Box Office Meltdown: Hollywood Races to Win Back Summer Crowds

Summer Blockbuster Chill at the Box
Photographs by Adam Voorhes; Prop Styling by Robin Finlay

From “Jaws” to “Jurassic Park,” few directors can rival Steven Spielberg in the blockbuster arena. But even Spielberg’s magic touch couldn’t save “The BFG” at the box office.

On paper, the film, a $140 million adaptation of a beloved children’s book with a script by “ET” writer Melissa Mathison, had all the makings of a hit. Instead, the movie collapsed at the multiplexes, eking out less than $20 million in its opening weekend.

It’s a stunning fall for one of cinema’s highest-flying talents — a director whose finger was affixed to the pulse of mainstream tastes for decades. Yet “The BFG” is only the latest high-profile casualty in a summer that’s seen a slew of big-budget domestic bombs. Indeed, red ink has spilled out from such misses as “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” “Warcraft,” “The Legend of Tarzan,” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” each of which had production budgets north of $130 million, along with steep global marketing and distribution costs. The failures could cost their studios tens of millions of dollars.

Photographs by Adam Voorhes; Prop Styling by Robin Finlay

More troubling is what the downturn may portend for the future of the film business and moviegoing overall.

“The theater business has weaker prospects going forward than at any time in the last 30 years,” says media analyst Hal Vogel. “It’s encountering visible strain this summer. It’s a superhero, mega-blockbuster, tentpole strategy run amuck. There’s too much of it, and it’s not working.”

Those weak prospects will likely affect financing. Chris Spicer, Akin Gump entertainment and media partner, says investors may move away from film into other media, such as gaming or virtual reality. “They will look at financing opportunities in the broader media context,” he argues.

There have been hits, particularly for Disney, with Pixar’s “Finding Dory” and Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” together racking up $1.8 billion worldwide.

Year to date, receipts are up 2%, thanks largely to winter hits such as “Deadpool” and “Zootopia.” Blockbuster season is a different story. Ticket sales are down roughly 10% this summer, but the slide is more precipitous than those numbers suggest. Rising ticket prices, fueled by 3D, Imax, and other premium formats, have enabled the industry to paper over a huge gulf in attendance. On a per-capita basis, the moviegoing audience is at its lowest levels in nearly a century. Most disturbing, millennials are avoiding theaters.

The audience of 18- to 39-year-olds has declined over the past five years, according to the Motion Picture Association of America.

“There are pockets of age groups and demographics that have not been inspired by what they’re seeing in movie theaters,” says Bud Mayo, president of Carmike Cinemas’ alternative programming and distribution division. “With social media, the reaction time is instantaneous. If kids don’t like it, word spreads.”

“Repeating the same kind of content over and over doesn’t really make sense. If you don’t give people something that’s fresh and new, they’re not going to show up.”
Mike Medavoy, producer

As studios cater to fanboys, flooding theaters with superhero films and diving deeper into the comic-book canon, the business becomes more niche. Frequent moviegoers, defined as those who go to theaters at least once a month, are responsible for nearly half of domestic revenue. In 2015, total tickets purchased by this group increased by 2.9 million, but the ranks of these habitual consumers fell by 3.7 million.

At the same time, TV and online content continues to be compelling, with production values that rival those on the big screen. For a new generation of cinephiles, Ned Stark being separated from his head on “Game of Thrones,” or Walter White cooking meth in his underwear in “Breaking Bad,” are pop-culture totems. Little of what’s in the cineplex has that kind of impact.

“There has been a shift in the way that people are consuming content, and it’s moving away from the big screen,” says Bruce Nash, founder of the box-office tracking site The Numbers.

Producer Mike Medavoy says the box-office malaise is symptomatic of the larger problem of engaging moviegoers who have a wide variety of alternatives, from Netflix to Pokémon Go. “I’ve been deeply concerned for a long time by the fact that there are so many other options besides movies,” he says. “Millennials can play games or watch movies at home on a big screen, so repeating the same kind of content over and over [at the movie theater] doesn’t really make sense. If you don’t give people something that’s fresh and new, they’re not going to show up.”

It’s a looming disaster that’s been more than a decade in the making. Some of it is self-inflicted, brought about by a mixture of greed and fear, aided by a profound and troubling lack of imagination. The consequences add up to a business that feels increasingly irrelevant.

What’s lacking is originality. So far, only one new blockbuster franchise has emerged out of the summer — Illumination’s “The Secret Life of Pets.” Warner Bros.’ big-budget bet, “Suicide Squad,” a hotly anticipated superhero movie, is tracking well, but it’s not entirely new, springing from the DC Comics cinematic universe.

FEWER SALES PER PERSON
As ticket prices have soared, per-capita annual purchases in the domestic theatrical market have plummeted

https://www.theatlas.com/javascripts/atlas.js

https://www.theatlas.com/javascripts/atlas.js

FADING FRANCHISES
Today, it’s hard to predict which movies will resonate with audiences and which will be spurned. To safeguard against the vagaries of popular taste, studios have banked increasingly on sequels and spinoffs, with diminishing returns. That hasn’t meant just cooking up new chapters in popular franchises; it means raiding the pop-culture waste bin to revive moldy, dimly remembered pieces of intellectual property.

Fox resurrected “Independence Day,” only to find that audiences had little interest in revisiting the alien-invasion yarn 20 years after it took the box office by storm. Likewise, Sony is trying to reinvigorate “Ghostbusters” three decades after the paranormal investigators hung up their proton packs. But, as Variety critic Peter Debruge noted in his review of the new film, which debuted to middling receipts, Sony’s female-driven relaunch “suffers from a disappointingly strong case of déjà vu” and lacks its own identity.

And that’s not all: Studios have other pricey redos in the works, including another “Blade Runner,” a remake of “Ben-Hur,” the umpteenth “Spider-Man” reboot, more “XXX” adventures, and a fourth “Beverly Hills Cop.” Spielberg also will return to the well, reuniting with a 73-year-old Harrison Ford on a fifth “Indiana Jones” film, despite the fact that the last one, “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” represented a nadir for the series. Depending on your perspective, having Indy crack his bullwhip once more is either cinematic validation that seniors today lead longer, more active lives, or an indication of Spielberg and Ford’s refusal to leave the stage gracefully.

“X-Men: Apocalypse,” “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2,” and “London Has Fallen” are just a few of the high-profile sequels that performed worse than previous installments in their franchises.

In 2010, Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland” topped $1 billion globally, but six years later, the follow-up “Alice Through the Looking Glass” has made barely a quarter of that, and could result in a $100 million writedown. Other flops, such as “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising,” “Ride Along 2,” and “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” raise questions about the knee-jerk impulse to sequelize: Were these characters so beloved, and were their stories so rich, that audiences demanded part two?

“It may be a fantasy of mine as a creative producer, but I hope this will remind the studios that you could make five really good movies for the cost of one sequel to a movie that didn’t merit a sequel,” says Matt Baer, producer of “Unbroken.”

https://www.theatlas.com/javascripts/atlas.js

The sequels that have the most trouble are those that try to hew too closely to the style and format of the originals, says one Hollywood producer. The second
“Independence Day,” which merely upped the size of the alien invasion, left audiences cold. But Marvel/Disney’s “Captain America” franchise — which morphed over three episodes from war movie to paranoid conspiracy thriller to “Fast and Furious”-style buddy movie — kept viewers craving more.

