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Are films too lengthy? Hollywood assessments the bounds of our pandemic consideration spans

That is the Nov. 30, 2021, version of the Large Shot, a weekly e-newsletter about every thing occurring within the enterprise of leisure. Sign up here to get it in your inbox.

Over the last a number of months, a crop of Hollywood films has examined the bounds of the oft-cited Roger Ebert chestnut: “No good film is just too lengthy and no unhealthy film is brief sufficient.”

The newest is “Home of Gucci,” Ridley Scott’s epic drama starring Girl Gaga because the Italian socialite Patrizia Reggiani and Adam Driver as Maurizio Gucci, which runs for two hours and 38 minutes, in accordance with IMDb.

Gaga et al are removed from alone in making large asks of an viewers that has turn into accustomed to bingeing short-burst tales on Instagram, pausing Netflix films for lavatory breaks and watching movies in chunks on-line.

“King Richard,” starring Will Smith as tennis patriarch Richard Williams, lasts two hours and 24 minutes. “No Time to Die” took two hours and 43 minutes to bid farewell to Daniel Craig. Chloé Zhao and Marvel Studios devoted two hours and 37 minutes to the aptly named “Eternals.” Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” clocked in at two hours and 35 minutes, and he tailored solely half of the guide.

Given the delicate state of the field workplace restoration amid the continued COVID-19 pandemic, which has dramatically modified viewers viewing habits, are lengthy operating instances turning off viewers?

Greater than half of moviegoers search for a film’s runtime earlier than deciding to purchase a ticket, in accordance with new survey information collected by Display Engine/ASI solely for The Instances. And in a potential signal of issues to return, youthful audiences are extra apt to take action.

In a ballot of two,055 moviegoers within the U.S., a plurality of respondents (36%) mentioned they typically sought out a movie’s runtime earlier than deciding to see it, whereas 16% mentioned they all the time did, in accordance with the polling. Comparatively, 32% indicated they hardly ever sought out runtimes. Sixteen p.c mentioned they by no means did.

Youthful audiences have been extra more likely to search runtime info, with 55% of these beneath 35 both all the time or typically checking size, in contrast with 48% of these 35 and older.

Audiences don’t all the time let length affect their purchases. Amongst those that no less than sometimes examine runtimes, 44% mentioned their choice all the time relied on how a lot they needed to see the film, not its size, in accordance with Display Engine/ASI.

However for many who do consider runtime, 38% have been hesitant to trek to a film longer than 120 minutes, and a complete of 57% expressed trepidation about films operating previous 150 minutes.

Forty-five p.c of moviegoers mentioned they’d be positively or in all probability much less concerned about seeing a movie in the event that they heard it was too lengthy.

How a lot the luxurious runtimes are affecting enterprise is an open query, given the blended field workplace outcomes of the most recent crop of marathon films.

“Home of Gucci” runs for 2 hours and 38 minutes; “King Richard” lasts two hours and 24 minutes.

(Photograph illustration by Nicole Vas / Los Angeles Instances; Metro Goldwyn Mayer; Chiabella James / Warner Bros.)

The MGM-produced “Home of Gucci” grossed $21.8 million throughout its five-day Thanksgiving weekend debut within the U.S. and Canada, a good consequence in comparison with different current non-Marvel and non-horror fare. It’s laborious on the market for unique films made for adults, resembling Scott’s different 2021 film, “The Final Duel” (two hours and 32 minutes). However it was a so-so exhibiting contemplating “Gucci’s” $75-million manufacturing finances.

MGM declined to remark.

Warner Bros.’ “King Richard,” which is streaming for a restricted time on HBO Max, swung and missed at theaters with $11.4 million to this point domestically. “Dune” ($102 million), “Eternals” ($151 million) and “No Time to Die” ($158 million) did respectable enterprise in North America, contemplating the consequences of COVID-19 on film theaters, however the outcomes don’t look so sizzling when stacked up in opposition to comparable prepandemic releases.

Conversely, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” at round 90 minutes, grossed about $210 million within the U.S. and Canada regardless of middling critiques.

“The flicks are too rattling lengthy” isn’t a brand new grievance. Yearly brings a brand new headline in regards to the newest endurance assessments on the multiplex. My favourite from 2021 comes from Fiona Sturges within the Unbiased: “No Time to Pee.”

