Brian Stauffer reported for Variety on something I’ve surely noticed a lot lately: movies are really freaking long now. So many movies clock in at two and a half or even nearly three hours, lately. For me, it seems to be a detrimental factor each and every time I think about watching a film. Even when watching at home, the long runtime means you can’t just pop a movie on after dinner, especially when you need to be up for work the next day.
Stauffer talks to a number of industry people about this and how all that extra footage has a financial impact on a film’s budget too.
With a visual-effects-driven film, an extra 30 to 60 more minutes of screen time can increase a budget by as much as 25%, one source at a major studio estimates. The more footage on tape, the more time is needed in post-production stages, which adds some $50,000 to $100,000 per week, the insider adds. That takes into account aspects like audio mixing and sound editing.Variety
One interesting other tidbit was a clause that directors sign when agreeing to come on board. Apparently, they must agree to deliver a film that is no longer than two hours. But it seems the rule is widely ignored by studios for fear of interfering with the creative process. There’s a lot more to the entire trend and it doesn’t point at only one thing. Stauffer’s reporting is a fascinating take on why this is happening.