Hollywood Is So Money

In a recent Hollywood Reporter article, Paul Bond reports that Wedbush Morgan Securities is predicting that 2007 will likely be a big year at the box office. The article cites Wedbush Morgan’s 40-page report, which asserts that predictions that new technologies would damage the exhibition industry were exaggerated. I’ve written quite a bit about these issues in my blog, and in general, I’ve tried to remain skeptical about these predictions of Hollywood’s decline.

And, in general, the Wedbush Morgan report sounds about right. Most of the people who purchase home theater systems and have Netflix memberships are also the people who have the disposable income to attend movies in theaters (as their research illustrates). I disagree, to some extent, with their assessment that the recent lull in theater attendance can be attributed to “poor quality” movies. Instead, what I see happening is that in the years 2003-2005, there simply weren’t as many movies with the high franchise potential. To suggest that “bad” movies are responsible, they cite a correlation between lower critics’ ratings and a slight decline in movie attendance, but that may simply be a coincidence because the taste of film reviewers and mainstream audiences is often quite a bit different. The article is useful, though, in dispelling the myth that movie theaters will be obsolete sometime next week.

Thanks to Michael for alerting me to the article (and check out his reading of a recent Variety article on how digital technologies have changed movie acting).

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