Mr. Spielberg, one of the most celebrated in Hollywood history, said that he had trouble finding a distributor for his acclaimed 2012 film “Lincoln,” which almost ended up on cable. And George Lucas, director of the original “Star Wars” franchise, said he had similar problems with “Red Tails,” an action adventure about African-American flying aces.Why are these medicinally historical films considered blockbusters? I know it's because some grotesque amount of money was thrown into them, but why was that done? Because Spielberg and Lucas threw their weight into these projects?
“You’re talking about Steven Spielberg and George Lucas can’t get their movie into a theater!” Mr. Lucas said this summer at the opening of a new media center at the University of Southern California.
How entitled they feel — how the rich assume they should get richer and richer by dumping vast sums of money into their work! Ironically, the film projects about which they feel so entitled are the ones that purvey their supposedly liberal values, challenge the privilege and entitlement of the rich. Rich other people.
As for the actual non-rich who exist in large enough numbers to make a blockbuster strategy work (when it works), they seem to prefer those stories about boyish adventurers in outer space.
Anita Elberse, a professor at Harvard Business School and author of the recent “Blockbusters: Hit-Making, Risk-Taking, and the Big Business of Entertainment”... that the blockbuster syndrome “turns out to be a winning strategy. It makes sense for the studios to spend disproportionately on a select group of the most likely winners.”...
“The marketplace for entertainment is extremely cluttered,” Professor Elberse said. “When there wasn’t a whole lot of competition, small movies worked, but with so many demands on our time, you really have to convince consumers that they need to see this on the big screen at the same time their friends are seeing it. You need the wow factor. That’s a tough challenge.”