Article: State of Mid-Budget Cinema

Ran across this article about how the changing numbers and production models have affected the output some famous filmmakers who were working a lot when I was in my twenties.  It quotes a speech given by Steven Soderbergh that isn’t that new but that I hadn’t seen in detail:

In 2003, 455 films were released. 275 of those were independent, 180 were studio films. Last year 677 films were released. So you’re not imagining things, there are a lot of movies that open every weekend. 549 of those were independent, 128 were studio films. So, a 100% increase in independent films, and a 28% drop in studio films, and yet, ten years ago: Studio market share 69%, last year 76%. You’ve got fewer studio movies now taking up a bigger piece of the pie and you’ve got twice as many independent films scrambling for a smaller piece of the pie.

There are lot more films in the independent space now.  But reading this I found myself thinking about writers I know who have made their careers on studio films, and how there’s less jobs out there for them as well.

On the bright side, most of us are consumers. And for consumers, it is not so terrible. By hook or by crook, there are more movies made than anyone with a semblance of a normal life could watch each year, and a lot of them are interesting and some are great.  Especially if you’re willing to  “straddle the line.” and seek out the independent films as well as enjoying a few big blockbusters, consumers who are willing to do some research still have some freedom and options…


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