The last “Star Wars” installment signaled to audiences months in advance that it would not just roll out Han Solo and Princess Leia again and hope for the best. This fresh take was announced in the trailer when a Storm Trooper not only pulled off his mask (itself a novelty), but also revealed a new character, played by John Boyega, showing the franchise’s commitment to more diversity in casting.

Yet such new thinking has been the exception. Instead of pulling back with their sequels, studios are plowing ahead, announcing follow-ups even before a first film hits theaters. Lionsgate, for instance, plans to make seven “Power Rangers” movies — never mind that audiences won’t get a peek at the rebooted version of the Mighty Morphin team until 2017.

After coming down with a case of Marvel envy, Warner Bros. unveiled a sprawling DC Comics cinematic universe, scheduled to deliver up to two superhero films a year through 2020. But things got off to a rocky start after “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” bowed to withering reviews and tepid fan reception. (The film did gross $873 million worldwide, though some say it needed to do more to justify the creation of sequels.) Now, the studio must retune the engine in midflight, promising to fix tonal issues on “Justice League,” its 2017 answer to “The Avengers.”

Universal has been deeply engaged in its own universe-building. The studio has tapped Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan to oversee the creation of intersecting monster movies featuring the likes of the Mummy and Dracula. Those films will begin rolling out next year.

Photographs by Adam Voorhes; Prop Styling by Robin Finlay

As Disney proved with Marvel, the rewards for getting it right can be limitless.

Hits spawn toy lines, theme-park rides, stage shows, and the untold riches that come with success. However, the costs associated with launching these franchises is ever escalating, and the dangers of making a false move can be cataclysmic.

INCOME INEQUALITY
All is not equal at the box office. Fewer movies now account for a greater proportion of ticket sales. In 2015, five films were responsible for a staggering 25% of ticket sales. As media analyst Doug Creutz noted in a recent report, the top five films from 2000 to 2014 averaged 16% of grosses.

This year, the trend of a higher concentration of box-office wealth is continuing. When a film hits, the rewards are huge. Halfway through 2016, six films have topped $300 million domestically; that’s double the number that hit that milestone in all of 2014.

But as the highs get higher, the lows get lower. Though 2015 saw the two biggest domestic openings in history — the $248 million bow of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and the $209 million debut by “Jurassic World” — it also included some of the lowest-grossing wide-release bows in history. “Victor Frankenstein,” “Burnt,” “We Are Your Friends,” “Jem and the Holograms,” and “Rock the Kasbah” rank among the worst debuts for films released on more than 2,000 screens. This year, “Hardcore Henry,” a point-of-view thriller that sparked a bidding war at the Toronto Film Festival, joined their ranks.

The income gap is being felt in another way. Disney spent more than $15 billion to snap up Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Marvel, giving the company the rights to Iron Man, “The Incredibles,” Luke Skywalker, and scores of other iconic characters. That pop culture arsenal has allowed Disney to dwarf its rivals.

“They’ve had hit after hit this year,” says Eric Handler, an analyst with MKM Partners. “It’s incumbent on the other studios to up their game.”

Disney is responsible for four of the year’s five highest-grossing films. It has crossed the $5 billion mark at the box office at a record clip. And the Burbank studio’s revenues tower over those of its big studio brethren: The company has gobbled up 31.3% of domestic market share. Its closest competitor, 20th Century Fox, commands roughly half that, with 16.9% of ticket sales.

If Disney were to rename its animated classic after the current studio scene, it would be “Snow White and the Six Dwarfs,” Creutz quips, counting Lionsgate with the five other major studios.

That raises questions about whether the business can continue to sustain this many studios. At the Sun Valley media conference earlier this month, Barry Diller, the former Fox and Paramount Pictures chief, predicted that the movie industry will soon experience consolidation. “It will contract,” he said.

“With social media, the reaction time is instantaneous. If kids don’t like it, word spreads.”
Bud Mayo, Carmike Cinemas

Each studio has the incentive to follow the formula of making sequels and tentpole films like Disney, even though, collectively, the strategy means further cannibalization, since audiences won’t support the surfeit of big films coming to the cineplex, Creutz says.

He argues that by making a narrow range of films, the studios “have gotten themselves in the position that they are in, and really constrained the interest of the audience to go to the movies at all. They are essentially wrecking their own economics.”

SHRINKING MOVIE STARS
It’s lonely on the A-list. As the business focuses on comic-book movies featuring masked avengers, the clout of the men and women who save the planet on screen has diminished. The club of actors and actresses who can open a movie with their name above the title has plunged in recent years. It’s a group in the single digits, one whose members include Jennifer Lawrence, Robert Downey Jr., and, maybe, Tom Cruise and Will Smith. With the exception of Lawrence, these actors are middle-aged and have been in the public eye since the 1980s or ’90s.

The bloodletting has continued in recent months. Johnny Depp’s days of commanding $20 million a picture evaporated when “Alice Through the Looking Glass” flatlined. Pairing Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling in “The Nice Guys” and sending them on an extensive media tour failed to excite people about the R-rated comedy. And Matthew McConaughey’s McConaissance wasn’t powerful enough to rescue “Free State of Jones.”

From “Dances With Wolves” to “Reds” to “The Passion of the Christ,” the history of the movie business is rich with instances of stars using their box-office prowess to bankroll challenging films that wouldn’t otherwise see the light of day. Without star clout to get passion projects made, studios aren’t taking big swings. That means many of the types of movies that have been held in the highest regard are nearly impossible to will into existence.

“Studios aren’t making the kinds of films they made a decade ago, the ones that skewed toward adults,” says Celine Rattray, an executive producer on “American Honey” and a producer on “The Kids Are Alright.”

Rattray cites “Eye in the Sky,” the drone thriller with Helen Mirren that became an art-house hit, as an example of a business in transition. “I could have seen a studio making that 10 years ago,” she says. “Now it has to be financed independently.”

CHINA RISING?
The Chinese movie business has been a source of comfort within the industry’s challenges. New theater construction and a burgeoning middle class have fueled explosive growth in the country, pushing ticket sales up nearly 50% last year. At some point in 2017, China is expected to pass the U.S. as the world’s largest market for film.

That’s a sign of the increasingly globalized nature of the business. But studios are ambivalent about China’s rise. After all, Hollywood companies are getting only a small cut of the riches. Last year, China’s ticket sales hit $6.8 billion, but that was driven largely by local productions. Even though foreign films — including those that Hollywood exports to China — racked up $2.6 billion, the Chinese government maintains such tight restrictions on outside content that studios received only 25% of receipts (half of what they get in the United States). That means their share of that record-shattering year was just $650 million.

THE SKY MAY NOT BE FALLING (YET)
But there is hope. After a bruising start to summer, ticket sales have begun to rebound. “The Secret Life of Pets” soared to a $104.4 million debut, and “Suicide Squad” and “Jason Bourne” could yet lift revenues, ending the popcorn season on a high note.

Their success will lift spirits, but the movie industry’s issues are more systemic. It faces shifting tastes, increased competition, and a business model that seems to have been built for a different age. Breaking out of the rut will require bold, persistent experimentation, and a willingness to embrace fresh ideas. Of course, that’s only possible with a wider range of films.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 324

Leave a Reply

324 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. mwah says:

    Don’t think it’s true that conservatives buy more tickets than liberals. I’m somewhere in the middle, tending to lean liberal–but sometimes I find myself in disagreement with many Hollywood folks’ viewpoints as well. If you wanted to divide everybody in half and put people with 51%+ conservative views on the “conservative” side, I suppose you could do that, but it isn’t necessarily half-and-half.

