Ben Affleck says the whole industry has changed.
I loved The Last Duel. It was a complex and interesting movie that contained some amazing performances and a story that showed how terrible life was for women, as well as how different perspectives on a crime can cloud any person's memory but open an audience to what really happened.
Unfortunately, the movie didn't do well at the box office. When asked about it, Ridley Scott blamed millennials on their phones, disinterested in being challenged or paying attention. But recently, Ben Affleck answered the same question with an especially nuanced answer.
At a screening of his new film, The Tender Bar, The Hollywood Reporter said that Affleck answered with, “Ridley is at the stage in his career where, obviously, he’s completely unencumbered by concerns about what people think.”
Of course, that got a great reaction, but Affleck then expanded on why he thought people didn't go see the movie.
He said, “Really, the truth is that I’ve had movies that didn’t work that bombed, that weren’t good. It’s very easy to understand that and why it happened. The movie is shit, people don’t want to see it, right? This movie, The Last Duel, I really like. It’s good and it plays—I saw it play with audiences and now it’s playing well on streaming. It wasn’t one of those films that you say, ‘Oh boy, I wish my movie had worked.’ Instead, this is more due to a seismic shift that I’m seeing, and I’m having this conversation with every single person I know. Though there are various iterations, the conversation is the same: How is [the movie business] changing?”
Affleck is right. Everything seems like it's changing in the blink of an eye.
Movies have so much to compete with now, not to mention the ongoing pandemic that's gripping the world.
Affleck also addressed home video, which is booming currently.
He said, “One of the fundamental ways it’s changing is that the people who want to see complicated, adult, non-IP dramas are the same people who are saying to themselves, ‘You know what? I don’t need to go out to a movie theater because I’d like to pause it, go to the bathroom, finish it tomorrow.’ It’s that, along with the fact that you can watch with good quality at home. It’s not like when I was a kid and the TV at home was an 11-inch black-and-white TV. I mean, you can get a 65-inch TV at Walmart for $130. There’s good quality out there and people are at home streaming in Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. It’s all changed.”
The world has changed, so where does that leave the cinema? We're learning in real-time, so we don't have the answers. What do you think?
Let us know in the comments.