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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Two Sides to the Story







The film industry is facing many issues that is threatening to cause financial problems for production companies and movie theaters.  Although all these issues could bring about big changes, they are not all negative.  Some current innovations and developments along with other factors could help pull the industry back up.

One of the factors that might affect growth in the film industry include the overpopulation of production companies fighting to compete for ideas that will keep them afloat.  Long standing production company MGM studios has recently been trying to avoid bankruptcy, with one of the reasons being because the size of the industry is so large it’s hard to stay relevant. Another disturbing trend that will affect growth is the studios reluctance to take a chance on an unknown director, or an original story.  This has left moviegoers with little originality to look forward to when all they get is remakes/sequels, books to movies, and repetitive ideas (like this years go to idea about aliens attacking).  If this continues we won’t discover original ideas that helped get the film industry to where it is now.

Some of the industry innovations and developments that may positively impact the future of the film industry are the transition from film reels to digital projection, and the continued use of 3-D.  These developments are already starting to take place, with the use of 3-D being a widespread concept.  More and more films are including a 3-D version that is raking in the money for studios and theaters alike.  3-D is not a new technology though, as it has been used off and on since films like Jaws 3-D came to theaters in the 1980s.  3-D is more of a trend that will eventually fade out of fashion again because to keep it relevant studios and theaters would have to invest too much money (like making screens project 3-D images without the use of glasses).  Digital projection on the other hand is a transitioning technological trend that will eventually bring about the end of film reels.  Digital projection is clearer, better defined, easier to use, and significantly smaller than film.  Both these technologies will help generate revenue that will help make up some of the companies losses. 

One specific negative trend that will have a huge impact on the industry in the near future is the expansion of online streaming and the massive loss of sales because of the consumers shifting to easier and cheaper ways to watch film.  This is threatening to wipe out the need to buy or spend money on DVDs or Blu-ray.  Things like Netflix, redbox, and other streaming companies are greatly diminishing the production studios sales.  One thing some studios are doing to help this problem is by making exclusive business deals with certain streaming companies that helps eliminate some of the loss of income from sales by not allowing them to make movies available to their customers till a month after they are released on dvd and Blu-ray.  Here is an article relating to this.

The competitive environment in the film industry will continue to be fierce as the mass amount of production companies and the streaming companies that threaten their sales will continue, until most of the smaller companies will either go bankrupt or merge with bigger companies.  As this happens and the advancements in technology continue the film industry will balance on the consumers continuing to spend money to go to the theater.  On the other side these issues could end up being a positive impact for the film industry because with less competition as well as less unoriginal films being made, it will help the lasting production companies be successful for years.  

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