David S. Cohen, writing about a panel on the future of the movie business at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, featuring Steven Spielberg and George Lucas:
“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.”
Lucas predicted that after that meltdown, “You’re going to end up with fewer theaters, bigger theaters with a lot of nice things. Going to the movies will cost 50 bucks or 100 or 150 bucks, like what Broadway costs today, or a football game. It’ll be an expensive thing. … (The movies) will sit in the theaters for a year, like a Broadway show does. That will be called the ‘movie’ business.”
And this is going to happen faster than most people realize. There are maybe a half dozen big movies worth seeing in the theater every year (and that’s a good year). The rest are crap or indies. And those independent films will never scale the way Hollywood needs them to in order to keep the current system intact.