This summer at the movies

posted by Michael Zoldessy on June 25, 2007 at 11:00 am

Dan Glickman of the MPAA sounds off on the summer’s film business.

It’s been just a few weeks since the official start of summer. As folks break out their summer whites, dive into the local swimming pool and fire up the grill, one additional seasonal pastime is off to a blazing start: it seems everyone is heading to the movies.

Moviegoers today have plenty of choices for their entertainment — from television to video games to the beckoning outdoors. Yet the allure of air conditioning and fresh popcorn alone can hardly account for the movie-going masses visiting the theaters in such large numbers. From long-awaited summer sequels to smaller films that make us laugh, think, or both, the movies are enjoying a revival today.

First out of the gate were a bevy of fan favorites — from Spider-man to Shrek to Pirates of the Caribbean. Independents like Waitress found a place in our hearts and continue to thrive at the box office. Knocked Up demonstrated a bull market for films that celebrate the humor of being, well, human. Fans came back to see the gang from Ocean’s and just last weekend Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer beat box office figures for the original which debuted in 2005.

For more, read the Huffington Post.

Comments (1)

Eric Friedmann
Eric Friedmann on June 25, 2007 at 12:13 pm

After reading Dan Glickman’s article, the only thing I can say is that he must be experiencing today’s movies on a different level of consciousness, because I simply cannot relate to his interpretations of this summer’s films. The experience at the movies that he’s describing sounds more nostalgic to movies of decades past rather than what is offered to the public today.

I have, for long time now, been calling Hollywood a “massive recycling facility”, with it’s primary marketing focussed on sequels, franchise films and remakes:

Think about this summer of 2007; there are more sequels and threequels than I can remember in a very long time: SPIDERMAN 3, SHREK 3, PIRATES 3, OCEAN’S THIRTEEN, RUSH HOUR 3, THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM, DIE HARD 4, FANTASTIC FOUR 2, HARRY POTTER 5 and HOSTEL II.

Since the beginning of this century, Hollywood has also dedicated itself to remaking nearly every popular film of the 1970’s, including POSEIDON, THE BAD NEWS BEARS, THE AMITYVILLE HORROR and THE LONGEST YARD. Not one of these remakes went down in film history as a critical success. And now it seems that some of John Capernter’s most popular films, HALLOWEEN, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and THE THING are due to or have been remade.

Another hot Hollywood epidemic has also been to revive old, successful franchises, bringing back the original stars who have gone past their prime for the roles. Arnold returned for TERMINATOR 3, Stallone returned for ROCKY BALBOA, Bruce Willis returns for LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD, Stallone is due to return for JOHN RAMBO and next summer, Harrison Ford will return for INDIANA JONES 4. As much as I love and worship most of Spielberg’s films, this is such a tragic mistake because I truly believe that Ford is too damn old for the role. Like James Bond, Indiana Jones is a pop culture iconic character, who could very well be filled by fresh shoes, much in the way that Sean Connery was inevitably replaced by Roger Moore as Bond. Had Christopher Reeve still been alive, would Bryan Singer have honestly tried to return him to his original role of Superman??

Yes, you can always find some good independent films if you look hard enough and there are always exceptions to everything in life. But that aside, consider what the average moviegoer is going to find out there:

  • Theme park-style multiplexes instead of the theater, outrageous ticket and food prices, inconsiderate audience members (DON’T GET ME STARTED!), endless commercials before the film and an endless array of films and stories that we’ve seen on screen before when they were brand new and didn’t cost as much to see.

So where exactly is the experience that Dan Glickman is talking about? Somebody help me out with this, because I’m just not getting it (and I suspect that I never will!).

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