Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The Summer of 2050 at the Cinema

Picture it. The summer of 2050 at the cinema. The studios probably already are. They've already got their sure thing tent poles already picked out and ready to grab the masses, pulling in ridiculous profits. Their market research has led to more 'sure things' than ever before.

Marvel Phase 14 is well under way with Avengers 14 out next summer. Star Wars Origins have seen spin offs of every major character in the original Star Wars trilogy from birth to puberty to retirement and episode 16 is due any day now. Spiderman is on his sixth reboot, Fast and Furious 50 promises to be a landmark in the franchise and vampire and zombie movies are still selling well.

J.J. Abrams and his two offspring will of course be directing most of these with Christopher Nolan producing from his death bed. Elderly stars like Tom Cruise and their increasingly important stunt doubles are mo-capping for digitally rendered versions of their younger, prettier selves and still making the studios a mint.

The summer schedules are filled with blockbusters and the trailers are now six minutes long and feature excerpts from every major set piece expertly edited together with juicy sound bites of increasingly ridiculous and repetitive dialogue. 

The cinemas all have bouncers who patrol the aisles with night vision goggles, looking for pirates at work. They watch you endlessly as you try to watch the film, trying even harder not to notice them. There are now nearly 10 minutes of messages warning you not to pirate movies or you will kill cinema.

The average length of a film is now just shy of 3 hours and cinemas have gotten wise, having an interval in most and sending staff in to sell you food and drink, scratch cards, name it. The second half is usually filled with kids waving light sabers excitedly in the air. Many people take the option of a three course meal for the duration of the film and wear bibs due to the difficulties of eating in the darkened cinema.

The norm will be to tweet, text and Facebook your friends during a film (even if they are in the seat next to you). Thankfully most phone batteries don't last as long as a film anymore, so by the second half most have died and all those bright white lights have disappeared (to be replaced by kids with replica plastic lightsabers).

Franchises rule, originality is dead, but at least audiences still love the movies. 

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