Slim pickin's; trouble in movie land
FTLComm - Tisdale - Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Falkon Theatre in Tisdale is not going out of business it is just have a problem with an industry that as a whole is having problems. All across North America attendance at movie theatres is falling at a steady rate. Canadians and Americans like to go to the movies, they have been doing it for a long time but in the last few years movie going has been falling off.

It is a complex problem because we wonder what are people doing for entertainment and we discover that network television is in serious trouble with fewer viewers and lower advertising revenue. It is not just because of the delusion of the market place with so many options that the same population is diffuse. Instead what we find is that the entertainment industry itself is part of the problem.

Today it was reported that the number of people who tuned into the 80th Academy Award presentations on Sunday night was one of the smallest audiences ever. This CBC story suggests that it may simply because of the movies nominated for Oscars.

The only movie nominated for an Oscar or where its performers were nominated that is making any money at the box off was the Canadian film Juno. The rest of them are failures and will barely earn enough money to pay for their production. Don Falkner explained to me why he has no movie booked for the coming weekend.

The movie he showed last weekend, Mad Money brought in $40 which suggests that it is hardly worth the time and effort to show something that unpopular. Mad Money is one of the few upbeat movies available and it simply is a poor quality film. Mr. Falkner tried to book Juno but his distributor has no copies of the popular film available. The few cheery movies worth watching now in theatres are similarly unavailable for booking and the dreary dark shows that dominated the Oscars are not movies you or I want to see.

A crime movie and bloodbath, No Country for Old Men won best picture and best actor went to the equally glum There Will Be Blood. Other nominations and winners are unlikely to be seen even in large cities. The best actress movie is virtually unheard of and the George Cloney movie about a legal bad guy is not on anyone's cheery list.

Then there are other factors that seem to have made the whole movie business hard to figure. The critics and the Academy are selecting movies that really no one wants to see and the upbeat ones we never hear about. Surprisingly, we depend on the promotion of movies on the late night American talk shows to tell us what we she see and the writers strike left us un-informed for three months. During the Christmas holiday period the Falkon Theatre went one weekend without a movie because just as now there was nothing worth seeing available, or that the public would be willing to come out and see.

To just test what we are able to see all you need to do is visit a movie rental store and look over the recent releases. Most of the shelves are filled with stuff my wife and I would never look at and many of the movies on the shelves right now include some of the worst movies made in years. Norbit, I know Who Killed Me and Shanghai Noon III are examples of really bad stuff.

It would seem that those who make movies have lost touch with the view and the industry as a whole is suffering.

Timothy W. Shire

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Editor : Timothy W. Shire
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