  2. Saudi Cohen says:

    I believe Hollywood has gotten too political. Half of the viewers are conservative and you alienate them by constantly belittling them you lose 1/2 of your audience and that’s the half that buys the tickets. I’m just saying.

  3. sure jan says:

    *cracks up imagining anyone showing respect to people who capitalize the words conservative, boycott, and movie, misspell “made,” and think there will ever be a boycott of movies* “Conservative” and “good morals” don’t very often go together. Takes a pretty great nation to produce all the great American films that have been created since the dawn of cinema. To what “immorality and liberal hate violence” or “vendetta” could a deluded psycho-troll possibly refer? Never, ever, ever have children (and if you do, may they rebel against you sooner rather than later. Which would seem virtually inevitable.)

  4. Starr Long says:

    It is funny that none of the articles written about the decline of the theater care to mention about the liberal Hollywood spitting in the face of all Conservatives. We paid to watch them entertain, not spew hate and violence. Never again unless the movie is maid by conservatives will I go to another Movie. And I was one that did so often.. Boycott works!!!

  5. They think 2016 was bad?? Just wait for 2017! Reason? BOYCOTT!!

  6. Kelley says:

    Economy is poor. Why spend money on movies!
    First time in years I didn’t watch golden globes even.
    I support Trump because he plans to improve the economy. Middle class is disappearing so when I see celebreties get political it is a total turn off. No understanding of regular people.

    rRich folks feeling good about being liberals and calling Trump a racist is what people in this country are sick of. He is not a racist. He remembers as do I a successful united states. American products.

  7. allan kelly says:

    The problem with this summer at the movies Can be described in one word: conglomeration.
    From the Sixties and to the Seventies and the mega mergers of the Eighties onward where we now have the situation Comcast owning NBC Universal is the prime example of the problem in that Comcast has all varying ways to cover any Universal box office flops by rasing cable or internet rates as an example where as if NBC and Universal were seperated at the hip and left to the winds of change, you can bet that someone would be saying… Give me something fresh, give me something new… Why are we remaking An American Tale for ???….I want originals !!!… Give me an original script !!!…. Instead what you have is someone in corporate saying to a studio head… They want this place making a profit…. Now… Your dragging down the bottom line for the company…. If you don’t start making money…. You and everyone else are fired and we’ll shut this place down like a coal mine…. In other words… Hollywood is little more than a cog wheel plant churning out the same cog…. After cog after cog…. Nothing changes… Same day in and out….
    Which is why at some point users switch to the other cog maker is because any innovation even as mundane a new package or logo is what drives sales

  8. Meesa says:

    Wow. Have to guess this article was linked from a loony-bin site like Drudge or something, based on the flood of commentary about political leanings of Hollywood. Guess what, Righties? Virtually everything you see on TV, read in books, hear in music, or watch on the big screen was created by and large by Left/Liberal/Centrist individuals, now, and stretching back to the times of the “O” and beyond. If you’re seeing your views portrayed in a villainous and childish light, perhaps they are. The Nazis – for example – were also highly mobilized against artists and Left-leaning persons in their day, for just such reasons. They hated unions, too. You’re just seeing yourself portrayed in context, and it bothers you. You’re a minority of thought in the US and around the world, and it makes you feel powerful to diss artists, actors, writers, and so on, with your mouse and keyboard. Meanwhile, thanks for making me and my friends wealthy and free. My checks each week are more than most of you make in six months. We’ve got you covered wherever you turn, from cable to streaming to the big screen. We’re on the right side of history, as has been proven over and over again. We make stories about heroes – people on the right side of history – and villains, which are you and your kind. That is makes you uncomfortable is no surprise at all.

    • Lul says:

      I feel there must be some really profound, deeper truths to be distilled from the fact that I can tell OP is Jewish just from the general style and content of their post.

    • Sydney White says:

      *applauds Meesa for being completely correct and saying things that are actually truthful, factual, and sensible*

    • Meesa's Dad says:

      What you don’t realize is your liberal worldview is a minority in the world, and has been throughout history as well. It makes you feel powerful to pretend that you are some savior who is going to save the world by pretending “righties” are the bad guys, by demonizing people in the country who do actual work and produce things (rather than sit around making up stories). You don’t even realize that you depend on these people. People who are more intelligent than you. People who do more meaningful things for humanity on a daily basis than you and 10 of your closest friends will ever do combined throughout your lives.

      When reality hits you, and your leftist utopia fails just as they always do, you and your elitist friends will pine for the days when all the fake badguy boogeymen were “righties”. Its funny, the leftist stooges throughout history always think they are making progress, and then feel shocked when they are the first ones purged by their own leftist government when things goes south.

      When that happens (not if, but when) you’ll be faced with the real problems of your childish worldview and the monsters you support, and you will not be shielded by the logical inconsistencies of your fantasies. Pretending that the enemies of your enemies are your friends will not change the fact that your leftist “friends” don’t give a crap about you. You’re a stepping stone. A pawn. A fool who’ll be cast aside like chaff when you are no longer useful.

      Make no mistake Meesa. You are on the wrong side of history. You are the pied piper happily leading people to their deaths like rats, and you are too dumb to see it. In deep history, you and your kind will be viewed as more hateful and evil than any “rightie” supervillian than you can make up in your fantasy land.

  9. Jim says:

    People aren’t going to shell out their hard-earned money for bad or mediocre movies. Hollywood acts like the box office is a given and people will just show up for whatever garbage they churn out.

  10. Sydney White says:

    TOO. MUCH. Junk. I love movies, but I appreciate things I can really get into…I don’t just lap up an infinite flood of stuff I won’t be thinking about for longer than the day I saw it. There comes a point when you’re greedily turning the same wheel over and over and over again, ignoring that the same things have been done before and better, that so much of what needs to exist, artistically, already does. Perhaps in its best possible form(s.) “Original” and “new” aren’t truly possible anymore. Yes, there remain things that should be continued or adapted or created, but that’s not the vast majority of what’s churned out on the regular purely for $$. So few films are worth going to the theater for now when I can see them per Netflix or TV within a few months.
    Also: Woody Allen’s cool.
    Yes, Star Trek should be much more intellectual than all the “loud action movies,” but it would also do well to introduce gay characters whose orientation is simply an inconsequential biological trait they happen to possess, no different from heterosexuality (as it is in real homosexuals.)
    I certainly don’t think Indiana Jones needs further installments, but it’s cool if there are and Harrison’s still involved.

  11. Justin Roediger says:

    While it’s sad that we rely so much on remakes and certain genres, the issue for me has been this change to recliners in all of my major brand theater venues.

    The cost per ticket went up and the number of seats in a theater are minimal now. I’ve already not gone to 3 movies this summer because they had no more seats left at the times I wanted. I’m certainly aware that even when theaters had room for 400+ there would be movies you couldn’t find a seat in, but you could usually just wait an hour for the next showing and be fine. My local theater was sold out of “Lights Out” for 2 days because the theater room it’s in now only seats 50 people. Other movies have taken my interest as it is summer season, so I’ll just wait on blu ray releases for the stuff I miss because of this. I can’t image I’m the only one running into this situation, so extrapolate and suddenly you have a legitimate variable for a 10% decline.

