Friday, June 9, 2006

Hollywood and its Overpriced Players

It's no secret that Hollywood is in a state of flux. Declining theatrical attendance, increased piracy, and a tendency for the consumer to want it "now" are killing what was once the untouchable industry. Hollywood's reaction? Misguided attempts at multi-media releases, concurrent theatrical and home video launches, and a regrettable movement away from the smaller "independent" films (true film aficionados know good and well why I put "independent" in quotations).

But has any of this helped? No, not really. Even attempts by theater owners to make the filmgoing experience more enjoyable (by banning cell phones and throwing out the talkative pricks that tend to encourage people to stay home) haven't helped all that much, even though those attempts aren't going unnoticed.

On top of it all, Hollywood is complaining that there aren't enough movie stars to encourage whatever type of "growth" that the studios hope more movie stars will bring.

Okay, so I just made several leaps in logic, but fear not... I am rapidly approaching my point. Hollywood wants to turn larger profits? The quick and easy: slash the salaries of above-the-line talent. I got news for you... NO actor or director is worth $20 million. I don't care what they've done.

So a studio has a certain "star vehicle" that needs a superstar to draw in the audience? Right... NOT. Analysis by most of the major industry trades have PROVEN that high-priced actors actually HURT their films rather than help (although Tom Hanks films tend to show additional profits thanks to his presence). So what should the studio do? Why, hire another actor, of course.

But, as Hollywood would interject, we need our stars. Well, why don't you take that $20 million and, instead of paying one man to play a role, fund a nationwide (Hell, worldwide) talent search and FIND more stars. Do you know how many casting sessions you can hold for $20 million? I'm not sure of the exact number, but I guarantee that it's a shitload (which, in non-French, means "a lot").

With that $20 million, you could inundate Hollywood with stars, rivaling the days of the actual studio system. Imagine, if there are 10 Tom Cruises running around, you're not going to have to pay the real Tom Cruise $20 million just to ruin your movie with bad press. The other 9 Tom Cruises would gladly do that for a simple $2 million. Basically, the average $65 million budget (or whatever it is now) would drop to $47 million, making it A LOT easier for the studios to turn a profit on a film, which makes it easier for studios to greenlight MORE films, which makes Hollywood a power-player, which makes piss-ant nobodies like me happy (because we have more jobs to choose from).

I know that absolutely none of what I've written makes any logical sense, but I don't give a shit... I know what I'm trying to say.


Anonymous said...

Suuuuure you do.

Posted by Jessica Lynn on June 13, 2006 - Tuesday - 1:23 PM

Anonymous said...

I can't help but think that Cruise hurt "War of the Worlds" more than he helped it. That, and he's crazy...totally batshit crazy....

I wonder what would happen if every last studio in Hollywood capped salaries, say at something reasonably low (for Hollywood)...say $5 million. I mean, if EVERY studio did it, what is a Tom Cruise or a Schwarzenegger going to do? If they want to work, they'll swallow it.

There are many great actors out there (already) that have worked for years and decades without EVER getting a $20 million paycheck....

Posted by Geoffry on June 26, 2006 - Monday - 12:05 AM

Anonymous said...

oh it makes sense. that's what we'll do when we have our own studio and 20 mil.

Posted by Johnny O™ on March 25, 2007 - Sunday - 4:29 PM

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