THE Da Vinci Code is one of the most eagerly anticipated films of the year but its significance to Hollywood may go deeper than mere box office success: Tom Hanks has delighted his studio bosses by accepting a pay cut for his role as the book‚Äôs art sleuth hero.
Facing declining cinema audiences, Hollywood is trying to persuade its top actors to set an example by cutting back a lucrative arrangement known as ‚Äúfirst dollar‚ÄĚ, under which the director, producer and stars receive a share of a film‚Äôs box office take regardless of whether the studio has covered its filming costs.
I saw one of the weekend news programs on cable and the interviewed guest (yes I know it is hearsay but I really don't remember the program or the gentleman's name) said that 1) consumers wait until the dvd comes out and the industry may respond by releasing dvd's at the same time as a movie's initial release. He made the point that in the streets of NYC, one can buy pirated movies for $5.
2) The rise of the home theater attributes to #1. 3) More and more movies are geared toward specific markets and moviemakers endure a greater risk of profitability if the targeted market simply does not respond.
He never said anything about the ease of movie renting, computer downlaoding, or the cost-to-value ratio decision families make whether to spend their money and time at a theater. I'm pretty sure, though I don't have the evidence to back it up, that these play a part also in declining movie ticket sales.
What's a few million dollars, give or take? I see Ron Howard is involved with this movie as he has been with several other anti-Christian ones. One can only hope it will be a box office flop, but the devil won't let that happen.