The Oscar Ratings Drop Again

February/28/2017 9:57AM
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The ceremony drew 32.9 million viewers, second-lowest total since Nielsen started tracking viewership in 1974. The Trump boycott took a toll on an already sick industry. Still, union employees who are almost all millionaires keep shooting off their mouths further hurting the business. Their employers are bleeding red ink, but the arrogant actors ignore that. You want an indication of how ignorant they really are, this should drive it home.

See, the movie business, like the media business is lost. Lost in their own world. They make movies for themselves, not for mainstream America. There is no creativity. They use books, comics, and re-runs of old successes since they are incapable of writing anything worth filming. ABC bought the rights to the Oscar performance last year for $75 million a year.  In 2016 they got $115 from ads, down from $125 million in 2015. As the audience shrinks, so will ad revenue.

Their audience skews to the left and right coast, big Hillary supporters. But, they try to sell the movies to the entire country. It isn’t working. Nor, is the media financially successful trying to sell liberal news to a country that is split this way according to the Kaiser poll, the only poll other than NBC News(joke) that polls self-identification of political preference: conservative: 35%, moderate: 35%, and liberal: 30%.

So, how’s that for marketing wizards? You produce a product for 30% of the total market and your employees insult the other 70% at every opportunity.

Then you wonder why you lose money if you are any of the following film studios.

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This summer’s box office performance was particularly bad, as detailed by The New York Times.

A vast majority of the 29 films widely released across the country disappointed in ticket sales. Blockbuster sales were flat with last year’s $4.49 billion, and attendance is expected to be at 513 million, a 3.5% fall. This isn’t surprising — nearly all of the major film studios, including Warner Bros., Sony, Universal, 20th Century Fox, and Paramount, were reduced to negative profits in Q2 2016.

The disappointing performance of theatrical film releases echoes the declining pay-TV industry. Some of the factors behind this decline center on the diminishing importance of the movie theater, coupled with a greater focus on quantity rather than quality in film production. The factors outlined below are not mutually exclusive, but instead feed into one another:

  • Dwindling relevance of movie theaters. Studio owners often argue that large audiences aren’t there to be gained, regardless of how well-made their films are. In this regard, PostTrak found that from 2014 to 2015, the number of people who would show up to theatres and decide what to watch on-site had decreased from 32% to 28%, as cited in the Times article. In many ways, the decline of the movie theatre as a site for gathering and social regalement parallels the dwindling relevance of TV in the family home. In both instances, the decline can be blamed on the rise of other, newer multimedia outlets, like the desktop computer and, more importantly, the mobile phone.
  • Substandard, uniform movie offerings. The Times article describes the style of film that is now typical of summer releases: sequels, lumbering, heavy on visual effects. This content has caused some to liken the majority of film productions to assembly-line cinema. The reason for this summer’s poor box office performance could simply be that audiences’ have grown tired of the lack of variety. Meanwhile, online video is available on-demand, all the time, giving users significantly more power to choose what they want to watch. To be fair, the 29 movies under consideration registered the highest Rotten Tomatoes score in 16 years, with an average rating of 57.7 positive, somewhat contradicting this hypothesis.
  • Cannibalization of content. Another perspective suggests that the abundance of sequels is forcing users to choose between films, thereby cannibalizing ticket sales. This also speaks to the broader trend of greater availability of content across platforms. Consumers are spoiled for choice. Thanks to the internet, films can be found on any number of platforms easily. And the relatively cheaper price of content on the internet — which is either free and ad-supported, or available through a monthly subscription — further incentivizes consumers to watch video online. A month’s worth of access to Netflix, for instance, is typically equal to (or even less than) the price of a single admission to the cinema
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