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Summer Reading: Is Independent Film Dying?


One of the more interesting entertainment-related stories I came across this past week is a Salon "Beyond the Multiplex" column about a subject near and dear to my heart: independent film. In the story, writer Andrew O'Hehir looks at the signs that indie films — so hot just a few years ago — are undergoing a pretty serious slide at the box office. Among the evidence:

  • Several "independent" divisions of major studios are slashing their workforce or shutting their doors.
  • Though Juno was a success last year, none of this year's indie films have broken through in a big way at the box office.
  • The "digital revolution" has led to more films being produced than the market can hold, and many of them aren't great quality.
  • Despite all that, more people than ever are saying they'd rather see independent films than studio fare.

It's an interesting look at a possibly outdated model for distributing smaller, quirkier films. So, go give it a read, and then come back here and tell me what you think about the state of independent film today.

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supertramp supertramp 8 years
I don't think Independent films were ever known to get high box office numbers. For me they're like my own little film that most people in town don't know about. They are meant to find their audience big or small.
luxington luxington 8 years
I haven't seen an independent film in a theater for a while now (I think my last one was The Counterfeiters). Our lovely local indie theaters were bought by Landmark and now they never show anything I'm interested in- hardly any docs or foreign films. I have definitely noticed a decrease in general of indie films. Hopefully the film industry will not suffocate itself like the music industry has buy churning out less product that is even lower quality than before and wondering why no one is willing to pay for it.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 8 years
"In a few years we'll have half as many films released in half as many theaters." If that means that the quality of the films will improve because only the best of the best will survive then maybe that's not such a bad thing. Interesting article. Thanks for linking to it, Buzz.
Juicylemon Juicylemon 8 years
''Despite all that, more people than ever are saying they'd rather see independent films than studio fare. '' Really? It contradicts box-office reports no? Or people would rather say they prefer indie flicks because of some mindset that going to see big budget movies = being shallow? Hollywood= evil, other=good?
xrawk_starrx xrawk_starrx 8 years
I think Hollywood is just running out of ideas.
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