I see a lot of movies. On television. On cable. Streaming through Al Gore's Internet. And in the movie theater. I, along with my family, are usually good for a box of Junior Mints, a large drink, and a popcorn just this side of infinity. Along with all those yummy concessions to our health, we're also purchasing tickets to the tune of seven to twelve dollars. Apiece. Ever since my son was taller than the clown, we've been paying for him like he was old enough to be buying his own ticket to the moving pictures. It is the way we have decided to experience this summer. What's opening this weekend, and how can we get in line before anyone else to see it?
We were doing just great right up until the Fourth of July weekend, when we were given the option of Despicable Me 2 or The Lone Ranger. Now that my son has turned sixteen, the need to see any and all animated features has passed. As a parent who fell asleep during Madagascar, I decided that napping would be much less expensive at home than in one of those twelve dollar seats once the sequels started appearing. As for the Lone Ranger, I never felt drawn to it except as an event. The presence of Johnny Depp seemed like a calculated Disney marketing ploy to bring in all those Pirate fans. Only this time, the Sparrow will be on top of his head. When word came down from on high that critics and moviegoers across this great land of ours were staying away in droves, I confess that I felt a little sympathy. Maybe we should go just so all those Disney executives won't have to take second jobs to support their families.
Or maybe we could simply wait for the damaged remains to show up on our Netflix queue. Then we can see it "for free." We could make our own popcorn, and Junior Mints are cheaper at Safeway than they are at the theater. If we could just be more patient, we would save all kinds of money and still see all those blockbusters. We just wouldn't see them first.
Well, the guys who pretty much invented the summer blockbuster don't think there's a future in these events. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg have seen what's down the path, and they are not enthused. "They're going for the gold," said Lucas about the major Hollywood
studios. "But that isn't going to work forever. And as a result they're
getting narrower and narrower in their focus. People are going to get
tired of it. They're not going to know how to do anything else."
"There's eventually going to be a big meltdown," Spielberg said.
"There's going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even a
half-dozen of these mega-budgeted movies go crashing into the ground and
that's going to change the paradigm again."
So Mister Pot and Mister Kettle have just announced that they are both black and so is anybody else who hops on board their cookware franchise.
What does that mean to the rest of us? I'm not guessing that anyone who read or heard what these two guys said is going to suddenly have a change of heart and call off the fourth installment of Hasbro's Transformer series. If only they could talk Robert Downey Jr. into joining up with Paul Walker and Vin Diesel, my son would be set: The Fast and the Ferrous. This stuff writes itself.
Maybe that's the problem.