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Rating High on Hollywood's List: Immature Audiences
Washington Post ^ | August 23, 2009 | Ann Hornaday

Posted on 08/25/2009 7:17:53 AM PDT by Bean74

If 2009 is remembered for anything in American cinema, it might be as the year grown-ups and Hollywood finally agreed to call it quits.

This is the year when such slick, star-driven, adult-oriented movies as "State of Play," "Duplicity," "The International" and "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3" underperformed at the box office. And when talking-toy movies like "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" and "G.I. Joe" raked in millions.

Suddenly, movies for grown-ups are in the cross hairs. "I'm caught up all in it," Spike Lee said recently with a rueful laugh, noting that the sequel to his 2006 thriller "Inside Man" is hanging in the balance. "I'm waiting on Universal," he said.

As it happens, Universal is the studio that has come to symbolize the current plight of movies for adults, having released both "Duplicity" and "State of Play," as well as "The Soloist" and "Funny People," considered box-office disappointments. Last week, Universal Co-chairman Marc Shmuger told the Los Angeles Times that 2009 "has certainly been a humbling year. First, there's a real need to be making movies for less money. Second, there's a real premium on sharper, more marketable concepts. Audiences are clearly seeking escape from their lives."

Translation: Hello, "Paul Blart." Sayonara, "Frost/Nixon."

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Arts/Photography; TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: boxoffice; hollywood; maturity; movies

1 posted on 08/25/2009 7:17:53 AM PDT by Bean74
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To: Bean74

The best adult fare is on cable TV right now. Why put up with audiences who talk throughout the film and answer their cell phones?


2 posted on 08/25/2009 7:20:10 AM PDT by CaptainK (...please make it stop. Shake a can of pennies at it.)
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To: CaptainK

“The best adult fare is on cable TV right now. Why put up with audiences who talk throughout the film and answer their cell phones?”

AMC isn’t bad, but I’ve seen all 6 of their movies.


3 posted on 08/25/2009 7:25:06 AM PDT by brownsfan (The public schools and the SRM, they are killing us.)
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To: Bean74
Well, if Hollywood made GOOD adult movies it wouldn't be an issue but who wants to to see crap. And the "immature" movies are just plain fun.
4 posted on 08/25/2009 7:26:08 AM PDT by svcw (Legalism reinforces self-righteousness - it communicates to you the good news of your own goodness)
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To: Bean74
Huh? Was State Of Play supposed to be a box office blockbuster? Seriously? Round up the whole family and watch Russel Crowe type for 2 hours?

As hard as it might be for someone who works for the media to believe, most Americans aren't going to line up around the block to watch a reporter movie.

Taking Of Pelham 123 was a standard action flick, with no characters anyone had ever heard of unless they watched the 1970's original.

GI Joe and Transformers were standard action flicks with characters that were beloved by millions of kids in the 1980's. Those kids are now in their 30's and have families of their own.
5 posted on 08/25/2009 7:27:16 AM PDT by VisualizeSmallerGovernment (This Little Piggie Gets Wee Wee'd Up All The Way Home)
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To: Bean74
Here is a solution:

Make more remakes of the classics, and more anti-war/anti-American movies. Those have been such rousing successes.

[/s]

6 posted on 08/25/2009 7:29:44 AM PDT by TomGuy
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To: Bean74
It costs me $45 to take my wife to a matinee and get 2 medium popcorns and soft drinks.
When I finally see all these new movies on satellite, I rarely see one that would have justified that expenditure.
7 posted on 08/25/2009 7:30:10 AM PDT by Malone LaVeigh
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To: brownsfan
AMC isn’t bad, but I’ve seen all 6 of their movies.

FX will be showing Independence Day. If not them, then TNT. If not them, then A&E.

If you miss it, just wait until Men in Black finishes its cycle. Then Independence Day will cycle through the cable channels, again.
8 posted on 08/25/2009 7:32:23 AM PDT by TomGuy
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To: Bean74
“The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3” underperformed...

No kidding. Take a classic movie with a sterling cast and remake it with John Travolta?

