Are movies becoming diluted? Discuss the decline in cinema

After the success of Avatar, the studios are throwing all of their eggs into the 3D basket. Even films that weren’t originally conceptualized in 3D are getting the post-treatment – After all, if the studios feel they can squeeze an extra $4 per ticket, it’s a no-brainer. But will the trend last?

Clash of the Titans is a recent example of a film that got the “treatment” after the fact, and though I enjoyed the movie, by all accounts, the 3D element ruined the picture. I opted to view the film in 2D – this whole 3D thing gives me a headache. Michael Bay is rumored to be fighting the studios, who want to 3D-is Transformers 3 after the fact. According to Bay, the process just isn’t up to snuff, and costs way too much – about $30 Million for a typical blockbuster.

What happened to music is now happening to movies – DVD sales are declining, more and more online content is available, and it is becoming harder for content producers to monetize their creations. Unlike the music industry, where a band can tour to generate revenue or license songs for commercial content, movies can’t do that. And the industry has only helped devalue itself by offering $5 DVDs. Sure, that’s great for the consumer in the short run… but what happens long term?

Take the typical studio film… $100 Million to produce, and easily $100 Million to market. DVDs can be replicated for $1, sold to the wholesaler for $2, then into the retailer for $2.50, and the consumer for $5. That’s a $1 profit per DVD. Say the film is a success, taking in $200 Million at the Box Office… well, half is going to the theater chain, the other to the studio. That still leaves a $100 Million shortfall to be made up on DVD, Blu-Ray and PPV/VOD. That’s a lot of DVDs to sell in a declining market.

So what does all this mean? Fewer movies, for sure, though the ones that do get made will likely have to be better quality.

Cinema houses and other exhibition centers were finally shut down in the early 80’s. The 1992 rise of Ken Nebula’s “Living in bondage” brought forth the Home video industry a.k.A Nollywood, though it was debunked by late prince Alade Araomire who insisted that his movies paved the way for the industry. Nollywood, blossomed over the years with the telling of our stories, projecting our lifestyle, culture, local fashion, burning issues and problems affecting our society. However, the presence of over flogged themes and trippy plots, flawed scripts, choppy editing, high predictability rate, formulaic movies amongst others, have added to the declining rate at which home videos are purchased and watched. Home video thrived in the 90’s and early millennium. Foreign movies were still patronized by those who were tired of the lackluster performances seen in home videos.

The cinematic culture was resurrected through the establishment of the Silver bird galleria (which houses the cinema) by the chairman of the Silver bird group (Ben Murray Bruce). At first, people thought it was a flash in the pan judging from the fall of yesteryears, but over time the Galleria has played host to thousands of movie enthusiasts through its release of latest movies(dominantly Hollywood). The Galleria capitalizes on its synergy (silver bird TV and rhythm 93.7fm radio station) and of course movie listings on Friday Vanguard and The Sunday edition of the Nation newspapers. Nollywood movies have also been accorded the same opportunity to be viewed by all.