Making movies just for money?

By on October 26, 2005

Movies are produced by production studios in order to serve many purposes towards the people who view and attend them while in local theaters. Movies are made to touch our hearts and depict raw human emotion in many dramas and romance stories. They are produced to make us laugh and temporarily remove our troubles through numerous comedies and good-natured films. Even children are kept in mind through animated and family-friendly works of film. However, studios also seem to be releasing movies for another reason: The ability to make a profit off the movie based on drawing in crowds of people who are willing to pay for tickets. It is clear to me that studios are more concerned with making money rather than the quality of a film.

In recent years, especially this one, the industry has been concentrating on ticket sales and inevitable DVD releases of their films. A possible reason for this could be the fact that movies today have to compete with movies on television and movies available to rent and buy on DVD. To further help them win the battle, studios and producers attempt to attract young adults with either big-budgeted action movies or sex-related comedies. Just one screening of the recent release of Waiting shows how producers would hastily put together a lewd movie in hopes that people would pay to see the movie and eventually pay for its inevitable unrated DVD release.

Another trend that movie studios are using to their advantage is recreating an already well-known product of entertainment into a newly big-budgeted production fit for today’s big screen. Since people have grown up watching classic television shows as The Dukes of Hazzard and Bewitched, producers figure that film versions starring well-known personalities would prove to be fruitful in ticket sales and future DVD releases. Movie companies have also been known to go another route and completely remake previously released movies as well for today’s viewing audiences. This Past summer, we have seen remakes of Charlie and the Chocolate Factor, The Longest Yard, and War of the Worlds. While these films did well in the box office, it only encourages studios to continue the practice of abandoning original scripts in favor of working with other people’s original ideas.

One other trend that movie studios have been using is the adapting well-known literature series and turning them into big-screened and big-budgeted epics of mass proportions. In 2001, this method was in full swing with the beginning of the Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings film franchises. The purpose of these movies was to provide more opportunities for studios to make money, this time by using books to fuel their intentions. Even though we were enticed by the vividly-choreographed battle sequences and dramatic interactions between the characters, the concept of bringing popular works of literature to life is now a producer’s golden ticket. This fall, we can look forward to such releases as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for November, and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, which will be released in December, and could lead to another possible film series.

While a lot of movie companies are concerned with making a significant profit from their releases, there are still directors and studios still primarily focused on releasing well-written dramas and emotional stories. Recent films that included Million Dollar Baby and Cinderella Man showed that there are still directors and studios that enjoy making movies based solely for the purpose of the true love of movie-making rather for the sake of ticket sales. Even though Cinderella Man did not make a lot of money, it went on to show that action-packed sequences and “gross-out” humor are not always necessary when making a film. All you need to make a quality film is an intelligent storyline, pure acting skills, and perhaps the most important element, heart.


About Nate Sharir