Sunday, July 3, 2016

Topic Of The Day: A Summer Of Apocalyptic Proportions

So when looking at this weekend and how The Purge: Election Year, which was made for around $10m, is performing better than The BFG and The Legend of Tarzan, which had much larger budgets (a combined $320m w/o factoring marketing costs) it got me thinking that something is fishy in Tinseltown and had me wondering what could be done to fix it. How can they make films all year round and not just in the summer where they can guarantee a good return on their product?

This summer, we've had a series of colossal underperformers: In particular, X-Men: Apocalypse, Warcraft, Alice Through The Looking Glass, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows. All of those were produced for at least $100m and three of them were sequels.

One way that problem can be fixed is if Hollywood were to greenlight more original content. I'm sure there are dozens upon dozens of original scripts piling up at each studio or agency. Go find them. Hollywood is a business where you can entice your customer with a new product. Especially when we have a possible onslaught of superhero movie fatigue since superheroes are what really drive Hollywood's box office dollars these days.

They should also think on a smaller scale. Some of the most successful films so far this summer were Central Intelligence, Me Before You, The Shallows, The Conjuring 2, and The Angry Birds Movie were made on more modest budgets, below the $100m range.

Another way in which Hollywood can guarantee a successful return on their products is if they have their movie stars start taking smaller fees upfront. If a movie that has a higher budget than it needs to be flops, it's likely because they're trying to satisfy the high salary demands of their movie stars. Personally, I think the studios should negotiate a smaller fee upfront, either 6 or 7 figures, and have the actors get their 8 figures on the backend. That way, their handlers (agents, managers, etc.) can collect a good chunk of their client's earnings, they get their $20m, and the studios get a nice return on their product. Everybody's happy.

So those are my thoughts on how Hollywood can fix its box office drought. What do you guys think? Do you agree or disagree? Please feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section and offer your own solutions to this whole crisis. Thanks for reading!