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Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

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Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

Old 08-01-10, 08:57 AM
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Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

For the theater specifically. The last one i recall was Return of The King and Grindhouse. Are movie studios fearful of audience members not attending them anymore? I love a good 3 hour movie as long as the story is good enough to hold my interest.

Last edited by mhg83; 08-01-10 at 09:01 AM.
Old 08-01-10, 09:26 AM
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Re: Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

If the story dictates it, there will always be a handful of 3 hours theatrical releases... although, as with the last Twilight and Harry Potter movies, I can see people stretching out a potentially nice tightly edited 3 hour movie into a bloated 4 hour affair spanning two seperate releases in order to capitalize on the all mighty $$$$.
Old 08-01-10, 09:27 AM
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Re: Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

I don't think it's theaters that are the main concern; it's the cost of production for studios. Some of the biggest earners in recent years have been in the 2:30 range:

Avatar (162 minutes)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (151 minutes)
The Dark Knight (152 minutes)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (150 minutes)

What all four of those have in common is that they were Event Movies. The hype for Avatar was nearly unprecedented for a made-from-scratch project, and the other three were installments in very lucrative series. Because of all the CGI work that goes into these movies, and the competition for screens, these things are planned out well in advance with release dates. Let's say you're Warner Bros. and you've just given the green light to the next Batman movie. Suppose it turns out to be a clunker? It's unlikely, but would you rather be the executive who okay'd a 3-hour, bloated clunker or the one who kept the run time at 2:30-ish and gets blamed for "holding back" Nolan? The balance sheet says you take your lumps for the perception that the story "needed more time to be told."

What I don't think we'll ever see again is something like Ryan's Daughter, the 3 hour drama. Audiences might actually go for sitting in a theater for three hours without massive explosions and humanly impossible stunt work, but Hollywood isn't about to test those waters. If you've got a bunch of guys with weapons and British accents, we'll talk, but if they've just got the British accents, forget it.
Old 08-01-10, 09:46 AM
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Re: Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

King Kong was 3+ hours and performed decently enough
Old 08-01-10, 09:48 AM
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Re: Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

I'm all for longer movies as long as they're entertaining. The trend that I can't stand is for all these 84-88 minute movies studios are pumping out. I feel as if I've been cheated by production companies that can't/won't even make a 90 minute movie. I've even seen them 78 minutes, and it's like WTF?!? It has to be a pretty goddamned spectacular friggin' movie before I'll buy anything that's less than 90 minutes.

As far as 3 hour movies are concerned, I say the longer the better as long as they don't waste my time. -kd5-
Old 08-01-10, 09:49 AM
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Re: Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

Originally Posted by kd5
I'm all for longer movies as long as they're entertaining. The trend that I can't stand is for all these 84-88 minute movies studios are pumping out. I feel as if I've been cheated by production companies that can't/won't even make a 90 minute movie. I've even seen them 78 minutes, and it's like WTF?!? It has to be a pretty goddamned spectacular friggin' movie before I'll buy anything that's less than 90 minutes.

As far as 3 hour movies, I say the longer the better as long as they don't waste my time. -kd5-
Yeah, almost any movie less than 90 minutes isn't worth a ticket price as far as Im concerned.

I skipped watching Date Night in theaters due to that. But may end up renting it, as the Blu-Ray is 102 minutes long
Old 08-01-10, 10:06 AM
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Re: Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

I personally don't care about length. If a movie is amazing at 80 min, fine. The same with 3+ hours.
Old 08-01-10, 10:10 AM
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Re: Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

I like 100 minute movies. They're lean and mean. But it's true that Mrs Danger and I watch them at home, instead of spending $30 for tickets.

Dark Knight, Inception, and Avatar could have each been improved if they'd cut out 10-15 minutes of gunfights with nameless soldiers. But someone has decided that a tentpole movie has to run over 150 minutes. So the big movies bloat. I don't think I've seen a long movie fill out its runtime since Branaugh's Hamlet.
Old 08-01-10, 10:12 AM
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Re: Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

90 - 100 minutes for a comedy and 100 - 120 minutes for drama/action is more than enough for me. 3 hour plus movies require too much dedication and aren't nearly as rewatchable for me.
Old 08-01-10, 12:28 PM
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Re: Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

I prefer movies to be 2hrs long or less than that; 1hr 30mins.

Over 3hrs my balls start to itch.
Old 08-01-10, 12:48 PM
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Re: Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

Don't care about length as long as the movie is good.
The last time I saw a 3 hour film in the theater was Inland Empire and it was one hell of a ride.
Old 08-01-10, 12:49 PM
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Re: Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

Originally Posted by Gunde
I personally don't care about length. If a movie is amazing at 80 min, fine. The same with 3+ hours.
Old 08-01-10, 01:19 PM
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Re: Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

Originally Posted by Nick Danger
I like 100 minute movies. They're lean and mean. But it's true that Mrs Danger and I watch them at home, instead of spending $30 for tickets.

