots of movies go into production without a finished screenplay!  While the movie is in production that have 2 or more writers working! Hollywood also has a thing with screenplays!  Almost all movies now have more than one writer.  This adds to the cost of making a movie!  When a screenplay gets re-written the screenplay doesn't get any better just more expensive.  The studios also start filming a movie with a release date already set!  The studios then must rush the post production and edit movies 24/7.  This adds to the cost of any movie when you do that!   There is a saying in "Hollywood" about a movie your movie is this
 1) Fast
 2) Cheap
 3) Good
Now pick 2 out of the 3 and thats your movie!    

7th March 2006 18:37  #6

Faith Kaya Member Join Date: March 2006 Location: Netherlands Posts: 53
Donnie_Darko wrote: George Lucas best film is THX 1138.

you serious ?

7th March 2006 18:40  #7

Donnie_Darko Banned Join Date: January 2006 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 352
Faith Kaya wrote: Donnie_Darko wrote: George Lucas best film is THX 1138.

you serious ?


YES,100%. It's a lot better then Star Wars

7th March 2006 18:58  #8

Adrian Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,305
It's a free enterprise.  Why shouldn't actors and directors take whatever they get.  I am sure you wouldn't be happy if actors started speaking out about capping your salary!

7th March 2006 19:19  #9

Matt Contributor Join Date: October 2004 Location: United States Posts: 2,113
Adrian wrote: I am sure you wouldn't be happy if actors started speaking out about capping your salary!
Hey, as long as my salary cap is a guaranteed million dollars actors can say whatever they want about my job. Wink

7th March 2006 19:19  #10

Faith Kaya Member Join Date: March 2006 Location: Netherlands Posts: 53
Donnie_Darko wrote: Faith Kaya wrote: Donnie_Darko wrote: George Lucas best film is THX 1138.

you serious ?


YES,100%. It's a lot better then Star Wars


THX 1138 has stunning visuals but that's really it. The 10 minutes of character development really didn't make me feel sorry for LUH and THX.
Star Wars is a Classic !

7th March 2006 20:38  #11

Gabe Powers Editor Join Date: September 2004 Location: United States Posts: 4,402 Send a message via ICQ to Gabe Powers
Chris wrote: George Lucas killed the blockbuster Wink Makes me laugh him going on about cinema as an art form when he has no problems butchering his own work (or that of the director's he hires).


Look, if you people would take a few art classes you'd realize that the prequels (well, 2 and 3 at least, and probably 4) are art, pure and simple. All the problems fans of things like 'plot', 'character', and 'dialogue' have with the films come down to the fact that they are purely and simply art films, experimental, stick to their own rules, writting be damned, art films. Any artist knows that any given work is never finished.

I may be a bit facetious here, but I basically mean what I say.

Wait, s**t, did I just defend them again? Damn it.

7th March 2006 20:49  #12

Worst Nightmare Senior Member Join Date: July 2002 Location: Australia Posts: 6,704 Send a message via AIM to Worst Nightmare Send a message via ICQ to Worst Nightmare Send a message via MSN to Worst Nightmare Send a message via Yahoo to Worst Nightmare Send a message via Google to Worst Nightmare
Again you scare me Gave! Shocked
How can he say King Kong bombed? The DVD sales have't been taken into account yet.
I think actors should put their own money into a production and get paid with the profits, hopefullty ensuring their best performance...

7th March 2006 20:50  #13

Adrian Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,305
Worst Nightmare wrote: Again you scare me Gave! Shocked
How can he say King Kong bombed? The DVD sales have't been taken into account yet.
I think actors should put their own money into a production and get paid with the profits, hopefullty ensuring their best performance...


Some actors actually do that.

7th March 2006 21:27  #14

Tony DeFrancisco Senior Member Join Date: July 2005 Location: United States Posts: 2,652
Faith Kaya wrote: Donnie_Darko wrote: Faith Kaya wrote: Donnie_Darko wrote: George Lucas best film is THX 1138.

you serious ?


YES,100%. It's a lot better then Star Wars


THX 1138 has stunning visuals but that's really it. The 10 minutes of character development really didn't make me feel sorry for LUH and THX.
Star Wars is a Classic !
Agreed 100 percent. The Star War films are great. I'm surprised that you find THX to be the better film of the two.

