Here’s a thought, Hollywood: Stop making movies that depict the United States as the center of all evil in the world. American movie-goers don’t want to sit through two hours of Tommy Lee Jones in a film that depicts US troops as war criminals, or two hours of George Clooney portaying America as evil, or two hours of Matt Damon depicting America as evil.
People go see movies to be entertained, not banged over the head with ideology. Imagine that.
That might explain why Mr. Bean’s Holiday did surprisingly well in spite of the total lack of hype or marketing. It’s an entertaining film. Funny, even. Doesn’t get political, other than a quick swipe at narcissists in Hollywood. It just tries to tell a light story in a fun way.
So Hollywood’s in a major fight with apathy, not their own, but the movie-going public’s apathy toward the product that Hollywood is churning out. Who do the movie men blame?
Many film executives are convinced audiences stayed home to play Microsoft’s carpal-tunnel classic, “Halo 3,” which went on sale on Sept. 26. The game sold an astonishing $170 million worth of copies on its first day, before going on to sell well over $300 million…
For Microsoft, it’s no wonder video games, and in particular “Halo 3,” are competing with blockbusters for opening weekends. “We marketed it like a film,” said Josh Goldberg, a “Halo 3” product manager at Microsoft, adding, “and now, we’re just as big or bigger than film.” He said “Halo 3” was marketed as an event film in terms of its partnerships, with beverage, automotive, fast feeders and mobile-phone companies all joining up.
“The audience on this game is the 18-to-34 demographic, similar to what you’d see in cinemas,” said Mike Hickey, an analyst at Janco Partners, a Denver research firm, adding that “this could last for several weeks.”
There’s truth in all of that to some extent, and it’s true that entertainment is undergoing a paradigm shift away from one-way fare to more interactive choices and that shift doesn’t help the film industry. But here’s a little more truth. By the time a gamer springs for Halo 3 and the system to play it, he could have seen about 40 movies. He picked the game instead, because he thought it would be more entertaining even if it cost more.
And given most of the movies that are being made and promoted nowadays, he made a good choice.