The bad news is: 15 year-old boys would really rather not go to the movies anymore thank you very much.
They’re getting their stories from video games, online and from Reality TV shows.
I asked some of my college-aged students recently what their favorite movies and TV shows were and a surprising number picked things like Jackass and American Idol. Add to this random evidence the fact that video games outsell movies by far, and that kids are turning away in droves from the cineplex. In Britain, for the first time, Internet use has risen above watching TV as the activity most turn to for recreation.
Reminds me of the time when I was 13 or 14. My date with Lisa Murphy involved my mom driving us to see a George C. Scott movie called They Might Be Giants, terrible thing. But it was the only movie playing at the Arlington Theater in downtown Santa Barbara and had been for weeks. Maybe one movie came out a week back then in the early ‘ 70s — a painful lot of them starring Mr. Scott. There were tumbleweeds rolling through most downtown movie houses. Hollywood had been pronounced dead.
And then came that movie about the shark.
And the one that took place a long time ago and far, far away.
And suddenly movies were back.
The empty, tumbleweed-plagued movie houses are with us again. You could not get me to go out and see Failure To Launch this past weekend with blasting caps and a cattle prod. No offense. And there isn’t much on the horizon that can.
But I am not afraid or despairing. For this, to me, is nothing if not a great opportunity.
The movie theaters are out there collecting dust. No one wants to go anymore. It’s pretty dull and predictable stuff that’s playing.
We’re waiting for Jaws.
We’re waiting for good stories.
Isn’t there someone out there with fire in their eyes who can’t wait to make a movie that blows us all away? Isn’t there someone who has that little thing called “showmanship” who’s dying to wow us all?
Is it you?
If it is, email me: [email protected] Pitch me your movie. Please!
I’m dying to go back to the movie theater and sit in my red velvet seat with my popcorn and watch those curtains part and think: This is gonna be goooooooood!!
I’m waiting for Jaws. And it’s out there.
I just know it.
And Lisa, I can drive my own car now. Call me!