Saturday, January 30, 2010

Box-Office Formula

Today's blog was inspired by Patrick Goldstein's "Is This a Box-Office Record with an *?" article in the Los Angeles Times this morning.

. . .

Mr. Goldstein, I agree that the system for ranking he All-time Box Office champs is flawed. The one we have can go on -- it has my permission, but it would be really pleasant to have the 'other' ranking.

But the ranking should not be based simply on attendance.

Here is the problem with that. Attendance based on the 'kind of release' -- re-release, released to the dollar-a-ticket movie theaters, re-mix, director's cut -- All of these releases that some movies go through actually have different dollar amounts associated with the ticket value based on when they were released and to what chains.

If it were possible, what would be best is to include the inflation amounts over time -- spending a dollar to see a movie in 1930 (if you could spend that much, back then for a ticket) supposedly would be equivalent to spending 20 to 30 dollars today to see the same movie.

So, ideally the list would come up with its ticket value, overseas and domestic, based on something like this:

attendance * ticket_value(depending on release-type) * percentage_based_on_inflation( based on year) = real money spent (compared to current year)


attendance * (ticket_value * inflation) = box_office


A * (TI) = BO

I'd LOVE to see that list.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Awards Season!

Well, another annual Awards Season is upon us. We've spent all of the budget money from fiscal 2009, and now, it's time to review and see if we did anything right in spite of the Recession we're still in.

I can tell you right off the bat that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences could not have picked a worse year (Well, maybe 2001) for deciding to expand the nominees for Best Picture to ten from the traditional five. Recently, I reviewed all of the titles and off the top of my head, I could think of three that might be worthy from everything I had viewed in the last year.

With paper and pen, I improved this to five. With a review of all the screeners I had watched, I got this number to six. After some talking with other filmmakers, I realized that there were some pictures that I had not seen and did not have screeners for, so, I watched these. It didn't help.

I will heartily reccomend that we return to the traditional five Best Picture availabilities for next year and stay there. It's worked well this long and frankly, I don't remember the reason for going to the double-five number. Perhaps a review is in order.

Anyway, keep your head above water and don't try to really watch more than three award shows this season. If you do, it's likely that your head will implode from all the vaccuous speculation and mind-numbing conversation about "who's wearing who."