After a 12 months and a half of films on demand and at dwelling, a 150-minute-plus movie with no breaks (plus interminable trailers and more and more prevalent post-credits scenes) can sound like a slog.

And but the highest-grossing films of all time are additionally a few of the longest. “Avengers: Endgame” was greater than three hours lengthy, and it made $2.8 billion!

It is smart that so lots of the photos popping out now are blowing previous the 140-minute mark. The flicks we’re speaking about right here have been greenlighted earlier than COVID-19 shut every thing down and supercharged modifications in client habits. The pandemic delayed the varieties of films that are likely to run longer and put extra calls for on the senses — Imax-ready movies that typically reward the big-screen expertise.

But when there’s a lesson for studios to take from the “Venom” sequel, possibly it’s to not chew off greater than the viewers is able to chew.

Stuff we wrote

Composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim gestures during a gathering.

Composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim died Friday.

(Charles Krupa / Related Press; photograph illustration by Nicole Vas / Los Angeles Instances)

Close to strike by Hollywood crews could possibly be an indication of issues to return. Anousha Sakoui writes:The shut vote portends a brand new period of labor activism contained in the 128-year-old union and will pose a transparent problem to the management of IATSE President Matthew Loeb, union members and labor consultants mentioned.”

Column by Jonah Goldberg: I left Fox Information after 12 years. Tucker Carlson’s “Patriot Purge” was the final straw.

How Stephen Sondheim modified theater eternally — one musical masterpiece at a time. Theater critic Charles McNulty on the late great’s influence.

“Rust” producer linked to imminent Dustin Hoffman film. Thomasville Photos is listed as a manufacturing firm on the movie “Sam & Kate,” and the Georgia-based movie firm’s founder Ryan Donnell Smith is listed as government producer.

Variety of the week

$142 million

The Thanksgiving weekend field workplace numbers are each an indication of how far the business’s restoration has come for the reason that worst of the pandemic and the way far the enterprise nonetheless has to go to get again to regular.

Motion pictures grossed an estimated $142 million Wednesday by way of Sunday within the U.S. and Canada, in accordance with Comscore, led by Disney’s newest animated characteristic, “Encanto” (opening with $40.3 million).

The entire is method up from the identical weekend final 12 months, after all, but it surely’s down 46% from 2019’s Turkey Day haul. Not counting the doldrums of 2020, it’s the worst Thanksgiving weekend tally since 1994, with out adjusting for inflation.

A current survey of two,500 pre-pandemic moviegoers discovered that 49% are not shopping for tickets and that 16% of people that haven’t returned to theaters don’t see themselves ever going again. The study, led by movie analysis agency the Quorum and launched Monday, mentioned the theatrical film enterprise nonetheless “has a lot work to do” to win again former filmgoers.

Some film executives are seeing indicators of sunshine on the finish of the tunnel for theatrical movies, with sure films performing effectively. However the brand new COVID-19 variant isn’t going to assist issues.

A bar chart showing a bounce back in Thanksgiving movie box office revenue in 2021 over 2020.

Tales from the week

Did the Grammys pull a “well-liked” Oscar transfer? The New York Instances reported that Kanye West and Taylor Swift were added as top nominees on the final minute. “Abba, Lil Nas X and others benefited because the variety of rivals within the 4 all-genre classes grew from eight to 10 in a gathering the day earlier than the nominations have been introduced,” the paper mentioned.

Comcast weighs pulling some content material from Hulu in effort to spice up Peacock. NBCUniversal unit has a window allowing it to remove shows that seem on the Disney-controlled streaming service. (The Wall Road Journal)

Extra China bother for Disney. “The absence of an episode of ‘The Simpsons’ from Walt Disney Co.’s streaming service in Hong Kong is elevating issues about rising censorship within the Chinese language territory,” reports the WSJ.

The loss on the coronary heart of Man Fieri’s leisure empire. “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” is a mainstay of fundamental cable — and a rallying cry for a country that is losing touch with itself. (The Atlantic)

Lastly…

Will Smith smiles at the camera.

(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Instances; photograph illustration by Nicole Vas / Los Angeles Instances)

I haven’t learn Will Smith’s new memoir but. However I loved his interview on “Fresh Air.” He talks at size and candidly about his difficult relationship together with his father and the way that knowledgeable his efficiency in “King Richard” because the dad of Venus and Serena Williams.

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