Lucas Speaks

It’s an odd experience to have Steven Spielberg [er, I meant George Lucas] validate a speculation I made only a few weeks ago:

"Those movies can’t make their money back anymore," he explained. "In the future, almost everything that gets shown in theatres will be indie movies. I predict that by 2025 the average movie will cost only $15m."

Lucas: "Blockbuster days are numbered" by Miriam Zendle, Digital Spy, Monday, March 6 2006, 16:43 UTC

A few weeks ago I compared Hollywood comedies to Restoration spectacular plays and wrote:

Hollywood will either adapt eventually to some form of production that doesn’t involve ever-higher costs for ever-larger blockbusters, or people will stop buying them and Hollywood will have to adapt.

Restoration Blockbusters, Perilocity, February 04, 2006

I also predicted:

There’s no reason we should continue letting copyrights be extended to save the mouse nor let broadcast flags be mandated for our computers to save the blockbuster when times will change anyway. It’s not even good business risk management for Hollywood: a reaction to such measures will set in.

Since then the broadcast flag appears to have bit the dust (at least for this session of Congress); see iPod v. Broadcast Flag, or Innovation v. Government Mandates Perilocity, February 07, 2006.

Let’s hope further extensions to copyright will follow suit; that legislatures and courts will come to their senses and stop warping the legal system just to save the mouse at the expense of present and future creativity.

Gaming the legal system eventually produces a reaction, because it has ill effects on the rest of us, which even a geriatric senator can see when his daughter provides him an example; it’s just not good risk management.


2 thoughts on “Lucas Speaks

  1. John Quarterman

    Indeed you’re right: I meant Lucas.
    Spielberg apparently gets asked about blockbusters all the time, since many people think that Jaws started the blockbuster trend. He answered once:
    “I don’t agree with that. The blockbuster was created when D.W. Griffith made The Birth of a Nation, a film that I do not like today because it is racist. The blockbuster has been part of the Hollywood firmament since the beginning of Hollywood. The responsibility I put on this obsession with blockbusters is not that Jaws was such a hit, but the marketing was a star. I felt the marketing of Jaws actually upstaged the movie for a while. I think Hollywood finally figured out how to market movies bigger than the movies themselves.
    “Sure. I made a lot of money with Jaws, and I got final cut on Close Encounters,” Spielberg continues. “But I think people miss the whole point. It’s a marketing phenomenon. George and I made movies that were marketed globally and brilliantly, and I think that’s what started the trend.”
    Mad Spielberg, BY STEVE RAMOS, City Beat, 26 Feb 2003

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