Why are there still movies?

On 60 Minutes last night, they said that Liam Neeson was being paid $50 million for Taken 3, and he didn’t deny it.

I don’t get it. The Taken movies were OK for light escapist fluff, but IMO far inferior to an above-average episode of a good TV drama like Homeland or Justified.

Same with comedies. I’m having trouble thinking of movies by SNL alums that were half as funny as their best work on SNL. Yeah, I liked Bill Murray in Stripes, but it wasn’t as good as Il Returno de Hercules on SNL, which made me laugh so hard my sides hurt. Yet somebody like Adam Sandler gets $20 million for a 90 minute movie, while he probably got about 1% of that for a whole season of SNL. And those are actually funny people. How about the millions per movie made by Chevy Chase, let alone Pauly Shore?

A big name director who turns in an absolutely terrible 90 minute movie still gets paid more than a big name director of a great TV series will get for a season.

And of course, the TV shows are free, and the movies cost what, 15 bucks now? And the seats are uncomfortable, and if you have to use the bathroom you miss five minutes and there’s no rewind, and half the time the picture is too dark or the sound is too loud or out of sync, and the people next to you are on the phone, and the people next to them shoot them for being on the phone.

How do they keep this scam going? In the days before TV, when movies were all we had, most of the stars got paid amazingly low salaries. Now that there’s all kinds of free (and often better) competition, they get paid astronomical salaries.

How do they stay in business?

When movies don’t do well, they’re a tax shelter. When they do do well, they make hundreds of millions of dollars.

What’s the mystery?

Moviegoing is an event. You get out of the house, maybe you get dinner beforehand, you take a date, you feel like you’re going somewhere. The lights lower, you know you’re not going to be distracted or flip the channel or check your e-mail…I still enjoy the process of seeing the movies on the big screen.

This is totally true. My wife and I can watch a TV show any old day we want–but we go to the movies a couple of times a year, and it’s a big honkin deal for us to go.

People pay to go see them. In addition, there is money to be made in streaming them and showing them on TV and Pay per view. A successful movie makes far more money more quickly (though a TV show can be very lucrative over time).

Except they aren’t free, unless they’re on broadcast channels. And then you still have commercials every 8 minutes.

While 60" screens are getting common at home these days the 60’ ones are pretty hard to come by.

Because people like things you don’t like. It’s a crazy world, isn’t it, OP?

OP - I cannot emphasize how strongly I empathize with every point you made in your OP. They are the reasons I do my best to avoid going out to movies. (Yes, I am aware of how ludicrously insignificant my not doing so is in the overall scheme of anything.) That said, your thread title is pretty much guaranteed to bring the piranha swarming. Just sayin’ (predicting?)

I don’t go to movies that often, but I don’t see why you would call it a “scam.” Everyone knows the deal.

Why is it so difficult not to go somewhere?

People have been fretting and alternately proclaiming the death of the silver screen since the beginning. What keeps it going is the unmatched experience and immersion.

OTOH, if you’re not there to see the latest roman-numeral tentpole, your home screen is likely bigger than the one you’ll get in the far-end theater.

Shows what you know. They never use Roman numerals any more.

OP opines that he sees no value in movies over serial TV shows and wonders why there’s still a market for them. Several posters provide reasons. Interesting conversation happens. Can we drop the tiresome meme that any thread inquiring about why others see value in x is somehow invalid or can be simply answered with “people like things you don’t like”?

Well, I really don’t care because I have an LXXX-inch TV. (It’s a pretentious brand, so it’s marketed as XXC.)

I must be thinking of Super Bowls and video games. :slight_smile:
I really have an LIV-inch screen, but the joke was funnier as above.

Yeah, but come on. Why are there still MOVIES? That’s a ridiculous question. I don’t watch TV. Why are there still TV shows? I don’t go to or watch sports events. Why are there still sports? I don’t listen to 99% of the music out there. Why does it all still keep getting made? If he can be a special snowflake, why can’t I?

Yep. I LIKE movies. I LIKE seeing movies in the theater. That’s my main reason. What’s it to the OP?

Movies make more money than TV because they have higher budgets, take less time to watch, have more bankable actors, and people across the whole world go to see them.

Taken budget: 25 million
Box office: 226 million

Taken 2 budget: 45 million
Box office: 376 million

So they spent 70 million and got back 600 million. Nice trick. Liam Neeson better get paid. You could watch all three Taken movies and barely scratch a Homeland season, so there’s much less commitment. And way better spectacles than anything Homeland does, which usually involves fast walking, shouting, Carrie’s googly eyes, and maybe every dozen episodes there’s an explosion. I can’t remember anything approaching the badassery of the “particular set of skills” phonecall either.

Now you can argue it’s still better, and I’d probably agree, but it’s like trying to argue McDonalds shouldn’t exist because they have shit food and you can make a burger at home that blows them away. True, but kinda beside the point.

I kind of agree with OP – Why are movies still there? Mostly inertia…

There are few movies anymore that are so grand in scope that they lose much in the translation to a mere 40"-60" screen. The available TV bandwidth is restricted to three channels any longer. Streaming opens things up even more, though streaming bandwidth will continue to be an issue, at least in America.

Theaters now make you sit through commercials (unless you arrive at the last minute and are willing to sit against the far right wall in the 2nd or 3rd row), though not during the movie (yet).

Once TV was a wasteland occupied by bad actors, mediocre writers and lowest common denominator producers. All of that still exists, but shorter season runs and 2nd tier networks willing to experiment have given us Mad Men, Louis, Breaking Bad, The Americans, and The Shield, not to mention the brilliance that premium channels offer (The Wire, The Sopranos, Rome, Deadwood, Game of Thrones, and True Detective, to name but a few).

Shows like these have the same advantage over movies that movies once had over television – They can take their time to develop characters and tell a story. And movie actors who once disdained television the way stage actors disdain movies are now willing to do series television.

It’s doubly annoying in this case since its a strawman. The OP isn’t saying he dislikes movies, he’s saying TV shows are more enjoyable, but that movies manage to make much more money despite that.

I think it’s an interesting question. For the price of two tickets to a two hour movie I can get twelve hours of season of one of Rome. Or two months of a Netflix account, which has both more good TV series and movies then I have hours in a day to watch them.