Ladies & Gentlemen, and members of the press (to which I neither assign “Lady” or “Gentleman” nomenclature),

I stand (or rather sit) here before you with a sense of pausing. (PAUSE) There, my pause has been exercised. Why the pause, you may ask? In looking over this awesome motion picture industry, at once maddening and exhilarating, I struggle to assemble exactly the right words to answer:

What the *&%^ is going on in the movie business today?

On the one hand, we have huge, staggeringly huge budgets for today’s blockbusters. Case in point, “Superman Returns” had a final tab at just over $270 million, making only $391 million worldwide. Most experts would call that a box office disappointment.

Yet, today’s movies recoup their income in our homes. DVD’s. It’s estimated that almost 50% of a film’s total profits can be credited to DVD sales. Meanwhile, the theaters are showing lower and lower turnouts. So much so that some studios are toying, nay experimenting, with the idea of releasing a film to theaters AND on DVD on the same day. Word is that this is being tried to combat piracy, a big issue threatening studios today.

Instant access. What it boils down to is instant access. Let me explain further.

It used to be that the way you’d find out about a movie’s progress was to read the occasional newspaper or magazine article, often fluff pieces put out by the studios themselves. As the 80’s rolled on, entertainment based programs were the order of the day: “Entertainment Tonight”, “Access Hollywood”, and so forth.

But those stalwarts have been tossed on their ear with the advent of a little group of computers and servers known as the Internet. With the instantaneous nature of the web (does anyone actually call it the Web anymore?), I can watch production diaries while a film is being made (“King Kong” for example), access director and producer quotes on their production design, casting, shooting dates/times/places, rumors, scandals; almost anything.

Movies today are governed by how quickly information can be dispersed. Studios have to stay ahead of the curve and get it out themselves, lest bloggers beat them to the punch in the fight to stay relevant. Yet they still struggle with trying to keep some secrets and surprises for audiences and consumers to show up for.

What’s the end result? You have an industry surfing (pun intended) on a wave that threatens to drown them at every turn. Move too slowly, and the board’s ripped out from under them. Move too fast, and they fall over the edge.

As you try to navigate this wave yourself, we hope E-Nirv can be the place you come to keep a steady eye on what’s happening in films. From news to reviews, the Nirv has got you covered!

— Rob, Editor-in-Chief (The “Geeksinger”)

Advertisements