Spielberg joins Soderbergh in warning of film industry “implosion”

Pessimism loves company. Roughly a month after now-retired director Steven Soderbergh engaged in an epic-length verbal takedown of the movie industry, Steven Spielberg has followed suit; Hollywood Reporter quotes a foreboding Spielberg warning of the industry’s imminent restructuring. The director predicts a number of changes, such as higher ticket prices for pricier blockbusters and the explosion of films through alternatives mediums such as television and video game consoles.

Though Spielberg was not as apocalyptic as Soderbergh, he notes that the industry only needs a few more John Carter-size flops to collapse the business. “There’s going to be an implosion,” he cautions, “where three or four or maybe even a half-dozen megabudget movies are going to go crashing into the ground, and that’s going to change the paradigm.” The director speaks from experience: Lincoln nearly would have been produced and released by HBO for cost reasons, and Spielberg is currently working on an exclusive television series for Xbox.

Is this going to happen sooner rather then later? With the international market, even failures in the US are picking up plenty of money abroad to recoup their costs. But keep an eye out: upcoming mega-blockbusters like The Lone Ranger are high-risk gambles that might cost studios more than a couple million dollars.

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