Why are there bad movies?

You can’t please all the people all the time. Everyone knows that. But it’s easy to forget when you go to the movies. “That movie was awful! That movie was boring! That movie was stupid!” Well, maybe that movie wasn’t meant for you. Where are my movies, you ask? If you’re not a white American male between the ages of 16-24 with some degree of discretionary income, chances are there will be fewer movies for you to choose from. Why? Because that’s who movie studios see as going to the movies. Sure, girls go. So do older folks. African-Americans. But it’s the white teen/post-teen boys that the studios can count on at the box office. That’s why we see Avengers and X-Men and Matrix and Hunger Games and Spider Man and Fast & Furious. Over and over. If they made more movies for other people, maybe they would go too, you say! Guess what. They have. And they don’t. It’s that simple. Movies are expensive to make. And cost just as much to market. Studio heads can’t take a chance on investing stockholders’ money on concepts that won’t deliver. They get fired. So more often than not, they make big bets on sure things. Or as sure as sure can be. Some times even the biggest writers, directors, producers, actors and studio executives in Hollywood can’t make those movies well. How come? Because all those powerful people have a voice, an opinion, an ego. So do all the people working for them. As a result, what you get is an idea, for better or for worse, that is pulled apart at the seams, one thread at a time with everyone trying to get their way. Getting three people to agree on where to eat for dinner can be a chore. Imagine trying to get 33 people to agree on a movie to make. That is why highly successful filmmakers often continue to make highly successful films. Because the top echelon of decision makers defer to them. Spielberg, Lucas, Howard, Reiner, Cameron, Bruckheimer, Davis. Do you have to write for the 16-24 market? No. Just know that’s your best shot at it getting made. Can I keep my story from being pulled apart? No. But you can’t make a movie if you don’t try. Just make sure you have learned your craft, done your work, and written the best screenplay you possibly can. Because that is where it all starts. And where most movies go wrong in the first place.