No Intermission, No Problem: Why Theaters Aren’t Sweating Longer Blockbusters

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Theater executives, Hollywood insiders and audiences say that potentially bloated runtimes are not a dealbreaker

The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, The Batman, Oppenheimer and Killers of the Flower Moon
The Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, The Batman, Oppenheimer and Killers of the Flower Moon

It’s not just your imagination — Hollywood tentpoles are getting longer.

Whether it’s awards contenders like the three-and-a-half-hour “Killers of the Flower Moon” (206 minutes) or popcorn flicks like the upcoming nearly three-hour “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” (158 minutes), movies in 2023 are testing the bladders of audiences and the patience of theater owners.

While journalists continue to debate the surge of longer-than-expected movies, Hollywood insiders and a majority of paying moviegoers see them as more of an annoyance than a problem, a recent poll shows. Theaters would generally prefer every major movie to come in at under two hours.

Comments

One response to “No Intermission, No Problem: Why Theaters Aren’t Sweating Longer Blockbusters”

  1. Jefferson Kibbee Avatar
    Jefferson Kibbee

    Regarding movie lengths these days. I’m 72 years old. I’m single. I possess the obligatory bladder issues that come with my age. I’m an avid movie fan. It’s not my imagination that today’s movie theatre audiences are primarily geriatric, at least in my locale. At two hours I have to pee. At 2 1/2 hours I’m on my way to the bathroom. I select my local theatre using the convenience on the men’s room. I can’t go see “ Killers……” until I find a friend willing to come with me. Most of my friends aren’t interested enough to spend 3 hours in a theater. Furthermore, I am not fond of somebody telling me what I missed. I certainly understand that the directors don’t want to break the flow of the film.. Perhaps a simple strategic freeze frame for 3 to 5 minutes with an appropriate musical piece, without some obnoxious commercial or promo. 

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