Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Star Wars Effect (part 4)

In 2013 at USC, both Steven Spielberg and George Lucas voiced their prediction: the film industry will soon implode. They foresee a huge change in the movie-theater experience, with higher-priced tickets ($50 or more), and only the biggest blockbuster movies drawing in crowds. Considering my own attitude about movie-going, I'll have to admit that I agree with their predictions. Star Wars may look like something spurring a massive revival in theater attendance, but it may actually be the death knell of the movie industry we used to know. Perhaps our culture has shifted away from the theater experience, just as digital caused us all to migrate away from renting Blockbuster Videos. It's easy to imagine a future where the more thoughtful movies are only available to us online or for purchase on blu-rays/DVD's. Going to the theater will be reserved for the kind of family-event that only a movie like Star Wars can manage. When I saw Star Wars this weekend, a number of audience members were dressed up as iconic Star Wars characters, including young children, with many of them wielding toy lightsabers and some even wearing stormtrooper or darth vader helmets. This is the kind of movie that will draw all of us out of our homes to see at the theater, and we'll not only be happy to do it, we'll be ecstatic! I'm probably going to go see it again!

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