Not even Denzel Washington could save that one.

9 posted on 08/25/2009 7:33:12 AM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: Bean74

Who wants to watch a bunch of arrogant celebrities spout off their socialist tripe at the audience for two hours? I have no faith that Hollywood can produce an adult movie with serious themes that doesn’t insult my intelligence. Mindless entertainment is all they’re capable of delivering, why should I look to them for anything else?


10 posted on 08/25/2009 7:35:53 AM PDT by eclecticEel (The Most High rules in the kingdom of men ... and sets over it the basest of men.)
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To: TomGuy

“FX will be showing Independence Day. If not them, then TNT. If not them, then A&E.”

The only channel that shows any variety of movies is TCM. Unfortunately, they don’t always show “talkies”. And when they do show “talkies”, they aren’t far removed from the silent film era.

I’m not a big movie watcher, but there are LOTS of movies I never saw, or would watch again if they were show. Is there some kind of problem that a channel can’t show a real variety?


11 posted on 08/25/2009 7:37:16 AM PDT by brownsfan (The public schools and the SRM, they are killing us.)
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To: Bean74
The reason why "grown-up" movies fare poorly at the box office is simple. Older adults who enjoy movies, like me, wait for the DVD and watch it from the comfort of my La-Z-Boy on my high-def flat screen home theater surround-sound system.

That's why I bought all that crap in the first place!

Theater experience can't compare to the comfort of my own home. That's why the only people going to the cinema are teenagers and 20-somethings on dates. And that's why movies geared towards them are the only ones that make any money at the box office! It's that simple.

12 posted on 08/25/2009 7:40:03 AM PDT by Drew68
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To: Bean74

The trend has been pretty clear for the last 10 to 15 years. You’re getting junk summer hits like ‘Transformers’ and good ‘smaller’ films like ‘Juno’, but there’s not a lot in between that’s aimed at adults. What we’re seeing less and less of is films like ‘The Godfather’ or ‘Chinatown’, i.e. ‘big’ films aimed at adults.

I like smaller films like ‘Juno’ or ‘Little Miss Sunshine’, but the days when the studios were willing to invest in well written ‘big’ adult dramas are fading (and have been for a while).


13 posted on 08/25/2009 7:40:50 AM PDT by Stevenc131
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To: Bean74
With 900 cable channels, NetFlix, and the internet, people can see any movie anytime they want. They need a special event to justify going to see a movie on the giant screen with the booming sound system.

When you charge $10 per ticket, $6 for a soda, and $8 for popcorn, you better be putting up something eye-popping on the screen.

Nobody's going to shell out those big bucks to see something like "The Soloist" - about a homeless violin player - unless you let him shoot lava out of his eyes and and launch him into an intergalactic space battle.

Quiet, understated, reflective movies are perfect for sitting at home and watching on the television. The big screen is for blowing big things up.

14 posted on 08/25/2009 7:43:39 AM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: CaptainK

Where do you live, NYC?


15 posted on 08/25/2009 7:44:54 AM PDT by Boiling Pots (Evil-Mongering Angry Mobster)
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To: brownsfan
there are LOTS of movies I never saw, or would watch again if they were show. Is there some kind of problem that a channel can’t show a real variety?

I grew up in a world of 3 networks with up to 5 broadcast TV stations in several geographic area from the 1950s to through 1970s.

Weekends and after 10 p.m., several of them showed old movies. Now, most of the late night/early a.m. is infomercials.

Now, even with about 80 cable channels, it is difficult to find anything 'different'. The venue of movies from month to month varies only slightly, as they cycle through the same dozen or so movies.

As websites like Hulu increase their holdings, I find myself viewing more and more old TV series and movies via Hulu/Fancast/Veoh. They have a better selection than even Cox Cable On Demand.


16 posted on 08/25/2009 7:47:07 AM PDT by TomGuy
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To: Bean74

The ONLY Hollywood movie that I have seen w/in the past 5 years was “Valkare(sp?)”


