Movie economics

Ageing cinema audiences want to watch films with intelligent dialogue that deal with real people, according to Imelda Staunton. Yet they are let down by a male-dominated industry that makes “terrible” blockbusters fuelled by violence and special effects.

The Oscar-nominated actress stars in a new heart-warming romantic comedy called Finding Your Feet, whose cast includes Celia Imrie, Timothy Spall, David Hayman and Joanna Lumley. The makers hope the movie will tap into the success of “grey pound” films such as 2011’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which made more than £100m.

Of course dahling, it’s just so terrible that those men make films that people actually want to go and see. Unlike the one I’m promoting right now…..

28 comments on “Movie economics

  1. Isn’t it more a case of those terrible men finance films they think people want to see? If you don’t have the money, you don’t make the film & people don’t find out if they want to see it.
    Looking through the films available on Netflix, there’s large numbers seem to be just the same films done with different actors & a different title.

  2. “Banish blockbusters, say older UK cinemagoers”
    a quite staggeringly misleading headline.
    um. nope. They don’t and the piece doesn’t report that they do.

  3. Wild horses couldn’t drag me … anything that includes Imelda Staunton, Celia Imrie, Timothy Spall, David Hayman and Joanna Lumley – though there are worse. Two hours or so you’ll never get back.

  4. Well, ok then, there’s two sorts of films. Ones where people act and pretend to be someone else and films like this one where old hams stooge around being, er, old hams.

    Pay your money and take your choice.

  5. “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which made more than £100m”

    The 74th highest grossing film of its year (2012 actually). And that had Judy Dench in it.

    The highest of that year, the Avengers, grossed 13 times as much. Looks like Hollywood does actually have a good idea of relative demand.

    Sure, there’s a niche for her sort of thing. But the thing about niche markets is that it tends to be niche producers catering for them.

  6. I think its been piss poor for some time on films……if you don’t like the superhero shite than you be fucked.

    Netflix series like the Crown or Narcos and my all time favourite Breaking Bad.

    Handmaids’s Tale was also very good.

    Best film I can remember recently was “Get Out”.

  7. I agree that cinema is dominated by infantile comic book rubbish but the solution is to watch (or appear in Imelda) some of the excellent TV that is being made.

  8. “Netflix series like the Crown or Narcos ”

    Narcos is excellent, isn’t it? But neatly confirms my point, above. There’s now half a dozen docudrama series about S or C, Amercan traficantes. Not counting La Nina, which was more a soap made for domestic TV & is FARC related

  9. “I think its been piss poor for some time on films……if you don’t like the superhero shite than you be fucked.”

    This, Bigly.

  10. I remember hearing someone in an interview break down Hollywood Studios expected returns. He basically said that they don’t really know which films are going to be hits so the hoped for breakdown went: for every 10 movies made by a studio, 5 will lose money, 2 will break even, 2 will make a profit and one will be a blockbuster which pays for all the others. Without the Blockbusters, the studios would be out of business.

  11. I haven’t seen the latest Narcos since Pablo was killed, I can’t imagine the series without him, he was an incredible actor.

    La Reina del Sur was a bit naff but compulsive viewing.

    I will have to check out la Nina, that’s a new one for me

  12. Joanna Lumley ?!?!

    She’s older than Gamecock!

    Who, BTW, isn’t looking to get his heart warmed.

    The movie business is democratic, in that the audience gets to decide what it wants, and indicates that with their choices. ‘What about celebrating people?’ The damn audience is interested in celebrating people who kick bad guys in the nuts. Then shoot them.

  13. @Rickie
    Can’t say I’ve seen much of La Nina but if it’s any guide, Russian friend who was staying here last summer got into it & did its 7 odd. seasons in almost one sitting. Hardly saw her for a week.On the other hand, didn’t seem to much impress La Colombiana. But, then, I’m not exactly a fan of East Enders, myself.

  14. I think its been piss poor for some time on films……if you don’t like the superhero shite than you be fucked.

    Yes, I haven’t been to the cinema for years and years. The standard of dialogue in modern films is appalling. Even worse is historical films/dramas where you hear someone saying “Leave it out!” or something similar. For fuck’s sake.

  15. Let’s revive the 40 year old debate:

    Who was better in the Avengers, Dianna Rigg or Joanna Lumley?

  16. The problem with the superhero lark its very popular, when they have done them all to death they come back with al the prequel shit before they came superhero’s

    This shit will be around for years.

    My list of won’t watch is:

    Superhero
    Harry Potter
    Hobbitt
    Star Wars
    animated penguin shit.
    Romantic comedies

    Horrors bore me now, except for “Get Out” which is sort of Horror.

