Space Ramblings

Studios and Theaters Get the Blame

The Video on Demand battle between studios and theater owners is opening up another posturing front. Both theaters and studios are complaining about how much money they aren’t making. But they aren’t making money because they’re both trying to squeeze each other and moviegoers too aggressively.

Skyrocketing budgets and ad costs, and theater consolidation and investment in renovations have hiked up costs on both sides. And those costs have been triply passed on to customers. Movie prices have gotten outrageous and that translates into fewer people showing up. Studios investment more in fewer movies and count on huge box office takes to pay off their investment. It’s a bad business model that’s called putting your cinematic eggs in one weekend. And when one movie with 150 to 200 million in costs crashes and burns, there’s not much chance of recovery.

Studios have stripped away originality and in cooperation with theater owners are turning theaters into amusement parks, cranking out 3D rides based on some randomly familiar IP. Alvin and the Chipmunks. Airbender. Monopoly. GI Joe. These aren’t movies anymore. They’re overpriced rides. And when a ride fails, it takes everything with it.

Studios and theaters need to revisit their business model. Spending more on less and expecting everyone to pay more doesn’t work. Making more movies for less and cutting theater prices would give better results in a bad economy. The premium model on a national level is a no go. And studios and theaters are destroying the movie to make more money.

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