17 posted on 08/25/2009 7:48:45 AM PDT by US Navy Vet
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To: dead
The big screen is for blowing big things up.

Agree.

After watching 15 minutes or so of one of those psychological allot-of-talk-little-action 'thrillers', I am sitting there thinking, blow something up! I want some action! Blood and booms!
18 posted on 08/25/2009 7:51:48 AM PDT by TomGuy
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To: Bean74

Hollywood has forgotten how to tell a story. A story has a sympathic character, someone everyone can relate to. A story that invokes thought, maybe involves some personal ethics and personal responsibilty. This is not a license to preach Hollywood values; the movies that have attempted this have failed, miserabley (hello, Sean Penn).

The Count of Monte’ Cristo, Mister Roberts, Swiss Family Robinson, Toy Story and just about any Pixar movie before WALL-E.

The movie that is doing very well today is District 9. Why? Because it does NOT have hollywood stars, but does have character development and origional thought. It is not a rip-off of every alien movie ever made; and it is making money.

In short, Pro-America, pro-freedom, pro-democracy, be origional, create characters who people can relate to and create a story that is compelling. Don’t be afraid of offending the bad guys (Hint: there aren’t too many Nazi’s running around; but we do have a plethoa of terrorists andj people who think nothing of cutting the heads off innocent people in the name of their God).

The old formula’s in Hollywood aren’t working, are they?


19 posted on 08/25/2009 7:56:15 AM PDT by Hodar (Who needs laws .... when this "feels" so right?)
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To: Drew68

Add to that the fact that it’s cheaper to buy the DVD than to pay for 2 movie tickets and the fact that the “theater experience” has steadily gone downhill for years (let’s pay $20 to watch irritating commercials for 15+ minutes before the show!) and yeah, it’s no surprise the grown-ups prefer to watch at home on their own schedule even if that means waiting a few months.


20 posted on 08/25/2009 7:57:32 AM PDT by AustinBill (consequence is what makes our choices real)
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To: TomGuy

When my wife stops at the red box DVD rental thing, she gets a movie she likes, and a 2nd one in which “stuff blows up” for me, the Neaderthal. Sometimes she calls me from the box while looking at titles, and says “oh, you’ll like this one. Stuff blows up”.


21 posted on 08/25/2009 7:58:45 AM PDT by I Buried My Guns
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To: eclecticEel

Add to that a growing trend of taking gratuitous - and completely senseless - swipes at Republicans at every opportunity.

Saw “The Time Traveler’s Wife” two weeks ago; the Eric Bana character is eventually accidentally shot by the wife’s father, a man introduced as “a Republican who hunts”.

Saw “Julie and Julia” last Friday, and there’s a scene where she gets chastised by her boss for falsely calling in sick. The boss says she should appreciate his leniency, because “if I was a Republican I would have fired you”.

They’re showing trailers for an upcoming Sarah Jessica Parker movie where she ends up in Montana in the witness protection program; Mary Steenbergen, playing local law enforcement, picks up a rifle; Sarah Jessica Parker gasps “It’s Sarah Palin!!”

Face it, anti-Republican bigotry is the only bigotry allowed in this country...and it is pursued with smug vengeance.


22 posted on 08/25/2009 8:01:01 AM PDT by LizzyD
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To: Bean74

When you go to a movie and you know that the people starring in that movie are all liberal cowards who wouldnt dream of serving the United States in the military and yet they are playing super-heroes it takes a lot out of the movie. It;s a bit like knowing Rock Hudson would rather be bent over getting hit from behind than making love to Doris Day. It just kind of spoils the effect.

Rock was lucky, he kept his secret long enough to get rich.


