Hollywood in crisis: The summer that is second to none

Shortly after United Artists had also moved the start date of the "Bill & Ted Face the Music", surely not one of the most hotly anticipated films, wrote the m

Hollywood in crisis: The summer that is second to none

Shortly after United Artists had also moved the start date of the "Bill & Ted Face the Music", surely not one of the most hotly anticipated films, wrote the magazine "Forbes": "The summer cinema season is dead." The "Hollywood Reporter" had not expected the Virus to the "super-villains, with the Hollywood," explains and summarizes: "The summer that did not take place". Christopher Nolan's "Tenet", the high hopes of the carrier, was suspended on an indefinite period of time. Likewise, Disney's "Mulan". "Black Widow", "Wonder Woman 1984", "Top Gun: Maverick," "The Fast and the Furious 9", "Ghostbusters: Afterlife", just a few of the great summer-call Blockbuster, had it been postponed before, some of them even to the next year.

Peter Körte

editor in the Feuilleton section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung in Berlin.

F. A. Z.

the "worst nightmare", "the Atlantic Monthly had become" in may of conjured up, it is true: cinema free summer. In the past year, sales in the Blockbuster time, starting from the first Friday in may to the first Monday in September, fraud, 4.35 billion dollars. The were 38 percent of the annual turnover. Of the approximately 5500 cinemas (with a total of more than 40 000 screens) are hardly open, except drive-in cinemas, of which there are in the whole country to the 550. If you consider that the theaters get between 40 and 50 percent of the revenue from a Film, one realizes the extent of the losses.

A cultural turning point

This is the business side. It is bitter. At the same time, but a summer without a Blockbuster cinema is a break with tradition, a cultural turning point that is likely to be for Younger unimaginable. Because for 45 years, since Steven Spielberg's "jaws" in June 1975 in the American cinema, is one of the Blockbuster of the summer sun and holidays. With the at the time substantial number of the 400 copies distributed, the Distribution of "The white shark" the initial impetus to a fundamental change in the cinema business.

Two years later, it was then set up with George Lucas' "Star Wars" is definitively the new Frontier. There is no slow build-up of a movie, no "roll out", as was done before, with slightly higher stakes in the Christmas business, but a mass start, with more and more copies. Therefore, the term "Blockbuster", like the bomb that could be an entire Block in ashes lay. The movie theater business as we know it today, in this time of its origin. It was the "first weekend business", because a Film that does not meet the first weekend in spite of considerable Marketing expense in the financial expectations, is considered to have failed.

According to the costs for advertising and PR increased in the eighties, rapidly, it is the game of Poker, the best start date, and particularly what is called in the industry "vertical Integration": it was Sold not merely a Film, but a whole range of products, including so-called "Tie-ins" with an Almost-started-Food giant.

This mechanism leads to the need for the products resemble each other more. The investment that the big summer Blockbuster requires, requires, at the same time reducing risk. The transported up the slope to the formula, the Sequel, or Prequel, has been with the decades to be more pronounced. Which is not to say that it is not, despite all the criticism of the lack of imagination of the for some years the dominant superhero Franchises are also great films came out in the summer. In the annual performance review of the latest, greatest special effects also age-old motifs from the early days of cinema life: the longing for the never-before-seen image, the culture of the spectacle, the "cinema of attractions" (Tom Gunning).

Updated Date: 02 August 2020, 11:19

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