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How would you "fix" movies?

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How would you "fix" movies?

Old 06-09-24, 12:28 AM
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Re: How would you "fix" movies?

Originally Posted by Paff
While I enjoy geeking out on a good flat and scope presentation discussion, and know first hand that they're doing it incredibly lazily now all in the name of "automation", it's NOT the reason people are staying away from the cinemas. That's for damn sure.
It certainly can't be HELPING matters though, and it IS the main reason why I've given up on theaters for the most part. If they can't even properly mask the screen and instead show a movie letterboxed or with blank space on the sides, I don't go back to that theater. The 2.35 ratio was designed to compete with TV and be the most immersive format, so that should be the native ratio of any screen. Letterboxing should be seen at home, and no place else- it's a compromise which is preferable to cropping the picture but not the ideal way to show any movie (even when screens are properly masked on the top, the picture still appears smaller which defeats the format's purpose- it was said a while ago that "Die Hard should never appear smaller than Driving Miss Daisy.") The first IMAX documentary films were shot in a 4x3 frame, I don't know exactly why but they were, and feature films weren't shown on IMAX screens back then.
Old 06-09-24, 12:37 AM
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Re: How would you "fix" movies?

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee
The first IMAX documentary films were shot in a 4x3 frame, I don't know exactly why but they were, and feature films weren't shown on IMAX screens back then.
So they could be shown fully on SD TVs?
Old 06-09-24, 03:25 AM
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Re: How would you "fix" movies?

Originally Posted by orangerunner
It's interesting as I was watching the old Siskel & Ebert review of "Born on the Fourth of July" from 1989 and apparently at the request of Universal Pictures, Oliver Stone had to deliver a cut no longer than 135 minutes.

Here was a big budget Oscar contending bio-epic with the biggest movie star in the world and studio demanded nothing more than 135 minutes. I guess Oliver Stone was able to eventually negotiate and release a 145 minute cut. Yet less than fifteen years later, every bubble-gum tent-pole action film seemed to have a 140-180 minute run-time.
So you didn't enjoy 2.5 hours of Funny People?
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Old 06-09-24, 11:22 AM
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Re: How would you "fix" movies?

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee
The first IMAX documentary films were shot in a 4x3 frame, I don't know exactly why but they were.
At risk of beating a dead horse, if you look at the IMAX screen photo in the few posts above, you see a widescreen image projected onto a square IMAX screen. Wouldn't an audience feel more immersed with a 4:3 ratio image that covered the entire upper and lower end of the screen?
Old 06-09-24, 11:37 AM
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Re: How would you "fix" movies?

They would, but the screen shouldnít be that ratio in the first place. Donít even get me started on those so-called ďexpanded ratioĒ IMAX movies, those are a huge step backwards but should be shown that way everywhere if thatís how they were made.
Old 06-09-24, 12:34 PM
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Re: How would you "fix" movies?

I don't think there's really a right or wrong answer of what should be correct other than the filmmaker's original intention.

With cellphone cameras, everyone seems to film in a 9:16 ratio which I find incredibly awkward to watch. I guess the nature of how we hold a cellphone is ergonomically easier for users which gives us the widely accepted image ratio. I think the human eyes (or brain) sees things more naturally in a panoramic way given that our eyes are set side-by-side. If the human eyes were set one on top of the other, maybe the cellphone ratio would appear more natural?

We've been conditioned to feel 4:3 full screen is old and inferior to widescreen. While I prefer the widescreen look I also appreciate that not everything I watch should conform to this.

Last edited by orangerunner; 06-09-24 at 02:16 PM.
Old 06-09-24, 12:49 PM
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Re: How would you "fix" movies?

+1 for more practical effects and real location shots and less greenscreening everything.
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Old 06-09-24, 02:21 PM
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Re: How would you "fix" movies?

Movies can be shot in any ratio, but 2.35 should be the native ratio of the screens in theaters.

Another one- no more post-converted 3D. If itís in 3D, it should be shot in true 2-image 3D and thatís the only way it should be presented in theaters and with no upcharge.
Old 06-09-24, 05:48 PM
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Re: How would you "fix" movies?

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee
Movies can be shot in any ratio, but 2.35 should be the native ratio of the screens in theaters.

Another one- no more post-converted 3D. If itís in 3D, it should be shot in true 2-image 3D and thatís the only way it should be presented in theaters and with no upcharge.
Then say goodbye to 3D.
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Old 06-09-24, 06:55 PM
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Re: How would you "fix" movies?