23 posted on 08/25/2009 8:01:24 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: TomGuy

If you get tired of re-run movies, don’t complain. You can go to the History Channel and watch “Ice Road Truckers” on 24/7. Or at least that’s how it seems.

parsy, who has seen that shot from under the ice about 10 million times


24 posted on 08/25/2009 8:10:37 AM PDT by parsifal (Dare I mention the term common sense? Book of Vinnie - Chapter 58 Verse 1 (The Boomer Bible))
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To: AustinBill

Went to see Julia last week. Funniest movie I have seen in a long time. Have had some trouble getting tickets as it has been sold out for most of the last three weeks. Interestingly, there were as many guys there as women! Don’t know why Hollywood hasn’t figured it out yet - if it’s a really good movie, people will see it. Did have to sit through about half an hour of commercials and ads for upcoming movies only one of which I would consider seeing. Rest would contribute nothing to anyone’s life.


25 posted on 08/25/2009 8:21:39 AM PDT by Grams A (The Sun will rise in the East in the morning and God is still on his throne.)
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To: Boiling Pots

Why do you want to know?


26 posted on 08/25/2009 8:25:43 AM PDT by CaptainK (...please make it stop. Shake a can of pennies at it.)
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To: dead
Nobody's going to shell out those big bucks to see something like "The Soloist" - about a homeless violin player - unless you let him shoot lava out of his eyes and and launch him into an intergalactic space battle.

Reminds me of a truth stated on "3rd Rock from the Sun" over 10 years ago:

"I'm not spending $8 on a movie ticket to watch an alien play with a puppy. For that price, he better eat it."

27 posted on 08/25/2009 8:30:24 AM PDT by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: Stevenc131

I don’t really think they’re fading. It’s the schedule. The “big” adult pictures are also generally considered Oscar contenders, Oscar contenders try to release very late so they’ll be “fresh” in voters minds coming vote time. So they mostly get a wide release in December or a limited release in December (gotta be on a certain number of screens by Dec 31 to be eligible) with wide in January. “Adult” movies released in March and April are dump zone movies, things they didn’t think would do that well but they made them so they might as well juice some money out of them and hope the focus groups are wrong.


28 posted on 08/25/2009 8:31:58 AM PDT by discostu (Somehow mister reliable was not where he was supposed to be)
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To: TomGuy

I grew up in the Boston area with 5 brodcast channels.
I used to love the late movies they showed.
One of my favorites was “The Movie Loft” hosted by Dana Hersey on channel 38 late night.


29 posted on 08/25/2009 8:36:52 AM PDT by mowowie
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To: Bean74
"....Audiences are clearly seeking escape from their lives."

Or escape from left-wing propaganda.

I think people have learned the lesson that, in Hollywood-ese, "serious" and "grown-up" = a 2-hour political lecture.

30 posted on 08/25/2009 8:38:46 AM PDT by denydenydeny ("I'm sure this goes against everything you've been taught, but right and wrong do exist"-Dr House)
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To: AustinBill
Add to that the fact that it’s cheaper to buy the DVD than to pay for 2 movie tickets and the fact that the “theater experience” has steadily gone downhill for years

Hollywood needs to figure this out. Home theater systems have not only become capable of delivering very high quality picture and audio, but they've become affordable enough to slowly find their way into an increasing number of American living rooms.

Twenty years ago you rented a "pan and scan" VHS tape eight months after the movie left the theaters and watched it from your "big screen" 19" tube TV with one speaker. Twenty years ago nobody talked on cell phones in the theater and the movie was shown after two or three previews (which were just as entertaining to watch). Going to the cinema was a much more enjoyable experience. Not so today.

If I was a studio exec, I'd release the movie on DVD the following Tuesday after opening weekend while there was still a lot of buzz. The DVD would be released two-tiered; there would be the 2-3 disc box set with all the bells and whistles, extras, making of's, cast and crew commentaries, etc. priced to buy and sold at retail stores and then there would be the "movie only" DVD produced for the rental market.

Hollywood needs to understand that there are many adults like ourselves who still enjoy movies but simply aren't going to be persuaded to return to the theaters to experience them.

31 posted on 08/25/2009 8:40:23 AM PDT by Drew68
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To: LizzyD
Saw “The Time Traveler’s Wife” two weeks ago...

"Spoiler Warning" next time, please. Just as a courtesy to some of us that would like to see the film.

