Hollywood films set to fall by a third


The number of films being produced by Hollywood is set to fall by more than a third according to a report in the guardian.co.uk.  Major studios are confronting a struggle against a twin threat, industry analysts say.

Their problems stem from a dearth of funding and from the digital revolution in the way people consume moving images.

Mark Gill, head of the Film Department, an independent film finance firm, predicted that last year’s peak of 606 films to emerge from Hollywood would fall to fewer than 400 next year "and it may go lower than that in future".

In the wake of the financial meltdown, banks that had acted as the main funders of big- and middle-budget films have withdrawn their largesse, sucking $12bn out of the $18bn available to the top studios, says Gill.

Other lines of income have also shrivelled, most importantly DVD sales, which have plummeted by up to 25% in some studios, partly as a result of piracy.
Digital downloads and video-on-demand are the new buzz technologies, but they still bring in tiny amounts compared with the dwindling DVD market.

Interesting,  a third blow, the hegemony of English-language Hollywood films is being challenged around the world, with audiences favouring homegrown talent. This may well also present a new opportunity for South Africa filmmakers.

Paradoxically, the appetite for film products remains buoyant. Ticket revenue has continued to climb by about 2% this year, a modest figure, but a striking achievement in the midst of a recession. Which makes sense as people seek out escapism in times of hardship and if ticket prices can be kept reasonably priced, then South African cinemas will also reap the benefits of this trend.


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