Steven Spielberg predicted that an ‘implosion’ in the film industry would happen a decade ago
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With movie buffs salivating over big summer releases including Oppenheimer, Barbie and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, an ominous 2013 prediction made by Steven Spielberg about the film industry 'imploding' has resurfaced.
He was talking alongside fellow legendary filmmaker, George Lucas, as well as CNBC anchor, Julia Boorstin, and Microsoft president of interactive entertainment business, Don Mattrick.
The panel had assembled for the opening of a new media centre at the University of Southern California a decade ago when he made the ominous call.
The Jurassic Park director spoke about half a dozen $250million (£190million) movies failing in quick succession resulting in dramatic price variances in the same theatre.
He said: “That’s the big danger, and there’s eventually going to be an implosion – or a big meltdown. There’s going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even a half-dozen megabudget movies are going to go crashing into the ground, and that’s going to change the paradigm.
“You’re gonna have to pay $25 for the next Iron Man, you’re probably only going to have to pay $7 to see Lincoln," he said.
He also touched on students entering the industry at a time when even firmly established directors were struggling to get their commercial releases into cinema, admitting that his Oscar-winning film, Lincoln, came 'this close' to premiering on HBO rather than the big screen that same year.
The father of the Star Wars franchise, Lucas, seemed to agree that an upheaval was coming down the pike for the industry.
Lucas seemed to see cinemas adopting a Browadway-play model: this would involve fewer movies hitting screens but staying for up to a year with ticket prices higher.
He noted that Spielberg's 1982 blockbuster, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was in theatres for a whopping 16 months.
When Spielberg expressed his belief that the ingenues were 'too fringe-y for the movies', Lucas agreed and said that the 'pathway to get into theatres is really getting smaller and smaller' for everyone.
The Schindler's List director did a slight back pedal in 2015, however, when he denied making comments on there being an 'implosion' coming.
He wanted to set the record straight as USA Today reported following a press conference for Bridge Of Spies: “To clarify, I didn’t ever predict the implosion of the film industry at all."
He continued: “I simply predicted that [with] a number of blockbusters in one summer – those big sort of tentpole superhero movies – there was going to come a time where two or three or four of them in a row didn’t work. That’s really all I said. I didn’t say the film industry was ever going to end because of them."
He said he was talking about the superhero genre in particular and that it 'doesn’t have the legs or the longevity of the western, which was around since the beginning of film, and only started to wither and shrivel in the 60s'.
The Indiana Jones director added that he was merely “trying to make a point that there was room for every kind of movie today, because there seems to be an audience for everything.”