"It's Omaha Beach, it's going to be a bloodbath," the filmmaker said of next year's crush of big special-effects films, remakes and sequels. "There's never been a summer like this next summer. It's going to be bloody (for filmmakers and the studios). As we were sticking thumb tacks in a calendar we realized that this is going to be looked back upon as Omaha Beach."
Favreau, the director of the "Iron Man" films, is
well known to moviegoers as an on-screen funny guy in movies like
"Couples Retreat" or the sublime "Swingers" (which he also wrote), but
he wasn't joking a bit when he said
Favreau's track record and the cast make "Cowboys
and Aliens" a movie to pay attention to, but Favreau knows he is going
up against some titans of the popcorn sector. "Do you know the list?
It's pretty staggering," Favreau said. It is a deep roster: There's the
huge finale of the "Harry Potter" franchise,
Then there's the masked-man crowd, with four major superhero films: "Green Lantern" starring
There are also some wild cards. "Rise of the Apes," starring
Favreau said it's great for moviegoers, but it looks like a steel-cage match for filmmakers and studio executives. "There's not a weekend where there won't be teeth on the floor. The audience wins but it's going to be rough for people making these movies. Then there was the big rush to 3-D, so you have all of these people fighting for a limited number of screens and to get the 3-D done, since most of these are hybrids or conversions, so this is a technology that is still in the relatively early stages and there's going to be a lot of blood pressures going up in the months ahead."
Why don't studios spread the wealth? The simple
reason is that the summer months mean big box-office; young people are
out of school and willing to make repeat visits to their favorite new
silver-screen adventure. More than that, Favreau said, there is a deep
"Even if there is a DVD market now, there won't be in a few years," Favreau said, predicting that all those expensive boxed sets of Blu-rays and DVDs will be pushed aside for digital delivery of movies, a far lower price point and rampant piracy. That's what has happened in the music industry, where the scale of economics changed dramatically once the shiny silver disc gave way to the mouse-click.
"People will download on a subscription basis, and the industry model that allowed me to make independent films (such as 'Swingers' and 'Made') and approach the limited theatrical release as a way to market the home-video products, that's going away as home-video dries up rapidly. Everything soon will be about what you take in at the box office."
That explains why filmmakers such as
"In the hour-and-a-half and two-hour theater
experience, what people are looking for is something big and brash, an
event that you can communally share ... that's what people want and
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