  12. Cory Rosenberg says:

    If the movie industry cannot remember that it has a responsibility to innovate, then it will most certainly disintegrate.

  13. Deserttrek says:

    haven’t set foot in a theater for over 30 years , don’t watch the garbage on tv and don’t miss it. hollywood wants my money but they don’t want me. they back politicians and politics that are anti freedom and anti logic. they can all go F themselves

    • Meesa says:

      We’re still pretty wealthy here in Hollywood, Deserttrek, but thanks for the kind words. By the way, you sound kinda dangerous and nutty, so it’s best you stay inside and keep us safe.

    • John Sanford says:

      Desettrek, if you don’t watch movies or TV, then why are you bothering to comment?

  14. TjDuff says:

    Movie goers don’t need Hollywood anymore for their entertainment propaganda. With terrorism becoming the new normal it’s safer to stream. I understand there’s a large segment of the population that dates so movies will not entirely disappear

  15. fustian24 says:

    Ya know, I really used to like going to the movies. Nothing like it. The cool, air conditioned theater, the enormous screen, the great sound system. It was so compelling.

    And the movies!

    Interesting. Beautiful. Inspirational. Uplifting.

    And entertaining.

    As a start, whatever happened to that?

    There was a well reviewed movie last year about child abuse in the church. I’m told it was very well done.

    But.

    Why in the world would I be interested in watching such a thing? What kind of person finds such a thing entertaining?

    But that’s a dirty word these days I imagine. Entertaining.

    I think guilt is at the core of this change. There is so much money in Hollywood success that it must be disorienting. Have you ever wondered at what that kind of success would be like? And for so little actual work in many cases. And so many people wanting what you have.

    There’s a lot of guilt here. They know how lucky they are. In their heart of hearts, they often know there isn’t that much special about them. And deep down, so many of the successful people in Hollywood worry that someday there will be a debt that must be repaid.

    But wait a minute!

    We have a platform. We can use it to do good!

    And now we have the core of the problem.

    Because when you’re looking for moral guidance, or an understanding of the historical forces that shape today, or when need a person to look up to that you can model yourself on…isn’t Hollywood the first place you’d look?

    You know, that cesspool of modern hedonism. A place more corrupt than Washington. A place of drug abuse and unhealthy sex. A place that spits on family values just for fun.

    A place that tells me I need to cut back on my fuel usage as they go from one environmental shindig to another in private jets. That tells me I need to turn down my air conditioning while they live in a coastal mansion kept at a year-round 70 degrees with lawns kept green from water trucked in each week. That tells me I need to be more tolerant while they are not. That tells me not to body shame while they sell me young, cosmetically enhanced women that they throw away as soon as they age just a little bit.

    It’s like a bad joke really.

    And then there’s the politics. Can you even imagine how offensive it is to be continually lectured about open-mindedness from someone that isn’t. Even remotely. And not distantly self-aware.

    I feel like so many of the movies made today have a subtext that says: Listen up, you ignorant troglodytes in fly-over country. It’s about time you small-minded haters learned something from your betters, so bow down and suck up our latest propaganda.

    Well, no thank you.

    Hollywood cannot die fast enough for me.

  16. John Sanford says:

    Better story. Less BIG BOOM and CGI. More light humour. Less leftist preaching. Less bumbling men and superawesome-kickass-competent women.

    Every time I go to the movies and get bushwacked by some SJW tripe, it makes me less likely to go to the theater.

    Oh, and less crudity. Less graphic violence. Knock off the crap-tastic “shaky camera” schtick.

    Finally, and this is simply a suggestion regarding how studios approach making movies: Stop competing to have the biggest budget. Out here in movie-goer land, we aren’t impressed over who has the biggest budget.

    • Starr Long says:

      I totally agree. Buying a ticket to one of these violence and hate spewing liberals movies, helps support them. I think the Boycott is going well. We need Conservative movies with good morals. Make America Great Again.

  17. BenP says:

    I want good movies, not always a tent pole big budget animated or super hero movies. Adult-themed movies are best described as Woody Allen amoral anti-religious anti-conservative moral posturing movies. I wouldn’t see them for its politics. There should be more dynamic dramas with good storylines in various genres. This means Star Trek should not be made into a loud action movie with another normalized gay screed. Count me out.

    I do think Steven Spielberg has lot its touch. I wouldn’t see BFG and its likely I won’t see the new Indiana Jones sequel as long as Spielberg and the senior Harrison Ford is associated with it. I prefer a young Indiana Jones in his 30s. Young people who were once the backbone of society and the future should be given a chance.

  18. Etaoin Shrdlu says:

    Typical of Variety to leave out another reason audiences aren’t bothering with Hollywood’s tripe anymore: Cramming one-sided political propaganda into movies that don’t need it. Zootopia did well, but was it really necessary to make a morality play about diversity? Especially when the hard-left limo-lib studios are extremely reluctant to hire anyone who dares express diversity of THOUGHT, not just superficial characteristics like skin color and private parts.

    There was absolutely no reason to turn an apolitical hit like Ghostbusters into a feminist polemic where four grotesque women band together to shoot a male ghost in the Richard. I had hoped we reached peak SJW with the Oscars So White BS, but no, instead we have a race-baiting revenge fantasy deliberately titled after D.W. Griffith’s 1916 Klanbake, opening up amid one of the bloodiest race-relation years since 1968. The new Birth of a Nation qualifies as nothing more than Two-Minute Hate agitprop on par with ISIS jihad videos, extolling their followers to rise up and kill all the infidels (or in this case, “white masters”). Absolute garbage that should be classified as aiding and abetting domestic terrorism.

    Then you have the obligatory race-lift remakes that slap a bunch of random black actors in roles previously played by whites. Everyone can see it’s nothing but a pandering cash grab to maintain “liberal cred” by increasing minority hiring quotas. I’m not interested in affirmative action cinema and neither is the rest of America. Now with China rising, they’re not going to buy into the race-baiting feminist gender-bending nonsense being pushed by the loony libs in Hollyweird either. I’d rather binge-watch Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan (exempting the atrocious Karate Kid remake), than any of Paul Feig’s mentally disturbed masochistic castration fantasies or whatever forced agenda J.J. Abrams is cramming into his latest example of defecation on a sci-fi franchise. As long as Hollywood keeps shoving politics where it’s unnecessary, normal folks like me will continue to stay away.

    • Dylan says:

      If Hollywood is going to continue to churn out movies based on old IP that almost exclusively featured white characters, of course they’re going to update a few to reflect our more diverse reality – I don’t get why people like you feel threatened by that. Unless the race/ethnicity of the white character is somehow extremely important to understanding him/her, there’s no reason they need to stay the same. Since race-lifting bothers you so much, I’m sure you equally offended by all the cases of white-washing in Hollywood casting:
      Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily in “Pan”
      The cast of the film “21”
      Dragonball Evolution’s white Goku
      The Last Airbender cast
      Tilda Swinton as the (Tibetan) Ancient One in “Doctor Strange”
      Emma Stone as Captain Allison Ng in “Aloha”
      Gods of Egypt cast
      Exodus: Gods and Kings cast
      Noah cast
      Liam Neeson as the Arab Ra’s al Ghul (Batman Begins)
      Marion Cotillard as his daughter, Talia, who is supposed to be of Arab/Chinese ancestry (The Dark Knight Rises)
      Prince of Persia w/ Jake Gyllenhaal
      Angelina Jolie as Mariane Pearl in “A Might Heart” and Fox in “Wanted”
      Johnny Depp as Tonto in “The Lone Ranger”
      Etc. etc. etc.

