Early last month, Steven Spielberg and his old friend George Lucas made headlines when, during a televised symposium held at the University of Southern California, the former predicted that the movie industry is heading towards an "implosion." Spielberg's point was simple: Eventually, the catastrophic flops of multiple $200 million-plus studio films will cause a drastic change in business practices, and not for the better. As he put it, "There's going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even a half-dozen mega-budget movies are going to go crashing into the ground, and that's going to change the paradigm." Added Lucas, referring to his pal's recent Oscar-nominated biopic, "I think eventually the Lincolns will go away and they're going to be on television."
On one hand, you can read this and scoff, saying, "Hold up—Spielberg and Lucas are largely responsible for Hollywood's blockbuster problem." But you should also take heed, since, like it or not, those two guys know a lot more about the film biz's inner machinations than any of us. As they see it, ticket prices for flicks like Iron Man 3 could gradually rise to $25, and fewer movies will be made per year, leaving more room for the limited releases to stay in theaters for upwards of 365 days and follow a "Broadway model."
If that doesn't frighten you, just look at our list of the best movies of the 2013 (so far). Save for a few major studio releases, it's predominantly a collection of the year's finest independent films, because, well, they've just been that much better. The smaller films that populate the following countdown also need your eyes, support, and word-of-mouth chatter more than, say, Man of Steel. Piggybacking off of Spielberg and Lucas, studios will always find ways to produce the next big superhero movie, action bonanza, and comic book adaptation, but do-it-yourself indie movies? That so-called implosion, if it ever happens, could destroy them.
And as this list makes clear, movie lovers will be living in a bleak world if the Ben Wheatleys, Amy Seimetzs, and Harmony Korines of the game aren't able to create.
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