Originally Posted by rocket1312
Then say goodbye to 3D.
Gladly - what a waste of everyone's time and energy.

And then in like 30 years, they'll try it again. And it'll be terrible again.
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Old 06-09-24, 07:15 PM
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Re: How would you "fix" movies?

3D is fun. Gimmicky but fun.
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Old 06-09-24, 09:49 PM
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Re: How would you "fix" movies?

I just saw an article, "Top 10 horror movies that should have gotten a theatrical release", something like that, and it was about a lot of straight-to-video horror that the reviewer felt would have succeeded in a theatrical release. OK, maybe. But the one that jumped out at me, and I don't know if this was in the discussion thread of the particular film itself, was Prey, the entry in the Predator franchise. Apparently (and again, as I'm not a fan of the Predator films this all flew under my radar), Disney wanted to prove that the Hulu service was viable.

So I'm wondering if this is all a losing battle, if the studios themselves are not interested in theatrical box office returns. Their intention is to keep us away from the theaters and they're doing a bang-up job.
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Old 06-09-24, 10:09 PM
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Re: How would you "fix" movies?

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee
It certainly can't be HELPING matters though, and it IS the main reason why I've given up on theaters for the most part. If they can't even properly mask the screen and instead show a movie letterboxed or with blank space on the sides, I don't go back to that theater. The 2.35 ratio was designed to compete with TV and be the most immersive format, so that should be the native ratio of any screen. Letterboxing should be seen at home, and no place else- it's a compromise which is preferable to cropping the picture but not the ideal way to show any movie (even when screens are properly masked on the top, the picture still appears smaller which defeats the format's purpose- it was said a while ago that "Die Hard should never appear smaller than Driving Miss Daisy.") The first IMAX documentary films were shot in a 4x3 frame, I don't know exactly why but they were, and feature films weren't shown on IMAX screens back then.
You really need to get out of your own head here, Alan, and into the real world. That's harsh, sorry, but it's true. Theaters, heck business in general, caters to the masses, and the masses don't care about things like this. Should they? Yes. But they don't.

To use a cinematic example (is that irony? I don't know), did you see Sideways? Great movie. Remember the scene where Paul Giamatti is explaining to Thomas Haden Church the "proper" way to appreciate the wine, and Church just looks at him annoyed and downs the wine when Giamatti is done with his rant. The world is full of Thomas Haden Churchs, and we're a distinct minority of Paul Giamattis. Consume the most. Quantity over quality.

Theaters are being constructed in such a way that scope films and flat films have the same width. I 100% agree with you that that is wrong, and that scope should be wider horizontally, not narrower vertically. It's supposed to provide more of an image, and instead it presents less. But they're trying to press as many theaters into a smaller space, and that's the way to do it. It's worldwide, too. At my film festival, I've been noticing that many of the Chinese films with lavish visuals are now in the flat ratio. They always used to be scope. And I was told it's because China is similarly building narrower theaters to maximize space, and filmmakers there don't want to see their work smaller when it should be the opposite.

You don't go to the theaters that do this, and only patronize the ones with proper presentation. Good. But have you noticed recently that the theaters with proper presentation (I.E., older) are getting more and more run down, while all the masses flock to the newer screens? You don't have to be a genius to see what way this is all going, and it's not about to change. In the 70s, there was a lot of "twinning" the big rooms into two smaller ones. They're not gonna start doing the opposite, tearing down the walls in adjacent rooms so there can finally be a true "widescreen" for scope movies. Not gonna happen, and you need to work that through your head.
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Old 06-09-24, 10:46 PM
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Re: How would you "fix" movies?

Although I agree that constant height and proper masking are the ideal for screening rooms that show both scope and flat movies (unless you are dealing with IMAX which should have the same width as a scope image), I am surprised most screens don't adhere to a 1.90:1 aspect ratio. It still requires proper masking but makes sure that scope films are indeed wider than their flat counterparts, even if neither results in a "bigger" image.


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Old 06-09-24, 10:52 PM
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Re: How would you "fix" movies?

Originally Posted by Paff
I just saw an article, "Top 10 horror movies that should have gotten a theatrical release", something like that, and it was about a lot of straight-to-video horror that the reviewer felt would have succeeded in a theatrical release. OK, maybe. But the one that jumped out at me, and I don't know if this was in the discussion thread of the particular film itself, was Prey, the entry in the Predator franchise. Apparently (and again, as I'm not a fan of the Predator films this all flew under my radar), Disney wanted to prove that the Hulu service was viable.