The way I see it, a lot of films that are on my top 10 this year for DVD, seven of them are independent films and films that haven't made much box office gross. I find that it is the Academy never failed me until this year, as when Crash took home best picture. But to me it seems like what Lucas is saying doesn't make sense at all. If it's so bad for business, then why did I read this today?. According to IMDb:

Lionsgate Entertainment spent $2 million to promote Crash among motion picture academy members, gambling that if the film won, it would translate to big winnings at the box office and in DVD sales, the Toronto Star reported today (Tuesday). [Today's Los Angeles Times added that, since the film has a large ensemble cast, actors were particularly targeted by the campaign; 110,000 of the 130,000 DVDs of the movie that were sent out went to actors.] Since the film was the only one already out on DVD, the Canadian film company was able to rush out screeners without concerning itself with anti-copying issues. Screenwriter Roger Simon, a member of the academy, said that Crash was the first screener he received last year. As a result of its victory, Oppenheimer analyst Tom Eagan said Monday, "We have estimated that the award is worth $6 million to $7 million in incremental home-video revenue." [The Times reported that Crash jumped from No. 103 to No. 23 on Amazon's list of top sellers between Sunday and Monday.] The film is also going back into about 150 theaters in major cities next weekend. More important perhaps, the Star observed, the best picture Oscar enhances the Canadian company's stature, making it a prime takeover target by a major media conglomerate. "A lot of the smart money has already been moving into Lionsgate, anticipating that it may be swallowed up by one of the bigger players," Jefferies & Co. analyst Robert Routh told the newspaper.

7th March 2006 21:56  #15

rob murray Member Join Date: November 2004 Location: United States Posts: 477
Im surprised hes saying that considering theat Indy 4 is still in the works

8th March 2006 0:32  #16

Jonny "Me You" Senior Member Join Date: March 2004 Location: Canada Posts: 2,863
Since blockbuster movies make most of hollywood their money, I doubt theyre going anywhere. No one wants to watch smaller movies en mass. It's just not interesting enough.

8th March 2006 0:48  #17

Aaron Schneiderman Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,198
If Hollywood stops making "blockbusters," they might as well put all of those state-of-the-art theatres in moth balls. I would also like to see how total profits for blockbusters like "Harry Potter" add up. When you consider licensing (books, toys, t-shirts and happy meals), DVD, Cable and Satellite, a good blockbuster can make millions for a studio. As all the previous posts stated, they need to put pen to paper and develop a great character and story-driven screenplay before they plan all the effects shots.  I think George Lucas is brain dead.

8th March 2006 0:49  #18

rob murray Member Join Date: November 2004 Location: United States Posts: 477
yeah but even if they dont draw in as many people theyre making more money per capita

8th March 2006 1:36  #19

stanton heck Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,098
Most "Block Busters" do not make money like you think!  King Kong Took in over $550,000,000 worldwide however Universal got apx $260,000,000- $275,000,000 of that gross box office amount!
Prints & Advertising was another $60,000,000 plus.  Now Peter Jackson gets 20% of the gross that the studio gets!  So Thats about $52,000,000 to $55,000,000 off the top!  Now when this movie hits DVD it will go into the black. Universal studios will make about $9.00 per dvd sold!  The whole sale price is about $18.50 on something that has a  SRP is $28.95.  

8th March 2006 10:45  #20

Jaybee79 Member Join Date: December 2004 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 84
Which is pretty much the point Lucas keeps trying to make. That expensive films don't make their money in the cinemas they make it in DVD sales. That said I don't see cinema disappearing in the near future. People still enjoy a night out at the cinema and no doubt will for many years to come.

8th March 2006 14:29  #21

Adrian Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,305
Aaron Schneiderman wrote: I would also like to see how total profits for blockbusters like "Harry Potter" add up. When you consider licensing (books, toys, t-shirts and happy meals), DVD, Cable and Satellite, a good blockbuster can make millions for a studio.

At least in the case of Harry Potter, you can't really count Book Sales in the total that the movie makes since the books came first.

When studios complain about "losing" money, they typically ignore secondary revenue streams though.

9th March 2006 22:14  #22

Intergalactic Ponce Member Join Date: April 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,149
rob murray wrote: Im surprised hes saying that considering theat Indy 4 is still in the works

Well (if the IMDB is to be believed) George Lucas does make his films cheaper than similar sized films. If you take his average budget (not allowing for advertising) as $115m (episodes 1-3) and compare it with Kong $207m, Superman Returns $180m and XMen 3 $150m you start to see his point. Your average studio summer blockbuster is costing anywhere between $150-$200m whereas he can try to keep the cost from escalating in a way that the studios can't because he is, in effect, an independant film maker. So he can say that he believes big films will be in decline for the studios and still make Indy 4 without being a hypocrite. I would imagine that the budget for Indy 4 will be similar to that of Episode 3 but maybe a tad more owing to H. Ford, Connery (if he does it, he won't be cheap) and the location hopping. If Spielberg can be pursuaded to shoot digitally (not that he is a wasteful director with a high shooting ratio) that will keep the cost down as well.

Place your bets on the Indy 4 budget.