    • Sydney White says:

      Even as someone who leans left and wouldn’t want to be “normal,” I agree with most of that…

      • Dylan says:

        @adam: If an actor’s support for Hillary Clinton prevents you from watching any of their films, you’re gonna need to stop watching most Hollywood product, period (e.g., films from Steven Spielberg, George Clooney, Leonardo Dicaprio, and Robert DeNiro – all noted Clinton supporters or admirers)

      • Sydney White says:

        Avoiding movies because you and the actors have different political views is so ridiculous and pointless. Besides, if you’re right-wing and do that, you’ll probably never watch anything again.

      • adam says:

        Etaoin: Outstanding comment. Now, we have a host of Hollywood celebs supporting Hillary at the DNC. I just saw Bradley Cooper there. He’s left me no choice but to avoid future Bradley Cooper movies.

  19. Ride Along 2 made $120 million with a $40 million budget. How is that a flop?

    • Dylan says:

      Yeah, it’s more accurate to say it underperformed relative to the original. Of the three titles listed there, The Huntsman was the only real flop.

  20. B. Nice says:

    Studios need to start buying specs again and making MORE original content. Audiences want new stories, characters and worlds. And yes, we can still have all these superhero franchises. But enough with all these reboots. MAKE MORE ORIGINAL MOVIES.

  21. Appearing Tonight says:

    Garbage in, garbage out . . . . .

  22. I’m not really interested in paying 20 bucks to watch something boring at best with a message giving the finger to me and what I consider valuable all to keep some rich Hollywood liberals who happily tell me they hate me and think I’m stupid, rich.

  23. Asymmetrical Xeno says:

    Personaly, I’ll go to a cinema when they adapt HP Lovecrafts mountains of madness (or Shadow out of time), or an epic hard SF novel like Olaf Stapledons Star Maker, or Stephen Baxters Ring, but neither of those genres ever get big budget movies (the martian is hard SF but not really the epic kind I just mentioned), so I don’t have any interest in the cinema at all. Most films I see are just fun, forgettable fluff that I can happily wait for on DVD and not worth seeing in a cinema.

  24. Sean Teague says:

    I found this article’s blatant, mean-spirited digs at Steven Spielberg distasteful and disturbing. I’m sure it was all too tempting to claw at the man whose evergreen masterpiece, Jaws, gave birth to the Hollywood blockbuster summer season. After all, convenient, cheap shots are the cornerstone of blood thirsty reporters looking to skewer their subjects rather than enlighten their readers.

    Odd that Spielberg’s refreshing and delightful adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG would find itself in the crosshairs of an article gunning for sequels. I happened to see the film yesterday with a packed audience who clapped at the end. The father of the family sitting next to me began mimicking BFG’s funnier lines to his children who responded in kind and laughter once more filled the auditorium. That is the power of Steven Spielberg, who very much still has his finger squarely on the pulse of what moves audiences.

    In no way is one box office misfire a stunning fall. In fact, The BFG will find its audience and be heralded as a masterpiece in years to come just like other box office under achievers- It’s a Wonderful Life and The Wizard of Oz.

    By the way, it is silly to decry the merits of sequels using Indiana Jones as an example. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was the second highest grossing film of 2008. Continuing chapters in an adventure series with a lead character who revolutionized the genre does not fall under the category of sequelitis. In fact, in a perfect world there would be more than a dozen Indiana Jones films under the franchise’s belt. But I guess we will just have to settle for five. Outside this article and a relatively few mean-spirited voices on the Internet, no one is crying foul that Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford are reuniting to give the world another chance to return to the great adventure.

    As the end credits rolled on The BFG, I was struck by one thought: What a sad day for cinema and cinemagoers alike when Spielberg stops making films. Leave the stage gracefully? Trust me, no one in Hollywood shows more grace than Steven Spielberg and no one sitting on this side of the stage wants him (or Harrison Ford) to leave anytime soon.

  25. Ed Vaira says:

    Check the average critical response to a LOT of the movies that came out this year…With the exception of BFG (which got marginally good, but not great reviews) all of the pricey flops are in the 15-30% Fresh rating zone on Rotten Tomatoes…They all uniformly stunk! This is why none of us went to the movies! I was looking forward to Tarzan, Warcraft and X-Men but was scared off by truly toxic reviews, as were a LOT of people

  26. Lee says:

    Seeing the number of hard right commenters infesting this thread is a shining example of what has one wrong in Hollywood. The film industry has catered to these people will increasing sanctimonious, dishonest and bigoted media and they’re STILL not happy.
    Trying to make movie fans out of extreme conservatives is a failed venture that has alienated the youth without doing anything for the bottom line.
    These people will never be happy. Hollywood needs to go back to good storytelling and truthful, insightful and fun movies.

    • Dylan says:

      The embittered right-wing neckbeards amusingly don’t seem to realize that they don’t represent the average American. Nor do they realize that much of the reactionary action fantasies and jingoistic, chauvinistic tripe they’re drawn to and regard as apolitical and “pure” entertainment is FULL of ideology that subscribes to a worldview just as, if not more, lazily than the “libtard” entertainment they rail against – they bristle at recognizing ideology that they disagree with, that doesn’t simply reinforce what they already believe. Hollywood has always considered itself a progressive industry (even though they frankly don’t often deserve that label – occasional liberal virtue signaling – especially when it’s that phony, shallow, Hollywood-specific time of liberalism – is not the same thing as true progressiveness, and Hollywood’s movies more often that not regurgitate safely reactionary/conservative, straight white male-dominated narratives); many of the 1930s-1950s films that have endured were progressive for their time.

      The rage at women and ethnic/sexual minorities merely STARTING to bridge the gap in media representation is particularly precious.

    • adam says:

      Truthful? Like Trumbo? Please.

      Ever since 9/11, Hollywood has been at a loss. There is a real-life battle of good and evil, and Hollywood hasn’t been able to come to grips with it. Give us movies which calm our nerves, or allow us to cheer for the good guys.

  27. tiagovieirarangel says:

    Oh, that’s already the “Variety annual apocalyptic report on how no one is going to theaters, people are no longer interested on movies and the business is on the verge of breaking”? Gee, it came fast this year! I thought it was only by the end of the year.

  28. rocknblues81 says:

    Great news!

    Hollywood is full of mediocre talents, libtards and a lack of creativity.

    The best films have already been made.

    I’ll never go to the movies again. Hollywood needs to pay for their bad films and politics.

    • Sydney White says:

      Only point I semi-agree with: “*Most* of the best films have already been made.”

    • Lee says:

      @rocknblues81,
      People like you never went to the movies in the first place. It’s trying to cater to the narrow minded that has ruined Hollywood. It’s a racist, sexist industry and those always suffer from a lack of fresh ideas and thus lose money.
      If Hollywood wants the audience back, they’re going to need to let in new film makers instead of expecting a group of men who are nearing retirement to tell them what young people want to watch and they’re going to have to diversify more in front of the screen, which has been PROVEN to be successful.
      They know what the audience want, they just don’t want to do it.

