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New Markets for Hollywood Films

Summer is in full swing (in the middle of something, usually with a lot of activity) and the summer blockbusters, or those movies likely to make a lot of money, are out. I recently read an interesting story about Hollywood films becoming popular in countries that have, in the past, not been very interested in them. These new opportunities for new customers (or audiences, in this case) are often called new markets or emerging markets.

I thought I’d take just one paragraph from this article and explain some of the terms:

Box-office growth in countries such as Russia, Brazil and China (Europe and Japan have long been fertile ground for American movies) comes as theater attendance in the U.S. and Canada has flattened and once-lucrative DVD sales have plummeted.”

A box-office is the place where we buy movie, play, and other performance tickets, so this term is used to refer to how many tickets are sold.  If a movie has a big box-office, it has sold a lot of tickets and is a money-making success.  When a movie sells very few tickets, we say that the movie has bombed.

If something is fertile, it is easy to grow things there.  A woman can be described as fertile if, for example, she gives birth to 11 children.  The ground or soil is often described as fertile, meaning that plants and crops (plants used for food) grow easily and well there.

For something to flatten means to for it to not change, not increase or decrease.  We usually use this to talk about something that has been growing or increasing, but now, that growth or increase has stopped.  This use of “flattened” probably comes from line charts or graphs, showing trends or movement over time.

If something is lucrative, it is likely to make you a lot of money.  We use it to talk about business deals or opportunities: “My brother told me about a lucrative new stock, but I’m too unsure about it to buy it.”

To plummet means to fall or decrease very quickly and very much.  You can use this word literally to mean that someone or something falls very quickly from a high place:  “Jeff dropped the water balloon out of the window, but it plummeted to the ground without hitting me.”  More often, we use “plummet” figuratively to talk about things that decrease quickly:
- “Sales of bananas grown in this area plummeted when people got sick from eating them.”
- “The price of our company’s stocks plummeted with news of the scandal.”

These are all common terms we use, not only to talk about the market for movies, but to talk about business in general (with the exception of “box office,” of course).  You can read the full article here.

Have you seen any Hollywood blockbusters recently you’d recommend? Are you looking forward to any that you’ve heard about?

~ Lucy

Photo Credit: “Movie Premier Setup” from Wikipedia

19 Responses to “New Markets for Hollywood Films”

  1. Matheus Leme da Silva Says:

    I’ve been looking forward to the final Harry Potter movie!! HP has undoubtedly made a lot of money througout the world and this last one will be a hit for sure!

    I recommend it for everybody!

  2. Peter Says:

    Lucy,
    I enjoyed u post
    Perfect
    U know that I m a movie goer
    Go watch horrible bosses . It is as funny as the hang over,or perhaps beat hang over in a heartbeat.
    It is good for escapism
    If you wanna catch a brain-teaser movie, take in the tree of life.
    Oh,
    Almost for get
    Watch the last part of the frenchchise “Xmen”
    the latest part is the epic part
    The best of the series
    And needless to say , Harry potter came out today
    It is a must-see movie

  3. Peter Says:

    Another movie I wanna recommend to you is : Car 2
    Very funny
    I put it in my top five of all time
    Way better that the first part

  4. Ethan Says:

    I recently watched Transformer 3. Personally I really enjoyed it but I’m sure I should recommend it to you ’cause I don’t know if you like SF movies.
    Anyway it’s interesting that Hollywood movies are becoming popular in emerging market. Actually today I just saw Lady Gaga’s twitter saying restriction on sale of her recent album ‘Born this way’ is lifted in China. I can see that American pop culture is still expanding its playground. Given economic situation in the US, it’s really good news. You see this service industry is very powerful, influential and also lucrative.
    I like Hollywood movies of course but lately I’m more into American TV programs such as sitcoms, dramas, realities, etc. I have to say I’m literally managing my schedule to catch up on those shows. I’m recently watching Burn Notice, The Office, Breaking Bad. Watching TV shows is such fun and also helps me improving my English. Oh by the way, I have to give you and Jeff credit that I really feel that my English has been improved when I watch them and it feels awesome! Thanks again both of you.
    Watching TV shows is also one of my motives I wanna improve my English. Needless to say, the better you understand it, the more you enjoy it. For me, the hardest type of show to enjoy is variety such as the Colbert report or Saturday night live. Basically I don’t ‘get’ it even though I hear what they say. Maybe due to lack of cultural background or something.. Anyway really really makes me want to challenge. So what can I do? I’ll keep listening ESLPOD and read a lot of books! Then maybe one day I would be laughing just like others who actually enjoy the show.
    Always appreciate your work and pls give my best regard to Jeff.