So I'm wondering if this is all a losing battle, if the studios themselves are not interested in theatrical box office returns. Their intention is to keep us away from the theaters and they're doing a bang-up job.
Hollywood mostly believes regularly recurring streaming revenue will be their primary income within 5-10 years, if not sooner. So yes, they are willing to sacrifice their current box office at the chance of ensuring they are one of the last streaming outlets standing in that time frame.

The industry doesn't believe there's room in the marketplace for more than 4-5 primary streaming outlets carrying their content. It's fairly easy assuming Apple and Amazon will survive given their revenues outside the business, but who else will survive the implosion?
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Old 06-09-24, 11:39 PM
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Re: How would you "fix" movies?

Originally Posted by Paff
So I'm wondering if this is all a losing battle, if the studios themselves are not interested in theatrical box office returns. Their intention is to keep us away from the theaters and they're doing a bang-up job.
The studios have always had an issue with sharing their profits with theatre chain owners. If they can somehow manage to shift the masses to their streaming model, they can control the content and keep all of the revenue for themselves.

I believe there have been anti-trust laws dating back to the forties which do not allow studios to own theatre chains. I have also read they have dropped those laws recently but I don't think studios are suddenly going to start building theatres when there are too many already.


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Old 06-10-24, 01:27 AM
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Re: How would you "fix" movies?

Originally Posted by Paff
I just saw an article, "Top 10 horror movies that should have gotten a theatrical release", something like that, and it was about a lot of straight-to-video horror that the reviewer felt would have succeeded in a theatrical release. OK, maybe. But the one that jumped out at me, and I don't know if this was in the discussion thread of the particular film itself, was Prey, the entry in the Predator franchise. Apparently (and again, as I'm not a fan of the Predator films this all flew under my radar), Disney wanted to prove that the Hulu service was viable.

So I'm wondering if this is all a losing battle, if the studios themselves are not interested in theatrical box office returns. Their intention is to keep us away from the theaters and they're doing a bang-up job.
I'm sure that you can't substitute a successful theatrical run. There's so much revenue to be made in a relatively short time window, which can't be made on a streamer. The people are already playing for the service and you won't get so half a billion dollars worth in new subscriptions for a new movie.
Streamers succeed over quantity not one particular movie, it replaces buying a disc or renting a movie, but killing the theaters would be terriblely stupid.
In fact they should go back to longer exclusive release windows, even if a movie bombs at the boxoffice.
Old 06-10-24, 01:00 PM
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Re: How would you "fix" movies?

True, but as orangerunner points out, they're no longer sharing the revenue with the theaters. It may be a smaller per-movie profit, but 100% of it is going back into their own pockets. How many time do you hear about some blockbuster film that made billions of dollars, but the studio actually lost money once you factor in what they spent in advertising and promotion? Not to mention the flops too

If they're receiving a positive cash flow no matter how well the movie does, that might be a better overall take as a studio, instead of hoping every movie you put out is The Avengers.
Old 06-10-24, 04:25 PM
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Re: How would you "fix" movies?

Originally Posted by Paff
True, but as orangerunner points out, they're no longer sharing the revenue with the theaters. It may be a smaller per-movie profit, but 100% of it is going back into their own pockets. How many time do you hear about some blockbuster film that made billions of dollars, but the studio actually lost money once you factor in what they spent in advertising and promotion? Not to mention the flops too

If they're receiving a positive cash flow no matter how well the movie does, that might be a better overall take as a studio, instead of hoping every movie you put out is The Avengers.
But they show the movies on their own services anyway, just later and a streamer is all about recurring business. I'd say on a streamer every movie is a money loser in the short term. If a new MCU movie is released on Disney+ it's a big thing, regardless following the theatrical release. And if the movie is really good and well received a longer gap between the theatrical window and the streamer premiere could be marketed way better than "watch the movie for free you didn't want to see three weeks ago".
Old 06-11-24, 12:41 PM
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Re: How would you "fix" movies?

Originally Posted by Abob Teff
I had to laugh at this, as it is essentially the same as "line item billing" for utilities. That charge was always there, it just wasn't broken out.

