dudeIn response to incoming Disney CEO Robert Iger's bizarre suggestion that a move towards simultaneous DVD and theatrical releases would solve shrinking box office problems, the chair of the National Association of Theater Owners turned the tables. In fact, the problem has nothing to do with when DVDs are released.  Instead, said John Fithian, "The movies are not as good...They're not terrible; they're just not as good. And so the industry has experienced a temporary drop-off."

Just go ahead and say it, John:  the movies suck. I doubt you'll get much argument on that one, at least not from anyone who isn't CEO of a major studio. Here's the thing, though:  it's not like they were super-great before this year. Perhaps you remember a little picture known as Dude, Where's My Car?. And the gem we like to call Gigli? The great majority of Hollywood movies have been terrible for a long time – and it's unlikely that we've all suddenly been seized by an attack of good taste. I don't claim to be able to explain where audiences are going, but I'm pretty sure it ain't to the local arthouse to see The Beat That My Heart Skipped.