  29. There isn’t a lack of money in Hollywood it’s a lack of talent. You want the crowds to come back, give us a reason to come back. As long as you only make remakes and over the top CGI nonsense, we aren’t going to bother. Look at the 70s and 80s. We had Jaws, Alien, The Thing, countless other movies. All original, all without CGI, and all good. It packed people in like you wouldn’t believe. Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark. Now all Hollywood tries to do is recapture those days with shoddy remake after remake. We are sick of it. There is no way I’m going to see them ruin what I consider the greatest movie ever made, Ben Hur, with a shoddy CGI remake! It took them a year to shoot the chariot race. I’m not going to have that ruined with some cartoonish looking remake. You want people to come back, give us a reason! Well made, original material, that aren’t obvious rippoffs of better made movies. CGI is fine, when it is plot driven. Look at The Lord of the Rings. But when it is the only reason a movie is being made like Transformers, I’ll save my money.

    • Paul says:

      I agree with pretty much of all of this but just wanted to mention that The Thing (1982) & Ben Hur (1959) were both remakes. The Thing was actually a flop when it came out but developed a cult following, which none of the misfires today will do for the reasons you mentioned.

      • Meesa says:

        Paul, John Carpenter’s THE THING was very close to the source material from 1938 whereas the Arness version was completely another movie. So, not really a remake.

  30. Tina says:

    Wow! I had no idea there are so many others sick of the political propaganda today’s movies push. There’s no way I’ll pay to watch that. Nor do I want to see movies that are nothing but one special effect after another. Pay to watch smart mouthed animated animals? Not on a bet! I mourn the death of creativity, originality and movies made for the sake of telling a great story. I’ll use my money instead to pay the cable company for the opportunity to watch Game of Thrones, True Detective, The Night Manager, etc.

    • Meesa says:

      It’s not “so many others”. It’s a few, most of whom haunt entertainment websites like Jesus Freaks haunt Atheist boards. Kinda sick, really. The Right Wing needs to understand that almost all entertainment – music, movies, TV, books – come from either the Center or The Left. There are very few “Conservatives” and/or Wingers above the line in these businesses. Virtually every writer, director, showrunner, producer, singer, actor in the business leans “Left” or Liberal. Been that way since the days of traveling coaches and actor bands. Don’t like it? Make your own stuff, and also ask why the most amazing things and ideas historically come from these “Liberal” sources…

      • Sydney White says:

        ‘Cept for those of us who want to move there. xD

      • Kirkpattie says:

        Messa, it’s obvious you’re trying to do damage control since you’re responding to everyone critical of the left-leaning propaganda. It’s there and it’s obvious enough that loads of people notice it and don’t want to subscribe. Your comments are more or less worthless in saying, “Don’t like it? Don’t see it/make it yourself,” because most people who are complaining here ARE saying they aren’t subscribing to the crap. People have just as much a right to share their distaste with something as you have to support and defend it, but you’re really just coming off as a leftist shill for all of your commenting and defensiveness. Do you really have nothing better to do then respond to every comment mentioning the left-leaning media then following up by taking jabs at every other political and ideological opponent you have?

        Get a real job. No one outside of California likes California for a very obvious reason.

  31. jade says:

    I’m a big Star Trek fan who has seen every movie in the theater since I was an adult, but I am skipping Beyond. First, I’m just not interested in Fast and Furious in space. The trailers looked terrible! But the deciding factor for me was their decision to turn Sulu gay against Takei’s wishes…which in and of itself is a bit annoying, but then they had to make it a statement about gay marrriage. Young Sulu is not only gay, but has a *husband* and a *daughter.”

    I guess in the future, gay couples will simply put their DNA into a replicator and out will pop a baby!

    Having a gay Star Trek character doesn’t bother me so much as changing an existing character and then using it to promote a still controversial alternative family structure.

    I used to be pro-gay rights (seriously!) until the LGBT crowd started shoving propaganda down everyone’s throats in total denial of biological realities. Sorry, but nature prefers a natural mother and father as the ideal for child-rearing. And Caitlyn Jenner did not magically become female due to make-up and breast implants. HE still has his male junk.

    Make love to whomoever you want but stop pretending it is biologically equivalent to, well, biology. And stop shoving it down everyone else’s faces. Nobody cares what you do in your private life until you demand everyone else approve of you. Just stop it!

    • Smh says:

      I used to be religious (seriously!) until the church crowd started shoving their agenda down everyone’s throats in total denial of scientific realities.

    • Lee says:

      @jade,
      If somebody asking for equal rights make you feel thy shouldn’t have those rights, you never really supported them in the first place.
      That said, Sulu was heterosexual in canon and should have been left that way, as intended by the series creator.
      As George Takei said, they should have created a new character if they wanted a gay character, instead of upending canon.

      • jade says:

        Lee, who said I was for taking away “rights”? A government marriage contract is not a basic “right” but a construct of the state. Let’s just remove it entirely and return marriage to a private religious ceremony. BTW, it can be argued that a child has a “right” to their natural mother and father. Gays do not have “rights” to other people’s children. Furthermore, you do not have the “right” to shove your pro-gay marriage beliefs down everyone else’s throats.

        I am not lying when I said I used to be much more pro-gay. You guys have pushed and pushed and are turning people off with your fanaticism. The basic facts of life are that the human species reproduces with one male and one female. That’s the reality you want to avoid while you try to brainwash everyone that two people with the same parts are equivalent in relationship. They are not and they never will be. Don’t care what you do in your private time but don’t pretend it is the same or “equal.” It is not nor will it ever be. My issue is with your incessant propaganda and lying about biology. Biology wins. Get over it!

    • Glen Dorn says:

      jade, you win the Comment of the Day award. Well said!

  32. jstan442 says:

    from reading the replies below it seems we are still a Christian nation–but we are fed up with the elitists who rule over us–how do they get to the top? thru lies and with the collusion of the media–they control our schools(esp. colleges), media, hollywood–our children are taught our freedoms come by the men in power–they just are not taught that those same men can take them away–it is already at work in colleges with ‘safe spaces’ and censored speech–i for one will pray for our posterity

    • Meesa says:

      Lemme guess: You arrived here from Drudge?

      • Starr Long says:

        We need to have all our children home-schooled or private schooled with proper teachers. This is the only way to defeat the immorality and liberal hate violence instituted by the left. By buying tickets to these theaters we are supplying the money to continue their vendetta. I was a movie goer. Never again. At least not till we can get more conservatives in the movies, which the liberals have been boycotting…

    • Appearing Tonight says:

      Religion was born when the first scoundrel met the first fool, pretty easy to figure out which one you are . . . .

  33. Glen Dorn says:

    Honestly, Tom, I’ve seen as many, if not more, white, Hispanic and Asians using & abusing cellphones during movies.

  34. Carla says:

    The cost of taking a family out to the movies is obscene these days. Ticket prices upwards of $10 each in some areas, combined with exhorbitant food/drink costs, mean that many families will wait for the video release and watch it at home. With a 60-in tv in the household, it’s a near-cinematic experience, the kids can be comfortable, they can fall asleep if they’re tired, you can rewatch the movie whenever you want, etc. For $25, we’ve got the movie, homemade popcorn, and whatever drink we want for five people – those same things would cost me triple the price in the theater.

