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Saturday, December 7, 2013
Purple State Of Mind News
Tracking Purple State of Mind across America…
The 2010 summer boxoffice figures are in. The good news for the film industry is that revenues are up. According to Hollywood.com, this summer movie season (the first weekend of May through Labor Day weekend) the studios collectively grossed $4.35 billion, a 2.4 percent increase over last year’s $4.25 billion take. The bad news: admissions are down 2.5 percent to 552 million, the lowest tally since 1997. At the same time, the national average ticket price has increased to $7.88 from $7.50, a jump of 5 percent.
So what’s really going on here? One answer lies in the increased premiums for the flood of movies now being released and available in 3-D. But with the current trend of declining attendance, some would posit that novelty of 3-D might be wearing out its welcome by pricing itself out as well.
Ultimately, though, perhaps the problem is a qualitative rather than quantitative issue. While the summer was not without its gems, if you’re a person of a certain age (read: not in the 18-24 demographic – or even younger, it seems – so highly prized by studio marketing departments), then this was probably one bummer of a summer. Kenneth Turan, chief film critic of the LA Times, offers his take here. And Joe Queenan of the Wall Street Journal goes so far as to suggest 2010 as the worst movie year ever.
So what lies on the horizon? Here’s one trend that seems to be in vogue (Hint: look to the skies). And if you’re looking for someone to save the day, you certainly won’t go lacking for upcoming movies featuring comic book superheroes. Otherwise, if you’re in the mood for more serious down-to-earth fare with probably nary a visual effect nor any 3-D possibilities, Indiewire offers its fall preview here.
The profileration of e-books and e-readers (viz., Kindle, iPad, Sony Reader, Nook, Kobo, et al.) has many in the publishing business and readers in general wondering whether books will ultimately survive in an age when it seems that nearly everything is being reduced to a series of 1’s and 0’s. Not surprisingly, it was the great topic of discussion at the recently concluded BookExpo America in New York. Last week, Garrison Keillor offered his rather gloomy assessment in this New York Times Op-Ed and lamented the end of the book industry as we know it, while Ruth Franklin suggested in The New Republic that reports of the death of the industry may be greatly exaggerated. As the venerable New Yorker just announced its next selection of “20 Under 40″ fiction writers, at least it hasn’t abandoned its tradition of honoring writers and supporting the cause.
There is nothing like the smell, feel, heft, and memory of of a good book, and it’s probably one of the few material possessions one can occasionally consider, in a sense, to be a good friend. So let’s hope the medium can both withstand the current maelstrom and also endure. And amidst all the chatter – whether optimistic and pessimistic – within the publishing industry, let us not forget, as Lewis Lapham remarked at the Expo, “the power of expression and the force of imagination.”
The John Templeton Foundation sponsors a regular series of online exchanges, which always features an interesting and diverse selection of scientists, scholars, and public figures. We simply offer this in the spirit of Purple State of Mind for thought-provoking contemplation or discussion, as it provides a forum for inquiry in the context of specific questions and allows for divergent points-of-view without judgment or determination of right or wrong. The questions themselves are always grand in theme or scope, and this year’s question – Does Moral Action Depend on Reasoning? - is no different. The entire conversation can be downloaded here.
Previous Big Questions include:
Does the universe have a purpose?
Will money solve Africa’s development problems?
Does science make belief in God obsolete?
Does the free market corrode moral character?
Does evolution explain human nature?
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