Lucas predicted that movies would become similar to Broadway where you will get fewer movies playing for longer periods of times. While Spielberg said that “"There's going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even half a dozen of these mega-budgeted movies are going to go crashing into the ground.” Then we see what has happened this year and you can see that beginning to play out. So far this year we have had some massive hits like Furious 7, Age of Ultron, and now Jurassic World but you have also had big budget movies that are considered flops like Tomorrowland and Terminator: Genisys. Between the release of Age of Ultron and Jurassic World there were very few movies that mad an impact at the box office. Pitch Perfect 2, Mad Max: Fury Road and San Andreas did ok but since Memorial Day the box office has been falling behind recent years. The trend has been a few big movies then not much till the next big movie comes out. While this isn’t that unusual the swing seems to be bigger than usual. Movies like Furious 7 and Jurassic World blew their expectations away while the expectation for Age of Ultron might have been a bit too high it did as expected.
During Jurassic Worlds second weekend we had two movies that took in an enormous amount of money when Inside Out opened huge. With the two movies making tons of money you would think that it would be one of the biggest weekends in box office history but it was only the 4 largest of the year. This shows that moviegoers are not really spreading the wealth to other movies. As this big tent pole movies make more and more money it will make it harder for smaller more original movies to find a place in the theatre.
Lucas also predicted "What you're going to end up with is fewer theaters," he said. "Bigger theaters, with a lot of nice things. Going to the movies is going to cost you 50 bucks, maybe 100. Maybe 150." We don’t have to look far to see that coming true. Just take a look at Marcus Theatres here in Milwaukee. We now have more theaters with Dream Lounger seats (which are comfortable I give them that), restaurants and reserved seats. I was surprised when I went to my local Marcus Theatre and I got a designated seat. And of course they have Ultra Screens and latest digital sound. AMC at Mayfair has their special IMAX Theater that has a bigger screen and bigger sound (although not a real IMAX screen). All this adds up to theatres trying to sell us a better viewing experience which they are hoping will make up for the decline of quality of movies. Anything besides big action movies people watching at home on their sophisticated HDTV’s and Surround Sound. There are already plenty of people that skip movies because they don’t think it’s worth seeing in the theatres and not because of they think the movie will be bad but they would rather sit at home and watch it.
Has the movie business imploded? I don’t think we are at that point yet but it does seem like we are moving closer. We are going to get less original movies because they don’t make as much money and are riskier. But we will get more sequels, remakes, and reboots since they usually have a built in audience.