Hollywood had an awful summer. Despite the release of the likes of Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Mummy, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2, and Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales the overall box office haul was just $3.8 billion, Hollywood’s lowest total since 2006’s $3.7 billion.
This 14.6% drop from 2016 immediately caused some introspection, as well as a myriad of think pieces declaring the demise of blockbuster American cinema. But there’s one person who isn’t worried about the huge drop in box office figures. And the fact that he is one of the most successful producers in Hollywood history means that we should probably listen to him, too.
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Jerry Bruckheimer, whose movies have taken in over $18 billion during his 45 year career, made this admission when I spoke to him over the phone about his latest movie “12 Strong” earlier this month.
When I brought up Hollywood’s lackluster summer, Bruckheimer nonchalantly responded, “Even though box office is down if one or two movies in the summer had been inserted that would have changed that. We didn’t have a big movie in August, and that usually makes the difference, because there wasn’t a movie from a big studio that broke through in the end.”
At this point I asked Bruckheimer about how the movie climate has changed because of the rise of Netflix and other streaming websites. But the producer insisted that the competition didn’t just stop there.
“There are a lot more distractions for audiences today. From television. Which is excellent. And streaming. And sporting events. And gaming. So many people play games. There’s a lot of competition. There’s so many distractions from movies for people’s eyeballs, and that makes it more difficult.”
Because “12 Strong” isn’t a superhero film, sequel, reboot, or based on an intellectual property Bruckheimer admitted that it made it harder to get the movie produced, too.
“Any movie is hard to get made. Unless it is a comic, and even those are hard to get made. Most studios like pre-sold material. And whether it is a TV series or a sequel to movie or whether it is a DC or Marvel comic, these are all pre-sold things.”
“’12 Strong’ is based on a best selling book, but still it is difficult subject matter and not right down the middle for a studio. So we got it financed independently, and fortunately Warner Bros are releasing it here, and Lionsgate are releasing it abroad.”
You’ll be able to watch “12 Strong” for yourself when it is released on January 19.