Lucas, Spielberg: Get ready for $100 movie tickets

Among other major shifts, these veterans predict Hollywood's focus on mega-budget films will mean far fewer and more expensive theaters.

By Bruce Kennedy Jun 14, 2013 1:27PM

File photo of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg in Los Angeles on Feb. 5, 2013 (© Startraks Photo/Rex Features)George Lucas and Steven Spielberg have been around the block a couple of times when it comes to producing blockbuster movies. So when these highly successful Hollywood veterans say their industry is on the verge of some radical economic and cultural changes, it's worth paying attention.

Lucas and Spielberg recently took part in a panel discussion at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. And according to industry newspaper Variety, the two warned that Hollywood's current trend of big-budget action movies -- and the industry's expectations of equally huge profits -- could have dire consequences.

The film studios may be "going for the gold," Lucas said, "but that isn't going to work forever. And as a result they're getting narrower and narrower in their focus. People are going to get tired of it. They're not going to know how to do anything else."

Spielberg pointed out that because theatrical movie releases are now competing against new, more personal and often more compelling forms of entertainment, Hollywood is playing a dangerous high-stakes game.

"There's eventually going to be a big meltdown," he said. "There's going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even a half-dozen of these mega-budgeted movies go crashing into the ground, and that's going to change the paradigm again."

After that meltdown, Lucas predicts a smaller and much higher-priced sector of movie theaters.

"You're going to end up with fewer theaters, bigger theaters with a lot of nice things," he forecast. "Going to the movies will cost 50 bucks or 100 or 150 bucks, like what Broadway costs today, or a football game. It'll be an expensive thing. . . . (The movies) will sit in the theaters for a year, like a Broadway show does."

The two men also expect most "content" -- movies and TV series -- to find a new home with video-on-demand streaming services, whereby smaller and quirkier entertainment can find new audiences.

"What used to be the movie business, in which I include television and movies, . . . will be Internet television," Lucas said.

Spielberg and Lucas also considered the growing field of video games and how their audience will most likely expand. Among the changes they expect are more empathetic games -- in which users can actually relate to characters -- that will develop a new market.

"The big game of the next five years will be a game where you empathize very strongly with the characters and it's aimed at women and girls," Lucas said.

"They like empathetic games. That will be a huge hit and as a result that will be the 'Titanic' of the game industry," he added, "where suddenly you've done an actual love story or something and everybody will be like 'where did that come from?' Because you've got actual relationships instead of shooting people."

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Jun 14, 2013 1:43PM
I see where they are going with internet movies/television, but I don't see $100 movie tickets, even if it was the best 3D, surround sound, butlers and maids, dinner....maybe i'm too short sighted, maybe i'm cheap.
Jun 14, 2013 3:15PM
Let me think about this. Would I rather spend $50-$100 to watch something in a movie theater with sticky floors that smells like feet where some a$$h0le is sitting the next row down playing with his/her phone through half of the movie? Or would I rather watch it at home?

Home, please.
Jun 14, 2013 2:49PM
You pay $100 for live theatre, concert, opera, etc. because you are taking in a live performance, with its individuality, idiosyncrasies and possible flaws.  You pay to be part of this human experience.  Other than the rich or well connected whores who get in free, what idiot would pay that kind of money for something that is already canned, will always have the same beginning, middle and end no matter where or how many times you see it?
Jun 14, 2013 3:38PM
I won't pay 100.00 to see a stupid movie.  Go to the library, check out a book, FREE!!!
Jun 14, 2013 2:55PM
Don't they already have enough  money? 
Jun 14, 2013 4:08PM

The general population won't pay a hundred bucks to see a movie any time soon.

And I can guarantee you that I won't.


Jun 14, 2013 4:02PM
These people are so full of themselves. Most movies suck, even for $12. Plus, I won't support any of these liberal freak, drug addict, sex addict, alcoholic losers. If they met me, they would look down on me, because I don't share their political views. Why would I give them one red cent? Their idea that their movies are somehow worth $100 a ticket goes to show you how arrogant and out of touch they are.
Jun 14, 2013 3:01PM
I can't remember the last time I went to a Movie Theater AND I don't PLAN to start going now...
$10 Turns Me Off so 10 times that is beyond Ridiculous...

I do Remember now it was NOV 1987 in Texas and my Brother bought the Tickets...  His BIG Spending Days have Fallen from Grace and He know it for a Long time now...!!

Jun 14, 2013 3:33PM

A hundred bucks is a long way off but a great selling technique by Spielberg, Lucas and Co. It makes $50 tickets sound cheap. Nice try.


What I am for is tiered pricing. Big budget movies should have higher ticket prices but in turn lower budget films should be cheaper. 


The bigger picture to me is with the huge advancement in home theater systems - why bother with the sticky floors and guy behind you kicking your seat and coughing down your neck? And I make better popcorn for pennies on the dollar.


Going to the movies - eh!

Jun 14, 2013 3:15PM
Yes interent movies.    So I don't have to sit behind people texting with their damn iPhones.
Jun 14, 2013 4:54PM
They could get away with spending about $25 million less per actor and then maybe they wouldn't be "big budget" films anymore...
Jun 14, 2013 4:39PM
As rich as these people are, you just can't fix stupid.
Jun 14, 2013 3:21PM
Jun 14, 2013 4:56PM
If the price of a movie ticket goes to $100 they can stick it where the sun does not shine
Jun 14, 2013 4:49PM
$150 for a movie? it better come with a hooker! :P
Jun 14, 2013 4:02PM
Sometimes it seems like people in the upper upper classes can't see the forest from the trees when it comes to the rest of us. Firstly, no one working a normal job is going to pay 100 for a movie ticket. $100 pays utility bills or buys groceries or formula and diapers. For $100, I want way more than an hour and a half of entertainment. The reason high budget blockbusters do so well is not only because of the special effects, but because the latest movies have played on the nostalgia people carry for the comics and other media they watched and loved when they were kids. I grew up watching marvel and dc cartoons so now I go see their movie versions. My little cousins grew up with yu-gi-oh, i'm sure they'll go see some live action version of that someday or whatever it is they're watching now.

Also, shoot'em ups are not only one genre of video games. These people obviously have never played any highly rated RPGs (role playing video games). Character depth is one of the defining traits of that genre. Hello! Final Fantasy 7 on the original playstation anyone! How about Heavy Rain, and the Dragon's Age and Mass Effect game franchises on xbox and ps3? My goodness, Red Dead Redemption!!! Loaded with very mature character development and relationships based on user choices. Sigh.
Jun 14, 2013 2:56PM

Well, That;s a good thing..Bye, Bye Hollywood.....What a wonderful thing...All the fruity liberals


where will the actors work? Well, There's always obamacare and foodstamps.

Jun 14, 2013 4:14PM
I watch the movies "On Demand" through Comcast. I can sit at home, make my own snacks that are stale and overpriced (or served by someone with dirty hands and a nasty attitude) and truly enjoy watching a movie. No crying babies. No idiots talking on cell phones. No high ticket prices.
Jun 14, 2013 5:00PM
LMAO! 100 bucks? Heck! I can't even remember the last time I went to a theater, can't stand the stale popcorn stink! I just wait until the movies are free on TV, usually in about 6 or 8 months.
Jun 14, 2013 4:24PM

Redbox at $1.20 a movie ----- movies coming out 4 months after in theatre ----- and you can own it on DVD for $10 - $15 and Blue Ray $15 - $20 you NOW OWN THE MOVIE!!!!


Theatres tickets at $100 dollars I think not UNLESS YOU LIVE IN NEW YORK & RECEIVE DINNER AND WINE!!!!



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