Who Put Something in Their Coffee? Steven Spielberg and George Lucas Say the Movie Business Will Crash and Burn, and What Will Follow. Implications for TV. And Spielberg Reveals That ‘Lincoln’ Came ‘this close’ to Being an Original HBO TV Movie

Jun 14, 2013  •  Post A Comment

"George Lucas and Steven Spielberg think the film industry is heading towards a cliff," reports The Verge, the Vox Media website that covers the intersection of technology, science, art, and culture.

The piece adds: "The pair behind some of the most successful franchises in movie history think that conservative programming choices and rapidly evolving distribution schemes have set the stage for a massive upheaval — and internet-based services may become the dominant medium when moviegoing as we know it crashes and burns."

The article continues: "People simply have a limited amount of time, said Spielberg. ‘We can’t expand the week. We can’t expand the 24-hour cycle. So we’re stuck with so many choices.’ The enormous amount of available content has pushed movie studios to be more conservative, banking on the power of event films to break through the white noise of a crowded marketplace. ‘You’re at the point right now where a studio would rather invest $250 million in one film for a real shot at the brass ring,’ he said, ‘than make a whole bunch of really interesting, deeply personal — and even maybe historical — projects that may get lost in the shuffle because there’s only 24 hours.’

" ‘There’s going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even half a dozen of these mega-budgeted movies are going to go crashing into the ground,’ Spielberg said, ‘and that’s going to change the paradigm again.’ "

Lucas then added his two cents, the story notes: "Lucas presented a clear vision of this post-crash entertainment landscape: a world where going to the movies is no longer a casual outing, but a high-end experience more in line with Broadway. ‘What you’re going to end up with is fewer theaters,’ he said. ‘Bigger theaters, with a lot of nice things. Going to the movies is going to cost you 50 bucks, maybe 100. Maybe 150.’ It will be more in line with sporting events, with films playing in these high-end cinemas for as long as a year. ‘And that’s going to be what we call "the movie business." But everything else is going to look more like cable television on TiVo. It’s not going to have cable or broadcast,’ Lucas said. ‘It’s going to be the Internet television.’ "

Later, according to the article, Lucas said, "I think eventually the ‘Lincolns’ are going to go away and they’re going to be on television."

"[In reply] Spielberg smiled, saying, ‘And mine almost was! This close. Ask HBO — this close!,’ " the article reports.

The two filmmakers made their remarks during a panel at the University of Southern California, according to the story.

We urge you to read this entire article, which you can do by clicking on the link in our first paragraph, above.

3 Comments

  1. That is why we still have the independent filmmaker. Des Moines, Iowa is not going to sell a lot of $100 movie tickets. There will still be plenty of movies at a reasonable price. What they are really predicting is the failure of the big studios who are already placing too many big bets and not enough small ones. These guys are just setting everything up for when the big studios go under and then go to Congress for a bailout, like the auto companies and the banks.

  2. With Paramount charging $50 for a special viewing package for World War Z, that day isn’t all that far off.
    For some interesting reading, read the original piece on The Hollywood Reporter. Must’ve linked to Drudge that day or something. The nearly 2000 comments are a wee bit off the wall.

  3. Or… perhaps they could keep movie prices the same – prices people can actually pay – and guys like Spielberg, Lucas, Clooney, et al. could just live with making less money to fund their extravagant multi-million dollar lifestyles, and lowering the cost of producing movies.

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