Are film fans conditioned to only expect blockbusters at the cinema?

There appears to be a shift taking place in audience expectations of movies at the cinema. A recent report in Reuters from the Toronto Film Festival suggests that box office business for more indie, drama movies is getting less lucrative.

In fact, as audiences move onto the web for movie downloads, it is likely that more indie, low budget movies will get their fame outside of the box office as distributors find it harder to market them. How did this happen and what does this mean for the future at the box office?

There will always be a demand for drama, thriller, comedy genres and so forth, but the way marketing is carried out for these movies could be changing because of the web’s influence. Blockbuster films have huge marketing budgets and can practically dominate online as well as traditional advertising placements. When it comes to indie movies, getting an audience buzz around a film tends to start at major film festivals. Big releases like George Clooney’s ‘The Descendants’ and David Cronenberg’s ‘A Dangerous Mind’ are getting plenty of attention, but perhaps audiences are turning to the web for indie movies, and the theatre for blockbusters.

Because technology is bringing movies into our homes faster, simpler and cheaper, the concept of the theatre may be changing for audiences. People are more intrigued to see an ‘epic’, 3D movie or family release rather than an indie shot on a low budget. The web is still fairly new in the film marketing mix, but it seems that indie movies are getting more buzz online because budgets are low, and the free tools available to promote them are plentiful. Does this mean audiences discover indie movies on the web first, and would prefer to download them digitally rather than see them in theatres?

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