    In addition, I for one am sick and tired of being force-fed the holier-than-thou messages that permeate Hollywood. I go to a movie to be entertained, not to be preached at. Having hypocritical millionaire studios and actors/actresses push political and/or social messages though the movies – or the advertising – is a sure way to turn me off. I’m not there to hear *your* social or political views, nor am I there to share mine. I. Want. To. Be. Entertained. I don’t always want to have to search for the deeper meaning in everything – movies are an escape, not a lecture hall.

    • Agree says:

      I agree! That’s why I skipped God’s not Dead 1 & 2, and Hillary’s America. I want to be entertained not preached to.

    • Raoul says:

      Yes, yes, yes, 1000% percent. I refuse to give leftists my money in order for them to shove propaganda down my throat. Not only does it help support a culture war that is anathema to everything that makes America great, but it encourages more of this Social Justice Whining dreck.

  35. Hey hollywood says:

    So I have to pick between inflated healthcare coverage or a movie guess what!
    It’s inflated because I now pay for your illegal immigrant nanny, lawn care provider, limo drivers free healthcare coverage.
    Because you an ultra weathly just thinks it’s terrible that you should pay for that.

    I also have decided that by not wasting my time and money on your garbage movies. I am in fact helping in the causes that you said I should be worried about like globull warming. By not giving you my hard earned money hopefully you will quit strutting around in your jets spewing out the “dangerous” co2 in one trip then I produce in a year.

    With that all said have a nice day.

  36. Brigid says:

    I will not watch anything by Tarantino, Affleck, Damon, Clooney, produced by Judd Apatow, and the rest you all know by name already. I am not going to give money in a theater or elsewhere, on demand for example, to people that tell me they hate me, that I am racist, sexist, not good enough. It really is that simple. Every summer I hold my own filmfest at home, starting with the Death Wish movies of Charles Bronson, then on to a slew of hot weather movies like Dog Day Afternoon, Prisoner of Second Avenue, the classic Tennessee Williams adaptations that were true to the plays, The Swimmer, throw in Pam Grier vigilante movies like Coffey, even Bad News Bears and Meatballs, great kids films. There has been so much happening in the world in the past fifteen years, and Hollywood never addresses any of it. Hollywood cannot bring themselves to make a movie about ISIS, refugees, terrorism, police issues, families struggling in this economy, gangs, the trek from Mexico to the southern border–all of these issues can be told with all points of view taken into account, but I guess it would be too difficult for them to write, then they’d need the fortitude to face down protesters and complainers. Yet Menace II Society got made, Ice Cube movies get made and do well, American Sniper and Sicario and Taken and 13 Hours. The second golden age of Hollywood, the 1970s, produced Serpico, Claudine, One Flew Over the Cookoo’s Nest, The Exorcist, Fort Apache The Bronx, Carrie, so many original topical contemporary films, without fear of telling the story, and somehow without preaching to us. There is an overarching theme here–everything I’ve mentioned is about human beings, human characters, leading human lives, with human problems. Human beings want to see other human beings in movies–not robots, superheros, or smashed human cities.

    • adam says:

      Hollywood once offered us plenty of great comedies with little or no political content: Bull Durham, Four Weddings, Groundhog Day, What About Bob, This is Spinal Tap, Planes/Trains/Automobiles, Wedding Singer, Election (although the Reece character was a Republican), Big, to name a few.

      We rarely if ever see feel-good, apolitical comedies like these any more. Why not?

  37. Hardworker says:

    Could it be that some or all of these actors and producers are so liberal, it is a turn off as to what comes out of their mouths. Who wants to pay these people to spout things you may not believe in, politics ruins everything…I will never pay to see these people.

  38. Aleric says:

    We are tired of BAD Writing, terrible character adaptation from books and comics to movies. Hollywood keeps taking well known and loved franchises and trying to force their own PC spin on them and they fail every time. But like the old adage they continue to do the same thing over and over again and they expect different results.

  39. Covered every reason accept one, the politicized words and actions of the producers, stars and directors. Plus the liberal bias and constant pushing of the homosexual agenda in story lines, dialogue and characters.
    The audience with the cash in their pockets are keeping it there while their country is defamed, and their beliefs belittled. Rich Hollywood donors to out and out crooks and liars (who are running for high office) are transferring my money to causes I hate.
    Disney, Marvel, and more actors and actresses than I can list are on my ‘No Buy’ list. If I want to see a movie with an actor or by a director I refuse to support, I can wait until it is in my local library. NO CASH!

    Tell Woody Harrison that the real people of Venezuela have a few choice words for him about his gushing support of Hugo Chavez, who is the main reason they are starving to death today.

    • Brigid says:

      The Venezuela movie writes itself. Two brothers–one an upstanding apolitical young doctor in a Caracas hospital, the other a radical anti-Chavista and part-time black market food and medicine seller of questionable ethics. The doctor realizes that the medicine is running out, no chemo, no pain meds, no antibiotics, no insulin, and patients, the old, the pregnant, children, are dying every day from totally preventable causes, including malnutrition from the food crisis. He is forced to obtain black market meds and food from his street-life brother to give patients without getting caught and imprisoned. The radical resistance brother encourages him to join the movement against the government, start a strike at the hospital, things get worse in the city and nation, riots over food, no electricity, mob violence as society crumbles. Finally, the coup begins–will the doctor brother make his move, and assassinate the leader after he is called to the president’s mansion to minister to the ailing presidente? Will the radical brother encourage violence against the government as he witnesses his fellow citizens getting killed by the military in the streets, knowing the people will meet certain death in the fight? Will the country collapse into chaos, a failed state? Call it ‘Revolution.’ The brothers inner turmoil and moral awakening mirroring the revolution–against the previous revolution. Throw in a vibrant background of latin hip-hop, glorious street scenes, the favelas, the elites in their mansions, the hospital crumbling, apocalyptic riots, surging soundtrack using current latin popular singers and bands. There, I got fifty more where that came from. Call me, Hollywood. I can get backsides in those seats.

    • Glen Dorn says:

      “Tell Woody Harrison that the real people of Venezuela have a few choice words for him about his gushing support of Hugo Chavez, who is the main reason they are starving to death today”.

      Seeing the desperate situation that the failed socialist government has left Venezuela in at the moment, if Woody Harrelson was man enough to go there and talk to the people, I think that the average starving Venezuelan on the street may be a lot more likely to do more than talk….

      BTW, Woody, if you have this death wish to visit Venezuela, please take Sean Penn with you.

  40. John Tang says:

    The theater experience isn’t what it used to be. Unruly theater-goers were something to deal with in the 90s, when I saw a movie in a theater every weekend, but the advent of smartphones has made cinemas a pain.

    Also, I have a family now and taking them to see a movie once and buying some snacks and drinks totals to around $50, and that $50 is a gamble that A.) the movie will be decent and B.) the people around me won’t distract me to the point that my experience is spoiled.

    I see MAYBE 2-3 movies in theaters per year. I’ll see Suicide Squad in a week or so, but until Wonder Woman comes out I won’t see another.

    Once movie studios start releasing fairly new movies(3-4 weeks old) on virtual reality headsets like the HTC Vive, which I own, I’ll pay for tickets to watch these movies in my virtual cinema far more often than I do now. Until then, Hollywood isn’t getting much of my money.

