Why Are Movies Getting So Long?

Why Are Movies Getting So Long?

Our attention spans may be getting shorter, but that hasn't stopped our movies from getting longer
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As anyone who’s ever tried to introduce someone to a classic movie can attest, a large portion of today’s moviegoers think old movies are too slow to be interesting. Yet if modern audiences want a story to get to the point faster, we’ve grown oddly patient with increasingly long movies.

Take the most recent "Transformers," which somehow boasts a run time of two hours and 45 minutes, despite the fact that it’s based on a toy line and primarily exists to sell cars and energy drinks. Of the superhero movies that have dominated the box office for the past several years, most of them clock in at around 2.5 hours, which seems to have become Hollywood’s target run time for blockbusters. That’s not even counting the extended editions many of these movies receive, like the recently released 3-hour cut of "Batman v Superman."

Looking over the successful films of the past, an approximate run time of two hours is typical. Through the 1950s and ‘60s, however, epics became a Hollywood staple, often featuring run times of three to four hours. As epics faded from popularity, the standard two hours became prominent again. Comparing the 10 highest grossing films of each decade, the 1960s has an average run time of two hours and 48 minutes, while the average of the ‘70s and ‘80s is around two hours.

Since the turn of the century, however, longer films have been making a comeback. The ten highest grossing movies of the 2000s have an average run time of around 2.5 hours, a trend that has continued through the present decade so far.

One possible explanation for the growing run times of today’s blockbusters ties into another recent trend: adaptations. It’s no secret that the majority of recent blockbusters have been adapted from existing source material. Although they’ve grown even more common in recent years, high-profile adaptations have always been reliable money-makers for Hollywood.

Among the top-grossing films of past decades, many of the longest films are adaptations, typically of stage productions (like "The Sound of Music," which is about three hours long) and novels (such as ‘Ben-Hur,’ which is over 3.5 hours long). Other media, like literature and stage plays, often feature narratives much longer than those in the typical two-hour movie, and therefore adaptations may require longer run times to tell the story. While audiences had apparently preferred 2-hour run times for decades, the success of lengthy, high-profile adaptations in the early 2000s like the "Lord of the Rings" and "Harry Potter" franchises may have proved that droves of moviegoers would happily to sit through longer films

The increase in longer, more expensive films also has a great deal to do with Hollywood’s fear of competition. As television made entertainment readily available to home viewers in the 1950s, producers in Hollywood realized that the movie-going experience had to offer something television couldn’t compete with. Major releases of the era became increasingly focused on special effects and gimmicks, and elaborate multi-hour epics dominated the box office.

The situation Hollywood is faced with today is surprisingly comparable to the dilemma it once dealt with in the 1950s. Not only have video games taken off as one of the main forms of entertainment, television is a bigger threat than ever, now boasting the A-list talent and high production values Hollywood had once monopolized. If that wasn’t enough, online streaming offers even more convenience and variety for viewers. Longer films with bigger budgets are a sign of Hollywood’s desperation to maintain its place in the entertainment world.

It seems strange that run times are growing longer in a time where we’re constantly being told that our attention spans are growing shorter. One study from last year reportedly found that human attention spans are now shorter than those of goldfish, the culprit determined to be our increased use of technology. However, short attention spans don’t necessarily mean we’ve lost patience for long movies, but rather for slow movies.

We can remain immersed in a film’s story just as long as the audiences of the 1950s (we don’t even need an intermission, either), but only if the events unfold at a breakneck pace. So while modern blockbusters are becoming more like the epics of Old Hollywood, they’ve also become a different product entirely.

None of this is to say that longer movies are necessarily bad, especially now that movie theaters have leather recliners and we can check our phones every five minutes.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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To the guy that shot my brother...

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To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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For My Fellow Lazy Gals, 11 Makeup Hacks To Splice Your Beauty Routine Time In Half

Beauty on a budget? I think yes.

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If you're an extremely lazy girl who loves makeup on a budget, these hacks are perfect for you. I've been using most of these hacks for as long as I can remember, and I can basically guarantee that they work.

11.  Fix old mascara with contact solution. 

If you find that your mascara is getting clumpy and dry, an easy fix is to pour a couple drops of contact solution to make it good as new. However, mascara should be replaced two to three months after opening, so dryness after this period indicates it's time for a new bottle.

10. The easy way to do ombre nails. 

Paint a cotton ball/ beauty sponge with different ombre colors in the desired order and simply press it against your nails before it dries! Once they dry, you can easily remove the nail polish around your skin with remover.

9. Use a business card for winged eyeliner.

Using a credit card or any small object with a straight line can practically guarantee a perfect cat eye.

8. Use eyeshadow for bald spots.

If you have any bald spots in your hair, an easy solution is to find an eyeshadow shade that matches the color of your hair and simply fill in the spot with eyeshadow.

7. Use white bases.

Before applying your desired color of eyeshadow or nail polish, apply a white base to make the colors stand out from your skin or nails.

6. Use coconut oil as makeup remover.

Instead of spending money on makeup remover filled with harsh chemicals, going natural and using coconut oil is the best option. Although this can be messier, it leaves your skin extremely smooth and it is less likely you'll have a harsh reaction to it.

5. Adding moisturizer to foundation.

If you accidentally purchase a foundation that's too dark for your skin tone, mixing some moisturizer with it can lighten up the tone (this also works well if you have dry skin).

4. Use a business card for mascara.

Not only does this work for winged eyeliner, but using a business card for mascara can also prevent it from getting onto your eyelids. All you have to do is apply your mascara as you normally would, but keep a business card on your eyelid.

3. If you're not sure where to contour, draw the number 3. 

2. Make DIY face masks and hair masks. 

Instead of spending money on skin and hair masks, there are hundreds of natural remedies you can try online for basically every problem.

1. Apply Vaseline to your eyelashes. 

Applying Vaseline to your eyelashes every night can actually speed up the growth process of your eyelashes and eliminates the need for lash extensions or even mascara.

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