Those people and those costs were always there. They just weren't included in the credits until recent modern times. Sure, some of the jobs are new (all the digital VFX stuff), but caterers, executives, secretaries, and assistants to the regional manager didn't used to get credits.
There's some truth in that, but in terms of spiralling budgets, it absolutely must matter not that people are credited, but how many are 'needed'.

Originally Posted by Runaway
Black Widow's budget was nearly threetimes higher then Venom and it's basically a movie about a spy. Of course the latest Mission: Impossible movies had ballooning budgets as well.
I'm pretty sure a lot of the money is just wasted becaucse they do have the money and it's not spent intellegently. The movie has three credited writers, neither was expierenced all of them got paid and the finished script is as average as it can be and if the studio wasted money like that in every department of the movie, it's is no suprise a movie that should cost between 100 and 150M costs 289M...
Whether or not it's a positive thing, a lot of older films had script consultants that may or may not have been paid - but certainly weren't paid the same as the 'main' writer.

While spending a million dollars on uncredited VFX artists is the same as spending a million dollars on credited VFX artists, it surely matters that the contracted VFX studio has a thousand workers working on a film vs. one that has a hundred workers doing the work: uness thaose hundred are paid ten times as much as their counterparts, paying 100 people's wages is cheaper than paying a thousand.
Old 06-11-24, 12:44 PM
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Re: How would you "fix" movies?

Originally Posted by Abob Teff
...bring back theatrical experiences such as re-releasing older films and playing double-features when sequels come out (why was Fury Road not re-released on IMAX before Furiosa released . . . especially when we are needing product on screens?).
I've noticed that happening a lot more in the last five+ years than I can remember from a decade ago.
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Old 06-11-24, 12:47 PM
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Re: How would you "fix" movies?

There may indeed come a day when studios don't need theaters, and they certainly are trying to prepare for that day, but I don't see it happening any time soon.

A ton of business is done because of FOMO... otherwise nobody would see movies on opening day. Take that away and you put a stake in the industry, I think. Not to mention that to make something stand out on streaming they STILL will have to pump a ton of money into promotion.
Old 06-11-24, 02:51 PM
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Re: How would you "fix" movies?

Originally Posted by fujishig
There may indeed come a day when studios don't need theaters, and they certainly are trying to prepare for that day, but I don't see it happening any time soon.

A ton of business is done because of FOMO... otherwise nobody would see movies on opening day. Take that away and you put a stake in the industry, I think. Not to mention that to make something stand out on streaming they STILL will have to pump a ton of money into promotion.
It's hard to say which way the wind will blow. For 100+ years we've associated movies with movie theatres. Movies have always attracted the biggest stars, the best directors, writers and technical experts but we've seen that change slowly since maybe the The Sopranos aired.

The only way the studios could possibly continue to make $200 million films without the need for movie theatres would be to charge $15 pay-per-view and give access to every country in the world and hope it doesn't get pirated(!). I don't think they will be able to put these expensive films in the all-you-can-watch mix and rely solely on subscription growth and prefabricated stock market evaluations to float these budgets.

The cache of "I saw it first" probably isn't as compelling as it used to be as every big movie just seems to be insignificant and forgettable. If you lament that you saw "Goodfellas" or "Dazed and Confused" in a movie theatre when they were first released, people tend to comment "That's cool". Saying "I saw Avengers Infinity War on Day One!" probably won't resonate years from now.
Old 06-11-24, 02:58 PM
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Re: How would you "fix" movies?

Originally Posted by ntnon
I've noticed that happening a lot more in the last five+ years than I can remember from a decade ago.
Weather its through Fathom Events or the Movie studios themselves I think putting older movies back into theaters should become more and more a part of theaters schedules. It's really a win win for everyone and the only thing that might cost the studios some money is a little bit of marketing on social media.
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Old 06-12-24, 02:08 AM
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Re: How would you "fix" movies?

Originally Posted by BobO'Link
Lengthen the window between theatrical and streaming/physical distribution to no less than 6 months *after* the movie has left the theater (don't tie it to the first presentation date, but the *last* nationwide presentation date).
Honestly, that won't make a difference given the amount of content readily available to audiences.

Pandora's Box was pretty much opened during the pandemic and audiences have a number of alternatives to choose from thanks to streaming and content creators that exist worldwide.

Do you think a family of 4 ( especially with small children) will make it priority #1 to rush to a theater to catch Moana 2 or Toy Story 5 because they're dreading the 6-month window to be able to watch it a home for less than $20???

I think not.
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