    It don’t leave much left really…just the odd film like “three billboards” which is ok but soon forgotten.

    We need another “hills have eyes”, “wrong turn” again…I like that stuff, reminds me of Guestwick in Norfolk.

    Seriously some of them villagers look real odd.

  17. “Ageing cinema audiences want to watch films with intelligent dialogue that deal with real people, according to Imelda Staunton. Yet they are let down by a male-dominated industry that makes “terrible” blockbusters fuelled by violence and special effects.”

    There are tons of films like that being released. Even at my local multiplex this week, there’s Phantom Thread, Darkest Hour, The Post and Downsizing. Three of those have actresses over 55 playing a key role.

    This whole “the cinemas are all blockbusters” is a myth. Sure, Marvel stuff makes a ton of money, but outside of summer, Easter and Christmas, there’s plenty of slots at the multiplex.

    If anything, I’d argue that blockbusters help small films. They soak up off-peak capacity at a cinema that is getting its capital investment covered by the big periods in the year. Cinemas with a dozen people in each screen are probably making a profit on the operational cost, but I doubt they’re covering all the capital costs.

  18. “My list of won’t watch is:

    Superhero
    Harry Potter
    Hobbitt
    Star Wars
    animated penguin shit.
    Romantic comedies”

    With you on most of that, but there’s good superhero movies. They’re just the new western/army/cop/special forces movies. Most westerns suck, but Rio Bravo and Shane are both pretty good. Logan and Spider-Man Homecoming likewise.

  19. My evergreen response to people like Staunton is to make a fucking film. Or even just, find a director with a great script that you like and offer to do work for minimum rate and a decent cut of the profit. There’s tons of students who’d love to work with her and producers who know they could get financing with her name on the production.

    The problem with British luvvies is they just expect a handout.

  20. @rickie
    u on a roll with me today.

    “Superhero
    Harry Potter
    Hobbitt
    Star Wars
    animated penguin shit.
    Romantic comedies”

    yes, me too. Once let my 5 year old know that i didn’t like Star Wars – bad error, he was shocked and disappointed. I have had to familiarise myself with Star Wars as its so important to all my kids, its modern shared culture that they all know in great detail.

    Hint for others who might not have liked starwars and have kids not yet old enough to watch.

    1: Darth Vader is Luck Skywalker’s father ( big bad minus to not know that, i found )

    2: Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia are brother and sister.
    ( i found that out only today – the aforementioned 5yo is now 12 – i think he experienced disgust at my ignorance which was revealed today.)

    I have to watch SW, its just too big in my kids’ lives to not engage with it, but I still dislike it in the same way as when I went to see the original at the cinema 40 years ago – too clean cut, goody twoshoes, and healthy all american. And man do those WW2 dogfights SUCK?

  21. Never been a great fan of films. I was dragged along to sit through the interminable Lord of the Rings trilogy and Harry
    Potter, which I just about enjoyed, especially the latter ones.

    I have to admit to enjoying Padding 2 last year, better than the first, I must be getting soft in my old age.

  22. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

    Was dire, I suffered for ~20mins then exit time.

    As said, if rich luvvies want films of a certain genre, spend your money and make them. If you’re correct, you will be rewarded. Nothing stopping you but your own lack of belief in what you say.

  23. There’s so much astoundingly good TV being made lately that going to the cinema and sitting through two hours of dickheads talking on their phones and kids running around is pointless. And I don’t even watch TV (on the TV, that is). I’d rather watch it on my hi-def monitor. Hard drives are cheap. I’ve got 8TB of storage, and that’s a lot of .mp4s, .mkvs, .avis etc..

  24. The thing about these terrible blockbusters is that people want to see them.
    They will do far more cinema and home media sales than the ‘grey pound’ films, they appeal to a much bigger paying audience.

    Regardless of what an old actress wants, other people can make their own decisions about what to spend money to see.
    Much to her annoyance.

  25. Well said, Martin
    I liked films when I was a kid. I’ve watched a few since – but fewer from my own choice since I was twenty than I did before I was twenty. IMHO films are for kids.
    So if an ageing actress wants to complain about the studios making films for kids to watch I don’t really care. If some media chooses to publish it, more fool the editor. I’ve been (at my wife’s strong suggestion) to watch Timothy Spall more than once and liked what he’s done but being told that I *should* want to watch him in a romantic comedy – No! – will this woman ask us to watch Scharzenegger in “Romeo and Juliet” or “Twelfth Night” next?

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