“A decade ago, there were 22 films that each ran on 3,000
screens during the summer. This year, there were 31, the most ever.” So says, New York Times writer Catherine
Rampell in her compelling look at a Hollywood business model that seems to be
overdue for a change.
Rampell’s aptly named article, “Hollywood’s Tanking
Business Model,” highlights the puzzling fact that the movies studios launch
all of their family and kid related movies at the exact same time that their
competitors do; in the summer.
It hasn’t always been this way. “In the five decades leading up to “Jaws,” [released
in 1975 – RG] the year’s top-grossing movie was released in the summer only 20
percent of the time. In the decades since, the figure shot up to 63 percent. In
the last decade, it has been 80 percent.”
In reading the article, it appears that the rise of
summer as the center of the movie universe is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more that movies opened in the summer,
the greater the box office and the greater the box office the more appetizing
the summer movie release became.
Whatever the reason, the play industries would certainly benefit from a new way of doing business. A lot of movie tie-in toys are sitting on store shelves with markdown tags. This may well be a case where less is more.