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December 20, 2005

Making Money vs Making a Movie

brokeback_gross.gif

Brokeback breakdown.

Why does Hollywood continue to invest time, talent and treasure into products nobody wants?

Brokeback Mountain is receiving rave reviews. But seen in only 69 theatres in 21 cities?

Lots of ink; few viewers.

This is because the movie industry is not interested in making money. Only in making political statements. Michael Medved in his book Hollywood vs. America: Popular Culture and the War on Traditional Values outlines this agenda.

hollywood_v_america_book.jpg


Medved's book with
Rush Limbaugh's
cover blub
I spoke with Medved, a PBS movie critic, some years ago. He spoke on this business; this "non-profit" motivation of showbusiness. He said that the creatures of LA want only to advance an agenda.

They do not care about money. They really don't care about profit.

George Gilder agrees:

Hollywood is forfeiting both profits and paying customers in a crazy campaign to foist its own loony lifestyles and muddled world views on the American people.

Hollywood would rather make a point, than make money.

As for me and my house, we will be seeing Narnia. Again.

###

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Graph credit Charmaine Yoest, Ph.D. at Reasoned Audacity.

The book is available from Wal*Mart, of course. Where America's families shop.

Point Five has the training aids for understanding the movie.

Basil's Blog has great links!

Outside the Beltway has Traffic Jam.

Writing Right has analysis.

Posted by Jack Yoest at December 20, 2005 05:29 PM

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Comments

Do you remember in the Bible where it says that the way to Hell is broad and easy and trod by many, while the way to Heaven is trod by a few? Compare the numbers for Narnia and Brokeback again and then think about whether you and your house are doing what's broad and easy or taking the hard path.

Posted by: shane at December 21, 2005 04:58 PM

You have to remember that the gross product is after everyone - director and actors - get paid.

I don't know if the producers get a salary as the film goes along, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did.

So the only people (really) who get stiffed are the non-hollywood investors (or hollywood investors).

Tom Cruise can make a bomb, and still collect his salary. So he is happy to make junk - he still gets paid, and if it is junk he likely won't take the heat. How many horrible movies has Kevin Costner been in - and he still shows up on screen every once in a while. True he has made some good movies too.

Besides, Hollywood doesn't make movies for middle America - worry about what us "fly over" folks care about? Not likely. They make movies for each other. And for some reason they can get Sony other large co. to foot the bill (mostly because the Sony people in Hollywood want to prove they are part of the "right crowd."

Posted by: Zendo Deb at December 21, 2005 08:36 PM

Shane, you are right. We all should be examining our paths, direction and destination.

What path are you on?

How would you know it's right?

Best,
Jack

Posted by: Jack Yoest at December 21, 2005 10:30 PM

Zendo Deb, You are right. Investors taking a percentage lose out -- profits may never materialize. (Burt Reynolds would always take a percentage of the gross, not net.)

Anyway, you sound like a women who truly knows how to negotiate a contract. The glass ceiling would be less of an issue if everyone was as aggressive in doing and pursuing a deal.

Thanks,
Jack

Posted by: Jack Yoest at December 21, 2005 10:38 PM

Umm, actually, both Kong and Narnia are Hollywood films, made by Universal and Disney, respectively. Ditto Yours, Mine, and Ours. Brokeback Mountain is from an independent.

Doesn't look like evidence of a Hollywood agenda to me.

(Movie production details from www.imdb.com.)

Posted by: Katherine at December 28, 2005 10:42 PM

It's interesting that in all of VA Brokeback Mountain isn't even playing in Virginia's capital city. Personally, I feel it's the older generation who owns the local movie theaters who aren't willing to endorse this movie (I'm from Richmond, VA). I know plenty of people from my generation, late teens through twenties, that would love to see Brokeback Mountain, but aren't willing to drive to Fairfax due to lack of time and money. It's an issue of the older generation not being able to change with the times.

Posted by: Katie at January 2, 2006 01:41 PM

"Brokeback" is now playing in Richmond,VA:

Regal Cinemas Westhampton Theatre
5706 Grove Avenue
Richmond, VA 23226 Map

12:50pm |4:00pm |7:20pm |10:15pm

Posted by: John at January 14, 2006 07:42 AM

I am not sure if this will get posted, as I disagree with many of Mr. Yoest's assumptions, (interesting and well done site though) but for the record,in reference to the bar graph, as of Feb 3 06, BrokeBack has made 53,000,000 (!)domesticly and is the # 2 Film in the nation. Big Mommas House is outselling it. Yours Mine and Ours (a good movie) has made 52,742,271 and is ranked # 40. King Kong has made 213 million and is #16. If Brokeback only maintains its current sales strength (and 400+ more theaters are carrying it starting today) just through to the Oscars, it will make upwards of 70,000,000. domestic, likely more. Beyond the Oscars, if it wins, who knows how much more it will make? Narnias huge, here and abroad. Thats a good thing. Its a great movie (saw it twice!) But, there is room for all kinds of movies, and, it is becoming obvious, there is an American market for a movie about two men in love at a time in America when it would have very difficult for them to be an open couple or tell others. Happily, we are not that country anymore.

Almost everyone I know who has seen it likes it. I did. I love it because a friend told me her brother went to see it at his girlfriends request, and afterwards called her to talk. It was the first time they had spoken in a warm and loving manner since she came out to him.

In brief, its a good movie. America is ready for it, is willing to pay to see it, and and doing so in blue and red states, and its been a excellent investment for the independent studio that made it, and looks like it will only get more profitable here, and abroad (27 million abroad thus far, and its not even opened in several major markets like Germany).

Respectfully, its time to update the bar graph.

Posted by: Kelly at February 3, 2006 11:53 AM

Dear Sir

thank you for posting my entry. I admit I was not sure you would, and I appreciate it. My thanks, and my best wishes for your family.

... my thanks and best wishes

sincerely,

Kelly

Posted by: Kelly at February 3, 2006 03:13 PM

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