9th March 2006 23:11  #23

Gabe Powers Editor Join Date: September 2004 Location: United States Posts: 4,402 Send a message via ICQ to Gabe Powers
This is true, in comparison, and because he owns the companies, Lucas does make his films on a much tighter budget. For that matter, the LOTR trilogy, which was for all intents and purposes, an independant film (like the Star Wars films), was made much cheaper than King Kong, a studio endevor featuring the same creative team. This does lead one to the assumption that studios are a bit on the wasteful side when it comes to funds.

10th March 2006 0:42  #24

stanton heck Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,098
Studios need to stop paying out so much money to name talent! Nobody is worth 20,000,000 per movie (plus 20% of the gross).  The stars risk nothing if a movie tanks!  The studio is.  I think $1,000,000 plus no more than additonal  $10,000,000 (at the most) if the movie is a hit.   There needs to be a cap! A cap on ALL Talent!  If the price keeps going up when we goto the movies in 2016 the averge movie ticket will be another $4.00 higher! SO if you live in NEW YORK or LA your ticket price will be $15.00 in 10 years!  If they put price caps on talent maybe more movies can be made!

10th March 2006 9:55  #25

rob murray Member Join Date: November 2004 Location: United States Posts: 477
Intergalactic Ponce wrote: rob murray wrote: Im surprised hes saying that considering theat Indy 4 is still in the works

Well (if the IMDB is to be believed) George Lucas does make his films cheaper than similar sized films. If you take his average budget (not allowing for advertising) as $115m (episodes 1-3) and compare it with Kong $207m, Superman Returns $180m and XMen 3 $150m you start to see his point. Your average studio summer blockbuster is costing anywhere between $150-$200m whereas he can try to keep the cost from escalating in a way that the studios can't because he is, in effect, an independant film maker. So he can say that he believes big films will be in decline for the studios and still make Indy 4 without being a hypocrite. I would imagine that the budget for Indy 4 will be similar to that of Episode 3 but maybe a tad more owing to H. Ford, Connery (if he does it, he won't be cheap) and the location hopping. If Spielberg can be pursuaded to shoot digitally (not that he is a wasteful director with a high shooting ratio) that will keep the cost down as well.

Place your bets on the Indy 4 budget.


If you think about it, Lucas is a genious. The reason he spends so little on advertising is becase he lets other people do it for him while at the same time getting paid for it. Can you imagine how much Pepsi, Burger King, and anyone else who had tie ins had to pay for the rights to that? And its advertising his film.

10th March 2006 11:18  #26

Chris Gould Editor Join Date: May 2001 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 7,085 Send a message via ICQ to Chris Gould Send a message via MSN to Chris Gould Send a message via Skype to Chris Gould
Isn't the meaning of 'blockbuster' being lost here? By definition a blockbuster is a very popular, monetarily successful film (like the original Jaws). Just because a film has a huge budget it doesn’t automatically make it a ‘blockbuster’. The original Star Wars movies were, the prequel films were not (they certainly didn’t have the same mass appeal). The original Matrix was a blockbuster, as was Reloaded because it was initially very popular and made a lot of money. Revolutions didn’t perform as well, which would seem to preclude it. The term has been b*****dised to mean ‘films that cost a lot of money to make’, but that’s not the true meaning of ‘blockbuster’ (quite the opposite in fact).

Someone on Wikipedia made a good point about The Blair Witch Project, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Fahrenheit 9/11 all being blockbusters on account of their relatively small budgets but critical and financial success at the box office.

10th March 2006 11:27  #27

stuart bannerman Member Join Date: July 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 139
im glad someone else has posted the correct use of the term "blockbuster"
a film isnt a blockbuster upon its creation. it becomes a blockbuster when it makes a massive cost t- takings ratio

10th March 2006 16:06  #28

Adrian Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,305
Chris wrote: Isn't the meaning of 'blockbuster' being lost here? By definition a blockbuster is a very popular, monetarily successful film (like the original Jaws). Just because a film has a huge budget it doesn’t automatically make it a ‘blockbuster’.

Chris, the big budget movies today are produced to try and make them blockbusters.  Sometimes they are successful, sometimes they are not.  No one could argue that despite its budget Titanic was a blockbuster.  On the other hand, Waterworld wasn't.

10th March 2006 19:45  #29

Gabe Powers Editor Join Date: September 2004 Location: United States Posts: 4,402 Send a message via ICQ to Gabe Powers
Actually, that's a misconception, Water World did make a profit wolrd wide, which is pretty impressive based on its budget issues.

10th March 2006 20:23  #30

Adrian Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,305
I don't think it made a profit Gabe.  According to IMDB, budget was $175 million and it made $225 million world wide.  The budget doesn't count advertising and I would bet there was more than $50 million in advertising, other cost.
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