Dark Knight, Inception, and Avatar could have each been improved if they'd cut out 10-15 minutes of gunfights with nameless soldiers. But someone has decided that a tentpole movie has to run over 150 minutes. So the big movies bloat. I don't think I've seen a long movie fill out its runtime since Branaugh's Hamlet.
Had no idea Barry Sonnenfeld lurked here.
Old 08-01-10, 01:45 PM
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Re: Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

3 hours of the social network. Cannot wait.
Old 08-01-10, 02:28 PM
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Re: Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

I hope not. For $11+ a ticket I want Quality AND Quantity.
Old 08-01-10, 03:45 PM
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Re: Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt
3 hours of the social network. Cannot wait.
Yep, if we're getting a 3 hour movie about Facebook, they're hardly going extinct. End thread.
Old 08-01-10, 03:48 PM
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Re: Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

Originally Posted by MinLShaw
What I don't think we'll ever see again is something like Ryan's Daughter, the 3 hour drama. Audiences might actually go for sitting in a theater for three hours without massive explosions and humanly impossible stunt work, but Hollywood isn't about to test those waters. If you've got a bunch of guys with weapons and British accents, we'll talk, but if they've just got the British accents, forget it.
What about The Curious Case of Benjamin Button? It's 166 minutes, just 14 minutes short of the 3 hour mark. Other than the brief naval battle, it's a straight drama with all the effects work meant to be invisible a la Forrest Gump. It did pretty well at the box office ($333M global vs. a $160M budget) and was one of the big Oscar movies of 2008.

Anyone remember Hamlet from 1996, starring and directed by Kenneth Branagh? 242 minutes, or 4 hours and 3 minutes in glorious 70mm. The movie screenings even had an intermission.

Last edited by Defiant1; 08-01-10 at 03:51 PM.
Old 08-01-10, 04:23 PM
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Re: Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

Theaters are a factor, though. They can't flip audiences as often with a long movie.
Old 08-01-10, 04:34 PM
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Re: Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

Theaters hate three hour movies -- the longer the movie, the fewer screenings they can have per day, and the less revenue they'll take in. The success of LotR made theaters a little more willing to go with epic length movies, but as time goes on they become more and more reluctant to book them.
Old 08-01-10, 04:38 PM
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Re: Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

Originally Posted by davidh777
Theaters are a factor, though. They can't flip audiences as often with a long movie.
Of course, that's one of the reasons why blockbusters movies are now shown on so many screens, because everyone still wants to make as much money as possible. I think right now the average blockbuster gets at least three screens dedicated to it to increase the number of screenings. I remember when Spider-Man 3 first came out my theatre dedicated a whooping seven screens to it!
Old 08-01-10, 05:43 PM
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Re: Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara
Theaters hate three hour movies -- the longer the movie, the fewer screenings they can have per day, and the less revenue they'll take in. The success of LotR made theaters a little more willing to go with epic length movies, but as time goes on they become more and more reluctant to book them.
Projectionists love them. I remember in 2004, we had two or three 2+hour movies, it cuts the workday down quite a bit, it sucks building them and tearing them down but other than that I liked them.
I guess it depends on the movie, I can remember thinking Watchmen was a lot shorter then it really was because i was so into it.
Old 08-01-10, 05:46 PM
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Re: Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

Originally Posted by Tsung
Of course, that's one of the reasons why blockbusters movies are now shown on so many screens, because everyone still wants to make as much money as possible. I think right now the average blockbuster gets at least three screens dedicated to it to increase the number of screenings. I remember when Spider-Man 3 first came out my theatre dedicated a whooping seven screens to it!
We had a theater that specialized in stuff like West Side Story, Sound of Music, Doctor Zhivago, My Fair Lady, etc.. All would play for 6 months minimum. Sound of Music played for two years!
All the theaters were single screen back then and a James Bond movie would play to sold out crowds for 6-8 weeks. Also with less screens a lot of movies were drive-in exclusive. We had to go to the drive-in to see Dirty Dozen.
Old 08-01-10, 06:39 PM
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Re: Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

I never pay attention to the length of a movie. A movie might feel too long or too short, but the actual length doesn't factor into my enjoyment in any way.

Last edited by Draven; 08-01-10 at 06:43 PM.
Old 08-01-10, 09:01 PM
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Re: Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

Yep. A great film that happens to be long film flies by, meanwhile, a crappy shorter flick can seem to take forever.

Last edited by Giantrobo; 08-01-10 at 09:05 PM.
Old 08-02-10, 12:15 AM
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Re: Are 3 hour plus movies going extinct?

“No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough.” -- Roger Ebert

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