It’s all about the dollar. Sometimes it’s just not about entertainment. Whether it’s filming a movie in standard 2D (because it’s cheaper than filming properly in 3D) and then doing a post-conversion into clunky 3D so you can charge more for the tickets, you can tell that some films are just a balance sheet exercise.
Then it comes to distribution and again the economics run the show. Restricting the 2D screenings and making the 3D conversion available in more screens you increase the box office bias once more.
On top of this, we now have an even more cynical trend appearing, with a movie being filmed, for example, to an 18 certificate level and then being cut for the theatrical release to achieve a 15 certificate, only to then be released on DVD / Blu-Ray as the original 18 version.
Uncut, harder and exploitative are words often used in this circumstance; the former by the distributor, the latter by the audience.
And you can’t help but notice that it’s often symptomatic of films that are just a bit shit. I think it’s fairly widely acknowledged that Taken 2 and Die Hard 5 were both poor films and they were both given exactly this re-cut treatment.
Surely it would just be easier for all concerned to start with a good premise, a good script and perhaps a cast and director who can do it justice. Then you’ll make money because more people will want to see the film, it will be successful for longer and the audience won’t feel like they’re being exploited for a studio’s gain or for the fat paycheck of an actor who didn’t care but who signed on the line because some bean counter had a predicted box office figure on their balance sheet.
Have you ever come out of a screening feeling like you’ve not got as much out of the experience as the studio has just got out of you?