    Ethan

  5. Valerie Says:

    I’ve recently seen several new comedies such as “Bad Teacher”, “Hall Pass”, “Hangover 2″. They are all quite good movies, but for one-time watching.
    I can say I was really impressed by movie “Limitless”. I liked it very much. It’s perfect choice for people who like movies that make you to think. I’m sure people who like movies like “The Pursuit of Happiness” or “Wall Street” will enjoy it.
    I also liked the new TV series “The game of thrones”. I usually don’t like fantasy movies, but this one have something appealing in it.

  6. Hilario Says:

    FAST-FILMS: Here in Spain, theater attendance has flattened very much too, I think same as in rest of Europe due to the new free access to movies through internet and the rapid spreading of new home-cinema devices. Some people call it the digital piracy but this is another different issue. On the other hand people started a few years ago as like being fed-up with the banality of hollywood films, the massive production has jeopardized the quality of the films. This filming fertility has been out-putting tons of vulgarity and lack of creativity. Some people say that these films are very often films about nothing. So it´s not so surprise that the so called BRIC countries where hadn´t enough buying power at the time and thus they did not suffer that invasion in the past are now the ones that will buy them for a while.

  7. Peter Says:

    Lucy,
    The more I read your material ,the more I come to realize that no matter how hard I beat the drum for u still it is not loud enough in expressing of what you have rendered for us over the past 6 years
    Lucy,
    Your transcripts have been teaching me the language of Shakespeare. Your transcripts have helped me to assimilate to the North American culture. Your transcripts have Americanized me that once was just a pipe dream for me,a wishful thinking if you will.
    For that I couldn’t thank you enough
    You are the best of the best
    Hope , I can see at least an image of you in the 6th anniversary of the wonder we call “Eslpod.”
    A hug fan of yours
    Peter

  8. Peter Says:

    My dear English coach Lucy,
    Harry potter is out
    It is a must-see
    Jeff ,is too analytical and pragmetic to enjoy such movies
    But, you could enjoy some escaptism ,don’t you
    I m planning on taking in Harry Putter today,
    I go watching movie alone because I wanna focus on the dialog . I always do
    How about you Sis? U watch movies alone too?

  9. Peter Says:

    By the way, how was the weekend in the strech of paradise of yours. All chaotic, for all the traffic jams or u guys had a smooth weekened.
    A stack up of good books, and a big jar of herbal tea bags makes a fantatic weekened for Jeff:)))
    How well I know you Jeff :)))
    How about you Sis
    How was your weekened during the upheaval:)

  10. Peter Says:

    The Canadian radio news just said about carmagedone this coming weekend and that how it might effect the USA . Interstingly enough the news anchor used the term “Carmagedone” on the radio
    At the time I was in the car with two friends of mine , we were heading to watch Harry Putter. Now ,we are at the foyer.
    While in the car,my friends asked what carmagedone meant
    I fluttered my feathers a bit first , then I explained what it meant and that one of the most important US hogway is being shut down partially due to construction. I rambled on and on about the word and the inportance of the highway.
    Interestingly enough, I did not know what Carmagadone meant till Jeff explained it
    Man, it feels good when you feel suppriety while feign humility
    Thanks Jeff for the luxury :)
    When i finally gave up the floor:)))They collectively said “man, Peter, tell us what you don’t know know,English wise?
    I always get a lot of credit at Eslpod expense
    I acted like I have known anout the term and the highway for long time
    And I was evil enough to not mention Anything about Jeff and that I just read about it Yesterday on the Blog
    Sorry for being a bad a.. :)))
    Thanks Jeff,
    Lucy is the best of the best
    You are the best of the best of the best

  11. emiliano Says:

    Like you Valerie I have seen “Limitless” and I think it is quite interesting and surprising.
    When I was a young boy I liked Science Fiction novels and books, so always this kind
    of matter touch my choices.

    Just a moment ago I have been seeing “The Game of Thrones” episode 8 and I think
    it is a very good production, may be too much sex but it seems a method to get
    some audience to the story.

    The author R.R. Martin is one of my favorites writers (science fiction and fantasy) but I have
    not yet read this serial books of him despite I have some knowledge about the subject since two or three
    years and some friend who were reading them told me they were really very good novels.

    Now Cuca, my wife, is reading the first book “A Song of Ice and Fire” and she told
    me is really good but different from the TV serial, as usual the books use to be
    better than the adaptations, despite this TV one is really good for me.

    I have the books on the line to read them in English, but I think it has to be
    quite difficult, too many pages and a lot of characters.
    Well, nothing is impossible if we persist in our will and now I am really very
    interested in the plot.
    I think we live a short life to read so many books as we would like to read, just a pity
    but what can we do about the matter?.

