Were these works of art, or were they commodities? The distinction had become blurry.
The industry does care; the people who make movies need to be able to take themselves more seriously than the people who make popcorn do.
Some of the explanation for what happened to the movies has to do with the movies and the people who make them, but some of it has to do with the audience. "Its not so much that movies are dead, as that history has already passed them by."
In 1946, weekly movie attendance was a hundred million. That was out of a population of a hundred and forty-one million, who had nineteen thousand movie screens available to them. Today, there are thirty-six thousand screens in the United States and two hundred and ninety-five million people, and weekly attendance is twenty-five million.
In 1975, the average cost of marketing for a movie distributed by a major studio was two million dollars. In 2003, it was thirty-nine million dollars.
The primary target for the blockbuster is people with an underdeveloped capacity for deferred gratification; that is, kids.