I’ve been working on this far-from-groundbreaking theory that the bigger the situation in your screenplay, the higher your ceiling at the box office.
So if you blow up our planet in your script, you can top out at 500-750 million dollars.
If, by contrast, you chronicle a murder mystery in a small town, you may top out at 15m if you’re lucky.
If you write about the mob’s stranglehold on one city, expect 75m tops.
It didn’t always used to be this way.
Movies like Love Story could make a billion dollars.
But the reality of the matter is, in order to pay that 15 bucks, audiences want an experience these days.
And if the world (or something similar) isn’t at stake, it’s hard to feel like you’ve experienced anything.
There are exceptions to this rule. There always are. And certain genres like horror can muck up the equation.
But on the whole, it’s becoming more and more true.