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The Student Newspaper of Howard Community College

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Why are Movies Flopping?

Why+are+Movies+Flopping%3F
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Why are movies flopping? The question has been spiraling around studios and executives for years now. Is it the quality of films being bad? Or is the culture of cinema changing? Are people just not interested in going to the theater? Those are the questions we will look at and hopefully answer today. 

A common misconception about cinema is what factors determine a movie flopping. Some would say a movie with a budget of $50 million that made $60 million is not considered a flop. However, when we account for marketing costs and other expenses, a film needs to almost double its budget in order to gain profit. For major motion pictures, marketing can total almost half of the entire budget. This cuts margins substantially, thus limiting a movie’s ability to actually continue doing sequels.  

According to an article by Gizmodo.com, Charlie Jane Anders states, “For a film which costs between $35 and $75 million to make, the P&A budget will most likely be at least half the production budget. And the numbers only go up with bigger films.” This is why many movies may seem like a success but, in actuality, lose money.

Depositphotos

The other factor associated with movies underperforming lately is the absence of DVDs. With streaming growing in popularity, DVDs and cable have become obsolete. This comes as no surprise, as people now have access to thousands of movies right at their fingertips. However, this drastic change has caused problems for the film industry. Before streaming, DVDs were almost like a second release. Many producers weren’t concerned when a movie underperformed at the box office because they knew they had a failsafe in DVD purchases. 

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What does this mean, though? It means that films have to be a box office success in order for them to make a profit or break even. That’s why we don’t see as many new ideas for movies; the risk-to-reward ratio has been closing for a long time now. Sequels are guaranteed some money because of fan bases, which is why we see so many of them. In the coming years, it will only be more challenging for independent film ideas to get the green light. 

However, the business aspect doesn’t account for 100% of a film’s flop rate. The decrease in quality and overproducing of films in a specific genre has also contributed to movies failing at the box office. There’s no doubt there has been a drop-off in terms of film quality in recent years. With an excess of sequels, live-action, and superhero films, many don’t feel as compelled to spend money to see a movie (with some exceptions). As we have seen, films with creativity and effort put into them have become successful in the long run, amassing a sort of cult following that propels the box office success. When effort is put into a film, not only does the critic and audience score resemble that, but also the box office as well. 

In actuality, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why movies are flopping. There could be economic factors or cultural factors involved that we just haven’t dived into yet. However, what we do know is that it’s become harder than ever for a film to gain profit in this day and age. With the dissipation of DVDs and small margins for profit, companies find it hard to break even on many major projects. Adding to that, the quality of films has only decreased in recent years with some exceptions. All these factors could point to why the film industry is in the spot that it is currently. Will this trend continue in the near future? Only time will tell…

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About the Contributor
Shaunak Patil
Shaunak Patil, Photographer
Shaunak Patil is a business major at HCC. His future plans are to transfer to UMD where he will complete a Bachelor's in Business. He loves to write, watch movies, listen to music, and do photography. Currently, Shaunak is on a quest to create an exquisite set of articles and pictures for the world to enjoy.

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