  41. jimmieM says:

    What if it is political?….there is a growing list of actors that I do not care to see because I cannot put out of my mind the low life degenerate political liars they are and see the person they are pretending to be for the movie

  42. Ralph Martin says:

    A. Its SUPER expensive to go to the movies now so we have to be more selective.
    B. Im incredibly tired of giving my money to celebrities that openly hate me, my beliefs, and my rights. So if a star comes out and wants to lecture me on my right to protect myself while they are surrounded by armed guards id rather spend my money on ammo than give it to them.
    C. I am all for the right to be who you are, however, the LGBT is less than 10% of the population in reality but on the silver screen they have tried to jam a gay person into every role possible in order to make it a huge deal. Its none of my business what you do in the bedroom and i dont care. Its insulting as a moviegoer and maybe i dont want my kids exposed to that, as a parent that IS my right whether you like it or not. So such as this weekend my son and i had planned to go to the Star Trek movie i have since decided ill rent it. I know its small scene but its enough to turn me off to the movie. It will be the first Star Trek movie i havent seen on opening night or weekend in 26 years but ill pass.

    • Glen Dorn says:

      Ralph, I agree. I was looking forward to seeing the new Star Trek flick, but when the left wing slime producers decided to ram in the Sulu gay marriage scene…. really? Even George Takei (original Sulu), a gay man himself and adviser to the producers of this Star Trek, advised against including this scene in the movie, but the producers wanted to show their support for the progressive cause and the Hollywood Leftist Elite, so, it stayed….

      BTW, a more accurate percentage of LGBT in our population would be no more than 7%, and that number has been frequently challenged as too high. They’re people, too, and they have a right to live their lives as they choose and in peace, but we don’t need their ways of life constantly jammed down our throats in a desperate effort to show it as “normal”. In reality – it’s just another phase of progressive Democrat vote mining, nothing more.

  43. I’m waiting for the moment one of the big superhero films bombs spectacularly, so I can finally use that “Heaven’s Cape” pun.

  44. Kenneth says:

    Pretty much stopped going to the movies. Nowadays it’s mostly an endless stream of uninspired sequels and remakes.

  45. Jen says:

    My family and I love going to the movies, but the Ticket prices and the popcorn are very expensive. Also, what is up with all the “NUDE SEX SCENES, AND FOUL LANGUAGE?” So distasteful. Please stop with the remakes.

    If Hollywood wants to fix things, then the three things I mentioned above should make a BIG IMPROVEMENT.

    • Glen Dorn says:

      “Also, what is up with all the “NUDE SEX SCENES, AND FOUL LANGUAGE?” .

      Simple, Jen.

      When your writers and producers don’t have the imagination, skills, and motivation to create a watchable movie, then flood it with nudity and F-bombs. It’s like voting Democrat; it’s soooo much easier than thinking….

      Sorry if this last comment appeared to be voiding my bladder into someone’s breakfast fiber, but considering the overwhelming amount of people in the entertainment industry mindlessly vote Democrat and embrace their values (of lack of), it’s reality.

      Deal with it.

      • Trevor Madison says:

        You know absolutely nothing about the entertainment industry. Most of them are actually Repugs.

  46. Sean Mac says:

    My wife and I love the movie theater experience, but we’ve gone from movies once a week to once month because of price. We use our membership cards to get an occasional free movie which helps, but how about additionally offering half off tickets for the remainder of a year after the first 10 tickets purchased. Get more people back into theaters regularly.

  47. Bill G says:

    My wife and I stopped going to movies in the theater due to the rudeness of the audience. Why should I spend money to have to listen to other patrons talking like they are home in their living rooms or texting so that the entire crowd looks like a light show with phones lighting up throughout the entire film? We have become a rude inconsiderate society and this is one of the casualties.

    • Glen Dorn says:

      Excellent points.

      There is also the issue of “rudeness” of Hollywood, specifically, their incessant pushing of the leftist progressive agenda upon audiences, and incessant attacks against all things conservative and the traditional values of America.

      Actually, when you think about it – it was the Hollywood lefties that have impressed upon the past few generations that rudeness is acceptable, everything is about Me, Me, Me, and anything goes. And now, they’re scratching their heads (not really) wondering why movie audiences are in steady decline.

      Sorta comes full circle, hmm?

      • Meesa says:

        You’re quite the loon, aren’t you? You do realize that the people who create virtually everything you consume – books, TV, movies, music – are Liberal-leaning individuals, and that they’ve always been so? No? How’s that annual reading of Mein Kampf coming along for you, by the way? ONe of Hitler’s first targets were artists and Left-leaning unionists. Sounds like…you.

  48. I am angry at most actors and actresses for their insane political views and their overt disdain for capitalism. Most are two bit Commies. Additionally, most are self absorbed trailer trash with a bank account. Straight outta Compton…There is no way I will spend my hard earned money supporting their garbage films.

  49. Robert Guth says:

    There’s one factor often overlooked in these types of reviews . . . a large portion of the country is turned off by the in-your-face political barrage by so many in the movie industry. While those of a conservative bent stopped seeing Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon movies a very long time ago, now we’re not even safe to see the Star Trek sequel, as script writer Simon Pegg outright admits that the villain in the movie is representative of brexit and Trump. So, for half the population, the studios are asking movie watchers to buy a ticket to be insulted. Get ready for Bourne to disappoint – again a complete hypocrite in Matt Damon will set his anti-gun-ownership views aside to make one of the most violent movies of the year. I can’t imagine why the studios haven’t figured this out, but probably it’s because once again they live in an echo chamber and actually think that all Trump supporters (or Brexit supporters) truly are racists sitting at home hoping for a chance to shoot our guns. Until they develop a more thoughtful understanding of their audience, their business model will continue to decline.

    • Ajt says:

      It gets even worse. Star Trek embeds a heavy handed one sided political message in the film to beat you over the head, but then theirs the Ghostbusters fiasco. Gee maybe stepping on every possible tv program and media outlet and publicly castigating your products core audience as, what was it?oh yes “45 year old fat white misogynistx assholes living in their mothers basements” because some people had the nerve to think your horrible looking trailer did in fact look horrible, might not be the best approach to marketing. With that one movie Sony managed to damage not just their film and franchise, but their entire brand. By treating the fan base, the customers the way they did, in service to a round the bend political agenda instead of quality movie making, they caused a measurably large percentage of that white male 18-45 year old consumer base to swear off Sony movies. You know that core audience that pays to see all those billion dollar Superhero movies? Well they now want nothing to do with Sony thanks to the insults and abuse. The constant lectures. The “see my movie or else you are a sexist hater” marketing campaign. They’ve had enough! Other studios should learn from their failure. Stop viewing and treating the paying audience as a herd of disposable sheep. Mind your manners. Respect your customers. Deliver the product your customers want. Not what you insist they must want based on your politics.

  50. Eric says:

    I rarely go out to see a movie. Inspiration and quality are lacking in relation to inflated ticket and concession prices. Most films today amount to politically correct sermons on the horrors of global warming (whoops, the latest euphemism is now “climate change”), the joys of dysfunctional families, the stupidity of parents (especially fathers), corporate greed (a thinly veiled analogy for evil Republicanism) ,unrealistic fantasies of feminist dominance and liberal utopian mythology. Meanwhile the industry feeds mindlessly and incestuously on the last blockbuster in a feeding frenzy for revenue, substituting profanity and special effects for actual stagecraft and drama. What kind of foundation is that for them to preach to me?

More Film News from Variety

Loading