Monday, March 06, 2006

Oscar's Ego Part II

Not to pick on Clooney, whom I actually like as an actor, but since I only saw his acceptance speech he garners all my sarcasm for the day.

At the end of his acceptance speech for best supporting actor, Clooney said he was proud to belong to such an "out of touch" meaning Hollywood, community. This year's US box office totals show exactly how out of touch Hollywood was in 2005. America reacted to Hollywood's most acclaimed movies by staying home in droves.

From a CBS Marketwatch story on the event.

"Brokeback Mountain" had been the strongest performer in theaters, but had made a paltry $79 million through Sunday. The film was made by Focus Features had garnered eight nominations.
"Crash" was next best in big-screen revenue, bringing in $55.4 million during its run last summer. That film is now out on home video. It had taken six nominations and won two other Oscars for best original screenplay and film editing.
The other best-picture nominees, "Good Night, And Good Luck" "Capote" and "Munich" have made $30.3 million, $23.4 million and $46.1 million, respectively, at the domestic box office. "Good Night," is from Warner Bros. Warner Independent Pictures, Capote was made by Sony Corp.'s Sony Pictures Classics.
"Munich" was co-produced and distributed by GE's NBC Universal and DreamWorks.
Small, but profitable
But while the films are among the lowest revenue-getters for a group of Oscar nominees, most have proven to be tremendously profitable.
On a scant budget of $6.5 million, "Crash" has returned close to $70 million in worldwide box-office receipts. "Brokeback" has made nearly $118 million worldwide on a $14 million budget.
"Capote," was produced for $7 million while "Good Night's" budget was $7.5 million
Meanwhile, "Munich" is turning into the black after it was feared the Steven Spielberg film would end up being unprofitable. The film cost an estimated $75 million to make and has produced $98.1 million in receipts thus far. Because studios split receipts with theater owners, a film needs to make roughly double its budget to turn aprofit.

March of the Penguins, which starred small, flightless birds, grossed $77 million domestically.

Now I think it's great that Hollywood can make money on movies like Capote or Good Night. But keep in mind the only reason they were profitable was their low production cost and that was low because the actors refrained from demanding their usual multimillion dollar salary. You can't pay Tom Cruise $25 million for a film and expect to turn a profit on a movie that grosses $55 million.

So what does this mean for the future of the film industry?

Theat actors can take home a lot less money and continue to churn out movies to satisfy themselves, plus viewers in NY and LA. Or it it can keep churning out entertainment for the masses like King Kong or War of the Worlds. These movies might have been panned by critics, but people went to see them in droves.

So the choice is George Clooney can make what he considers important movies that force his point of view on political issues onto the audience. Of course his lavish lifestyle will have to be downsized to something a bit more middle class, but if Clooney feels that strongly about his career then selling the mansion will be a small price to pay.


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