Spielberg And Lucas Predict Hollywood “Implosion”


Speaking to an audience of future filmmakers at the opening of a new media center at the University of Southern California, both Steven Spielberg and George Lucas predicted a “Hollywood implosion” that could lead to obscenely expensive movie theater prices.  Due to the fact that mega movies are so expensive to make, if a number of them were to fail, in quick succession, it would cause a “seismic shift in studio dynamics” according to Spielberg.  He continued to say that even established filmmakers like him are having difficulty bringing their screen projects to the big screen.  “Lincoln came this close to being premiered on HBO”, he said. “Many talented young directors are now considered too fringey for a cinematic release.”  Lucas added, “The pathway to get into theatres is really getting smaller and smaller,” pointing out that his own project, the war drama Red Tails, barely made it into cinemas last year. “We’re talking Lincoln and Red Tails – we barely got them into theatres,” he said. “You’re talking about Steven Spielberg and George Lucas can’t get their movie into a theatre!”  This comes on the heels of Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh saying that he didn’t expect to be working in cinema again.  His most recent project, “Behind the Candelabra” which took several years to get made, debuted on HBO when it couldn’t get Hollywood funding.  In that case, the movie was deemed “too gay” for the big screen and financiers simply weren’t willing to risk the movie bombing due to its content.  Soderbergh recently complained that, “the worst development in film-making – particularly in the last five years – is how badly directors are treated,” he told New York magazine in January.  “It’s become absolutely horrible the way the people with the money decide they can fart in the kitchen, to put it bluntly. It’s not just studios – it’s who is financing a film.”  The problem is that because of the financial resources needed to fund blockbuster films, nothing is going to change.  It’s only going to get worse which was the reason for Spielberg’s prediction of an implosion.  While the solution for financiers and studios is to simply pass on the cost to the consumer, there will be a tipping point that causes the majority of families to stay away from theaters.  A family of four simply won’t be able to afford a movie that could cost upwards of one hundred fifty dollars including tickets and junk food.

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