    My best and thank you Lucy.

    emilliano

  12. John Says:

    Transformers 3 – A must have seen movie if you’re a fan of action movies :D
    155 minutes of mindless sci-fi action, but it’s worth the money.
    I give it a big thumbs up :D

  13. Peter Says:

    Lucy,
    I m listening to u on the latest English Cafe. I m so jelous.
    What wouldn’t I give up to put on your accent
    Is there anyway I can replace my vocal chords.
    Your Pure American accent is killing me Sis
    Never take it for granted
    You are blessed that way
    The minute I open my mouth , the first question always is: “where are you from?”
    The furthest I could go is no body can place my accent anywhere
    I m so jelous:))))
    I envy you Sid
    Just so you know
    This damn accent of mine has been weighing me down for almost a decade
    I tried to rid it out for 8 years ,no success

  14. sara Says:

    Dear Lucy as a fact you are a great teacher and for sure God has given you this talent, thanks for sharing it with us.
    Unfortunately I have been too busy for a while that didn’t have any time to see a film to recommend and it is a bit strange to me as I used to watch at least once a week.

  15. Peter Says:

    Guys,
    I watched Harry putter
    Sadly, I could understand just half of the dialog of the movie
    The Biritish accent is not easy to understand
    However, I m not a milquetoast . I won’t give up
    What make it worst is when you speak with British on the phone.
    Man,It is totally an struggle
    I m wondering if it is just me ,or Jeff and Lucy have the same problem
    Dear Lucy,
    Do u understand a Movie that has been dubbed into British accent fully?
    I have had this problem with Harry putter series since the first part.
    I really wanna know
    Please take the edge off my curiosity
    Don’t tell me you understand them like hollywood movies

  16. emiliano Says:

    To me now it is easier to see some good TV serial that a movie after another. If the TV serial is good you have a previous idea
    of what are you going to see and how the characters are.
    After a month of seeing a TV serial all the characters are like relatives or friends who are at home giving us their company
    or telling something about their own life.
    In this way I have seen some very good one like “The Guardian” – “Bones”- “The Mentalist” – “Downton Abbey” or “The Office”
    and it is very relaxing to sit down on the coach and see another episode of the serial we are watching at the moment.
    ——-
    Hollywood produces thousand of movies and serials, several of them are good and another quite bad.
    To my own choice I like some of these Hollywood movies as the best to have a good time.
    More or less is like books, every month there are hundred of books edited. Some are good but the majority are not
    so good. We have the option of choosing the one we think is good by the author or by the theme.
    With Hollywood is the same, among the hundred of movies produced every year I have the opportunity of choosing the
    one I would like to see by the director, theme or the actor/actress.

    I don´t think large productions means bad quality, that´s a topic.
    By the contrary having a large media amount where to choose it would be easy to find just the thing you like to watch, listen or
    read.
    Little production means better quality? I don´t think so.
    More or less the same as to say a best seller has to be bad for necessity, just because there are millions of people who
    like it?
    Only the minority have good choice?
    Well, I don´t think so, but here in Spain for people of cinema business the only reason that justifies the lack of public in the theaters to watch a Spanish movie is always the same, too less money that Hollywood productions.
    To my own I don´t think so, as it is possible to make a good work without so much money.
    With less than few money there are hundred and hundred of movies that are master pieces, one example “Casablanca” or
    “The LadyKillers” of Alexander Mackendrick. 1955. what is better than the Cohen Brother´s remake of 2004 with Tom Hanks
    instead of Alec Guinness.

    ——
    Now there are some directors that I don´t miss any of their movies.
    Spielberg, Woody Allen, Ridley Scott, The Cohen Brothers and Clint Eastwood among some other.
    Why?
    Because I have an idea of what kind of work I am going to watch, the same as if I listen to music of Mozart, Bach or Bethoven, but
    also Verdi, Puccini or Rossini, to talk only about classic music.

    Regards.
    emiliano

  17. Ethan Says:

    Watched HP last night. Didnt read the book tho I was into the movie and its story too.
    @Peter British accent didnt bother me while watching it. O btw I love Lucy’s accent n her voice too :)

  18. Myo ko ko Says:

    Whoa
    A lot of our friends of ESL listeners have recommanded a slew of good films!
    Speaking of Hollywood movies,
    to me, “Tom & Jerry” series are “must-see.” :) (But I assure Jeff does not like those series ’cause he has allergies to cats, you know!!) :)

  19. Betty Says:

    Thank you so much, Lucy, for this useful topic.

    I have not only enjoyed to learn more about Hollywood Films, I have also enjoyed learning your way of teaching us many new words – start from something relaxing like films to something more serious like company stocks.

    This article is like a very well planned English class lesson.

    So many of our friends here have watched so many films and can recommend so many of them. I wish I have so much money and time to watch all the newly released films. There is no film that I can recommend today because I have not watched any myself recently. However, I should watch some films this summer holiday and I will know whether there is any that I can recommend after I have watched them.

    Thank you again, Lucy, thanks for this nice topic and good English lesson.