32 posted on 08/25/2009 8:42:45 AM PDT by Drew68
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To: CaptainK

To know what parts of the country one is more likely to encounter people talking on cel phones in movies. I don’t seem to run into that problem in WNC.


33 posted on 08/25/2009 9:14:38 AM PDT by Boiling Pots (Evil-Mongering Angry Mobster)
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To: Drew68

I have never been in a theatre where someone talked on their cell phone and I go to see a lot of movies.


34 posted on 08/25/2009 9:20:24 AM PDT by Durus (The People have abdicated our duties and anxiously hopes for just two things, "Bread and Circuses")
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To: Boiling Pots; Drew68
Here in NYC, you basically know which theatres to avoid that attract a certain crowd of "yutes." Even though my local Regal Cinema in Queens occasionally attracts some rambunctious yutes they 1. Don't exactly attend the movies as I do and 2. security is quite militant about throwing people out.

Again, I rarely attend "blockbusters" and "action movies", but on the rare occassions when I do (ie Star Trek or the Star Wars saga), I choose a theater with a more upscale clientele.

35 posted on 08/25/2009 9:24:30 AM PDT by Clemenza (Remember our Korean War Veterans)
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To: Durus
I have never been in a theatre where someone talked on their cell phone and I go to see a lot of movies.

Must be the neighborhood. I've encountered it many times back when I used to go to movies in the theater which ended about 5 or 6 years ago. Now the only person talking on a cell phone during a movie is me (while the DVD is paused, naturally).

36 posted on 08/25/2009 9:27:36 AM PDT by Drew68
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To: Drew68

Sorry... :-( ....wouldn’t really recommend it, tho...Rachel McAdams is adorable, but the story is so silly.


37 posted on 08/25/2009 10:32:39 AM PDT by LizzyD
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To: Bean74

Ummm. Last I checked “Julie and Julia” did pretty well.


38 posted on 08/25/2009 10:59:33 AM PDT by Little Ray (Obama is a kamikaze president aimed at the heart of this Republic.)
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To: LizzyD
Sorry...

It's alright. Most Hollywood fare is so predictable and formulaic these days, I probably would've guessed the ending ten minutes into the film.

39 posted on 08/25/2009 11:03:02 AM PDT by Drew68
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To: parsifal
I liked “Ice Road Truckers” at first but the constant suspense over nothing gets old after a while. I'll pass from now on.

Remember when the History Channel used to be known as the “War Channel ( or WWW II )?” I miss that. Guts and Glory Sunday was a must watch for me.

I think the lesser programming choices has to do with dilution as more and more digital channels get added all of the time. My neighbor almost screams conspiracy as basic cable prices go up and some channels are sent to digital cable.

40 posted on 08/25/2009 11:22:51 AM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult (The man who said "there's no such thing as a stupid question" has never talked to Helen Thomas.)
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To: LizzyD; Drew68
Mary Steenbergen, playing local law enforcement, picks up a rifle; Sarah Jessica Parker gasps “It’s Sarah Palin!!”

Where upon the actor playing Parker's husband pushes her face first into the mud shouting, "Where?, Where!?!?"

No spoiler alert required as this is what we all know would happen!

41 posted on 08/25/2009 11:28:39 AM PDT by Eaker (If you have a problem and If explosives are an option then explosives are THE answer.)
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To: Hillarys Gate Cult

It is a capitalist pig conspiracy. It is the cable company’s plan to put the most desirable channels on a higher tier so you have to pay more to see them. Even though you have to suffer thru more darn repetitive commercials than you should.

I think gov’t needs to mandate:

1) No repeat commercials within the same show.

2) No pop up ads on a show. (Causes ADD in adults and children)

3) Force providers to regulate volume so they are not twice as high during commercials

4) make all emergency broadcast tests occur during commercials, not shows

5) Send that stupid lip-syncing french dude on free credit report dot com back to Canada

parsy, who would initiate the use of force to obtain these goals


42 posted on 08/25/2009 1:06:57 PM PDT by parsifal (Dare I mention the term common sense? Book of Vinnie - Chapter 58 Verse 1 (The Boomer Bible))
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