General Question

GeorgeGee's avatar

Are movies obsolete?

Asked by GeorgeGee (4920points) November 18th, 2010

The highest grossing movie ever, Avatar, grossed 601 Million as of 2/10. Compare this to the video game “Call of Duty: Black Ops” which grossed 650 Million in just its first five days. Could we say that games are now the dominant form of entertainment in the world?

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30 Answers

iamthemob's avatar

I would say movies are definitely more of a niche market at this point. That doesn’t make them obsolete…but I do think that where they were once the center of artistic creativity in terms of popular media, they no longer all.

I wouldn’t say that video games have taken the place as the dominant form – I would say the internet has.

JellyEater's avatar

Apparently and sort of. And it is a sign of the times. We will always escape to the movies

But, unlike a movie. Video games kid you into a false understanding of reality.
Since you sit in front of it for hours, the brain washing begins.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

No. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t see the occasional movie, I know tons of people who don’t play video games. I would also think that people are more likely to illegally download movies than games simply from shear availability.

Blackberry's avatar

I do like games because they’re more interactive, but movies are still alive in my entertainment category.

DominicX's avatar

What is it with all the exaggerations on this site lately? Just because a video game made more than a movie does not mean movies are “obsolete”. That’s like saying just because more people buy oranges, that means apples are obsolete.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Nope. Don’t forget that video games cost significantly more than movies.

Winters's avatar

Movies are still far from obsolete.

jaytkay's avatar

Games are what, $50? And movies $10 or less? Maybe games are obsolete, they only have 1/5 the audience.

@DominicX would get TWO ‘Great Answers from me if I could

erichw1504's avatar

After @DominicX‘s response there is nothing more to be said.

free_fallin's avatar

I echo @DominicX.

People are downloading movies so the revenue you see isn’t showing you how many people are actually watching the movie. Once you beat a video game, how often do you play it again? How often do you re-watch a movie you enjoyed? Movies will never be obsolete.

Mikewlf337's avatar

Heck no. People need entertainment. Most recent movies suck horribly and that’s why people trust hollywood alot less. They cast stupid actors and actresses who have no talent and outside of acting they try to tell people how to think and feel. Todays celebrities are so arrogant that some people rather not watch movies they are in. Actors and Actresses should do what they do best and act. Just because they make movies doesn’t mean I want their advice how to feel and live my life.

DominicX's avatar

How someone can prefer hours of simulated shooting people over something like American Beauty is beyond me, but I’m not a gamer…

Kardamom's avatar

I may have to answer that question tomorrow when Harry Potter comes out.

Aster's avatar

I don’t do either but I’d prefer movies and lots of buttered, overpriced popcorn and Coke. and I do mean overpriced !

cockswain's avatar

There has been an increase in shoe sales. Does this mean the demand for air travel will decrease?

flutherother's avatar

I think they should have interactive movies where everyone in the audience can play the part of a character on screen.

cockswain's avatar

@flutherother There is the Rocky Horror Picture Show. But the hell if I’m paying full price to see the audience take a shot at acting. That’s like paying a fee to drink at a bar that has karaoke.

Winters's avatar

@cockswain hey careful there, or I might just time warp you! lol

erichw1504's avatar

There has been an increase in shower curtain sales. Does this mean the demand for apple butter will decrease?

GeorgeGee's avatar

Maybe you’re unclear on the concept, or new to the idea of entertainment as a competitive market where game producers and movie producers go after the same entertainment dollars, but that much is quite well established. Further, entertainment moguls such as Stephen Spielberg don’t have their heads in the sand, Spielberg proudly produces games these days:
Major games hire major actors not only for voices but increasingly for mo-cap parts as well. They also hire costume, lighting, history, writing and other talent with backgrounds in the film industry. But with game revenues vastly exceeding those of the film industry, it’s unclear that films will continue to get the financial backing or even the talent necessary in the future.

Sarcasm's avatar

I understand the point of view. The best-selling film of all time got beaten out by a standard new-one-every-year FPS in terms of gross revenue.

But I don’t think that’s grounds for a belief that films are somehow obsolete.
First, I would only take in net revenue for any considerations. Films and games cost different amounts to produce, and of course it varies per film/game.
Second, I would have to see the average sales, rather than a single standout game/film.

But if we were to pretend, for a second, that those were true:
Yeah. Of course CODBLOPS outsold Avatar. CODBLOPS costs $60. A ticket to the theater is $11.25 (Or I think 3d is like $14? So we’re going to combine the two, round down, and say $12 for a movie ticket). If the game is $60 and the film is $12, then I wouldn’t believe an argument of “Films are inferior to games” from a financial point-of-view unless the game made more than 5x more revenue than the film. Because that’s the difference in cost between the two forms of entertainment.

But then, we could also consider the hours-per-dollar. A ticket at $12 for a 2-hour film is 0.167 hours per dollar. So if a game were to surpass that, then we could assume games are better. For CODBLOPS, then, you would need to get 10 hours of gameplay in order for it to have a better hpd ratio.

But I know that this is all a strawman. I am looking at movie rentals (Honestly, that’s all a theater is) to game purchases.
Games and films have completely different distribution systems. You just can’t compare the two. Almost every single big-name film comes out through a theater, while you never hear anyone say “Dude, let’s go to the arcade, they’ve got the new COD game!” (Arcades being the best analogue to theaters, for games), everyone purchases or pirates their games, they don’t rent it through any means.

Blackberry's avatar

@DominicX I felt the same way once, but I became a victim. The game changes you…

Katexyz's avatar

Woah, woah, woah. There are a lot of issues with this. First, Avatar grossed $2,781,505,847, that’s 2.781 billion dollars. If you remove 2 billion dollars from that total it still far exceeds COD Black Ops. Second as @jaytkay and @Sarcasm say, that game is $60 dollars per copy, where those who buy it intend to play it for several months, to a year, or far beyond. Avatar is a few hours long, and costs probably an average of ten dollars per ticket. That means that 278 million tickets for Avatar were sold (roughly) whereas slightly over 1 million copies of COD were sold. Not only that but the cost per minute of entertainment for watching a movie is much higher, and despite that more people chose the movie. I don’t see how the movie does not far outstrip the game in every sense.

(FYI, you quoted US box office only numbers for Avatar, and world wide sales for COD)

@iamthemob yeah I don’t know why I said trillion, cause I read it as being billion and did the math as it being in billions… it’s been a long day. Edited for correctness.

iamthemob's avatar


What? The number you quoted there is in the billions, not trillions. Not trillions at all.

I will comment that once the DVD sales are taken into account, there probably will be some evening out here.

Winters's avatar

@Sarcasm you forgot the cost of matinees as well.

filmfann's avatar

According to The Numbers Avatar has:

Total US Gross $760,507,181
International Gross $2,010,155,208
Worldwide Gross $2,770,662,389
Home Market Performance
US DVD Sales: $148,050,665

giving it a combined income of almost $3 billion, not 601 million. Add that to the DVD sales to the new version released this week!
Let’s see what the drop off on Call of Duty is.

tigress3681's avatar

You realize games typically cost $20–40 each where as movies cost about $10 at the theater.

edit: apparently katexyz already said this… haha sorry

mattbrowne's avatar

Did televisions make radios obsolete?

iamthemob's avatar

@mattbrowne – video did kill the radio star…

mattbrowne's avatar

@iamthemob – then came audio books…

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