ARTICLE: HOW AMERICAN FILMS DOMINATE THE BOX OFFICE
How American Films Dominate the Box Office
Hollywood has dominated the worldwide box office since before movies had sound. This is either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on whether you are part of Hollywood, or as insiders call it, “The Industry” or not. There are several reasons for this dominance, some of them deliberate and some of them purely lucky. But they can be broken down into several different categories, all coming together to ensure that Hollywood pockets the lion`s share of worldwide box office receipts.
Hollywood has bigger budgets available than anyone else. The seemingly bottomless bank accounts they can draw on drive everything else. Hollywood studios can afford better everything than the rest of the world, from advertising through the zero-profit books on blockbusters produced by teams of math whizzes. This begs the question of why they can`t afford better scripts, but that`s another article. The sheer amount of U.S. dollars available to the studios ensures that they can stay ahead of whatever trend is breaking.
This is partly a matter of diligent research, but it`s also because Hollywood can afford to produce more movies than anyone else. One blockbuster will pay for several flops, allowing Hollywood the freedom to experiment. The advent of television, cable and home theaters have all given Hollywood more ways to squeeze profits out of movies that do not do as well as hoped at the box office.
“More stars than there are in Heaven” was the motto of MGM, one of the most successful studios during Hollywood`s Golden Age, which stretched from the release of “The Jazz Singer” in 1927 until the 1960s when the decline of the studio system and the rise of auteur directors changed everything. America and Hollywood in its youth reflected a glamour and freedom embodied in its brightest stars. Blessed with good looks and talent, they were enhanced with state-of-the-art make-up and lighting, enchanting the entire world.
While Hollywood may not always invent the newest technology, for example, the Lumiere Brothers are credited with inventing modern cinema, they are usually the first to capitalize on it. From sound through Technicolor to the latest breathtaking special effects coming from Industrial Light & Magic, Digital Domain or any one of the brilliant new companies, Hollywood promises magic and it delivers to an extent that few other locations can afford. The downside is that Hollywood seems only to care about explosion-laden action movies at the expense of smaller, more thoughtful films.
Fortunately, you don`t have to be an industry insider to make a great film. Independent film festivals like The Bushwick Film Festival in Brooklyn, New York are giving audiences a chance to experience films made outside of the Hollywood machine. They are a vital part of the filmmaking industry as a whole, providing a refreshing alternative to the latest superhero remake.
While you are at your next movie, whether it`s a Hollywood blockbuster or an indie gem, take a second to listen to the music. Hollywood can afford the best composers and biggest-name performers. However, you can compose a soundtrack for your own small film, or your life, with a set of drums or some Epiphone guitars and amps. Who knows? Maybe someday you`ll give Hollywood a run for its money.