Supply and Demand for Movies: Why an Over-Saturated Market is Bad

Supply and Demand for Movies: Why an Over-Saturated Market is Bad

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
  1. It shouldn’t be surprising that the last three movies to do well in theaters were Despicable Me, Twilight Saga: Eclipse, and Toy Story 3.  It also shouldn’t be surprising that movies like Predators can’t do as well.  Studios admit that they don’t know what to green light next, and this could be because they don’t realize that like any other business, there’s always supply and demand going on.

    Let’s think about these movies one at a time.  Let’s start with Eclipse.  It’s a movie aimed at teenage girls, and it does well.  What other recent movies have been aimed at teen girls?  There aren’t many.  Let’s not forget that kids start dating when they’re teenagers.  So you’re a teenage boy and you want to impress a girl.  Do you take her to see – Eclipse, or Predator?  True, not every teenage girl is the same and there are some who’d want to see the latter, but numbers don’t lie – they prefer the former.

    Toy Story 3 was just a movie’s perfect storm.  It’s a sequel released 10 years after the last sequel, and it’s original child audience are now adults.  While the movie was friendly enough for parents to be able to take their children, it was a movie aimed at its original child audience, and it did not disappoint them.  This made the movie open to a much wider audience, which is another things movies are not taking into account.  The narrower the audience, the smaller the numbers.

    Despicable Me is fresh and new, and there’s not many of those movies anymore.  Like Toy Story 3, it is child friendly, but it can be enjoyed by a much larger audience.  It doesn’t force itself to be accessible to children, but is instead focused on telling a great story that the whole family can enjoy.  Family-friendly movies also do well because, well, people have families and they need movies they know it’s safe to take kids to.

    Now we’re back to Predator.  It has good reviews, but on opening day took in less than half of what Despicable Me did.  It was even behind what Eclipse made for the day, and Eclipse has already been out for a week.  It did come in ahead of what Toy Story 3 made for the day, but that movie’s already made $318 million in the past three weeks, and on track to become Pixar’s highest grossing film.  What’s wrong with Predator?  It’s not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with the movie itself, it’s that it double-dipped into the over-saturated market and is competing against the wrong movies.

    For a long time now, Hollywood has been pumping out remakes, and audiences are very vocal with their dislike with the lack of originality.  Another issue is that it’s targeted mostly to male audiences, and more specifically teenage boys.  You might not think that’s true, but think about it – remakes are never about the original audience, but introducing something old to a new audience.  However, most movies that have been green lit by Hollywood over the years are either remakes or aimed at male audiences.  This is where supply and demand comes in.

    Why does Eclipse do well?  There are no other movies for teenage girls to compete with it.  Despicable Me is original and family friendly, and Toy Story 3 is family friendly and nostalgic.  "Family friendly" is an important term, as parents are very vocal in their wish for movies to take their children to.  In their own rights, they’re all original.  Why are these movies so rare now?  Think back ten years.  Do you remember what all the movies were?  They were all family friendly or aimed at teenage girls, and with a few notable exceptions, they were original.  One of the only movies guys had was X-Men.  This led to an over-saturation where movies aimed at males were doing better than those aimed at teenage girls and children.  That is supply and demand.  Predator is competing against A-Team and Grown Ups, for example, and there’s many other movies aimed at males in theaters right now.  Eclipse, Despicable Me, and Toy Story 3 aren’t really competing against anything, not even each other.

    Another problem with Predator is that magic R-rating.  Movies aimed at teenage boys want it, but why?  Fifteen-year-old boys can’t see the movie without a parent, and it can be guaranteed that their parents are watching Despicable Me and Toy Story 3 because the little ones can see it, too.

    The reason that Hollywood doesn’t know what to green light is because they fell asleep at the wheel.  This issue is not new, it’s happened many times throughout history.  You have too many of the same type of movie competing against each other, while not enough of other kinds of movies out in the theaters, causing their intended audiences to flock to only them.  The balance is shifting.  Cut back on remakes and movies aimed at males, and introduce a few more movies for teen girls and families, and see the numbers shift back in the other direction.  The key to doing well is knowing your audience, and it’s a little surprising that the studios seem to have forgotten this rule.

Leave a Reply